Some things are so cool they never age. The Ferrari 275 GTB4 that Steve McQueen bought in San Francisco when he was filming the movie “Bullitt” certainly qualifies as one of those things. In the hands of a new owner, it is returning to the automaker’s factory in Maranello, Italy to be restored to its original factory specification.
Eternal combustion vehicles
Legend has it that Steve McQueen had the car delivered to the set when he was shooting “Bullitt” so that he could drive it home after the day’s filming.
Long associated with fast cars and cutting-edge cool, any car owned by McQueen instantly gains legendary status and fetches top dollar on the auction block. In 2011, his 1970 Porsche 911S, that was also used in the movie Le Mans, switched hands for $1,375,000. A few years ago, his 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso commanded $2.3 million in a Christies auction.
[For The Leading Discount On A Pre-Owned Ford View Gus Johnson New Cars Spokane Today.]
Restored to original specs
Ferrari’s press release does not say when the 275 GTB4 last changed hands, or for how much, but its new owner is sending it back to the Maranello factory to be restored to its original form and certified by the automaker. A classic Ferrari can only be certified if it is restored to its original specs.
Only 200 275 GTB4s were built by Ferrari between 1966 and 1968.
Along came a Spyder
Shortly after McQueen’s death in 1980, the 275 GTB4 was sold to a private collector who had the top sheared off to covert it to a faux-Spyder soft-top — According to Autoblog, there are only 10 real 275 GTB/4 NART Spyders in existence.
Ferrari Classiche unit
The restoration is being done by Ferrari’s own Classiche division, which will use hand-hammered steel to replace the top and its supports. The division was created in 2006, and since that time it has processed more than 3,300 classic Ferrari certification requests.
Classic restored Ferraris fetch top dollar at auction. Recently, a 250 GTO, originally built for race car driver Sir Stirling Moss, sold for a record $35 million, according to Business Week.
Only 36 250 GTOs were ever made. How many still exist is unknown.
Icon of screen and track
Steve McQueen, besides being a top actor and action star in his day, was a lover of fast vehicles. He was also an accomplished race car driver. He won the 12 Hours of Sebring competition for his class in 1970. He died in November, 1980, due to complications from surgery in Mexico to reduce metastatic tumors.