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Steve McQueen 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB 4 by Scaglietti

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Steve McQueen 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti
Sold for $10,175,000 Including Commission
RM Auction, Monterey, CA. 2014
Chassis no. 10621
Engine no. 10621
Lot 220
1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 by Scaglietti
Sold for $10,175,000
Chassis no. 10621
Engine no. 10621
300 bhp, 3,286 cc dual-overhead-camshaft-per-bank Colombo V-12 engine with six Weber carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel upper and lower wishbone coil-spring independent suspension, and front and rear disc brakes. Wheelbase: 94.4 in.

•Delivered new to Hollywood and motoring icon Steve McQueen on the set of Bullitt; owned by McQueen for more than four years
•Subsequently owned by TV star Guy Williams, of Zorro and Lost in Space fame
•Restored by Ferrari Classiche to McQueen’s original specification; Classiche certified in the autumn of 2013
•Currently owned by F1, Indy, and Le Mans racer Vern Schuppan
•With its history confirmed by Ferrari, the car was proudly displayed by the Maranello company in its own museum exhibit, From Cinecittà to Hollywood
Steve McQueen: Hollywood legend, racing driver, and car connoisseur extraordinaire. The Cooler King and the King of Cool. Few, if any, movie stars are so inextricably linked with classic cars and bikes than the star of Bullitt, The Getaway, The Thomas Crown Affair, Le Mans, and the brilliant motorcycling documentary On Any Sunday. Of course, many of the movie industry’s leading actors in the 1950s and 1960s enjoyed the glamour that came with exotic motoring, but only a handful were the real deal when it came to being fanatical about cars. Only a few of those actually convey historical importance and priceless desirability to a classic merely by their ownership, and at the top of that exclusive list is McQueen.

The Indiana-born marine-turned-actor, who was just as likely to be found in a car lot as a movie lot, was an obsessive enthusiast. He owned everything from his beloved Jauar XKSS to a Mini Cooper to a Ferrari 250 GT/L Lusso, which was the car that kicked off his devotion to Ferraris.

When he was at the height of his powers in 1967—the year in which he filmed both Bullitt and The Thomas Crown Affair—McQueen, impressed by the car that was featured in the latter of those movies, ordered a 275 N.A.R.T. Spyder from Chic Vandagriff at Hollywood Sport Cars.

However, disaster struck on pretty much its maiden voyage, when a driver went into the back of the N.A.R.T. on the Pacific Coast Highway. Chic’s son, Chris Vandagriff, remembers, “There were no pieces for the N.A.RT., and we had a guy, Clay Jensen, that worked on it at nights. It took an excruciating amount of time to repair. In the end, he [McQueen] was pretty burned out and sold it soon after.”

Frustrated with the N.A.R.T. being off the road, McQueen quickly bought another Ferrari from Chic Vandagriff, via Bill Harrah’s Modern Classic Motors in Reno, and this time it was a 275 GTB/4.

McQueen had already experienced the more “refined” Colombo V-12 in the 275, having tested a GTS for the August 1966 issue of Sports Illustrated. He noted then, “With more power than mine [referring to the Lusso] and a better power arc from its six-Weber carburetors…I was pushing 140 mph…It would take a lot of persuading to convince me that Enzo Ferrari can do anything wrong. To me, he is one of the finest engineers in the world.”

For many cognoscenti, the Ferrari 275 was the best looking of all Ferrari GTs in berlinetta form, which is attested by a roll call of such celebrity owners as James Coburn, George Harrison, Miles Davis, Eric Clapton, Clint Eastwood, and Peter Sellers. In 1964, it boasted Ferrari’s first transaxle and all-round independent suspension, but after just a couple of years, it was majorly updated and uprated. Significant developments included not just the introduction of the smoother and more powerful dry-sump, four-cam engine but also a redesigned transaxle and steadying torque tube. With 300 brake horsepower at 8,000 rpm from the 3,286-cubic centimeter V-12, the 275 GTB/4 was capable of 0–60 mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 163 mph.

In all, fewer than 300 Ferrari 275 GTB/4s were built, and they could easily be identified by their longer boot hinges and longer nose, which was a feature that was introduced for the berlinettas in 1966 to prevent high-speed lift. .
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