MidAmerica Auctions, the world’s largest seller of antique motorcycles, will host the 21st Annual Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction and Races Jan. 12-14, 2012, at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
500 antique and classic motorcycles will be up for auction, including three motorcycles owned by legendary actor and biking enthusiast, Steve McQueen. Serving as guest of honor is his widow, Barbara McQueen, who will share memories of her famous husband and sign copies, “Steve McQueen: The Last Mile.” Joining her will be McQueen biographer Marshall Terrill, who will sign copies of his 2010 book, “Steve McQueen: A Tribute to the King of Cool.”
Barbara McQueen’s photographs record a behind-the-scenes life of personal pleasures and enthusiasms. They include hitting the road in Steve’s pickup trucks, visiting collectors’ shows and swap-meets, driving 700 miles to view a rare World War I motorcycle, flying a vintage mail plane, and generally ducking out of Hollywood life. But when work did call, Barbara was also on hand to capture marvelous candid shots on the sets of McQueen’s two last films, “Tom Horn” and “The Hunter.”
The life and career of Steve McQueen is a classic example of the American dream made real: of a small town boy from a broken home triumphing over adversity to become one of the richest and most sought-after superstars in the world. McQueen lived every day as if it were his last, and by doing so he lived an extraordinary life, both on screen and off.
Barbara McQueen’s “Steve McQueen: The Last Mile” tells the story of a simple love affair with life. Barbara, who had carved a very successful career for herself as a fashion model, met Steve McQueen in 1977. Together for less than four years, these rare and private photographs share Steve’s rugged, blue-eyed features him in a relaxed and uninhibited setting, doing the things he loved. Barbara’s photographs show a tough guy at peace but who retained an inner strength. In one particularly striking shot his hair is wild, his beard thick, and unkempt, and he is looking over his shoulder with a troubled vulnerability. Barbara catches him unaware perhaps in a deeply pensive mood.
MidAmerica Auctions have on display and for sale McQueen’s Husqvarna, which he rode for the cover of the August 23, 1971 issue of Sports Illustrated as documented by factory and dealer bills of sale. Also available for auction will be two other Steve McQueen motorcycles – a 1938 Triumph Speed Twin and a 1940 Indian Four Cylinder. A 1970 Bell motorcycle helmet that was owned by McQueen will also be auctioned.
Barbara McQueen will be at the opening event dinner on Jan. 12 and available through Jan. 14 to sign books and greet fans. For information or questions, please contact MidAmerica Auctions at 651-633-9655 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .