Friday, May 14, 2010

1953 Siata 208S - Ex Steve McQueen Car - $1,295,000.00!!

This is so not your typical Just a Car Geek car. This is a million dollar car. Actually, it's a $1,295,000.00 car.

OK, right up front I'll point out that there is an error in the listing's header. This car is a Siata 208S, not a 280 S. Now, those of you who read this blog regularly know that I am known for a typo or two (often in every sentence), but... No one is paying me $1,295,000.00 to write this blog. For that kind of money I'd proofread until I was blind. Then I'd buy a seeing eye dog and teach him how to read so he can read it again for me. I'm surprised the seller didn't spot that error.

There's not a lot written about the 208S and I don't know a lot, so my usual "information paragraph" will be brief...

The 208S uses the all aluminum Fiat V8. In stock form this 1996cc engine pumped out about 110 HP. Siata used different cams and and a better designed head and got around 140 - 160 HP from the engine. The power was transferred to the rear wheels via a 5 speed transmission. the car had a top speed of around 110 MPH. The body was aluminum and the whole car weighed just 2500 pounds. The seller of this car says that just 35 were built, and I can't find any article to confirm or dispute that.

What makes this car special to some is one of its previous owners; actor Steve McQueen. The seller gives a brief history of McQueen's time with the car and seems to have done considerable research.

This is a beautiful and impressive car. The price reflects the Steve McQueen history. I guess if you have the money, love old Italian cars and were a fan of Steve MeQueen, this might be worth the money to you. Me? I'll stick with my odd, but considerably cheaper, cars. (Not that I have anywhere near that kind of money, but do you realize just how many Austins, Opels, Renaults, Peugeots, TVRs, Alfa Milanos, Laforzas, etc., etc., I could buy with $1,295,000.00? Damn, I'd need a couple of airplane hangars to store them all. I'd have the world's biggest collection of odd cars. I be proud of it, too...)

Located in Scotts Valley, CA, click here to see the eBay listing.


Jon said...

Lots of great info on Siata cars, including this one, at the Etceterini website.

According to the site, Steve pried the Siata badge of the hood and replaced it with a Ferrari badge. I guess the original Siata badge was put back on the car at a later date.

Cut and paste this link into your browser...

Jon said...

Back to the auction...

Anyhow, the badge story corresponds with the text in the ebay listing, so is McQueen's car really worth over one million dollars?

According to Wiki, his sunglasses from the 1968 movie The Thomas Crown Affair sold at auction for $70,200. Elsewhere, his Rolex watch sold for $234,000 and his Heuer, $87,600.

McQueen's 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso sold for $2.31 million and one of his motorcycles landed $276,500.

Therefore, it appears the price of the Siata seems to fall in line with all of the other previous sales.


I can't help but seeing this Siata as falling into the Steve McQueen "memorabilia" category.

Bullitt aside, I have always associated McQueen with motorcycles. On Any Sunday or The Great Escape come to mind.

Sure, he could have been a contender on the track, but he was no Paul Newman.

No doubt he was the Icon of Cool. However, there is also the legacy of booze, general bad behavior, and Ali MacGraw. I think Newman had him beat there as well.

The rungs of "memorabilia" hell are populated with the Starsky and Hutch Torinos, the General Lees. Feel free to toss in any vehicle that appeared in the Fast and The Furious franchise as well.

In my worthless opinion, I would rather own the Pete Brock 510 that Newman first drove at Lime Rock.

It would not surprise me for a second if some bigwig in Vegas ended up buying this car. Then "McQueen's Siata" could spend the rest of its life serving as furniture in the entryway of a casino.

I can't help but thinking that this would be the moral equivalent of shelling out thousands for a pair of used socks once owned by Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Jon said...

My mistake, Paul Newman drove for Bob Sharp Racing, not Pete Brock.

Jon said...

Funny coincidence...

I just saw the Paul Newman's 1963 VW Beetle Cabriolet on BAT... for $250,000.

The VW and the Siata are both out of my price range. I guess true stardom comes with a price...

Does anyone know what kind of car Jan-Michael Vincent drove?