Offered to the singer by Pascal Nègre, the motorcycle had notably made an appearance at the concert organized at the Stade de France in 1998.
The cobalt car had been baptized in honor of the eyes of Laura Smet. The Harley Davidson Laura Eyes by Johnny Hallyday snatched up Friday evening for 470,840 euros at the Retromobile show in Paris, almost twice its initial high estimate, according to the Artcurial house which orchestrated the sale.
The blue motorcycle was the mechanical star, in 1995, of Johnny Hallyday’s clip I Can’t Stop Wanting Youa cover by Irish singer Paul Brady from the album Rough Town. Offered to the rocker by Pascal Nègre, the director of Universal Music, the Harley-Davidson was renamed in homage to the rocker’s daughter Laura Smet and entered the Stade de France with him in 1998 for an anthology concert. Just before the performance, where Johnny walks a section of the stage with her during an interpretation of Gabrielle, the motorcycle had been sold to a French fan during a competition organized by Johnny and his record company. The lucky winner from Isère kept it for 23 years.
A record for a post-war Harley
Estimated between 50,000 and 250,000 euros, the bike was the subject of a ten-minute battle between bidders before being awarded to an anonymous buyer. He has undertaken to donate 20% of the price to the association La Bonne Étoile, created by the widow of the singer Laeticia Hallyday. According to Artcurial, the sale price of almost half a million euros marks a record for a post-war Harley-Davidson motorcycle. This Softail Heritage 1340 model, piloted by the French singer during a «road trip» in the United States in 1990, had a new life in France, following a complete transformation in Cannes, going from orange and black to electric blue.
Last September, many fans and some 150 bikers had traveled to Paris for a day of tribute to the singer, almost four years after his death. On this occasion, a work by visual artist Bertrand Lavier in homage to Johnny Hallyday was unveiled near Bercy. The six-meter-tall statue, consisting of a mast in the shape of a guitar neck crowned with a Harley-Davidson, had been variously appreciated.