Legendary Actor Steve McQueen’s Willys-Jeep Heads to Auction
Originally owned by the U.S. military, this 1945 Willys-Jeep MB underwent a full restoration since arriving in the U.K. years ago.
Celebrity vehicles like the Jeeps driven by Daisy Duke and MacGuyver are basically celebrities all on their own, you know about them but have a slim chance of ever running into them. Paul Newman’s Datsuns and Nissans, Frank Sinatra’s Chryslers, Elvis Presley’s Cadillacs, what anyone would give to own and drive any of their rides.
And then, there’s Steve McQueen. The legendary actor had driven and/or owned a lot of cool cars in his fleet, from the famed Bullitt Mustang and Le Mans Porsche 917K, to his off-screen Ferraris and Jaguars. You can now add this 1945 Willys Jeep MB to the list, especially since it’s about to go on the block during Silverstone Auction’s NEC Classic Motor Show Sale, which is happening Nov. 10 and 11 in England.
It’s only fitting McQueen would own a Jeep like this, having served in the United States Marine Corps from 1947 through 1950 before heading off to New York to begin his famed acting career. The MB was delivered to the United States Army on July 7, 1945, before becoming a part of McQueen’s garage.
After McQueen’s passing, the Jeep was auctioned off in Las Vegas by his estate in late November 1984 for $6,000, which was 10 times what a WW2-era Jeep went for on the market at the time. The MB went off to Texas before its third owner’s estate sold it to the current owner, who calls the U.K. their home.
Since landing in England, the Jeep “as been renovated and fully recommissioned exactly as it would have been in McQueen’s ownership by marque specialists and leading Jeep experts, Jeeparts-UK Ltd,” per the auction house. The MB has all of its paperwork, as well as its California blue plates with tags dated to the end of October 1980. Whomever brings this Jeep into their home next will have one hell of a story to tell to their friends and family.