Steve McQueen’s 1971 Husqvarna 250 CrossThe one and only 250 Cross owned by "The King of Cool"
The 250 Cross available here has been sympathetically preserved as it was when McQueen owned it. This red and silver 1971 Husqvarna Moto-Cross 250 motorcycle is fully documented with the original Med-International Husqvarna dealer invoice, dated October 19, 1971, reflecting Solar Productions, McQueen’s production company, as being the buyer of “Husky Moto-Cross 250cc Frame No. MI-4473 and Engine No. 254319” for the total price of $898. There is a typed note at the bottom of the invoice stating, “Ship to Valerians for Steve to have picked up.”
Also included is the original Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin document, dated October 19, 1971, stating the matching Solar Productions buyer information, complete with matching make, model and serial number. Along with that, the Husqvarna Motorcycle Buyer’s Registration Card, made out to Solar Productions in North Hollywood, dated October 19, 1971, the Med International Selling Invoice (both copies, yellow and pink) dated October 19, 1971, the California DMV Transfer of Owners Interest In and Possession of Motor Vehicle from Med International, the selling dealer, dated October 19, 1971, and an Enduro Entry Application from the California Enduro Riders Association signed by Steve McQueen.
Under the influence of friend and stunt man Bud Ekins (who made the famous motorcycle jump over the fence in The Great Escape), McQueen usually rode Triumphs in the 1960s. But when Husqvarna appeared in the States, McQueen found another favorite, and famously rode a Husky in the 1971 film On Any Sunday. The film created thousands of first time bikers in the U.S. and worldwide, and sales exploded for Husqvarna overnight.
The Husqvarna 250 Cross from the movie is the same model as this, except this motorcycle was his personal bike. McQueen was known for riding the Huskys at Lake Elsinore when he competed in 1970 & 1971 in the “expert” class. The motorcycle has been sympathetically preserved; with the exception of some paint loss on the front fender, it remains in excellent cosmetic and running condition. The last McQueen Husqvarna to be marketed, also a 1971 but a 400 Cross model, set a world record when it sold recently for $230,500.
Other Interesting Fact:
We all know Steve McQueen the legendary movie star, the ‘King Of Cool’ from such movies as Bullitt, The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, The Getaway, and Le Mans to name a few, but Steve McQueen is also a legendary name in the Dirt Bike world. Far from being just a movie star who rode motorcycles to portray an image, McQueen was actually a very competitive racer in his own right.
Steve McQueen helped bring motorcycling to the mainstream in America thanks to his support of and appearance in the iconic film “On Any Sunday”, his 1971 Sports Illustrated cover, a not-so-covert race career under the name “Harvey Mushman”, and many other escapades. One of the most recognizable and successful actors of the 1960’s and 70’s, McQueen’s fame in both the movie and motorcycle worlds have made his personal bikes valuable collector’s items and highly coveted. He became associated with the Swedish brand Husqvarna in the early 70s, which quickly becoming his preferred mount, and subsequently featured in many of his movies and photo shoots.
McQueen’s first interest in motorcycles began in 1950 when he bought his first bike. As Steve explains “A mean old 1946 Indian Chief. I remember how proud I was of it – I right away went over to see this girl I was dating to show it to her. When she saw it, she said, ‘You don’t expect me to ride around with you on that?’ Well, I sure enough did. The girl went but the bike stayed.”
His bikes had all been street machines until he first found out about dirt riding quite by chance. “You know that cliff that leads down from Mulholland to Sepulveda? Well, I was riding along Sepulveda with Dennis Hopper when we saw these guys bopping and bumping through the weeds near there, off the road. It was Keenan Wynn and another guy on these strange machines, dirt bikes they called them. We asked Keenan if he could climb that cliff. ‘Watch this,’ he says. Varoom! Right up to the top. Dennis and I were standing there with our eyes out to here. The very next day I went out and bought me a 500-cc Triumph dirt bike.”
Much has been written about the life of McQueen the movie star. What about McQueen the dirt bike rider. How good was he? So good he represented the USA in the 1964 ISDT (now called the ISDE, commonly known as the Olympics of motorcycling).
He began competing in club races and enduros like Las Vegas’ Mint 400, the Elsinore Grand Prix and the Baja 1000 from Ensenada to La Paz. He often competed under the name of Harvey Mushman alongside his good friend Malcolm Smith and his name became associated with several of his favorite motorcycle brands, Triumph, Husqvarna and Honda to name a few. With the release of the Honda CR250M in 1973, McQueen even appeared in a Honda promotional video.
His friend and stuntman Bud Ekins competed in the 1963 ISDT in Czechoslovakia, where he clinched a gold medal. While with McQueen during the making of “The Great Escape”, they came up with the idea to put together a US team to participate in the 1964 event.
Another McQueen owned Husqvarna recently sold at RM Sotheby’s Pebble Beach Auction on August 13, 2021 for $204,000 (including buyer’s premium). You can see that lot here: https://rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo21/monterey/lots/r0089-1968-husqvarna-viking-360/1125489
For details and information, please call, email or text Harry Clark at +1 (602) 245-7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Husky can be viewed in the Chicago, IL area.
Steve McQueen’s 1971 Husqvarna 250 Cross
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