The last car that Steve McQueen ever drove on screen — the 1951 Chevy Styleline DeLuxe Convertible he piloted in 1980′s “The Hunter” — is headed to auction in March.
The last ride of Steve McQueen
In his last motion picture, McQueen played Ralph “Papa” Thorson, a real-life bail bond bounty hunter who eventually became conflicted about the moral dilemmas in the work he did. McQueen also produced the film. The efficient Buzz Kulik (it was his last theatrical film, too, though he lived until 1999) helmed the nifty little action film that deserves more attention than it has received, in the opinion of this writer.
When the picture wrapped production, McQueen bought the car to add to his own collection. Later, after his untimely death, it was sold to Rick Harris, now featured on the Pawn Stars TV show. Harris, apparently, is a huge fan of the late action star.
Modified somewhat from original condition
The car has been modified somewhat from its original condition, which may or may not alter its value to potential bidders. According to Motor Authority, the electrical system has been converted to 12-volt, it now has a contemporary sound system, the leather upholstery cover is not original, and there are “flaws” in the restored paint job.
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The value of fame
According to Hagerty Insurance, the car is valued at anywhere from $14,200 to $59,000. However, Autoblog estimates it could fetch up to ten times that higher amount. McQueen’s 1951 Chevy Styleline DeLuxe goes to the auction block at an Auctions America event, taking place March 22-24 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There is no reserve set on the car, so you probably can’t expect an auto loan from your bank for this one.
For more details and pictures of the car, go to Auctions America’s website.
‘The Hunter’ trivia
Here are some more interesting facts about “The Hunter.” In it, McQueen, uses the expression, “I’m getting too old for this sh*t,” predating Danny Glover and Lethal Weapon by seven years. The film also anticipates some of the iconic stunts in that later blockbuster.
In a testament to McQueen’s character as a human being, he left the upscale hotel that had been booked for him at one location and moved to a less-costly hotel nearby when he learned that it was where the crew were staying.
Further, the role of Tommy Price, played by “Roots” star LaVar Burton, was not in the original script. McQueen had the part written in for the young actor, whose work he admired. Burton, seven years later, would find his signature role as Geordie LaForge on “Star Trek, The Next Generation.”
A month after “The Hunter” finished shooting, McQueen was diagnosed w with the mesothelioma that would eventually take his life.