Monterey, Calif.—A 1963 Ferrari once owned by actor Steve McQueen, star of Bullitt and The Great Escape, sold at a Christie’s auction recently for $2.31 million.
The actor received the 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso from his first wife Neile Adams in 1963. Only 350 cars of this type were produced. Mr. McQueen owned the car for nearly a decade before trading it off in 1973.
Christie’s International Motor Cars had estimated the sale price as $800,000 to $1.2 million in advance of the sale. However, the auction garnered spirited bidding, with the final bid placed by an unidentified car collector who was bidding by phone at the auction in Monterey, Calif.
The actor, who passed away in 1980, ordered the Ferrari in a medium reddish-brown metallic color with a beige leather interior. Car restorer Michael Regalia returned the car to its original appearance prior to the auction.
Had the car not been owned by Mr. McQueen, it would generally have been worth $600,000 to $800,000.
Celebrity ownership does not usually double or triple the value of a car, McKeel Hagerty, president of collector car insurer Hagerty Insurance told CNN. However, “Auctions can occasionally bring out flukey purchases,” he noted.
Mr. McQueen built a large collection of cars as his fame grew, but he was known to have used this car regularly in his daily life.
“This was his personally run around—not a film one-off extra—but a car used for the grocery run, as well as trips to the racetrack,” said Christopher Sanger of Christies.