Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

Take a look at this iconic selection of motorbikes, which will be auctioned this weekend by Bonhams...

Here at Gentleman’s Journal, when the words “motorbike”, “auction” and “Paul Newman” are mentioned in the same sentence, you can be sure that our ears will be pricking up, and our bank accounts groaning.

Later this week, following their recent announcement of Steve McQueen’s Husqvarna motorcycle from the film On Any Sunday, Bonhams will be auctioning a consignment of motorcycles ridden or owned by a host of our favourite legendary gentlemen — including Paul Newman, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper.

So, if you’re in the market for a slice of cinematic history, as well as a one-of-a-kind motoring investment, take a look through the bikes you could be riding home if you head to The Barber Museum this Saturday…

Paul Newman's 1967 CZ 250

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

The 1967 CZ 250 is an uncommon Czech motorcycle, lauded for its off-road nimbleness – and once ridden by Paul Newman in the movie Sometimes a Great Notion.

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

Paul Newman's 1967 CZ 250

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The 1968 Bultaco Pursang 250 – ridden by Pete Fonda

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

Peter Fonda’s character Wyatt rode this 1968 Bultaco Pursang 250 – a popular go-anywhere dirt bike from Spain – in the opening scene of Easy Rider, while Dennis Hopper’s Billy rode a CZ motocrosser. From then on, the two ride their iconic choppers.

Steve McQueen's 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

McQueen purchased this iconic Husqvarna in 1970, during his reign as Hollywood’s highest paid actor.  This MH-1341 – one of the first 400 Cross models imported into the U.S. – then became something of a movie star in its own right. It featured in the memorable beach riding scenes that closed On Any Sunday — ridden, of course, by McQueen.

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

Steve McQueen's 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross

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Dennis Hopper's 1970 Husqvarna 250 Cross

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

One of the most desirable motorcycles in the world, this dirt bike has already been through a serious restoration. Until it reached the proprietor of Husky Restorations, Dennis Hopper is the only known owner.

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

Dennis Hopper's 1970 Husqvarna 250 Cross

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Steve McQueen's 953 Vincent Comet Series C

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

A selection of bikes once owned by Steve McQueen will be offered, including this highly sought-after 1953 Vincent Comet Series C from England. A couple of years after buying it, McQueen had it put up for sale, where it was spotted by Dr Earl Chalfant, President of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America in the 1960s. Instead of buying the Comet, he traded McQueen his 1939 Indian Chief for it.

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

Steve McQueen's 953 Vincent Comet Series C

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The oldest original Vincent Black Lighting

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

It’s not just celebrity motorcycles that will be the stars in October. Other highlights include rare vintage motorcycles, such as this 1949 Vincent Black Lightning, estimated somewhere between $400,000-500,000. It might not quite beat the recent, record-breaking sale of a 1951 model, which fetched $929,000 in Las Vegas – but it’s a desirable bike nonetheless, one of only a reported 19 Vincent Black Lightnings left in existence.

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

The oldest original Vincent Black Lighting

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Steve McQueen's 1939 Nimbus Model C Luxus

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

Another from the McQueen archives, this is an unusual and attractive Danish 1939 Nimbus Model C Luxus, complete with sidecar. It didn’t appear in any of McQueen’s films, but, from the 12,000 units produced, it is reportedly one of only 200 Nimbus models that ever made it to the States from Europe. 

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

Steve McQueen's 1939 Nimbus Model C Luxus

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The iconic 1928 Windhoff Four

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

There is also the opportunity to invest in the motorcycle declared by Tragatch magazine to be “the most unique, progressive and beautiful motorcycle ever made”: this 1928 Windhoff Four.

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

The iconic 1928 Windhoff Four

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The auction will take place this Saturday, October 6th, at the famous Barber Motorsports Museum near Birmingham. Bonhams’ auction of collectors’ motorcycles will be hosted in concert with the annual Barber Vintage Festival. To register to bid and learn more, visit bonhams.com/barber.

Here’s your chance to own Paul Newman and Steve McQueen’s motorcycles

Collector's Motorcycles at the Barber Museum

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Further Reading