Testing the durability of the Steve McQueen Effect, which has resulted in outlandish prices paid for vehicles or personal items that the revered actor once owned or was somehow connected with, the Pick of the Day is a 1971 Husqvarna 250 Cross motorcycle that McQueen owned and rode in his heyday.
The simple Swedish dirt bike would be a desirable craft for vintage enduro fans, but it’s not usually all that valuable as a collector’s item. The NADA value guide pegs the top price for a 1971 Husqvarna 250 Cross in excellent condition at $6,665.
Ah, but the Steve McQueen magic is an amazing thing, resulting in such mad transactions as his 1976 Porsche Turbo Carrera being sold for $1.95 million, or his “Michael Delaney” racing suit worn for the movie Le Mans going for nearly $1 million.
The Husqvarna was reputedly a favorite of McQueen’s, ridden often and used in some enduro competitions, according to the Phoenix dealer advertising the motorcycle on ClassicCars.com. His ownership is fully documented and authenticated, the seller says, and a ream of supporting paperwork goes with the sale.
So not unexpectedly, this Husky is priced at $125,000.
Yeah, that’s pretty wild. Although in the bigger scheme of McQueen collector items, it’s a relatively affordable entry point for anyone who cares to enter and for whom money is no object.
“Under the influence of friend and stunt man Bud Ekins (who made the famous motorcycle jump over the fence in The Great Escape), McQueen usually rode Triumphs in the 1960s,” the seller says in the ad. “But when Husqvarna appeared in the States, McQueen found another favorite, and famously rode a Husky in the 1971 film On Any Sunday.
“The film created thousands of first-time bikers in the U.S. and worldwide, and sales exploded for Husqvarna overnight. The Husqvarna 250 Cross from the movie is the same model as this, except this motorcycle was his personal bike.”
McQueen was known to be an expert dirt biker who often competed on Huskys, the seller notes, adding that this bike remains pretty much the same as when the late actor rode it.
“The motorcycle has been sympathetically preserved; with the exception of some paint loss on the front fender, it remains in excellent cosmetic and running condition,” the ad says.
Putting things in some kind of perspective, as if that’s possible with the Steve McQueen Effect, the dealer notes another remarkable past sale.
“The last McQueen Husqvarna to be marketed, also a 1971 but a 400 Cross model, set a world record when it sold recently for $230,500.”
So, at just $125,000, or many multiple times its worth without the Steve McQueen provenance, this Husky could be some kind of a bargain as a collector’s item. Or not.
To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.