Collectors keen to add a touch of Hollywood glamour to their garage ought to make the great escape down to Stafford this month.
An early racing motorcycle once owned by Steve McQueen will be one of the star lots at the Bonhams auction as part of the Carole Nash International Classic Motorcycle Show at Stafford County Showground on April 27-28.
The 1914 Indian Model F is an example of a board-track racing motorcycle and is estimated to reach between £22,000 and £28,000. The rare sale brings an extra touch of glamour to an auction already featuring more than £1m worth of motorcycles for sale. Restored by marque specialist Stephen Wright, the McQueen machine was purchased at Bonhams’ sale at Carmel, California in May 2010 (Lot 165) and since then has formed part of a private collection.
McQueen was an avid motorcycle and race car enthusiast. When given the opportunity to ride and drive in a movie he performed many of his own stunts. Some of his most memorable sequences were the motorcycle escapades in John Sturges’ 1963 classic The Great Escape and the car chases in 1968 movie hit Bullitt.
The Bonhams sale is just one of many highlights at what promises to be a special Stafford show. Other attractions include the gravity-defying 1920s machines of the Wall of Death motorcycle show, the GP Paddock, where you can hear the growls and howls of monstrous racers being fired up, and a display celebrating a century of classic marque Velocette featuring nine bikes and two engines.
Plus, guest of honour Phil Read’s former mechanic Ferry Brouwer is bringing two bikes to the show while Mick Andrews will be taking part in a trials demonstration twice a day on both days next to the event’s Dirt Bike Hall.
Ben Walker, head of the Bonhams Motorcycle Department, said: “We are delighted to return to the Stafford show with another wide and eclectic offering of important motorcycles, ‘barn-find’ restoration projects and affordable classics.”
The Bonhams Spring Stafford Sale will offer a total of 242 motorcycles, with many coming from private collections.