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A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Monday, October 30, 2006

If I Were A Rich Man

If you've had the good fortune to purchase of one Triumph's wonderful 2006 Scramblers you'll need the proper riding togs to go with it. I suggest you click on over and look through the catalog for "The Steve McQueen Sale and Collectors' Motorcycles & Related Memorabilia" auction at Bonham's. They are auctioning off a bunch of Steve McQueen memorabilia and motorcycles on November 11th and you might want to see about snapping up what must surely be the Holy Grail of motorcycle jackets.

Yep, McQueen's very own waxed cotton Belstaff Trialmaster Professional riding jacket:
photo: Bonham's

I had a Belstaff jacket just like it when I was young. All I needed beyond that was looks, talent, charisma, and riding skill and I could have been just like Steve.

I'll be surprised if that jacket doesn't bring some very serious money, more than the high auction estimate of $5,000. It may not be the very same Belstaff* jacket Steve's wearing in the ISDT picture above but it's close enough. For a die hard motorcycle enthusiast with money to spend the jacket offered would be quite and item to display in the den. And if that fellow had any guts and the jacket fit him he'd go riding in it at least once. I hope it goes to a worthy buyer.

Update: Nov. 12, 2006
Steve McQueen's old jacket did a little better than the auction estimate. The final selling price was $28,000. That tells me two things (1) Whomever did the auction estimates didn't know much about motorcycle history and the real power of the McQueen racing image to old riders.

*Update: April 29, 2006: I've been informed that the jacket McQueen is wearing in the photo is in fact a
Barbour International Jacket jacket and not a Belstaff. No matter, if you want to look just like Steve you can visit British Motorcycle Gear and buy your own for way less than $28,0000.


Steve Williams said...

The jacket and McQueen's Triumph just look absolutely functional. I am always drawn to things that were by design something to be used whether an item of clothing, a camera, or a vehicle of some sort.

Oh if I were a rich man.....

Anonymous said...

As one who is not familiar with Steve McQueen (I'm working on it...), I'd just like to have a jacket like that.

Of course, I can't quite afford $28,000 for a jacket. I wonder if there are reproductions out there for a more reasonable cost...

Doug Klassen said...


Belstaff is still in business. You'll find an article on the last of the Trialmaster jackets on Web Bike World.

The old waxed cotton jackets are not as warm or weatherproof as a modern jacket (I had one long, long ago) but the look of the jacket is classic and duplicated in more modern versions.

Adam Saint-Prix said...

Holy mackerel! This item sold for $28,000 plus Premium and tax, in case anyone was wondering.

paul said...

You can purchase both these jackets for around $378 at www.BritishMotorcycleGear.com
and add your own history...Then you can buy a couple of Triumph's with the money you saved..

Anonymous said...

for what it's worth my dad's just given me his trialmaster proffesional Belstaff, he bought it in 1972 but it was to small so he hung it up and forgot about it,never been worn. I'vespent allmorning dusting it off and cleaning it up, looks brand new.
The inside label says it was made in Longton, Staffordshire where they used to be based before they moved to Australia for a while before the italians bought them and made it a fashion item, been from Stoke myself I think that's kind of special.

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