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

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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