Barbour International – Steve McQueen

As those of you who already know of my penchant for Barbour and their intoxicatingly smelly wax jackets – if you are a regular user and they don’t quite dry out you’ll know what I mean – then you’ll know of the long-standing connection between motorbikes, their riders and Barbour. Duncan, Founder John’s grandson, was key to this connection fuelled by his own passion for motorbikes.

Please see our earlier piece on the subject – Barbour Jacket

Well, Barbour, under their brand “Barbour International” have hit the jackpot this season with the launch of a reinvented collection of classic biker styles.

The iconic ambassador of many cool things, who is celebrated by and gives his brand to this collection is Steve McQueen.

McQueen apparently loved motorbikes, particularly riding out into the dessert. He is famously quoted as saying “I’m not sure whether I’m an actor who races or a racer who acts.”

Our featured image shows McQueen on his 1963 Triumph Bonneville “Desert Sled” that sold in Las Vegas at Bonhams in January 2016 for $US103,500. It was rebuilt for McQueen by his friend Bud Ekins, the stunt rider who jumped the barbed-wire fence in The Great Escape (1969) – insurance risks prevented McQueen doing the stunt. It was finished by famous motorbike painter, Ken Howard, better known as “Von Dutch”.

In 2009, the Desert Sled sold at Bonhams & Butterfields’ first motorcycle and memorabilia auction for $84,240, yielding a good return for seller Larry Bowman, a prominent California collector.

Please enjoy responsibly!



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I am an English trained and experienced lawyer. I have lived with my wife and family for nearly twenty years in the “California of Europe” - at the tip of Southern Europe. I am a proud European and driven to evangelize about the quality of life to be enjoyed here.

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