Steve McQueen's Ferrari up for auction

NEW YORK Fri Apr 27, 2007 1:25pm EDT

Steve McQueen stands next to his 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso in an undated file photo released to Reuters on April 27, 2007. A 1963 Ferrari once owned and driven by the late film star Steve McQueen is expected to fetch between $800,000 and $1.2 million at an auction in August, Christie's said. REUTERS/William Claxton/Courtesy of Demont Photo Management, LLC/Handout

Steve McQueen stands next to his 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso in an undated file photo released to Reuters on April 27, 2007. A 1963 Ferrari once owned and driven by the late film star Steve McQueen is expected to fetch between $800,000 and $1.2 million at an auction in August, Christie's said.

Credit: Reuters/William Claxton/Courtesy of Demont Photo Management, LLC/Handout

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 1963 Ferrari once owned and driven by the late film star Steve McQueen is expected to fetch between $800,000 and $1.2 million at an auction in August, Christie's said.

Christie's unveiled the car on Friday: a Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso with a medium-brown metallic paint and beige leather interior.

McQueen, nicknamed "The King of Cool" for his portrayals of nonchalant, in-control heroes in such films as "The Great Escape," about a mass escape from a World War Two POW camp, was a car collector. He special ordered the car in 1963 and owned it for about 10 years, according to Christie's.

"It's probably the best example of a Ferrari Lusso that's out there on the marketplace," said Christopher Sanger, vice president and head of Christie's car sales in the Americas.

"It was McQueen's first Ferrari and was his everyday, run-around car, not a movie prop," he said.

McQueen, who died in 1980, also enjoyed auto racing and reportedly performed some of his own driving stunts in his films. One of his most famous car chase scenes was in the 1968 film "Bullitt."

The car is being sold by Michael Regalia, who bought the car in 1997 and had it restored to its original condition, a process that took 4,000 hours of work, according to Christie's.

The car will be sold on August 16 at Christie's International Motor Cars 2007 flagship auction in the Monterey Jet Center in California.

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