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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

The 10 most valuable Steve McQueen cars sold at auction

When the "King of Cool" Steve McQueen passed on November 7, 1980, he left behind a vast collection of cars and motorcycles, amassed through a lifetime of buying, selling and racing-some of which are still traded and auctioned today. This March, a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 went under the hammer with Bring a Trailer.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/the-10-most-valuable-steve-mcqueen-cars-sold-at-auction/
52 REPLIES 52
DUB6
Specialist

I can plainly imagine McQueen in each of these cars - except the Mercedes 300SEL.  For some reason, it just doesn't fit my mental image.  But he was a multi-faceted man for sure, and my images are mostly tied in with movies and racing, so what do I know?  Well, NOW I know that he drove an M-B salon sometimes, which is more than I knew 10 minutes ago!  Good article.  😃

Smilodon
Detailer

I can see Mr. McQueen in the Benz. It's a rippin' good car, and he valued good cars. In my head, I can see him needing groceries, when the staff was off. He's not going to **bleep**, he's gonna go to the store. What better to maintain privacy than drive something bland? Who would suspect?
DUB6
Specialist

See, this is why I could never be a celebrity.  I don't think cleverly enough to avoid those crowds and paparazzi and such.  Good thinkin' @Smilodon!

John_Green
New Driver

Not to mention a 1969 Honda CB750 McQueen bought new that just sold on BaT for $155,000.
Studenorton
Instructor

Somebody's going to say it, and I might as well go first:
Is there an upcoming feature on *surprisingly affordable* ex-McQueen finds?
You know they just have to be out there somewhere. We could put a team on it.
68RSSS396
Pit Crew

Someone did an article on a Husqvarna 250 Championship replica bike that McQueen owned, and it was supposed to be affordable at 10-20K auction estimate.
jcav48
Intermediate Driver

McQueen did have some great cars. I wonder what ever happened to the yellow Porsche his girlfriend (Jacqueline Bisset) drove in "Bullitt".
PatB
Pit Crew

Exactly. It would be out there somewhere, and you can be darned sure that McQueen had a drive in it.
Iso_Grifo
Instructor

Meh, not a bad collection of cars. They're okay. I've seen worse.
JohninNC
Instructor

They just sold a McQueen 1969 Honda CB750 sandcast on BAT for $155,000. A pal of mine just sold a brown colored late 70's CB750 for $2,300.
Oh I see another guy mentioned the bike. Re-post.
https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1969-honda-cb750-sandcast-2/
JBBearcat
Detailer

And there there was his airplanes...
A Stearman (WWII biplane trainer) was the last plane he flew and I understand his ashes were scattered from it.
He also had a Piper L-4, the Army spotter plane version of the legendary Piper J-3 Cub.
I recall seeing it listed in "Trade-A-Plane" in the 90s for $35,000, a bit of a premium over what similar planes were selling for at the time.
It's my "...shoulda bought it" story.
Smilodon
Detailer

An older Indycar driver, Bob Harkey, taught me to fly in a Stearman. I wasn't told the fuel was gravity driven, the first loop I did caused the engine to die. I died a bit as well. Coming down on the flip side, the air making the propeller turn started the engine. I would have shot him, but the whole point of the lesson was pay attention. I'm not a good pilot, but I'm very careful.
FloridaMarty
Advanced Driver

I don't get it? Just because a famous actor's @$$ sat in the seat, the price jumps?? Be careful what and who you idolize.

Oldimpala
Detailer

Indeed.

You should see what John Voight's LeBaron Convertible went for used.
FloridaMarty
Advanced Driver

LMAO!
Tim
Technician

The actor or the proctologist? 😄
JerV8Flat4
Intermediate Driver

He wasn’t just some famous actor, and he did more than just sit his ass in the seat.
DT
Advanced Driver

If you really don't get it maybe you are in the wrong place 🙂
Blade123
Intermediate Driver

It's really not Cool of The Kiernan family keeping an iconic car and refusing to sell it to Steve McQueen the King of 😎.
They could have had their name in lights and gone down in history as a family that saved the 68 GT Mustang for the man that deserved it. Now as we know it was just selfish thinking that they had any stake in fame.
RickL
Detailer

I think they are pretty happy with the 3.7 million they got. Some people do not get star struck and do not care to be admired by the masses.
Doug42
Intermediate Driver

He had the resources to make an offer that they couldn’t refuse. He didn’t want the Mustang enough. Why should an average person have to sell because some “famous “ person wants what they have. For years this Mustang was just a used car and valued as such. We are in a crazy automotive world at the present time and some people are cashing in. Some of us have to work for our dollars others just have to count dollars every day.
56NomadJohn
Intermediate Driver

McQueen had a chance to keep the car when Bullit was finished but he didn’t.
Two other owners had it before the Kiernans’ got it. McQueen let it get away.
gtokdx1
Detailer

Have you read the letter that McQueen sent to the Kiernan's to request buying the car back?
"I would be happy to try to find another mustang similar to the one you have, if there is not too much monies involved in it. Otherwise, we had better forget it."
Boy, he really made it enticing. Didn't he??? He had all that cash and sure didn't want to part with it for the Stang! I wouldn't have sold it either.
BR1
New Driver

I have a close relative in possession of McQueen's old 63 Continental, had the fortune to be able to help shine it up. It sat for many years and still wears its original patina dark green, minimal rust, not running or roadworthy but complete. Wonder what that's worth these days?
RG440
Instructor

One way to find out, list it on bring a trailer, e-bay, etc…contact J Leno on the sale and find out…
Huntz-Hall
Intermediate Driver

The 1953 Hudson Hornet would be the one for me out all the models shown here & the color is perfect on that body design.
alaskossie
New Driver

What about McQueen's Jaguar XK-SS, perhaps the most valuable of the whole bunch?
Stroker69
Pit Crew

The XK-SS is in the Petersen collection in LA., a great place to visit!

