Big-engined Ferraris from the ’60s already command stratospheric prices at auction. One that was owned by ‘King of Cool’ Steve McQueen takes Ferrari pricing to a whole different level.
Which is why the legendary actor’s blood red 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 is expected to sell for as much as $9 million when it goes under the hammer at RM Auctions’ flagship Monterey sale being held during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend August 15 to 16.
“When it comes to cars with celebrity provenance, it doesn’t get any better than a Ferrari owned by Steve McQueen,” says Max Girardo, Managing Director, RM Auctions Europe. “The vehicle we have on offer ticks all the boxes when it comes to collectibility; it is one of the ultimate Ferraris ever built”.
McQueen bought the Ferrari from dealer Hollywood Sports Cars in 1967 while he was filming The Thomas Crown Affair. Not happy with the color - it was a weird shade of metallic gold - the actor sent the car to be repainted Chianti Red.
He also asked for the wheels to be switched to the deep-dish Borrani wires from his recently-crunched 275 N.A.R.T. Spider, and a new custom-designed driver’s side door mirror and unique seat trim installed. He took delivery while he was filming Bullitt in 1967.
McQueen would own the car until 1971, when he sold it to fellow actor Guy Williams, of Zorro fame. After Williams, it was passed through a handful of respected collectors until the current owner, Australian racer Vern Schuppan, snapped it up in 2010.
He then commissioned Ferrari Classiche, the official factory restoration workshop, to do a full, ground-up rebuild. Interestingly, Schuppan bought the car as a convertible - back in the 2000s, one owner had converted the car to super-rare 275 N.A.R.T. Spider specification, chopping off the roof and painting the body bright yellow.
Schuppan wanted the car be returned to McQueen’s original specification, which involved recreating the coupe roof and rear pillars. Since then it has been on display in the Ferrari museum in Maranello.
The 275 GTB/4 is one of the most iconic Ferraris ever built. It’s powered by a 3.3-liter quad-cam V-12 that makes around 300 horsepower. Its truly gorgeous two-door coupe body has long been considered one of designer Pininfarina’s finest.
How much will the McQueen ‘factor’ add to the Ferrari’s value? Experts reckon it could push the price from around $3 million to close to $9 million. Maybe more.