4x4, historic vehicles, jeep, Motoring News, off-road

Get into action man McQueen’s Willy’s Jeep hot seat

  • McQueen’s Willys Jeep for auction
  • Action man’s estate vehicle to be sold
  • Got a coupla million rands to spare?
McQUEEN'S JEEP FOR AUCTION: The action-movies star owned a Willys US Army Jeep - now its up for auction. Image: Newspress / Silverstone Auctipns
McQUEEN’S JEEP FOR AUCTION: The action-movies star owned this Willys US Army Jeep – now its up for auction in the UK. Image: Newspress / Silverstone Auctions

LONDON, England – A 1945 Willys Jeep once owned by the ‘King of Cool’ himself, Steve McQueen, will be on the block at Silverstone Auctions’ final sale of the year in Birmingham, England over November10/11.

The star of films such as Bullitt, The Great Escape and Le Mans built a reputation as ‘King of Cool’ thanks to his antihero parts in films and, in 1974, was named the world’s best-paid actor.

MOVIE FLASHBACK: Listen to music from 'The Great Escape' while you read.
LISTEN TO MUSIC FROM THE MOVIE WHILE YOU READ THE FEATURE

He assembled a huge car collection – among them a 1945 Willys Jeep, one of the 300 000 assembled during the Second World War and delivered to the US Army on July 7 1945.

McQUEEN'S JEEP FOR AUCTION: The action-movies star owned a Willys US Army Jeep - now its up for auction. Image: Newspress / Silverstone Auctipns
McQUEEN’S JEEP FOR AUCTION: The action-movies star owned this Willys US Army Jeep – as proved by this plaque on the facia. Image: Newspress / Silverstone Auctions

McQueen died in 1980 and the Jeep was offered at auction at a Steve McQueen estate auction at the Imperial Palace  hotel in Las Vegas on November 25, 1984.

TWO PASSIONS, ONE MOVIE

Adam Rutter, a classic car-specialist at Silverstone, told The Corner in a media release: “McQueen’s reputation as actor and racing driver is historic. His love of speed and all things cars is famous.

”He even combined his two passions in the 1971 film Le Mans.”

READ MORE Jeep features on Carman’s Corner

The Jeep has a 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, engine capable of 45kW and around 120km/h. It wasn’t  the fastest car in McQueen’s collection but was certainly one of the most iconic. In his early movie career McQueen even appeared as a Jeep driver in the 1959 film Never So Few.

McQUEEN'S JEEP FOR AUCTION: The action-movies star owned a Willys US Army Jeep - now its up for auction. Image: Newspress / Silverstone Auctipns
McQUEEN’S HOT SEAT: The action-movies star owned a Willys US Army Jeep – now its up for auction. Image: Newspress / Silverstone Auctions

The Jeep for auction has a plaque recording it as being owned by Steve McQueen and the vehicle could realise as much as R2-million. It has undergone thorough renovation to the specification during McQueen’s ownership.

…AND THE PLATES, TOO

Included will be the original blue Californian license plates valid until for road October  31 1980, a week before the actor died.

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