Wednesday, January 21st, 2009 - Motorcycle Press Release - Total Motorcycle - http://www.totalmotorcycle.com
Steve McQueen's newly discovered 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross -Photo by Matt Stone
When Husqvarna enthusiast and specialist Rob Phillips picked up this 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross for $1500.00 in February 2008 it was "just another bike" that he planned on restoring, but pretty soon, following the bike's paper trail, he discovered that he had in fact purchased a bike once owned by Hollywood legend and racing enthusiast Steve McQueen.
McQueen, best known for films such as The Great Escape, Bullitt, Le Mans and The Towering Inferno was the highest paid actor in the world in the early 1970's. He was also an accomplished car and motorcycle racer, having placed second in the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring race behind Mario Andretti, and also representing the US in the prestigious 6 Day International Motorcycle Trials in 1964 in East Germany.
Rob made the discovery whilst visiting friend Don Ince. Don, also a bike specialist, enthusiast and collector, had in his collection all the accounting books of Edison Dye. Dye, considered by many to be the father of motocross in the United States, was single handedly responsible for importing almost every Husqvarna ever brought into the United States. Searching through the Dye records, Don produced the original invoice and Manufacturer's Statement of Origin belonging to Rob's new bike. The invoice, dated February 9, 1970, was made out to Solar Productions (McQueen's movie production company), and the MSO was a perfect match with Rob's bike, noting the exact same Frame number and Engine number. In addition to these documents was a memo signed by Edison Dye, stating that the bike was to be held for Solar Productions, and was to be picked up by Steve himself, or Steve's friend and associate Don Mitchell.
Whilst it is not yet proven that McQueen personally raced this bike, there is good supportive evidence that it may be the #98 Husky which he is seen riding in the 1971 cult motorbike racing documentary On Any Sunday.
The bike is now on display at the San Diego Auto Museum, which is located at 2080 Pan America Plaza 92101.
Rob Phillips is CEO of Advanced Racing Technologies. He is a motorcycle collector and
restorer specializing in Husqvarna motorcycles