An iconic 40-year-old motorcycle owned by the "king of cool" sells for record-breaking price at auction. One lucky buyer has just had their very own great escape after purchasing Hollywood legend Steve McQueen's much-loved Husqvarna motorcycle. The Husqvarna 400 Cross - similar to the one seen straddled by a shirtless McQueen on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1971 - sold for US$144,500 (AUD$135,500) at a recent auction in San Francisco. The bike is said to have had a hard life at the hands of McQueen, who was considered so strong a rider that motorcycle racing legend Malcolm Smith said McQueen "probably could have competed at a professional level, had he chosen that line of work". Advertisement: Story continues below The Husky 400 had a reputation of being hard to ride well, though Bonhams auctioneers said the nature of the bike "embodied McQueen's desire to be taken seriously as a rider and racer". Steve McQueen starred in several Hollywood blockbusters including Bullitt, The Magnificent Seven, The Blob, and The Great Escape. McQueen died in 1980 from cancer at the age of 50.