When Is an Original Jeep Worth $130,000?

Original Willys MB Jeeps regularly sell for around $30,000, but when Steve McQueen is a previous owner, be sure to tack a ‘1’ on the price tag.

Mention the name ‘Steve McQueen’ and images of a green Mustang doing smokey burnouts, a Triumph jumping a barbed wire fence and Porche 917 screaming down the Mulsanne straight flood the brain. The late actor’s persona is universal; he is considered American royalty and judging by how highly the rest of the world regards him, he’s damn near a international treasure. Case in point: an original Willys Jeep formerly owned by McQueen is expected to fetch close to $130,000 at auction — they usually go for $30,000.

Having McQueen’s name on any ‘previous owners’ list seems to make the price tag multiply beyond belief. To give you an idea of how much value is added, earlier this year two of McQueen’s motorcycles crossed the block and pulled some sizeable bids. His Husqvarna from On Any Sunday went for $144,500 when you can pick up a commoner-owned example for under $10,000. The Porsche 917 McQueen drove in Le Mans? That’s the most expensive Porsche ever. 917s can sell for a few million anyway, but McQueen’s name definitely inflated the sale price.

The Willys MB up for auction is a restored example with 2.2-liter two-cylinder good for 45 horsepower. Painted in the model’s iconic olive drab, it also has the period correct canvas upholstery. In other words, it’s a bog standard Willys MB. What this means is, if you want to make a serious return on any old cars, motorcycles or even dirty old clothes laying around, double check to make sure Steve McQueen was a past owner.

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