The Steve McQueen magic strikes again, this time at Mecum’s auction last week in Monterey, where a 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera that was the last special-order car owned by the late film icon raised the roof with an incredible sale price of $1.95 million.
The McQueen effect has become legendary for recent sales of automobiles, motorcycles and just about anything else even remotely connected with the movie star, multiplying their values to unheard-of results, and this stunning price puts yet another McQueen artifact over the moon.
For this year and model Porsche Turbo, the Hagerty valuation guide pegs the average price at $171,500 and the top value at $290,000. Assuming that the McQueen Porsche is in perfect condition, which it reputedly is, the Mecum result is nearly seven times Hagerty’s top valuation, all because it once belonged to Steve McQueen.
But who knows how this Monterey sale will affect the average value of all Porsche 930 Turbo Carreras now in the hands of excited owners? After the amazing $1.375 million auction sale in 2011 of McQueen’s 1970 Porsche 911S that he drove in the opening sequences of the movie Le Mans, prices for early 911s have taken off in for both auction and private sales.
Cause and effect? Whatever, that sale certainly got everybody’s attention with a result that was around 10 times the value at the time of a non-celebrity 911S.
The Turbo Carrera sold by Mecum is reportedly the final vehicle from McQueen’s remarkable life, according to Chad McQueen, the son of the actor who died in 1980 at the age of 50.
“This is the last of the McQueen cars, really. That’s known. That’s real,” Chad McQueen said in a Mecum news release prior to the sale.
The 1976 Porsche is a rare non-intercooled early production model with a 3.0-liter engine and Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, which McQueen ordered from Bob Smith Porsche in Hollywood, according to Mecum. He specified a Slate Gray car with black sport seats, dual mirrors, sunroof and limited-slip differential.
Once he had the car, he made a few of his own modifications.
“My dad had little things done to it,” Chad McQueen said. “Like on the dashboard, he had a switch put on so it would kill the rear lights in case he was being chased (by police) on Mulholland Drive.”
Steve McQueen subsequently sold the car, and it passed through the hands of a few other celebrity owners, including movie producer and writer Floyd Mutrux and the son of Dean Martin, actor Dean Paul Martin.
But as everybody knows, it is the original ownership by Steve McQueen that rang the auction bell.