An impressive collection of Steve McQueen memorabilia including two classic Harley Davidson sidecars used in his famed 1963 flick The Great Escape (above) are being offered for sale Bonhams & Butterfields' Classic California Auction on November 13th at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The items come from the collection of McQueen's good friend, racer, stuntman and Triumph dealer Bud Ekins. The Harley sidecars date from 1936 and were used in the movie set during World War II, in which Ekins, acting as McQueen's stunt double, made the famous motorcycle jump over the wire fence.
The Harleys were disguised as German motorcycles and the sidecars were made to appear as Steib sidecars in the film. Later they were repainted for use in Badge of Courage, Steven Spielberg's 1941 and numerous other war films, and are estimated to fetch $6,000 – $8,000. Also included in the sale are a five page handwritten letter from McQueen to Ekins, estimated at $1,000 – $1,500; and assorted McQueen related memorabilia, including press clippings, four books, rare photographs and two copies of Life magazine, estimated at only $300 – $400; plus several vintage Triumphs, Harleys and more from Ekins' amazing collection. Check out the gallery for pix.