Celebrity-owned vehicles are hitting auctions in droves this summer. The latest is this 1968 Husqvarna Viking 360 raced by Bengt Åberg and formerly owned by Steve McQueen up for auction. If Tom Hanks’ sweet Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser doesn’t hit your spot, maybe this vintage Husky will.
Steve McQueen was a man known for many feats. Many will know him for his intense action films while others will know him for his high octane adventures. McQueen loved just about anything with an engine. He was a proficient driver and motorcycle racer. In one famous instance, he and racer Peter Revson almost won a race in a Porsche 908/2 with his left foot in a cast, broken from a motorcycle crash, reports Hagerty. McQueen even had a thing for flying planes.
So, it makes sense that when McQueen wanted a good machine to win motorcycle races, he went straight to the track.
According to the auction ad, McQueen went to watch motocross rider Bengt Åberg race on his new Husqvarna Viking 360 at four races in California. After witnessing Åberg lay waste to the field on the third race, McQueen decided that he needed a Viking 360. But he didn’t just want 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 that two-stroke:
Åberg went on to win the World Championship on a Husky in 1969 and 1970.
Steve McQueen was known for his affection of Husqvarnas, but McQueen historian Don Ince believes that this 1968 Viking 360, frame MF-1987, is the most important of McQueen’s Huskies because it was his very first. It was the bike that made him fall in love with the brand.
The motorcycle’s been through the hands of a number of collectors before getting treated to an excellent Concours quality restoration in 2014.
It’s said to be in the same condition now as it was when it was delivered to Bengt Åberg all those years ago. Its latest caretaker is Blacksmith Garage of Eden, Utah.
Blacksmith says that its 37 HP 360cc two-stroke engine is original, as is its Bing carburetor and four-speed transmission. The points ignition was dumped for a PowerDynamo electronic ignition for better reliability, starting and performance.
Yep, this motorcycle is more than just some art for a collector to stuff away, it actually rides!
RM Sotheby’s estimates the value of this wonderful machine to be between $80,000 and $100,000. It’s being auctioned without a reserve and the buyer gets the motorcycle’s title, along with documentation showing that it did in fact belong to McQueen.