Celebrity owned vehicles hit auctions en masse this summer. The latest is this 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 driven by Bengt Åberg and formerly owned by Steve McQueen, up for auction. If Tom Hanks’ sweet Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser isn’t your thing, this vintage Husky just might.
Steve McQueen was a man known for many feats. Many will know him for his intense action movies while others will know him for his high octane adventures. McQueen liked just about anything with a motor. He was a skilled motorcycle rider and racer. In one famous case, he and driver Peter Revson almost won a race in a Porsche 908/2 with his left foot in a cast, broken as a result of a motorcycle accident, reports Hagerty. McQueen even had a weakness for piloting planes.
So it makes sense that when McQueen wanted a good machine to win motorcycle races, he went straight to the track.
According to auction announcement, McQueen went to see motocross rider Bengt Åberg race on his new Husqvarna Viking 360 in four races in California. After watching Åberg ravage the terrain in Race 3, McQueen decided he needed a Viking 360. But he didn’t just want to. any Viking 360, he wanted Åberg’s. McQueen’s Los Angeles-based production company Solar Productions acquired the machine from the motocross racer. Listen to the ring-ding-ding of this two-stroke:
Åberg won the World Championship on a Husky in 1969 and 1970.
Steve McQueen was known for his affection for Husqvarnas, but McQueen Historian Don Ince thinks this 1968 Viking 360, MF-1987 frame, to be the most important of the McQueen Huskies because it was his very first. It was the bike that made him fall in love with the brand.
The bike has passed through the hands of many collectors before benefiting from an excellent Concours quality restoration in 2014.
It is said to be in the same condition it was when it was delivered to Bengt Åberg all those years ago. His last guardian is Blacksmith garage of Eden, Utah.
Blacksmith says its 37hp 360cc two-stroke engine is stock, as is its Bing carburetor and four-speed transmission. The dot ignition has been discontinued for a PowerDynamo electronic ignition for better reliability, starting and performance.
Yes, this motorcycle is more than a simple art object to be stored by a collector, it actually rolls!
RM Sotheby’s estimates the value of this wonderful machine between $ 80,000 and $ 100,000. It is put up for auction without reservation and the purchaser obtains title to the motorcycle, as well as documentation showing that it was in fact McQueen’s property.