Steve McQueen’s 1970 ‘Husky’ Is Looking for a New King of Cool

From a 'Sports Illustrated' cover shoot to your garage

July 19, 2018 9:00 am

Auction lots and Hollywood stars seem to mirror each other, in that both generally belong to that “ageless glitz” section of the cultural family tree. They are presumptively cool — or were at one point — but that point is so far in the past that we’re essentially taking the cachet at its word in the here and now.

Not so for Steve McQueen, though, nor for his “Husky” motorcycle, up for auction through Bonhams this October.

The late movie star’s relation to the 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross moto was one of rugged, on-brand, humanizing cool. And as with most McQueen paraphernalia, it comes with a few backstories.

We gushed early last month about McQueen’s Rolex Submariner, which was saved from California’s devastating 2016 Sand Fire. McQueen had gifted it to his stuntman, Loren James, and engraved the caseback with “Loren, The Best Damn Stuntman In the World—Steve.”

The Husky, though, takes it up a narrative notch. The Swedish-made mount appeared with the actor in all his shirtless, sunburnt glory on the cover of Sports Illustrated in August of 1971, and also guest-starred in the Oscar-nominated documentary On Any Sunday. It’s the off-road, lost-in-a-desert, four-speed bike of your American dreams, credited by some for jumpstarting national interest in motocross. Now go make some room in the garage.

Find more information on the auction here.  

Main image from Bonham’s

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