A 1938 Triumph 5T Speed Twin formerly owned by Steve McQueen has been sold at Bonhams’ annual Las Vegas motorcycle auction for a world record auction fee of $175,500 (around £132,000).

Steve McQueen was well-known for his passion for motorcycles – in particular his fondness of British-built Triumph’s. But as it turns out, there are surprisingly few machines still out there that McQueen actually rode. This 1938 5T is one that he did. Admittedly, it has changed hands a number of times since it was first sold at McQueen’s estate auction back in 1984.

But despite being decades old, the Triumph 5T was in brilliant condition thanks to McQueen’s friend, mechanic, and Great Escape fence-jumper Bud Ekins – who completed a full restoration of the motorcycle in the mid-1970s. And the bike even carries Ekin’s decal to this day.


Another highlight of the sale was a 1993 Ducati Supermono, one of just 67 made, that was sold for $115,000 (around £90,000), as well as a 1974 Munch Mammoth TTS, known as the world’s first superbike, that made $112,000 (£85,000).

Craig Mallery of Bonhams’ US Motorcycle Department said: “We had a very impressive selection of approximately 125 rare, uncommon and high-quality motorcycles on offer this year. It’s a selective market at the moment and while some of our motorcycles didn’t meet reserve, there were many exceptional sales.”

For more information, visit: www.bonhams.com

Ross Mowbray
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