The last car special-ordered by Steve McQueen, the legendary actor and automotive enthusiast, will soon be sold to the highest bidder.
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McQueen’s 1976 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera will cross the auction block at a Mecum Auctions event in Monterey, Calif., on Saturday. The car has been billed as a one-of-a-kind Porsche with original parts, not to mention custom features selected by McQueen.
So how much could it fetch?
“I honestly have no idea,” said owner Mike Regalia, a car collector and founder of Regalia Concours Restorations in Sun Valley, Calif. “With Steve, it’s still hard to quantify what he will mean to collectors. Ferdinand Porsche or Enzo Ferrari would be big in their world, but Steve is much bigger than that.”
An exhibit at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles titled “Steve McQueen: The Legend and the Cars” is shown during a press preview on Sept. 23, 2005. (Source: Reuters)
Regalia said it “might not be too far of a stretch” to think the Porsche will sell for 10-times its typical value, meaning the final price should easily top $1 million.
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Regalia scooped up McQueen’s Porsche 930 in 2008, when he placed a winning bid of $125,000. The car has since been kept in as true-to-original condition as possible, Mecum noted.
McQueen ordered his Porsche in a custom color, Slate Gray, and the “King of Cool” added other personal touches like a sunroof and black sport seats. McQueen even installed a switch on the dashboard that shuts off the rear lights “in case he was being chased on Mulholland Drive,” according to his son, Chad.
The Porsche 930—also referred to as the 911 Turbo—was manufactured by the German sports-car maker between 1976 and 1989. Based on a price tracker from classic-car insurer Hagerty, the 1976 model is valued at an average of $171,515.
The car is worth up to $290,000 in top condition, more than quadruple its value in May 2013.
“They were the supercar of their age,” Regalia said, adding that soaring classic-car prices and greater interest in Turbo Carreras has lifted valuations.
Of course, McQueen’s Porsche is in a different class. Cars once owned by McQueen, who died of cancer in 1980 at age 50, are highly coveted by collectors. Few other celebrities—Elvis Presley, perhaps—have a similar effect on a car’s value.
Anything McQueen drove is auction gold.
As proof, a 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta would normally bring in around half a million dollars back in 2007. That year, Regalia sold McQueen’s Lusso for a whopping $2.3 million, nearly doubling the estimate from Christie’s.
Another example is a 1946 Indian Chief that was McQueen’s first motorcycle. It sold for $143,750 in 2013, well more than the $38,500 price tag for a similar model that was auctioned by Barrett-Jackson last year.
Source: Mecum Auctions
The sale will benefit Boys Republic, a school for troubled youth. McQueen was enrolled in Boys Republic after escaping jail time as a teen. Mecum’s catalog photos of the Porsche 930 were taken at the Chino Hills, Calif.-based school.
“I wanted to do something good for the Boys Republic. Multiple cars have been sold, but the Boys Republic hasn’t benefited much,” Regalia said. “I hope collectors receive it well.”
So far, interest in the McQueen Porsche 930 suggests a big price tag Saturday. Regalia knows of a few big collectors and A-listers that are seriously interested.
“From a collector point of view, when buying artwork or anything special, they want one of two things. They want the first or the last. This is the last car [McQueen] special ordered,” Regalia said.
“This is the kind of thing that collectors drool over. You can’t replicate that. It’s history.”