Paul Walker’s Personal Car Collection Brings In Over $2.3M at Auction

Paul walker car story - Split - Getty - H 2020
Courtesy Barrett-Jackson; Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Car experts weigh in on the star power of the late actor as 21 cars, trucks and motorcycles he owned were auctioned by Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Paul Walker, the late star of the Fast and Furious franchise, was an avid automobile aficionado and racer himself — a passion shared with his father and grandfather, who once raced factory cars for Ford. The actor co-owned the now-shuttered race car shop Always Evolving in Valencia, California, and inspired a new generation of gearheads before his untimely death at the age of 40 in a car accident in 2013.

From Wednesday through Saturday of this week, the actor's personal collection of 21 cars, trucks and motorcycles hit the auction block as part of a Barrett-Jackson sale in Scottsdale, Arizona. And the final sales added up to $2,333,450, according to Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson.

"Paul Walker has been compared to a modern-day Steve McQueen, who lived his passion for racing in every aspect of his life," Jackson tells The Hollywood Reporter. "[He] has inspired entire generations of car lovers. We worked closely with a close friend of Paul's who helped care for Paul's collection following his death; he was responsible for consigning and prepping the vehicles for the auction. Paul's daughter, Meadow, kept a few vehicles she had a connection with."

The big draw came on Saturday, when a series of five white BMW M3 Lightweight Editions hit the block, a rarity as they were produced in a limited quantity of 126. The 1995 E36, with just 4,600 miles, brought in the highest dollar amount of the lot: $385,000. The other four drew prices from $220,000 to $258,500.

"Even without Walker's name on them, these are incredibly valuable cars that serious collectors would bid on," says Tom Stahler, managing editor of Journal. "They're basically factory-built race cars. Why Walker had five of them? Perhaps he was planning on putting together a racing team."

"Paul was a racer at heart," says Jackson, who added as a star-power price comparison that Barrett-Jackson auctioned a BMW M3 Lightweight in 2018 for $121,000. "We're told Paul spent countless hours on the track perfecting his racing skills. The question of whether he intended to build a racing team is something we may never know. When Paul purchased the five BMW M3 Lightweights, he envisioned them as his own investment vehicle."

Also on Saturday, a 1991 BMW M3 E30 (with 7,644 miles) went for $220,000, while a 1988 version of the car (with 32,269 miles) got $165,000. Only 5,115 M3s were sold in the U.S. between 1988 and 1991, according to auction notes, and even those with high mileage have gone for upward of $60,000, relates Stahler.

While Walker never drove the zero-mileage 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302S, gifted to him by a fellow car enthusiast before being placed into storage, according to auction notes, the car still brought in $95,700.

Prior to Saturday, the car that brought in the highest dollar amount, on Thursday, was a 2009 Nissan 370Z used as an "extra" in Fast Five that Walker did not drive in the film, with 3,092 miles on the odometer — it sold for $105,600. Also on Thursday, a 1989 Nissan Skyline R32 (with a stripped interior, racing seat, full roll cage and fire extinguisher) went for $100,100, and a custom 1967 Chevy Nova with an engine upgrade went for $60,500.

Stahler translated the value of Walker's star power. "A 370Z would probably get an average of $30,000 to $50,000 tops," he tells THR. "And there was a lot of patina and a lot of scratches on the R32, where they pulled the rear wing off; that was a very basic car that would have brought in $30,000 tops and it got [$100,100]. In comparison, there was another really nice R32 Skyline [not owned by Walker] that went across the block an hour before and got $40,000. To be honest, if I was going to get a car to drive, I would have bought the one that sold for $40,000."

Continues Stahler: "Paul Walker is completely identified with the tuner-drifter part of car culture; Gen Xers and Millennials identified with him. It's such a shame that he was killed, because he would have been this generation's Jay Leno; unfortunately, he became this generation's James Dean."

All proceeds from the auction will go to a trust for Walker's 21-year-old daughter, Meadow Rain Walker, who manages the Paul Walker Foundation, dedicated to providing grants and scholarships that benefit marine science.