How much does celebrity ownership impact a vehicle’s reselling price? This topic will easily fill up a book, so I’m not going to cover it in detail here. Instead, I’ll be focusing on a 1965 Honda CB77 SuperHawk CP77 that’s currently up for grabs on Bring a Trailer, which has quite the story. You see, the bike last traded hands in 2022 as a “civilian” example, or so its previous owner thought. However, the current seller, who is offering the motorcycle on behalf of its new owner, explains that he has since discovered that, back in the day, the Honda had been delivered new to the late Hollywood star Steve McQueen.
McQueen, who is known as The King of Cool, not least thanks to his antihero on-screen appearances that fueled the 1960s counterculture, was also an avid racer and vehicle collector, be it on two or four wheels. He’s also notorious for having done many of his stunts, with examples including the bike chase in the 1963 movie The Great Escape and, of course, some of the high-impact driving from 1968’s Bullitt, a title that has entered Ford’s very Mustang nomenclature.
The classic Honda motorcycle is offered with provenance documents
The actor is said to have owned over 200 motorcycles and it appears this used to be one of them. In the BAT listing, user Niteroi, who is the seller, tells us that American Honda delivered the motorcycle to McQueen in March 1965 for promotional purposes.
To back that up, the seller provides two documents. The first is the invoice from American Honda, which has Steve McQueen’s name on it. As for the second, this is a California DMV Statement of Error or Erasure, which was required since the ownership subsequently change from the star to his Los Angeles-based Solar Productions company. Note that while the former mentions the vehicle’s serial number, the latter references the engine number, both of which are present on the bike.
Now, an important part of the BAT ecosystem is built by the community, so the comments section is often as insightful as possible. Of course, given the endless possibilities offered by today’s technology, it didn’t take long for certain users to ask questions about the unexpected provenance discovery.
And I’ll quote the seller on how he came about the precious details: “Lots of digging after finding out it was a special version of a Super Hawk. American Honda was very helpful,“
The CB77 SuperHawk CP77 wasn’t fully restored, but it can be ridden once again
It’s worth noting that the bike received a post-sale “mechanical refurbishment” in August last year. This was performed by BAT user MrHonda1948, who is said to be Bill Silver, a seasoned motorcycle and car expert (more details on his experience are available on his blog).
The expert also chimed in, as did the previous owner (aka ringo123 on BAT). And while the latter simply expressed his regret for not being aware of the Honda’s precious history, you’ll find the former’s comment below.
“[…]When I was tasked to rebuild the CP77 bike, the provenance was unknown as far as the original owner was concerned. The CP77 was not a regular US-spec bike and it is interesting that Honda turned one up and gave it to the production company. FYI another McQueen Honda bike will be coming up to the surface in the coming months,“
It’s worth mentioning that, as the seller explains in another comment, the attention received by the bike was aimed at making it rideable rather than involving a complete restoration, which would’ve perhaps blurred the link between the vehicle and its famous original owner.
The 45hp 305cc four-stroke parallel twin engine, which had been seized for a long while, as well as the four-speed transmission and other key mechanical components, plus the tires, were included, but not the rest of the vehicle. and you can listen to the engine waking up in the seller-provided Youtube video below.
“Very rarely we see one of Steve McQueen’s bikes unrestored and in good shape. Due to the motor getting seized up a long time ago, this bike has been from one collection to another with no use. So you could say McQueen’s dna is still all over it 🙂 And that’s why we decided to make it road worthy but not restore it. Hope you guys like it,” seller Niteroi explains.
Will the Steve McQueen ownership push the price of the motorcycle to ten times the normal value?
Now, another user (TheOMDude), tried to answer the question I dropped in the intro. And while the value boost coming from the famous original owner naturally depends on many factors (e.g., public appearances with the vehicle), the enthusiast reckons there will be a “10X McQueen bump” for the price of this 1965 Honda CB77 SuperHawk CP77.
Interestingly, the logic behind that assumption is based on another ex-Steve McQueen classic Honda that sold on BAT in April 2022 for $155,000, with two “pretty much identical bikes” (minus the special provenance) having traded hands for $ 15,000 apiece.
To be more precise, the aficionado is referring to this 1969 Honda CB750 Sandcast, which was offered by Niteroi, the very seller behind the current operation.
However, that bike went through a much more thorough restoration before finding its new home, with multiple BAT users wondering if that was the right thing to do and some of them presuming that the operation had a negative effect on the price.
Some even expressed skepticism over the McQueen ownership and they seem to be in greater numbers than those doing so for the CB77 SuperHawk CP77 we have here.
In fact, we’ve reached out to American Honda Motor Company to ask for confirmation and we’ll update the story if we get a reply.
The listing brought back the BAT community’s Steve McQueen memories
Nevertheless, an important part of the comments section for this 1965 machine sees enthusiasts who had witnessed McQueen’s adventures or simple presence back in the day reminiscing. And it’s a powerful reminder of how the machines we love bring us together.
As for the specs of the 1965 Honda CB77 SuperHawk CP77, you’ll find these in an old Honda ad we added to the gallery, courtesy of BAT user Fleche_dOr.
The 1965 Honda CB77 SuperHawk CP77 is offered via a no-reserve auction, which means the classic bike should go to the highest bidder regardless of the price. And, at the time of press, there were still 4 days left, with the top bid sitting at $20,000.