Pebble Beach Week 2007: Christies Auction starring Steve McQueen's brown Ferrari

This year's Christies Monterey Auction has a very special Ferrari Lusso as its star car. Finished in a rather un-Ferrari-like brown, it was the personal car of actor/racer Steve McQueen from new. Actually, the official name for the color is Marrone Metallizzato, and although a bit unexpected, it looks quite handsome on this very elegant Ferrari GT. The catalog description tells us that McQueen got the car in mid-1963 and that it was his daily driver for almost four years until he picked up another special Ferrari that took its place in his garage. With that kind of history, the seller expects it to easily fetch $1 million.

If that doesn't do it, other possible million dollar cars include a stunning 1930 Duesenberg J Convertible Berline ($700,000 - $850,000), and an equally gorgeous 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Three Position Drophead Coupe ($600,000 - $800,000) up for grabs. We also spotted two Auburn Boat-tails, one an immaculate green and blue over black, the other a striking green. Other highlights include a handful of Corvettes, a couple of sweet Porsches, and a whole bunch of British sports and luxury cars. You can see descriptions of most of these in the release that we've posted after the jump, or by clicking over to the Christie's site. The previews are Monday-Thursday, with the actual sale running tonight at 6 PST in the Monterey Jet Center


Christie's at The Monterey Jet Center 16th August 2007

Many people would be surprised that just 430 Khamsins were made by the great Italian manufacturer, and of those only 155 were delivered to the USA. The example in the sale is one of the rarest of these – a 5-speed Series 2 (with louvres on the nose) that has had the less aesthetically pleasing US-spec sidelights changed to European versions. Finished in Oro Kelso with Senape (mustard) leather it looks a glamorous machine, and good value too.

Of that era (and colour palette) there also a Sepia Brown 1973 Porsche 911T Targa for $55,000 - $65,000, and a more traditionally painted 1974 Jaguar E-Type V12 Series III Roadster (BRG) for $50,000 - $70,000.

Vying for top spot at the sale with the McQueen Ferrari will, no doubt, be the 1930 Duesenberg J Convertible Berline, $700,000 - $850,000, and the gorgeous 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Three Position Drophead Coupe at $600,000 - $800,000.

At $400,000 - $500,000, the two-tone 1958 Bentley S1 Continental Park Ward Continental Drophead Coupe is not cheap, but a thorough examination of the catalogue reveals a superb ex-UK RHD car that has been thoroughly restored (and converted to LHD) by marque expert Richard Gorman of Vantage Motorworks.

A sizeable proportion of the Sale is from two collections, the first being property From a Private European Collection, all offered at No Reserve and including several Chevrolet Corvettes and other Americana as well as a 1954 Jaguar XK140 Roadster at $60,000 - $120,000. The other group of three cars are Property from the Collection of Max Weinberg, the long-time drummer from Bruce Springsteen's band. Also Without Reserve, these entries are hot-rods and modified cars, all no doubt "Born to Run".

Sprinkled through the catalogue are staple classics such as the 1967 Austin Healey 3000 MK III Phase 2, $60,000 - $80,000, a 1966 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 4.2 Roadster for $110,000 - $130,000, and an archetypal 'Pebble Auction' car, the 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 Fastback for $120,000 - $160,000.

And so to the much-heralded Steve McQueen Ferrari, resplendent in its original specification Marrone Metallizzato with Beige leather interior. McQueen took delivery of the car in mid-1963 and for years after that the pair were inseparable, until late-1967 when the arrival of his Ferrari 275 GTS NART Spyder (like the car he drove in 'The Thomas Crown Affair') clearly meant something in the capacious McQueen garage had to go.

The subject of a nut-and-bolt restoration by the vendor, Mike Regalia, and the winner of many concours awards in his hands, the McQueen Ferrari should comfortably exceed the $1m mark (its estimate is $800,000 - $1,200,000) and who knows where the final bidding will end. You'll have to be there on the day.

Prior to the Motor Cars, Christie's will sell 32 lots of automobilia including several large-scale models such as the 1/8th scale, fully working Mercedes-Benz SSKL by Hubert Haderthauer estimated at $26,000 - $30,000.

The sale will be held at:

The Monterey Jet Center
Monterey Peninsular Airport Sale:
Thursday 16th August 2007 6.30 pm Lots 1 - 92.
Monday 13 / Tuesday 14 August 10.00 am - 5.00 pm.
Wednesday 15 August 10.00 am - 4.00 pm.
Thursday 16th August 09.00 am - 3.00 pm

Admission by catalogue only - admits two to auction.

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