Hands up if you’ve heard of Marilyn Monroe.
Hmm, I thought so.
Which means among other things that you haven’t been reading this column closely enough.
Marilyn Monroe was a highly intelligent woman from a dysfunctional, impoverished background who played dumb blondes in very successful movies but was in fact a second wave feminist, close friend of president John Kennedy and last week Julien Auctions sold her 1956 Ford Thunderbird for $675,000, or $75,000 over high estimate.
You can buy a really good ’56 T-Bird here for $55,000. Yes, readers, famous cars from dead people sell for much higher prices than famous cars from live people. Don’t think about this too much: there is a fatal flaw in my argument.
Technology blog New Atlas has released a list of the top 100 most valuable movie and TV cars sold at auction. If you don’t remember Marilyn then you wouldn’t remember Sophia Loren (your loss), Marcello Mastroianni and the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider that was the star of Vittorio De Sica’s movie Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. A three-owner, one having it for 17 years before selling to someone who had it for 30 years, this was one of 37 and has a red body to die for by Carrozzeria Scaglietti. Dave Gooding sold it for 24 big ones in 2016.
Then there’s the 1970 12-cylinder Gulf liveried Porker 917K that Steve McQueen drove in the best car movie of all time for legal marijuana users, Le Mans. Gooding also sold this one and he got a handy $19 million. The 1970 Ferrari 512S from Le Mans had a five-year restoration and Max Girardo sold it privately for $15m. There were 72 cars and trucks in the movie, which has no plot but lots of dream sequences, fiery crashes and a Porker beating the Feezer.
In the reasonably priced car department, someone stole the white 1986 Ferrari Testarossa at Barret Jacksons 2017 auction when they handed over $250,000 for the car Don Johnson hooned across Rickenbacker Causeway into Miami. It was originally black but the director thought it should match Don’s clothes.
Of course, we have to mention a motorcycle and why not the 1954 Vincent Black Prince/Knight prototype used in the movie 1984 by the Thought Police? That’s what I call my boss here and the new big boss when they’re not looking. Someone paid $168,000 for this in 2013 and eight months later it sold for only $124,000. Bikes are like that.
Talking of reasonably priced cars, guess what state has the highest number of supercars and high value classics?
No, it’s South Australia. Look they mightn’t do electricity all that well and footy, well it was a nice win for Port 14 years ago, and how about two finals in a row for the Crows in the 90s? But they love their metal. Of course we’ll be seeing you in our own reasonably priced WART classic supercar on Wednesday through Saturday during the Adelaide Motorsport Festival (conflict of interest report: both the Sultan of Stepney and I are members of the organisers, the Sporting Car Club of South Australia) but don’t forget you can also win a ride in a LaFerrari with Craig Andrew Lowndes OAM on the wheel, take in the Gouger Street Party with the Peak Hour of Power parade of phenomenal vehicles (clearly the WART Beemer won’t be one of those) driving under police escort from Victoria Park, up Wakefield Street, Grote Street and Morphett Street to Gouger Street. Once in Gouger Street, you’ll be able to see the incredible cars up close, talk to the drivers, and buy us as many Coopers as your credit card allows.
Where was I going with all this? Well, I hear a well-known Melbourne family with a big interest in pubs and supercars (are they living the dream or not?) may well be threatening the Kensi and Michael McMichael Motors with their own supercar and super food combo in the Modena of South Australia, Adelaide.
This family do it so well one of their car outlets is the architect-designed former Fairfax print factory in Melbourne (the Bucharest of Victoria). Readers, you know me well enough to know that I have been pestering our leaders here at the multi-platform new technology media news empire that we should toss the workers out of the employee car park across the street and build a super car and classic car and REA luxury real estate complex. Talk about innovation, agility and huddles. Unfortunately, one of our very top people in New York HQ was a very keen motorbike racer so we may have to put in a Ducati franchise to get it past the board.
Finally, I don’t know a lot about the money laundering caper but can I advise you, that if you are doing pretty well out of the cash economy for whatever reason (and who am I to question where your fiscal wellbeing comes from?) that you don’t go out a buy a couple of Lambos and Feezers.
The lads and lassies at the tax office tell me that a new red number under the suburban carport does attract their attention. While you certainly will attract a lot of looks from persons of all sexes in the carpark of the local workers club, no one will think you are an undercover detective with a police funded supercar even if you wear a white suit and shoes like Don Johnson did.