Ferrari once owned by Steve McQueen goes for US$10m

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 August, 2014, 4:15am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 August, 2014, 4:15am

A vintage Ferrari once owned by Steve McQueen sold for more than US$10 million at Monterey Car Week in the US state of California.

The rare, restored GTB/4, known in the car trade as a "4-cam", was expected to sell for US$8 million to US$12 million.

Experts in the classic car field had predicted the McQueen Ferrari would be sold at multiples above the price it would have fetched if someone else had owned it.

The "Steve McQueen effect", they said, drives the value of anything owned by the actor to several multiples its ordinary price.

"He had a glamour that supersedes any other celebrity when it comes to the ownership of cars," said McKeel Hagerty, president and CEO of the classic vehicle insurance company Hagerty. "This car, in the same condition, might sell for US$3 million, or maybe US$3.5 million."

The McQueen Ferrari is a 1967 275 GTB/4 that the actor ordered from the factory in Italy and had delivered to the San Francisco set of Bullitt. The McQueen effect has driven huge sales recently of vehicles that had passed through his hands.

In 2012 a 1968 Ford GT40 race car, used in the filming of the movie Le Mans, sold for US$11 million at Monterey - the most ever paid for any Ford vehicle, and almost four times the US$3-million Hagerty Price Guide value the insurance company had given it.

The McQueen Ferrari wasn't even his first choice when he bought it.

McQueen had become enamoured with the similar Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spider convertible, driven by Faye Dunaway's character in the McQueen movie The Thomas Crown Affair. After appearing onscreen with that car, he ordered one for himself.

But McQueen was rear-ended on days after the Spider was delivered. When he learned how long it would take to get parts for the rare convertible (only 11 were ever made, out of a total of 300 GTB/4s) he paid US$14,400 to replace it with the hardtop coupe model.