‘When it comes to cars with celebrity provenance, it doesn’t get any better than a Ferrari owned by Steve McQueen.”
So says Max Girardo, managing director of RM Auctions, Europe, in announcing that a coveted 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 originally owned by the “King of Cool” actor and car enthusiast would be offered at RM’s Monterey, California, auction in August.
The McQueen magic is expected to significantly boost the sale of the already-pricey vintage Ferrari, a four-cam V12 sports coupe currently valued between $1 million and $2 million, according to the latest price guides.
The auction result could double and even triple the car’s final bid just because McQueen owned and drove it for five years.
The last time a Ferrari formerly owned by the late actor was auctioned off – a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso sold by Christies in 2011 – it’s presale estimated value more than quadrupled with a result of $2.3 million.
One of the most famous sales of a McQueen car was that of the 1970 Porsche 911S that he owned and drove in the opening sequences of the movie Le Mans. That sale stunned everyone when the bidding soared to a final $1.375 million at RM’s Monterey auction in August 2011. Ordinarily, a similar Porsche in pristine condition would be worth a fraction of that.
Another record-shattering sale of a McQueen item was that of the driving suit he wore in Le Mans for his role as the fictional driver Michael Delaney. That went for nearly $1 million. Who knows what the McQueen value multiplier was for that sale.
Recent auctions of various motorcycles once owned by the actor also have spiked bidding.
McQueen, best known for his signature roles in Bullitt, Le Mans and The Thomas Crown Affair, ordered the GTB/4 coupe (chassis 10621) new in Hollywood in 1967 and immediately had it repainted its current Chianti Red.
He had it fitted with the Borrani wire wheels from his Ferrari 275 GTB N.A.R.T. Spider that was wrecked in a crash, plus equipped it with a custom-designed driver’s side rear view mirror, a retractable radio antenna and custom seat trim.
McQueen sold the car about five years later. After a number of owners enjoyed the Ferrari (including fellow actor Guy Williams), it was purchased by the current owner, who commissioned Ferrari Classiche to complete a full restoration to McQueen’s personal specification. The car was shown in 2013 as part of Museo Ferrari’s exhibit, “From Cinecittà to Hollywood, all Ferraris in the Cinema” exhibition, and proved so popular with visitors that it has remained a featured attraction at the Maranello museum.
RM will have the McQueen Ferrari on display during its Monaco sale on Saturday prior to its offering at the Monterey auction, which is part of the renowned Pebble Beach classic car week. An auction estimate for the car’s value has not been made public.
“The vehicle we have on offer ticks all the boxes when it comes to collectability: it is one of the ultimate Ferraris ever built, it was recently restored by Ferrari themselves, and it was delivered new to none other than the ‘King of Cool,’” Girardo said.