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Nov 20, 2006

Auction Of Late Actor Steve McQueen's Motorcycles Brought Record Prices

The Steve McQueen Collection Brings More Than $1-million Saturday

$2.9-Million Bonhams & Butterfields' Motorbikes Auction Sets World Auction Records in Los Angeles

Fans and Aficionados Vie for "King of Cool's" Collectibles

Admiration for the "King of Cool" fueled bidding on Saturday, November 11, 2006 as Bonhams & Butterfields offered and sold property from the widow of Steve McQueen at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles -- bringing more than $1-million for vintage motorcycles, biking memorabilia, home furnishings and antique toys acquired by the actor and his wife Barbara. Motorbikes from various owners and Steve McQueen memorabilia from other collections brought as much as $1.9-million for a grand total of $2.9-million for the day.

Applause broke out in the crowded salesroom after many lots were hammered as "sold" by Bonhams & Butterfields CEO and lead auctioneer Malcolm Barber. As well, several world record auction prices were achieved for rare machines and ephemera from noted collections. "Today, McQueen fans from across the globe acquired property from the legendary actor, with 100% of the lots offered by his widow sold to buyers," said Barber moments after the sale had concluded.

Vice President and Motoring Dept. Director Mark Osborne said, "The room was electrified with competitive bidding - and an international pool of bidders on telephones could sense the excitement in the room. This has been the most incredible auction I've had the pleasure of orchestrating."

McQueen property, much never-before seen publicly, sold for many times the pre-sale estimates - competitive bidding pushing the values higher and higher. A folding knife made by Von Dutch and inscribed to Steve sold for $38,025 (est. $7/12,000) while McQueen's custom-made brown leather satchel, carried routinely by the actor, brought $40,950 (est. $1,500/3,000). The actor's black cotton Belstaff motorcycle jacket sold for $32,760 (est. $2/4,000).

Top lots of the Nov. 11 sale include:

* From the Collection of Barbara McQueen:

$177,500 paid - World Record at auction -- for a circa 1934 Indian Sport Scout, one of the maker's most successful models in the 1930s and a favorite marque of Steve McQueen [lot # 176, est. $15/20,000]

$150,000 paid for Steve McQueen's circa 1920 Indian Powerplus Daytona racing bike [lot # 177, est. $60/90,000]

$128,000 paid -- World Record at auction -- for a 1958 GMC 101-series pickup truck, part of his ten-car collection housed at a famous Beverly Hills hotel during his extended stays in Southern California, described by Barbara McQueen as "Steve's baby" [Lot # 178, est. $40/60,000]

$70,200 paid for Steve McQueen's pair of Persol sunglasses with blue tinted lenses, believed to be worn in the opening scenes of the Thomas Crown Affair [Lot # 62, est. $2/3,000]


From the Silverman Museum Racing Collection and various owners:

$276,500 paid -- World Record at auction -- for a 1937 Crocker "Hemi-head" V-Twin motorcycle [lot # 438, est. $165/200,000]

$70,200 paid for the 1967 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow two-door sedan from The Thomas Crown Affair [lot # 236A, est. $60/100,000]

$117,000 paid for a yellow Winton Flyer originally part of the Steve McQueen Collection and used in the film The Reivers (film also released as Yellow Winton Flyer), produced in 1969 by Steve McQueen and constructed by Von Dutch [lot # 261, est. $100/150,000]

$111,150 paid -- World Record at auction -- for a circa 1927 McEvoy - JAP 8/45 hp, a rare example owned by the founder of the McEvoy company, which produced bikes in the UK from 1925 until only1929, restoration by John Sears [lot # 414, est. $100/120,000]

$102,375 paid -- World Record at auction - for a 1904/05 FN four cylinder, the earliest known surviving example, the Belgian company ceased production in the mid-1920s [lot # 411, est. $60/80,000]

$29,250 paid for the circa 2005 Triumph 865cc Bonneville Scrambler ridden by Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible III [lot # 409, est. $14/18,000]