Steve McQueen’s Bullitt jacket heads to Bonhams Scottsdale auction

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2015-06-26 10:50:29

The “most famous tweed jacket in movie history” is set to feature at the annual classic car auction in Arizona in January 2014.

Steve McQueen, known as the ‘King of Cool’, has been regarded as a style icon for generations. Now collectors will have the opportunity to get their hands on the jacket worn by McQueen in his most iconic role – Detective Frank Bullitt.

The 1968 film ‘Bullitt’ saw McQueen play a hard-boiled detective fighting organized crime in San Francisco. From the cars and costumes to Lalo Schifrin’s classic score and the often-imitated but never duplicated car chase, every aspect of the film has a supreme style of its own.

The jacket – described as “the most famous tweed jacket in movie history” – will be offered by Bonhams at the upcoming classic car sale in Scottsdale, Arizona next year. It has been consigned by the actor’s son Chad McQueen, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Boys Republic of Chino Hills, California – an institution where his father spent several years as a teenager.

"We are thrilled that Chad McQueen has entrusted Bonhams with such an iconic piece – perhaps the most significant piece – of McQueen memorabilia," said Bonhams US Head of Motoring Mark Osborne.

"As with other highly important items from the great man's movie and personal life we expect strong international bidding, both private and institutional. From many aspects of McQueen collecting, such as motorcars, movie memorabilia and personal wardrobe, this piece, the Bullitt Jacket, encapsulates them all."

Although Bonhams have not released an estimate for the jacket, the strength of the market for Steve McQueen memorabilia should mean it reaches a high six-figure sum.

It was initially offered for sale at Profiles in History in July 2013 with an estimate of $600,000 - $800,000, although it failed to meet its reserve price. However, with his screen-worn racing suit from the 1971 film ‘Le Mans’ having sold for $984,000 in 2011, it’s clear that fans are willing to compete for his cinematic wardrobe.

The Bonhams Scottsdale auction will take place at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa on January 16, 2014.

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