For auto-lovers, nothing feels quite the same as owning a car that was once owned or driven by a celebrity. Of course, auction houses are aware that if the celebrity attached to the vehicle is one that’s very famous, the car will most likely sell for a higher price.
If you’re considering pursuing an automotive career, it is very possible that your love of cars originated from a particular model or brand, perhaps even one that your favourite celeb once owned. If that’s not the case, there is still no denying that the rich and famous own some pretty great cars and it’s always interesting to learn how much they are worth even decades later.
Read on to learn more about some of the greatest celebrity-owned cars to be sold at auction over the past decade.
Steve McQueen’s 1976 Porsche 930 and Its Uncommon Automotive Features
The legendary actor, aptly nicknamed the “King of Cool” was a known car buff. McQueen special-ordered this Porsche just 4 years before his passing, and it came with a few exclusive features.
The 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera boasts a standard 3.0-liter, horizontally opposed and air-cooled six-cylinder engine that produces 234 horsepower. It has a 4-speed manual transmission and can go from 0 to 60mph (0 to 97km/h) in less than 5.5 seconds, with a top speed of approximately 249km/h.
McQueen swapped the stock wheels for ones that were about an inch wider, and had a manual switch added to deactivate the rear lights. This isn’t a switch that you’ll commonly run into as an automotive service advisor, since motorized vehicles are required to have a minimum of two functioning rear lights in most countries. McQueen may have installed this switch just in case he got into a high-speed chase through the Hollywood hills!
The car was sold by Mecum Auctions last month for $1.95 million and a portion of the proceeds was donated to charity.
Check out this video feature on McQueen’s Porsche 930:
Clark Gable’s 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing: Luxury with a Twist
Iconic actor Clark Gable was also a car enthusiast. In addition to his renowned Mercedes, some other models he was known to own throughout his career included a Jaguar Mark IV Drophead Coupe, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird, and two top-of-the-line Cadillacs.
Gable’s silver Gullwing seems like a classic luxury car as it boasts a 6-cylinder, 3-litre engine and a 4-speed manual transmission. However, like McQueen, Gable was also one for uncommon add-ons and requested that his Mercedes have a set of racing wheels, as well as a wood and chrome steering wheel.
At a Scottsdale Auction in 2013, the car sold for a little over $2 million!
Auto Body Repairs and Refinishes to Paul Newman’s 2002 Corvette
Famed actor and race car driver Paul Newman raced this Corvette to the finish line of his last winning race. Anyone pursuing a career in auto body repair would be interested to know that before the ‘Vette sold, it was re-bodied and repainted to feature the number 83 on the doors. The number refers to Newman’s age when he drove the car in its final competitive race.
The Corvette has a V8 engine with electronic fuel injection, capable of putting out 700hp. It also features a six-speed transmission and has four-wheel independent racing suspension.
The Chevrolet Corvette was auctioned by RM Sotheby’s in 2012 and sold for $275,000.
An Auto Sale for the Record Books: Frank Sinatra’s 1969 Lamborghini Miura
Ol’ Blue Eyes bought this car during an unexpected visit to the Lamborghini factory. He received it on his 54th birthday, and it arrived in his favorite color: metallic orange.
The Miura features a big V-12 engine that produces 370hp. As if the Lamborghini wasn’t elegant and luxurious enough, Sinatra had his Miura trimmed with extra-soft boar leather.
In 2004, Sinatra’s Lamborghini was sold in auctioned by Christie’s for $150,000. However, the collector car market wasn’t as popular then as it is now, so the buyer snagged up the iconic vehicle for an excellent price. Today, this car has an estimated value of over $900,000!
Are you interested in selling classic luxury vehicles? Check out our auto sales college for more information, or to speak with an advisor.