Actor Steve McQueen was an icon for a generation whose legend persists today, particularly in the automotive community as McQueen was a proper gearhead. Having a lifelong love of cars and motorsport, McQueen amassed an enviable collection, including this 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, which is currently for sale.
The Ferrari’s listing can be found on the classic car auction site RM Sotheby’s, which outlines the car’s unique journey from Maranello to present day, which, incidentally, begins due to a fateful incident with another, even more rare Ferrari 275.
Produced from 1964 to 1968, the Ferrari 275 was a two-seater grand tourer powered by a 3.3-liter V12 engine that initially produced around 280 horsepower, sending it to the rear wheels by way of a five-speed manual gearbox. This was until the GTB/4, which upped the overhead cams from two to four, increasing the output to 300 horsepower. At the time, the GTB/4 could claim a 0 to 60 time of 5.5 seconds and topped out at around 163 mph.
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In 1967, two-seater convertible (or “spider”) versions of the GTB/4 were ordered by Luigi Chinetti, owner of Ferrari’s North American Racing Team (or NART) and then the sole importer of Ferraris in the United States. Only 10 were made, one of which was scooped up by McQueen. Shortly thereafter however, the NART Spider was rear-ended, kicking off a lengthy repair process. McQueen, in the meantime, ordered the 275 GTB/4 listed here today.
McQueen’s GTB/4 arrived in a hazelnut finish, which the actor had changed into what became a dark maroon custom color dubbed “Chianti Red.” McQueen also took his damaged NART’s more streamlined sideview mirror and wire wheels transferred to his new Ferrari, which he drove for four years before selling it to Zorro and Lost In Space actor Guy Williams.
The 275 GTB/4’s story doesn’t end there. After Williams sold the car, the Ferrari languished in disuse after an accident. The wrecked GTB/4 was then purchased by a collector who really wanted a NART spider, but decided to convert this car into one rather than hunting one down. In its new state, the 275 changed hands and colors multiple times until Australian race car driver and Le Mans winner Vern Schuppan took possession of it. Schuppan then began the process of restoring it to its original “McQueen spec,” down to the special paint color and unique side mirror.
The car was sold for over $10,000,000 to the late Liverpool F.C. owner and chairman David Moores, whose estate is currently offering the car.
All told, it’s quite a wild and storied legacy for a car, all of which happened because McQueen couldn’t wait to get back behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Looking at this one, it’s hard to hold that against him.
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