DUNE BUGGY DRIVEN BY STEVE MCQUEEN IN THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR TO BE AUCTIONED
Carmel, California – August 14th, 2019 – Bonhams will be offering at auction the very car in which Steve McQueen took Faye Dunaway on an exhilarating, white-knuckled ride in the 1968 movie The Thomas Crown Affair.
Like the car chase on the streets of San Francisco in Bullitt, the ride on the beach of Massachusetts in Thomas Crown is the stuff of legend. The Hollywood film captivated global audiences and brought the Meyers Manx – the first true “dune buggy” – to the attention of the world. Not only that, but the movie reaffirmed McQueen’s affinity for and capability in motoring, as well as helped catapult the talented and beautiful Dunaway to A-list stardom. To simply say this movie influenced popular culture would be a gross understatement indeed.
The Meyers Manx, developed by SoCal native Bruce Meyers, was the embodiment of the California lifestyle – sun, sand, sea and free livin’ – all in a compact, open-air, go-anywhere funmobile. McQueen’s love for cars and bikes was already well established and it was his influence that brought this distinctly American vehicle into the film directed by Norman Jewison.
Unlike any other Manx, however, McQueen enlisted the help of motor legend Pete Condos of Con-Ferr fame to build a completely customized and totally unique vehicle. In a period documentary about the movie, McQueen said, “Crown lives at the beach and he has a dune buggy. I helped them design it, so I’m kinda proud of that. It’s set on a Volkswagen chassis with big ol’ wide weenies – big wide tires on mag wheels, Corvair engine stuffed in the back…It’s very light, you know (because of the fiberglass body). It’s pulling about 230 horses and weighs about a thousand pounds.”
This iconic, singular and world-famous dune buggy that McQueen helped design and then masterfully drove with no stunt double, will be offered for sale at Bonhams’ annual Amelia Island, Florida auction next March. In anticipation of this exciting news, the Thomas Crown dune buggy will be on view this week, from Wednesday, August 14th through Friday, August 16th – at Bonhams’ auction tent at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California – in which Bonhams will also be offering Steve McQueen’s personal 1949 Chevy 3100 Pickup Truck.
Movie images courtesy ©MGM Studios. Contemporary images courtesy of Bonhams / Pawel Litwinski.