Steve McQueen's Ferrari Poised to Break Records at Monterey Auction
There are a small group of personalities/actors that we almost immediately associate with cars. Leno, Carolla, Seinfeld — all in the entertainment business, and all make their passion for cars well known. But this tradition started with greats like Paul Newman and especially Steve McQueen, who acted, raced and acted in movies about racing. Now one of McQueen's cars is up for auction.
True Steve McQueen fans might find some irony in his ownership of a Ferrari (the Italian make was the team of his rival in the iconic racing film Le Mans), but a man with McQueen’s background would appreciate any thoroughbred automobile. After crashing a Ferrari 275 GTB N.A.R.T. Spider (a rare car in its own right), McQueen bought another 275 in 1967– this time a 275 GTB/4 Coupe.
Like the N.A.R.T. Spider, the GTB/4 is powered by a sumptuous 3.3-liter V12, and this one was wrapped in Chianti Red, which is just a shade deeper than the standard Ferrari Red. McQueen drove this car right up until he started filming Le Mans, at which point he became a Porsche Man.
The car was sold in 1971 to fellow actor Guy Williams, who played Zorro in the TV show of the same name. The GTB/4 featured six Weber carbs and a dry-sump oil system, and it made 300 horsepower, leading the 275 to a top speed of 160 mph.
Earlier this year a record was set for the sale of a 275 GTB/4– $3 million for an example sold at a Bonhams Auction. That car was not owned by Steve McQueen, and anyone that follows classic car sales knows that anything owned by the late actor is just ripe for inflated pricing. When the car crossed the block August 15 at Monterey, RM Auctions expects it to crush that record– and has estimated it at $9 million. We’ll know for sure in August.
Image Source: RM Auctions, TheSupercarKids.com