The Star Power of Steve McQueen’s 1942 Indian Sport Scout

This 1942 Indian Sport Scout may have belonged to Steve McQueen, but it’s still a motorcycle, and motorcycles are meant to be ridden.

| March/April 2013

  • Steve McQueen's 1942 Indian Sport Scout
    Steve McQueen bought this particular Sport Scout in 1975 from Indian parts and restoration legend Bob Stark, proprietor of Starklite Indian in Riverside, Calif.
    Photo By Gary Phelps
  • McQueen Indian knob
    Lovely handshift knob on the left side of the gas tank.
    Photo By Gary Phelps
  • Art Deco Indian motorcycle
    The Sport Scout, with its Art Deco lines, was meticulously restored.
    Photo By Gary Phelps
  • Indian Scout
    Art deco touches extend to the horn, above the headlight.
    Photo By Gary Phelps
  • 16 inch wheels
    McQueen’s Scout is fitted with optional 16-inch wheels, which at the time allowed the fitment of large “balloon”-style tires.
    Photo By Gary Phelps
  • Indian Scout left side
    McQueen’s Scout is fitted with optional 16-inch wheels, which at the time allowed the fitment of large “balloon”-style tires.
    Photo By Gary Phelps
  • Indian engine
    The 1942 Scout’s 745cc V-twin traces its roots back to the 1927 Scout 45 designed by Charles B. Franklin.
    Photo By Gary Phelps
  • Sport Scout
    By the time 1942 rolled around, most of Indian’s manufacturing was dedicated to military needs and the Sport Scout ceased production, making McQueen’s Scout one of the last.
    Photo By Gary Phelps
  • Indian motorcycle running
    The McQueen Scout is a runner, as owner Daniel Schoenewald likes to show.
    Photo By Gary Phelps
  • Bike and owner
    Daniel Schoenewald with the McQueen Scout, a favorite in his collection.
    Photo By Gary Phelps

  • Steve McQueen's 1942 Indian Sport Scout
  • McQueen Indian knob
  • Art Deco Indian motorcycle
  • Indian Scout
  • 16 inch wheels
  • Indian Scout left side
  • Indian engine
  • Sport Scout
  • Indian motorcycle running
  • Bike and owner

1942 Indian Sport Scout
Claimed power
: 22hp
Top speed: 80mph
Engine: 45ci (745cc) air-cooled sidevalve 42-degree V-twin, 2-7/8in x 3-1/2in bore and stroke, 7:1 compression ratio,
Weight: 500lb (227kg)
Fuel Capacity/MPG: 3.5gal (13.2ltr)
Price then/now: $435 (1942)/$25,000-$40,000 

At their core, motorcycles are nothing but steel and rubber, gasoline and oil. It takes people to fire them to life, people to remember riding them, to share their stories and keep the fires burning. Sometimes, those individuals have a degree of notoriety, and their fame imbues a motorcycle with an aura it might not otherwise have gained.

Such is the case with just about anything ever owned by the late actor Steve McQueen, who was, among many other things, a passionate motorcyclist. Motorcycles McQueen collected have long commanded a premium, but what does his previous ownership really bring to the equation?

“McQueen was a cool cat,” says Daniel Schoenewald, current custodian of this 1942 Indian Sport Scout from McQueen’s former collection, “and the McQueen provenance certainly escalates the value, but in the end, it’s a motorcycle that was meant to be ridden, and in the 12 years I’ve owned it, it’s always been running and ready to ride.”



Bikes ready to run at a moment's notice

Ever since he was a young teen living overseas, motorcycles have been an integral part of Daniel’s life. His parents were both from Casper, Wyo., and his dad was a geologist for Mobil Oil. Born in Anaco, Venezuela, Daniel was 6 when the family moved to Tripoli, Libya.

“My first ‘bike’ was a Sears Allstate-badged Puch moped. It had belonged to my older brother’s friend and had not been running for three years,” Daniel explains. “My dad bought it for me, probably to shut me up. It hadn’t run in a while, and he had no mechanical ability or interest. His jaw dropped with surprise when he saw it running for the first time. I am sure he had no inkling that I could make it happen.”






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