Steve McQueen Ferrari to go under the hammer | autos | Hindustan Times
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Steve McQueen Ferrari to go under the hammer

autos Updated: Jun 12, 2014 10:46 IST

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A bright red, 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 once owned by the Hollywood legend will be coming up for auction this August and there’s a good chance that it could set a new record when the hammer falls.

The 275 GTB/4 is already a rare and wonderful car. Only 280 were ever made and the last time one came up for auction, bidding passed the $2.8 million mark.

However, that one wasn’t owned by Steve McQueen. The McQueen effect, as it’s known in car and motorbike collecting circles, is akin to the butterfly effect in terms of the prices vehicles can command that the legendary movie star and consummate racing driver has somehow touched.

Therefore there’s a good chance that when this car goes under the hammer on August 15 at Monterey, California to coincide with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, bidding could well surpass the $10 million mark. That would be sufficient to make it one of the most expensive Ferraris ever to sell at auction and just about enough to get the car into the top 10 list of all-time classics.

Such is the aura that continues to surround all things McQueen. His 1970 Porsche 911S, a good, but by no means great, car and not one that sets collectors’ hearts racing, fetched $1.375 million when it went under the hammer at the same auction in 2011. What’s more a 1968 Ford GT40, which is a true collector’s car and was used as a camera car during the making of "Le Mans," McQueen’s cinematic love letter to motor racing, set a new record for an American car when it sold for $11 million in 2012.

But even without the provenance of McQueen, this particular 275 GTB/4 would be a bargain at any price. That’s because the buyer will be getting essentially a new car. Once McQueen sold it in 1971 it was unceremoniously chopped up into a convertible spyder version.

Its current owner, former racing driver Vern Schuppan, spent two years and an awful lot of time in Italy at Ferrari getting the car completely restored, roof and all. The result is a car that’s 50 years old on paper, but pretty much brand new.