The only thing cooler than this iconic actor and racing enthusiast were the classic cars that made up his collection.
Steve McQueen was the first “King of Cool,” and despite having rigid notions about filmmaking that frequently resulted in confrontations with directors and producers, his popularity allowed him to command large wages at the time. Naturally, with all of the money in the world, McQueen returned to his first love, vehicle collecting.
Steve McQueen Classic Cars
- 1. The Fastest Wheels: 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3
- 2. Delaney’s Choice: 1970 Porsche 911S
- 3. An Off-Roading Star: 1970 Chevrolet K5 Blazer
- 4. A ‘70s Classic For A ‘70s Star: 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS 396
- 5. Steve’s Very Own Rally Ride: 1969 Chevrolet Pickup Baja Racer
- 6. Aiming for The Le Mans: 1969 Porsche 908 Spyder
- 7. The Unforgettable ‘Stang: 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 Bullitt
- 8. Another Prancing Horse: 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Scaglietti
- 9. McQueen In A Mini: 1967 Mini Cooper S
- 10. The Perfect Stallion: 1963 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Lusso
- 11. McQueen’s Favored Race Car: 1959 Lotus Eleven
- 12. From The Last Of McQueen’s Movies: 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Convertible
- 13. McQueen’s First New Car: 1958 Porsche 1600 Super Speedster
- 14. Bought, Sold, And Rebought: 1956 Jaguar XKSS
- 15. McQueen’s Go-To-Church Car: 1951 Hudson Wasp
His passion for automobiles led him to purchase several of the vehicles shown in his films. The vehicle chase sequence in the film Bullitt is still regarded as one of the best in cinema history. So much so that a commemorative Bullitt edition of the Ford Mustang was released. McQueen was an autophile at heart and is known as much for his movies as he is for his vehicle collection, despite his acting career. Here are 15 of the coolest automobiles Steve McQueen ever had, which we wish we could drive.
1. The Fastest Wheels: 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3
McQueen was an avid racer and vehicle enthusiast, famously stating, “Racing is life.” Anything that occurs before or after is merely a matter of time.” So, for a sedan, he chose with the fastest one available: a Mercedes 300SEL with a 6.3-liter V8 that could go 135 mph (back in the 1970s), which is probably why it cost $339,995.
2. Delaney’s Choice: 1970 Porsche 911S
The film Le Mans did not do well at the box office, and it turned McQueen away from racing and racing cars for good. However, he became enamoured with the Porsche 911S, which his character Michael Delaney drove, while filming it. But, dissatisfied with the film’s failure, he sold it just a year later.
3. An Off-Roading Star: 1970 Chevrolet K5 Blazer
Along with racing at breakneck speeds on smooth highways, McQueen was also a fan of off-roading and anything else with wheels. As a result, McQueen adopted the Chevy K5 Blazer long before it became popular, paving the path for the Ford Bronco to follow. The man was well-dressed.
4. A ‘70s Classic For A ‘70s Star: 1970 Chevrolet El Camino SS 396
The orange beauty runs on a powerful 396 cubic-inch V8 that still produces 350 horsepower and comes with a pretty rare Muncie four-speed transmission, making it one of the coolest El Caminos ever to exist. Only 50,000 of these were made, and this Steve McQueen example was set to be auctioned in 2014.
5. Steve’s Very Own Rally Ride: 1969 Chevrolet Pickup Baja Racer
This is reported to be the first GM truck built expressly for the Baja 1000, and it was built by the legendary Vic Hickey. It was not raced by McQueen, at least not in a well-known style, but it did well under his ownership. In 2013, a Mecum auction sold it for $60,000.
6. Aiming for The Le Mans: 1969 Porsche 908 Spyder
McQueen once claimed that he couldn’t tell if he was an actor who turned into a racer or a racer who turned into an actor. McQueen purchased a Porsche Spyder to compete at Le Mans while filming the movie. It’s possible that the goal was to advertise the film while simultaneously racing for his passion. Unfortunately, his insurance company decided he couldn’t race, but he kept the Spyder.
7. The Unforgettable ‘Stang: 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 Bullitt
It’s an unforgettable car, immortalised by the movie’s car chase, and it’s enough for Ford Mustang to release a special commemorative version a year later. This car is mentioned because you can’t talk about Steve McQueen without mentioning the Highland Green ‘Bullitt’ Mustang. McQueen made every effort to purchase one of the two cars, but he was unable to do so.
8. Another Prancing Horse: 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 Scaglietti
McQueen’s 275 GTB/4 Scaglietti was handed to him while he was filming Bullitt, owing to his eternal love for Ferraris. As a result, he asked Lee Brown, the man behind the movie’s famed green Mustang, to paint his beige Ferrari in vivid scarlet. Then he proceeded to suffocate it, despite the fact that it still sold for millions.
9. McQueen In A Mini: 1967 Mini Cooper S
The Mini was an unexpected choice for McQueen, who was always in need of speed and later developed a taste for sumptuous antiques. He drove Sir John Whitmore’s Mini for the first time in 1961 and was blown away. Later, he purchased a 1967 Mini Cooper and had it customised in gold, demonstrating that opulence can’t be taken away from a guy, even in a Mini.
10. The Perfect Stallion: 1963 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Lusso
When it came to Ferraris, McQueen possessed not one, but four. Neile Adams, McQueen’s first wife, purchased the 250GT Berlinetta Lusso as a gift for him. She had it done up in brown, most likely to match one of his many leather jackets. He also possessed a 275GT and a NART Spyder, making him a true prancing horse enthusiast.
11. McQueen’s Favored Race Car: 1959 Lotus Eleven
McQueen was seeking for something even sleeker to drive after winning a race in his Porsche Super Speedster, and he discovered the Lotus Eleven. The Lotus Eleven, a featherlight race car, was born to race and became the car in which McQueen refined his skills and competed extensively.
12. From The Last Of McQueen’s Movies: 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Convertible
McQueen’s final film, The Hunter, was completed in December 1979, and by November 1980, he had succumbed to cancer. The 1951 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe Convertible was one of his final purchases, and while it did not resell for millions, Hemmings reports that it is still worth $84,000.
13. McQueen’s First New Car: 1958 Porsche 1600 Super Speedster
This Porsche McQueen was not only his first “new” car, but he also won his first race in it, in a Sports Car Club of America event in Santa Barbara, California. He maintained the automobile for a while before trading it in for a Lotus Eleven, although he eventually purchased it back in 1974. He was too attached to his automobiles to be without them.
14. Bought, Sold, And Rebought: 1956 Jaguar XKSS
All but 16 of the XKSS roadsters were perished in a factory fire at Jaguar’s plant, one of which was added to McQueen’s ever-growing auto collection. It was dubbed “The Green Rat” by him, and he was frequently “caught” racing in it on Hollywood streets by cops. He sold it, but afterwards regretted it so deeply that he purchased it back.
15. McQueen’s Go-To-Church Car: 1951 Hudson Wasp
While Le Mans is now considered a cult masterpiece, it did take a toll on McQueen’s psychological and financial well-being. His passion for fast automobiles waned, and he gravitated toward old cars instead. His 1951 Hudson Wasp coupe, which is a charming throwback to the Hudson era, has become his go-to Sunday-mass car.