1929 Scott Super Squirrel
Restored by Von Dutch for Steve McQueen
Engine: Liquid-cooled two-stroke vertical twin
Transmission: Two-speed foot-shift
Lighting: Acetylene headlamp and tail lamp
Owner: Tonny Sorenson
Fun Fact: Von Dutch got the date wrong on the front number plate. The bike is a ’29, not a ’26.
A Scott Super Squirrel, the ahead-of-its-time liquid-cooled vertical twin two-stroke produced in the 1920s and early ’30s, is a pretty impressive piece all by itself.
But on a scale of 1 to 10, this particular Super Squirrel goes all the way to 11.
That’s because not only is it a well-restored example of one of the most technologically advanced machines of its day, but it was restored and pinstriped by none other than Kenny Howard–the legendary “Von Dutch,” who helped bring pinstriping and custom car culture to the fore in the 1950s and ’60s.
Not over-the-top enough for you? How about the fact that its former owner is none other than Steve McQueen?
The allure of this bike starts with the Scott marque itself, which produced motorcycles so far ahead of their time that it’s hard not to label them technological oddities. By the time the Super Squirrel debuted in 1924, when most motorcycles had heavy air-cooled four-stroke engines and solid forks, the Scott boasted a two-stroke motor, water cooling and telescopic forks.
The Super Squirrel traces its roots to 1908, when Alfred Angas Scott built the first Scott motorcycle, a 333cc water-cooled two-stroke twin. In one form or another over the years, Scotts earned a reputation for speed, winning the Isle of Man Senior TT in 1912 and 1913.
Perhaps it was this legacy of performance that prompted Von Dutch to throw himself into the restoration of this model. A well-known customizer and one of the icons of 1960s “Kar Kulture,” Von Dutch applied his legendary pin-striping and painting skills to the Scott. The design even features the famed flying eyeball logo that was Von Dutch’s signature.
Once restored, the bike found its way into the garage of Steve McQueen, who was as serious about motorcycles and racing as he was about acting.
Eventually, the bike came full circle. It was gifted back to Von Dutch by McQueen prior to the actor’s death, and then eventually sold to a collector in California. Its most recent owner, Tonny Sorensen, who owns the rights to the Von Dutch name and built a fashion company around it, purchased the Scott at auction in 2007.