In addition to being one of Hollywood's coolest actors, Steve McQueen was also a racer and car collector. This stuntman-turned-actor liked to play hard, and his personal vehicle collection showed that. He actually owned one of the Bullitt Mustangs, plus the Porsche 917 and 911S from Le Mans. And McQueen was also fond of Ferraris. His very first one, in particular, was among his favorite cars by most accounts. It was a Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso. The Lusso, or "Luxury" Ferrari was a derivative of the 250 GT platform that spawned the legendary GTO and SWB. With its long flowing lines, it is considered to be among the most elegant GT cars of all time.

Steve's personal Lusso was finished in a metallic brown that was allegedly custom-ordered for its understated good looks, and it became his daily driver for more than ten years. Since leaving McQueen's collection, it has has passed through several hands before landing with its current owner in 1997. Since then, it has undergone a 4,000-hour concours-quality restoration and is considered one of the finest Lussos in the world. The car has been shown regularly on the West Coast since then and is now about to cross the auction block. Christie's will be offering it at Monterey in August, and estimates predict a sale in the $800,000 to $1,000,000 range. Before heading to Monterey, however, the car will be touring with the Christie's auctions when they hit New York in May, and in Greenwich in June.

Follow the jump for the Christie's press release. Our buddy Duane Steiner of SoCalSpeedZone has also provided us with a video clip of the car being described by its current owner, Michael Regalia.

Thanks for the tip, Luigi!

[Source: Christie's via Sybarites]



Press Release:

STEVE McQUEEN'S FERRARI RACES IN TO CHRISTIE'S
Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center
August 16, 2007

New York – Christie's International Motor Cars is delighted to announce the sale of the
1963 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso, chassis number 4891 once owned, driven and raced
by Steve McQueen, one of the world's most important pop icons. This highly-desirable car
will be sold at Christie's International Motor Cars 2007 flagship auction that takes place on
Thursday, August 16 at the Monterey Jet Center in California (estimate: $800,000-1,200,000).

"We are thrilled to be offering this seductive car," says Christopher Sanger, Vice President
and Head of Christie's Car Sales in the Americas. "Owned by a man who made the
automobile and hard driving an essential component of cool in the 60s and 70s, this Lusso
offers a truly unique opportunity for the collector. This was his personal run around – not a
film one-off extra – but a car used for the grocery run, as well as trips to the racetrack."

McQueen started car collecting after his first acting paychecks in the early 1950s, purchasing
an MG. His interest developed, owning Porsches, a Siata, Jaguar and a Shelby Cobra – and
then in 1963, he purchased this Lusso, his first Ferrari.

McQueen special ordered the stunning combination of marrone, a medium-brown metallic
paint with an elegant beige leather interior from Otto Zipper Motors in Santa Monica.
Balanced against the Borrani wire wheels and a Pininfarina body sculptured by renowned
coachbuilder Scagletti, the car is arguably one of the most attractive Ferrari's ever-built.

Enjoying the car for a decade, McQueen traded the Ferrari in 1973 – but left his stamp on
the 'McQueen Ferrari Lusso', which was acquired in 1997 by respected restorer Michael
Regalia. Mike decided to restore the car back to its original condition, exceeding 4,000 hours
of work.

The result is the world's finest surviving example of a 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso – a car that is
often referred to as the cousin of the legendary Ferrari 250 GT SWB and 250 GTO.
Accepted in to the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, along with numerous
other awards and trophies, the car and its reception by the car collecting community
illustrate that Mike's original intentions were well surpassed.

Along with the hugely desirable provenance from the King of Cool, this automobile is a truly
exceptional motor car and its sale will be one of the major highlights of the long weekend of
enthusiast events surrounding the annual Monterey Historic race meeting and Pebble Beach
Concours d'Elegance this coming August.

Auction:
Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center
August 16, 2007

Viewing:
Christie's New York
April 27 - May 9 & May 24 - 31

Greenwich Concours d'Elegance, Connecticut
June 1 - 3

Monterey Jet Center, Monterey, California
August 12 - 16

Christie's is the longest continuous name in the collectors' car market, having held auctions
devoted solely to motor cars since 1972. Christie's remains the choice of the individual who
wishes to sell a unique and rare motor car or collection. Uniquely placed in the market,
Christie's International Motor Cars concentrates on quality rather than quantity. The
Department consists of seven specialists based in London, Brussels, New York, Texas and
California, devoted to network of sale sites that include Paris, Le Mans, Monterey and
Connecticut.

Visit the Christie's Car Department at www.christies.com/cars