Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A great escape

Thursday night, August 16 2007, another record was set in the Monterey Jet Center CA. The auto that was purchased with an anonymous phone bid smashed the previous record that was set last year for a similar car.

More than 800 people attended the auction that night and witnessed the 1963 Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso offered for sale there, sell for much more than the estimated pre-sale price of $800,000 to $1.2 million. The auto, which had been a favorite of Steve McQueen, had been a gift to him from his first wife, Neile Adams. McQueen, who also raced cars, had special ordered the brown metallic paint and beige leather interior.

Mike Regalia had purchased the car for what he claims, is less than the cost of a new Lexus and spent hundreds of hours restoring it to pristine condition. He stated that he believed that it brought $2.31 million because it had been owned by McQueen. He didn't feel that it would have brought that kind of a price if it had not been owned by the actor who died in 1980.

McQueen's Lusso did indeed smash the previous record for a similar car. In May 2006, a 1963 Ferrari 250 GTL Berlinetta Lusso sold at the Bonham's Monte Carlo auction for a mere $595,000. The Lusso has been described as the most beautiful of Pininfarina's creations on that particular chassis. It was high performance with contemporary elegance in the fewer than 500 a year for the few years that model had been built. While many do enjoy racing their cars, the Lusso was not considered a competitive auto, being too well trimmed and heavy for the racetrack. While it is described as a wonderful ride, on the racetrack, you might win only if all your competion drove off a nearby cliff.

It is widely accepted that the Lusso that sold in Monte Carlo, sold for approximately $200,000 than it should have because it possessed a very light racing career. McQueen's Lusso most definately sold for the price that it did, on the strength of it's past ownership. It would be a great escape to motor along in it, knowing who had enjoyed being behind the wheel in it's youth.

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