Concours bound: Steve McQueen's 1971 Husqvarna
October 24, 2012
The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d'Elegance always features motorcycles for every taste. Participants show bikes from several eras and disciplines. Some bikes are expertly restored while others are near-perfect preservations of the original.
Steve Bonner is one of this year’s participants. He is bringing a 1971 Husky with an amazing background story.
This particular Husqvarna used to belong to another Steve -- the one-and-only Steve McQueen, a member of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. We spoke with Bonner to hear about the bike’s history with its well-known former owner.
Q: What is the bike's history with Steve McQueen?
I have complete documentation showing the original sale to McQueen. My friend rode with Steve while we were at Fox Studios and got the bike from him in 1973. He sold it to me in ’74.
Q: What makes it cool or interesting?
I have proof of it being the Sports Illustrated cover bike, and I believe it to be the Holy Grail of motocross bikes. It changed the popularity of the sport after being featured on the cover of S.I.
Q: If anything, what have you done to restore it?
The bike has remained in unrestored condition, with original seat and paint. The engine hasn’t been out of the frame since McQueen owned it, and most of the wear on the bike is from him -- he rode it in competition several times.
Q: To what extent does it get ridden today?
The bike has always been garaged, and it hasn’t been ridden or started since 1977.