Rare Ferrari Owned by Director, Former Microsoft President Wins Best of Show at Concours d'Elegance

Joe DeMatio
Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe

Cars owned by Steve McQueen, Elvis also sell for high prices

A 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe originally owned by director Roberto Rossellini won Best in Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Sunday— the first time a Ferrari has won the top prize at the U.S. vintage car world’s most exclusive gathering, held annually in Monterey, Calif. The Ferrari is owned by former Microsoft president Jon Shirley.

The weekend also yielded strong sales at the auctions for Italian cars– mostly Ferraris--and cars with Hollywood lineages. A 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB 4 originally owned by Steve McQueen brought in more than $10 million at the RM Auction in Monterey on Saturday night. The McQueen Ferrari jumped from an opening bid of $4 million to $6 million and eventually went to an anonymous phone bidder in Europe. The car had changed hands many times over the years, including ownership by Lost in Space actor Guy Williams.

McQueen's celebrity lineage undoubtedly enhanced the car's value--a similar Ferrari 275 GTB 4 without celebrity ownership sold for about $3.75 million. Another car with Hollywood provenance, Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls-Royce Phantom V limousine, sold for close to $400,000 — easily more than four times what the same car could fetch without star ownership.

At Thursday evening’s highly anticipated Bonhams auction, a Ferrari 250 GTO sold for a record $38.1 million--the highest price ever paid for a car at auction--but the sales price was considered a disappointment as estimates ran well above $50 million. The fact that Olympic alpine skiing gold medalist and race car driver Henri Oreiller was killed in the car when it flipped during a 1962 race may have diminished its value. Among those at the packed auction, held at the Quail Lodge on Carmel Valley Road, were producer and car collector Dick Wolf.

Jay Leno emceed the awards ceremony at  Concours, which included a charity raffle of luxury items donated by sponsors. "You might be eligible for the cleavage competition also," Leno quipped as he draped a Bulgari necklace around a winner's decolletage.