Steve McQueen's Willys Jeep goes to auction

Even 38 years after his passing (to the day, in fact), the allure and mystique around Terence Steven McQueen shows no signs of abating. 2018 marking 50 years of Bullitt will have helped, of course, but it's hard to imagine a world - especially an automotive one - that doesn't hold McQueen up as an icon.

So news of his Willys Jeep going up for sale is pretty significant. Chassis number MB452936 was built in 1945 and originally owned by the US Army, though Silverstone Auctions - in charge of selling the car this weekend - isn't clear on McQueen's ownership history. Speak now if you're more knowledgeable! What we do know is that the Jeep was registered for road use up until the end of October 1980 (implying it was in use by McQueen until then), and was sold at an auction of the Steve McQueen estate in 1984 for $6,000. It's believed that the current owner is the fourth, after the auction buyer, McQueen and the US Army.

It's going to be in demand then, put very simply, particularly with all its UK taxes paid, an MOT and recommissioning work from Jeeparts UK. Should the next owner want to, the Willys is ready to be used and enjoyed on the road. It's hard to imagine that being the case though, given the car's provenance and status. That, and the fact it's expected to make anything between eighty and a hundred thousand pounds...

There are dozens of additional interesting lots at this weekend's Classic Car Show sale; certainly too many to list here, but a few worth mentioning. There's a collection of ex-Jay Kay cars, including a Volvo 850R, BMW 850 CSI and McLaren 675LT. There are two Lotus Sunbeams, a Mercedes 500E and E500, a Capri Brooklands expected to make more than £30k and even a Volkswagen XL1. There really does appear to be something for everyone at this weekend's sale, so the lots are well worth a look. See the full auction catalogue here; resistance might well prove futile...


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Comments (12) Join the discussion on the forum

  • BFleming 08 Nov 2018

    Oooh I'll have the W124 500E please. Delightful!

    On the Jeep, I was surprised it had an MOT seeing as it's exempt (being a 1945 vehicle).However as it's a fresh import, did it need to have an MOT as part of the DVLA import regs? If so I assume it won't be having any more of them.

    Edited by BFleming on Friday 9th November 00:08

  • dunnoreally 08 Nov 2018

    The Mercs are nice, but going through the lots, I reckon it'd have to be the Lister convertible. Lots of very, very nice stuff, though.

  • coppice 08 Nov 2018

    God only knows what the Jeep will fetch , given that a set of Saint Steven of Hollywood's race overalls went for $700k , or some equally absurd sum . An amount which would buy a pair of nice DFV engined F1 cars ,with rather more interesting provenance than McQ's sweat stains...

    But there seems to be a demographic of curious middle aged men which has beatified McQueen - you can recognise them easily in their summer plumage of Gulf branded tat .

  • Pericoloso 08 Nov 2018

    Some lovely cars on the block there ,2 Flachbau 911s ,2 Escort RS Cosworths ,one owned by the designer of the car

    estimated at considerably less than the described concours big turbo car.

    But with 80K on it not too surprising I suppose.

  • BFleming 09 Nov 2018

    coppice said:
    God only knows what the Jeep will fetch , given that a set of Saint Steven of Hollywood's race overalls went for $700k , or some equally absurd sum
    I reckon the Jeep would fetch more in the states, but given its a fresh import, someone has literally just imported it here to punt it on. Did they just buy it stateside? Anyhow I predict sub the 'top estimate' of $100k for it.

    Edited by BFleming on Friday 9th November 00:16

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