Steve McQueen’s Dune Buggy From The Thomas Crown Affair Is Going To Auction Next Year
There are a handful of vehicles that have featured in movies over the years that were not only crucial to the plot but threatened to steal the limelight altogether. One such car was the Meyers Manx Dune Buggy that played such a prominent role in the original 1968 Thomas Crown Affair. Not only did this film help reaffirm Steve McQueen’s leading man credentials but it also showed the charms of both Faye Dunaway and the first real ‘dune buggy’ to the world.
The Meyers Manx was the brainchild of Bruce Meyers, a Southern Californian who wanted to create a vehicle for desert racing. He used a shortened Volkswagen Beetle chassis and a bespoke fiberglass shell to create the first dune buggy and in due course, road versions were developed which became an ingrained part of California’s fun-loving and easy-going lifestyle.
McQueen was an avid car fan and got motoring legend Pete Condos of Con-Ferr helped to design a customized version of this iconic buggy. In a period documentary about the film, 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 very special and historically fascinating vehicle was displayed at Bonhams auction tent at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California. The buggy will then head to the annual Amelia Island auction in Florida next March. Bonhams has previously sold the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow driven in the same movie as well as the Persol sunglasses McQueen wore for record amounts. McQueen’s personal 1949 Chevy 3100 Pickup was also offered for sale at the Quail Lodge auction.
Images courtesy of Bonhams