Mecum back in Vegas with another motorcycle auction

THe 1931 Indian flat tank four is a featured bike from the Ernest 'Bud' Cox collection | Mecum Auctions photos
THe 1931 Indian flat tank four is a featured bike from the Ernest ‘Bud’ Cox collection | Mecum Auctions photos

Mecum launches its inaugural summer motorcycle auction in Las Vegas this weekend, with about 600 vintage collector bikes consigned for the three-day event. The sale takes place at the South Point Casino, Hotel and Spa, with a preview day Thursday and motorcycles crossing the block on Friday and Saturday.

The sale is the second motorcycle auction held by Mecum in Vegas this year, the other one taking place annually in January, a longstanding event that the auction company continued four years ago when it acquired MidAmerica Auctions. Mecum also holds a motorcycle auction during Monterey Car Week in conjunction with its collector car auction in Monterey, California. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1968 Ford Mustang ‘Bullitt’ custom

The Ford Mustang has been restored to look and perform like the one Steve McQueen drove in 'Bullitt'
The Ford Mustang has been restored to look and perform like the one Steve McQueen drove in ‘Bullitt’

How many times have you watched Steve McQueen romping over the hills of San Francisco in the movie Bullitt and said to yourself, “I gotta get a Mustang just like that”? Plenty of times, I’d bet.

The best-known car chase in movie history – some might say the weirdest, what with the chased Dodge Charger losing about seven hubcaps and the cars roaring through the same intersection a number of times – focused lovingly on the sharp-looking Mustang, which roused longing and lust for the pony car in an entire generation of gearheads. Continue reading

Steve McQueen’s ‘Le Mans’ inspires a graphic novel

Artist said Steve McQueen appeared in a dream, suggesting graphic novel based on  'Le Mans' movie | Garbo Studio illustrations
Artist said Steve McQueen appeared in a dream, suggesting graphic novel based on ‘Le Mans’ movie | Garbo Studio illustrations

Artist Sando Garbo claims that Steve McQueen appeared in a dream in 2013 and told Garbo to create a graphic novel based on McQueen’s epic Le Mans movie. Three years later, Garbo and his team have produced that book. Based on images being shared with the media, Steve McQueen in Le Mans is a lushly illustrated, 64-page, 2-pound hardcover book that might have served as a finely detailed storyboard for the actual movie. Continue reading

Steve McQueen celebration expands with inaugural car rally

The Steve McQueen Rally benefits the Boys Republic school for at-risk youth | Russo and Steele photos
The Steve McQueen Rally benefits  Boys Republic school for at-risk youth | Russo and Steele

The inaugural Steve McQueen Rally, sponsored by Russo and Steele auctions, will honor the late iconic actor and motorsports enthusiast and benefit his favorite charity. It gets started May 14 in Malibu, California, for two days of scenic Southern California driving.

The vintage car event is part of a McQueen celebration that continues June 4 with the ninth annual Friends of Steve McQueen Car Show at the Boys Republic, a private school in Chino Hills, California, that helps troubled teens through residential education and a guidance program. All proceeds from the rally, car show and a commemorative dinner June 3 will go to Boys Republic. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: Steve McQueen’s 1952 Chevrolet camper

The 1952 Chevrolet pickup is reputedly the last vehicle driven by Steve McQueen
The 1952 Chevrolet pickup is reputedly the last vehicle driven by Steve McQueen

Still aching for a drivable piece of Steve McQueen magic, but those million-dollar Porsches are a bit out of reach? Then take note: The vintage Chevrolet camper truck once owned and driven by the late film icon, and apparently the last vehicle he ever drove before his untimely death, is up for sale again.

The Pick of the Day is the 1952 Chevrolet 3800 pickup with a hand-built camper shell that McQueen used regularly, which has been verified by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by McQueen family members as well as the California vehicle registration with McQueen’s signature. Continue reading

Steve McQueen pickup camper to be auctioned by Mecum

The Chevrolet pickup camper was owned and driven by the late Steve McQueen | Mecum Auctions
The Chevrolet pickup camper was owned and driven by the late Steve McQueen | Mecum Auctions

Another automotive artifact once owned by the late Steve McQueen comes to auction this weekend during Mecum’s sale in Anaheim, although this one has nothing to do with Porsches, Ferraris or motorcycles.

