Steve McQueen's Moped Set for Auction, Worth Almost $50k

Steve McQueen 1970 Solex 3800 Moped 10 photos
Photo: RMSotheby's
1970 Solex 3800 used by Steve McQueen1970 Solex 3800 used by Steve McQueen1970 Solex 3800 used by Steve McQueen1970 Solex 3800 used by Steve McQueen1970 Solex 3800 used by Steve McQueen1970 Solex 3800 used by Steve McQueen1970 Solex 3800 used by Steve McQueen1970 Solex 3800 used by Steve McQueen1970 Solex 3800 used by Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen is famous for both movies and racing, and his fans have another shot at buying a vehicle that was ridden by the American icon. We are referring to a 1970 Solex 3800 Moped that was used by McQueen while filming the 1971 "Le Mans" film.

The moped was originally purchased by Solar Productions, McQueen's production company, and the vehicle comes with special written permission to be used on the famous French track while filming. It is the only moped that has been granted this permission, and the customer will get the original permission papers with the motorized cycle.

French company Solex built over seven million mopeds between 1946 and 1988, and it was a front-wheel-drive model. As you can observe in the photo gallery, the VeloSoleX has a 49-cc two-stroke single-cylinder engine placed above the front wheel. The straightforward design connected the engine to the wheel without the use of a chain, belt, or any sprockets, which is ingenious.

The manufacturer claimed a range of up to 60 miles on a full 1.25-liter tank, which was more than enough to motorize millions of people for decades. Thanks to its uncomplicated design, this moped is reliable and easy to maintain.

There is an Achilles heel to these vehicles, though, in the form of rust. The Solex 3800 has a stamped steel frame, just like a bicycle from the era would have, which is not treated to be rust-proof. Just like vehicles, bicycles have chassis numbers, and this example comes with its original chassis and engine, as proven by the letter from the Fédération Française de Motocyclisme (French Motorcycle Federation) dated March 1970.

While it was not featured in the 1971 Le Mans movie, the moped became known after pictures of Steve McQueen riding it surfaced years after the movie hit theaters. The American icon used the moped to ride on the 8.46-mile (13,62 km) track, and he was photographed with his son on the moped, as well as alone and signing autographs.

Due to its historical importance, this might prove to be the most expensive moped, and RM Sotheby's estimates its sale price between $40,000 and $50,000. The auction will be held on August 14th in Monterey, California, and it is without reserve. Lot 329 of the auction will be sold on a Bill of Sale basis, and it is evident that a collector will grab hold of the vehicle and store it in optimal condition.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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