A Swedish motocross bike raced by championship rider Bengt Aberg and sold to racing fan Steve McQueen is going, going and almost gone on Ebay.
The owner says he’s hoping to get more than $100,000 for the vintage Husqvarna racer.
Owner Del Pinho, a Santa Barbara dentist, was a Husky collector before he acquired this one. He started buying and restoring old dirt bikes as a hobby, then began to specialize in the Swedish brands.
After he’d accumulated 20 or 30, he began focusing only on Husqvarnas raced by men who’d won championships on them -- Swedes like Aberg and Torsten Hallman, or Americans like Malcolm Smith or J.N. Roberts.
He bought the current bike knowing it had been raced by Aberg, and had it up for sale when a fellow Husky enthusiast told him that actor McQueen had purchased the bike after Aberg completed his last U.S. race.
Pinho withdrew the Husky and had it properly restored -- and found paperwork documenting McQueen’s ownership -- before putting it back up for sale.
After that, he refined his collecting habits further and tried to concentrate only on vintage motorcycles owned by famous people -- a Husky owned by Dennis Hopper or a Harley-Davidson owned by Marlon Brando.
“A restoration on a bike like this can be $10,000 to $15,000,” Pinho said. “And they’re not worth that much -- if they don’t belong to someone famous.”
McQueen motorcycles have been known to fetch top dollar. Mecum Auction sold a McQueen Husqvarna last year for $75,000. In 2011, a similar bike was sold at auction for $144,500.