The King of Cool’s crown jewel of motorcycles is heading to auction.
The very first Husqvarna dirt bike owned by the late, great Steve McQueen will go under the gavel at RM Sotheby’s upcoming Monterey sale, running August 12-14.
The coveted two-wheeler in question is a classic 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360. Legend has it that McQueen first saw the high-octane Husky tear up the track during a series of races in Southern California in 1968. With acclaimed motocross rider Bengt Åberg in the saddle, the thumper showcased exceptional performance and punishing power. Besotted, the Hollywood icon promptly bought the bike from Åberg after the third race in Santa Cruz and kickstarted an enduring love affair with the Swedish nameplate.
McQueen wanted the bike to fulfill his own ambitions on the racetrack, and it’s certainly no slouch. Powered by a single-cylinder, 360 cc two-stroke engine, the two-wheeler can churn out 37 horses and weighs a svelte 215 pounds.
It’s cycled through a handful of collectors and was treated to a meticulous, 14-month restoration in 2014 to get it to “Concours quality.” Today, the pristine machine is presented with a fresh exterior and gleaming chrome accents. Offered on a Utah title, it still sports its original engine, 32mm Bing carburetor and 4-speed gearbox, though has been fitted with a new PowerDynamo electronic ignition.
McQueen is rumored to have had more than 200 motorcycles in his collection and has become somewhat synonymous with Husqvarna. While the 400 Cross that he rode in the ‘71 motorcycle racing documentary On Any Sunday is arguably his most famous Husky, it was this Viking 360 that is believed to have turned him onto the brand. This is the first Husqvarna bike that he bought and rode, so it represents a seminal moment in motorsports history and pop culture at large. While no estimate has been listed, the legendary 400 Cross hammered for $230,500 at Bonhams in 2018, so you should expect to part with six figures.
Of course, if four-wheels is more your speed, a gorgeous Mustang based on the one McQueen drove in Bullitt is also crossing the auction block this August.
Now that’s what we call cool.
Check out more photos of the bike below: