The world of truly valuable collector cars is dominated by an elite few who have access to more money than most of us can imagine. These men don’t even bat an eye when it comes to dropping a quarter-million dollars or more on car, which is more than most of us ever spend on a house. When two titans of the collector car world square off over an extremely rare and desirable car, all bets are off.
So it was this weekend that the annual RM Auctions Pebble Beach event saw 20 cars sell for a $1 million or more. But the real shocker was the sale of a famed Ford GT40, which Bloomberg News reports bringing an astonishing $11 million when the gavel fell. This shattered both expectations, and the record for an American car at auction.
As you might imagine, this is no ordinary GT40. Painted in the iconic Gulf/Mirage light blue and orange livery, this car was raced by Jacky Ickx at the 1968 Le Mans trials. But the real draw of this particular GT40 was its attachment to one Steve McQueen. Yes, this GT40 was used as a camera car in McQueen’s 1971 film “Le Mans”.
That is one reason why the pre-auction estimates were in the $8 million range, even though similar GT40’s had sold for “only” $2.2 million. But when the bidding was done, the GT40 had garnered an incredible $11 million, setting a new world record for an American car.
Yet amazingly enough, it wasn’t even the most expensive car sold this past weekend. That belongs to a one-of-30 Mercedes Benz 540 K Roadster, which fell well short of the $16.4 million garnered by a Ferrari Testarossa last year. But $11 million isn’t anything to sneeze at either.