He’s known as the King of Cool for multiple reasons – not the least of which is the massive collection of some of the world’s coolest cars he amassed before his death in 1980. Now, Steve McQueen is back in the headlines for one of those cars – a 275 GTB/4 that the actor bought in San Francisco while filming 1968′s Bullitt.
Sometime during the 1980s, the car’s subsequent owner decided to give it bit of a makeover. He had the roof chopped off, transforming it in to faux-Spyder, presumably thinking he could trick the automotive world, or at least his none-the-wiser buddies, into believing he was the proud owner of one of just 10 authentic 275 GTB/4 NART Spyders existing. News of the chop job has auto enthusiasts around the world clutching their proverbial pearls.
“The guy who had the top cut off of that thing needs to be hunted down and beaten,” declared one fan and social media poster.
While we here at E3 Spark Plugs won’t condone a proper beat-down, we do sympathize with the automotive purists. And we couldn’t be more thrilled that the McQueen’s ride is now safely back in trusted hands.
The new owner recently delivered the car to Ferrari Classiche for the company’s authenticity certification process, which requires that it returned to exact same specifications as when it first rolled out of the factory. Over the next few months, restoration experts will return the car to its coupé form, fully reproducing the roof and buttresses with hand-beaten steel panels.
So what do you think? Should the new buyer of such a classic car, particularly one formerly owned by a renowned icon like McQueen, be able to do whatever the heck he gall darn pleases with it without suffering the wrath of classic car buffs everywhere? Or did he indeed commit an act of automotive treason? Post your thoughts on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook fan page. In the meantime, enjoy this YouTube posting of McQueen’s Bullitt car chase, still considered one of Hollywood’s all-time best.