A 1952 Chevrolet 3800 one-ton custom pickup truck with a hand-built camper shell that McQueen owned toward the end of his life will cross the block during the November 12-14 auction at the Anaheim Convention Center. Continue reading

Porsche 911T with Steve McQueen connection going to auction

The 1971 Porsche 911T connected with Steve McQueen will be offered during an art auction in Paris | Christie’s
The 1971 Porsche 911T connected with Steve McQueen will be offered during an art auction in Paris | Christie’s

Yet another Porsche 911 with a Steve McQueen connection comes up for sale next month during a Paris art auction presented by Christie’s. Continue reading

Steve McQueen’s Porsche Turbo Carrera added to Mecum auction in Monterey

The Porsche 930 Turbo was the last car special-ordered by Steve McQueen | Mecum
The Porsche 930 Turbo was the last car special-ordered by Steve McQueen | Mecum

Just when you thought there were no more automotive relics of movie and motorsports icon Steve McQueen, along comes another piece of his fabulous personal history. This time, it’s the last car special-ordered by the King of Cool, a 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera, the ultra-performance version of the 911 that’s as emblematic of the ’70s as McQueen himself.

Continue reading

Steve McQueen magic boosts Ferrari auction

The 1967 Ferrari GTB/4 bought new by actor Steve McQueen reaches its sale price | Bob Golfen
The 1967 Ferrari GTB/4 bought new by actor Steve McQueen reaches its sale price | Bob Golfen

The Steve McQueen magic was working again Saturday night when a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 originally owned by the King of Cool hammered sold for a solid $9,250,000 at RM Auctions Monterey sale.

That was just above RM’s pre-auction low estimate for the Ferrari coupe, plus the 10 percent auction fee on top of that. The standing-room-only crowd cheered as the McQueen Ferrari rolled on stage after a short video, which noted that the V12-powered car was delivered to the late actor and auto enthusiast during the filming of the movie Bullitt, further adding to its celebrity allure.

Another ’67 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 coupe without the McQueen factor but with very low mileage sold a few cars later for $3,450,000, plus auction fees.

The McQueen car wasn’t the big sale of the evening, though. That honor came a bit later with yet another Ferrari 275 GTB, this one an exceedingly rare 1964 GTB/C Speciale Competition model that is one of only three such prototypes built. That car reached $24 million on the RM block, plus auction fee.

The RM auction was one of five happening Saturday, with sales being held by Mecum, Gooding & Company, Russo & Steele and Rick Cole, who was having all bidding take place by smart phone.

The highest sale so far during Monterey Classic Car Week, and unlikely to be beaten, was that of one of the most valuable cars in the world, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, that sold for a total of $38.1 million, including fees, at the Bonhams auction Thursday.

bob-sig

 

Antique Harley once owned by Steve McQueen should roar at auction in Monterey

What will the McQueen magic add to the value of the 1912 Harley Big Twin? | Mecum Auctions
What will the McQueen magic add to the value of the 1912 Harley Big Twin? | Mecum Auctions

Another Steve McQueen relic comes to auction this month when Mecum offers a 1912 Harley-Davidson X8E Big Twin motorcycle once owned by the film star, no doubt adding immeasurably to its value.

Mecum, which will auction the ex-McQueen Harley-Davidson during its Monterey sale August 14-16, places a value estimate of $225,000 to $275,000 on the motorcycle. That’s quite a bump for the McQueen provenance; the NADA motorcycle guide places the highest value for a 1912 Big Twin in excellent condition at $90,380.

But the McQueen factor does have an amazing effect on vehicles at auction, a logarithmic multiplying effect that caused the 2011 value of his 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso to quadruple for a sale of $2.3 million and the 2011 sale of the 1970 Porsche 911S that he owned and drove in the opening sequences of the movie Le Mans reach a stunning $1.375 million.

The wheel rims were replaced for riding | Mecum Auctions
The wheel rims were replaced for riding | Mecum Auctions

Auctions of ex-McQueen motorcycles have had similarly startling results.

The antique Harley comes with a certificate of authenticity signed by Terry and Chad McQueen, the daughter and son of the late actor, who was well-known as a car and motorcycle enthusiast. Steve McQueen died of cancer in 1980 and the motorcycle was purchased from his estate in 1984 by its subsequent owner.

The motorcycle reputedly runs well although the paint is in distressed condition, especially where it’s been removed on one side of the tank. The wheels were replaced after McQueen’s ownership so the bike could be ridden, and a period-correct headlamp was added.

More McQueen magic is expected to be in full force at RM’s Monterey auction August 15-16 when an already immensely valuable 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 that was owned and driven by McQueen for five years will be auctioned. Without the McQueen touch, the Ferrari is valued between $1 million and $2 million, but past ownership by “The King of Cool” could triple that. Or more.