Steve McQueen's Legendary 1931 Harley Set to Go to Auction

Rare production VL to be sold July 26-27 in Santa Monica, CA

Steve McQueen's 1931 Harley Davidson VL 74 (1200 ccm) [Lot F238] is going to auction at the inaugural Mecum Celebrity Items Auction: Celebrating the Legendary History of Hollywood on July 26-27, 2013 at the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California. In addition to this prized motorcycle, several other rare McQueen items will be available, including his 1969 Chevrolet C/10 Baja Truck and 1970 Yucatan trunks. The two-day extravaganza will feature more than 2,000 artifacts and collectibles from cars to motorcycles to props from the golden years of Hollywood.

The landmark '31 Harley VL 74 was awaiting restoration at McQueen's private warehouse when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in 1979. McQueen passed away almost a year later and never saw the bike restored to its former glory. Mike Eisenberg, a McQueen collector and aficionado, took it upon himself to finish the movie icon's vision. Barbara McQueen says her late husband would have been pleased by the end result.

About the 1931 Harley-Davidson VL:

The bike was built the same year McQueen was born -- and that year was the debut of the VL model, a twin-flathead which was one of the most popular touring bikes Harley ever produced. Reliable and sleek for its time, the VL 74 captured the imagination of bikers worldwide and established new standards for the industry. It has a 74 cubic inch motor, 3-speed transmission and single tube muffler.

This particular bike was a restoration McQueen was actively working on at the end of his life in Santa Paula, California, where he owned an airplane hangar and large garage. It first sold as Lot 601 at the Steve McQueen Estate Auction November 24-25, 1984 at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. It includes the original engine, body and frame, and the paint reflects a period-correct color combination of red, black and gold. Other noteworthy features include rear wheel brakes, three-speed transmission, single tube muffler, instrument panel, toolbox, front and rear wheel stands, horn and black leather saddle.

The provenance on the classic bike includes an original certificate of authenticity, bill of sale and official odometer mileage statement from the McQueen Estate Auction in November 1984.

To consign an item or to become a pre-registered bidder at the auction, visit or call (262) 275-5050.


Barker Hangar: 3021 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405-6101 (

Thursday, July 25, 6:00pm - 9:00pm // Friday, July 26, 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Friday July 26, 5:00pm - 9:00pm // Saturday, July 27, 1:00pm - 5:00pm

  • Admission: $20 per person per day, children 12 and younger admitted free

Opens July 5 exclusively at

For further information, visit or call (262) 275-5050.

01 Steve Mcqueen 1931 Harley Auction Engine Profile

03 Steve Mcqueen 1931 Harley Auction Side View
01 Steve Mcqueen 1931 Harley Auction Engine Profile
02 Steve Mcqueen 1931 Harley Auction Engine Detail