McQueen’s Husky

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Two very different, but highly collectible motorcycles were auctioned October 6 at the 14th annual Barber Vintage Festival in Birmingham, Alabama: A 1949 Vincent Black Lightning, which was ordered new for Swiss racer Hans Starkle. This motorcycle is regarded by many as the holy grail, as only 19 of the original 31 famous British-manufactured bikes remain, and they rarely come up for sale. A Vincent Black Lightning currently holds the world record for the most valuable motorcycle ever sold at auction, after it hammered at $1 million in 2018. Also sold was the Husqvarna 400 Cross that Steve McQueen rode shirtless on the cover of Sports Illustrated and in the film “On Any Sunday.” The bike has extensive documentation, including the ownership card from the California Department of Motor Vehicles naming Solar Productions (McQueen’s production company), McQueen’s entry form for the 1970 Saddleback 500 Senior Race, and a lucky penny—an uncirculated 1960 1¢ coin (the birth year of son Chad)–that was found inside a clear plastic case tucked away in the cavity of the motorcycle, between the engine and frame.