A few years ago  during the weekend of the Santa Fe Concorso, they brought the XK-SS over from LA. The show was held at the Las Campanas country club on Sunday, but the evening before there was a special cocktail party/reception held in a hanger at the airport. They had moved the private jets outside to make room for the party.

Featured were a small select group of automobiles, one of which was the McQueen XK-SS. Next to it sat the famous Admiral Robert Phillips' 1955 Ferrari Mondial 500, one of the most extraordinary Ferraris in existence. Admiral Phillips, a truly gracious gentleman, was present and very happy to retell the story of his history with this amazing car. Admiral Phillips sold the Mondial thru Gooding and Company in 2018, it gaveled at $5,005,000.

It was hard not to drool standing between these two iconic automobiles, especially when Admiral Phillips started and ran the Ferrari, one of the sweetest sounds known.

PRScott
Instructor

I seem to recall the Peterson museums ex McQueen Jag XKSS having an estimated value upward of $30,000,000. How does Hagerty feel about that?
Maestro1
Technician

If I were to be a participant it would be for the 300SEL Mercedes and the Lusso, always one of my favorite automotive designs.
Gary_Bechtold
Specialist

My favorites are the 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, 1976 Porsche 911 (930) Turbo, 1953 Hudson Hornet Sedan and the 1958 GMC Series 101-8 Pick-up. The Ferrari is my favorite of the bunch here, such a great look. The other also look good an have great colors.
SAG
Instructor

Nice.
All from 'when you saw them', you knew who made it - completely unique by design.
You knew what they were.
Today they all look the same.
"throw a Grille & a Trunk Emblem"
'Oh look it's a ???
DUB6
Specialist

Man, without those emblems, they do indeed all look like a "???" - and now there are more emblems than ever before, and some of them I've never even learned, so I'm still confused!  😋

Smilodon
Detailer

As a child in the '60's I was proud that I could correctly identify any car by the headlights or taillights. Now, I'm lucky if I can identify my car in the lot. Sigh.
TG
Technician

There's a bit of a distinction between the Bullitt mustang and 'cars owned by McQueen'. The car is a star in its own right
Cobra
New Driver

His 1969 Sandcast Honda CB750 just sold on BAT for $155,000
gincledon
Intermediate Driver

I recall a story from years ago. My dad's friend had a ranch in the Malibu hills and used to drive a 1955 International pickup. He was telling us about how one day he was driving down Mulholland Dr and was being followed by a GMC pickup, one thing led to another, and they ended up racing down Mulholland across the canyon. When he was finally passed, he said that McQueen gave him his famous smile and waved to him.
Skypilot1
New Driver

You forgot his beautiful 1951 Chevy Deluxe convertible.
Aquay_Mizmo
Intermediate Driver

It's well documented that McQueen was a wife beater and drug addict, not "cool" in my book.
DT
Advanced Driver

Well don't you just love to rain on every one's parade. Bet you are a ball at party's.
Smilodon
Detailer

Produce the documents, cite the sources.
DUB6
Specialist

I beat my wife all the time - I just beat her at Scrabble a few days ago, for instance.  Of course, you'd have a hard time proving it - she'll NEVER admit it.

DaveB
Detailer

Steve McQueen was iconic cool. Just like Paul Newman back in the day. Not sure any contemporary can hold a candle to either of these two.
DUB6
Specialist

Well, I think the definition of "cool" may be different to today's youth.  Even from 10-15 years ago.  Then, I think you might have gotten an answer of "Tony Hawk".  Now, it'd probably be some dude named Bieber.  But "back in the day" for we Boomers, McQueen and Newman were definitely the co-heirs to the title, passed down to them from James Dean.

61Rampy
Instructor

The last three, all of whom drove race cars, and drove well, especially Paul Newman.
DUB6
Specialist

And Newman was still driving them well into the'90s.  I saw him at P.I.R. in Portland, Oregon a couple of times.  👍

MustangJim
Instructor

Steve McQueen: A very cool guy who used his money the right way!
John4surf
New Driver

“Eventually, a NART Spyder replaced the Lusso in his affections, and the car was sold to fellow car enthusiast, Tom Sherwood, in 1973.” Steve was in his NART Spyder, stopped for traffic, on PCH when a “youngster” in a pick-up truck rear ended Steve. No one was injured other than the NART which sustained damage to the aluminum body. Junior at House of Colors was Steve’s “go-to” body/custom shop. Junior took the wire wheels/hubs off the NART and put them on the 275 GTB Steve bought while the NART was being repaired (Ferrari wouldn’t put wires on the 275 claiming the car had too much power for the wire wheels). Junior repainted the NART a beautiful dark blue. Junior suggested to Steve that the new 275 would look great in a custom dark red/maroon custom color. The NART was done, Steve had it for sale (told me he would “do OK” with the sale because of his “ownership” albeit for only a brief time. I hoped Steve would select the NART to take us to get Chinese take-out but he picked Neile’s new green 1968 911L with the Sportamatic transmission. That was quite a ride but I digress. John
DUB6
Specialist

I love that by being a member of this forum, I get to read this sort of "connection story" that I otherwise would probably never get to know about!  😀