Celebrity motorcycles featured in Bonhams’ Barber Museum sale

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A 1953 Vincent Comet once owned by Steve McQueen will be auctioned | Bonhams photos

A group of European motorcycles once owned and ridden by A-list Hollywood celebrities has been consigned for the Bonhams sale at Barber Motorsports Museum near Birmingham, Alabama. Most are dirt bikes, and some were ridden by the stars in famous films.

Steve McQueen’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross, a Swedish off-road model ridden by him in the motorcycle movie On Any Sunday, has been previously announced for the auction, but two more McQueen bikes have been added, a highly desirable 1953 Vincent Comet Series C from England and an unusual 1939 Nimbus Model C Luxus with sidecar from Denmark. 

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A 1969 Bultaco was ridden by Peter Fonda in the beginning of ‘Easy Rider’

Other motorcycles – all dirt bikes – and their well-known owners, include:

1967 CZ 250,  a Czech motorcycle noted for off-road agility, that was ridden by Paul Newman in the movie Sometimes a Great Notion

1968 Bultaco Pursang 250 that was ridden by Peter Fonda in the opening scene of Easy Rider.

1970 Husqvarna 250 Cross motocross bike from Sweden formerly owned by Dennis Hopper, who also starred in Easy Rider.

Other starring motorcycles that will be auctioned include such rare vintage two wheelers as a 1949 Vincent Black Lightning purported to be the world’s oldest-known example of the “holy grail” British model, and such racing machines as a Ducati NCR AMA Pro winner.

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The Bonhams auction will be held October 6 in conjunction with the annual Barber Vintage Festival adjacent to museum location. For more information, visit the auction website.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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