Bonhams & Butterfields' annual vintage motorbike, custom car and sports-racing collectibles auction at LA's Petersen Auto Museum - now referred to as the "Classic California" sale -- features early Steve McQueen memorabilia from the collection of his first wife, Neile McQueen Toffel (aka Neile Adams), as well as property from noted private and institutional collections culled from across the globe.

The Saturday afternoon auction is the traditional kick-off for the Love Ride, the world's largest one-day motorcycle charity fundraiser, celebrating its 25th year on Sunday, October 26th, 2008 -- part of California Bike Week.

For 2008, bidders will vie for Steve McQueen's first racing trophy (an engraved tankard expected to bring $2,000 to $4,000) and other early racing awards. The poster noting McQueen being honored by the Porsche Club of America could bring as much as $2,000, and several firearms used by the inveterate hunter should attract interest. Original signed contracts and documents for Bullitt (1968), Papillion (1973) and other early McQueen movies and productions will be offered along with signed letters and notes written to the McQueens by their famous friends - from Barbra Streisand and Sammy Davis Jr., racing legend Sir Stirling Moss, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, and fellow thespians Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Debbie Reynolds and Rock Hudson, to name just a few. McQueen's Buddha figure gold cufflinks were a gift from the legendary Bob Hope (est. $1,000/2,000) and never-before seen photographs depict the McQueens poolside, at home and on location. The actor's Chinese visa, which displays his passport-sized photo and signature, was carried by McQueen while he filmed Sand Pebbles in 1965 (est. $2/4,000). Additional lots include personal and household items, some of which were featured in select McQueen films. These desirable Steve McQueen items stem from the collection of Neile McQueen Toffel (known on stage as Neile Adams), McQueen's first wife. Adams, a Broadway performer, met the man who'd become "The King of Cool" while she appeared on Broadway in The Pajama Game in 1956. McQueen was acting on Broadway too and the couple quickly fell in love and wed on November 2, 1956. The McQueens were one of the "Royal Couples of Hollywood" until their divorce in 1972.

Other auction highlights on the block for the "Classic California" sale include several vehicles belonging to one of the current kings of cool, actor Bruce Willis.

For more information, see:

To learn more about the Love Ride and California Bike Week, go to

To learn more about Neile Adams and her life with the "King of Cool," go to

To learn more about the Petersen Automotive Museum, see:

If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail Gayle at