Among Hollywood heroes to gearheads, few rank higher than the legendary Steve McQueen, who's performance in the 1968 blockbuster "Bullitt" forever established his reputation as a silver screen hotshoe, although only about 10 percent of the footage in the final edit actually featured McQueen driving. Nonetheless, McQueen's legend was significant enough that Ford produced two editions of the Bullitt Mustang, in both the fourth-generation and fifth-generation body styles.
Although best known for his large collection of cars and motorcycles, possibly one of the most significant vehicles in McQueen's personal life is being auctioned on July 26-27 in Santa Monica, California, as part of Mecum's "Celebrity Items Auction: Celebrating the Legendary History of Hollywood," McQueen's 1952 Chevrolet 3800-series 1-ton pickup. The actor acquired the truck a little over two years before his death in 1980 as a personal camping and road trip vehicle.
Before McQueen was to board a plane at the Ventura County airport on the way to Juarez, Mexico, for cancer surgery, the Rev. Billy Graham reportedly shared the gospel and prayed with the actor in the back of the truck, and gave McQueen his personal Bible. McQueen was reportedly still holding Graham's Bible when he passed away a few days later.
The truck has the original body and frame, six-cylinder engine, and four-speed transmission. Other features on the truck include twin 5-gallon gas cans mounted on the running boards, a driver-side spotlight, and two toolboxes. The truck includes the original mattress in the bed, original license plates, a certificate of authenticity from the McQueen Children's Trust, and an ownership certificate from McQueen's personal attorney.
The two-day auction in Santa Monica will feature vehicles and personal items of many celebrities, including John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Elvis Presley, John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Jack Nicholson, James Stewart, Roy Rogers, Evel Knievel, Gene Kelly, and Burt Reynolds, among others. The live auction runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 26, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 27. Admission is $20 per person per day, and children 12 and under are admitted free. For more information, visit www.mecum.com.
Source: Mecum Auctions