MARILYN MONROE’S 1956 RAVEN BLACK FORD THUNDERBIRD HEADS TO THE AUCTION BLOCK FOR THE FIRST TIME AT JULIEN’S AUCTIONS
Sale in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 17, 2018
Los Angeles, California – This stunning Ford Thunderbird owned by Marilyn Monroe from 1955 to 1962 will be sold by Julien’s Auctions, the world-record breaking auction house, as part of their annual blockbuster event Icons & Idols: Hollywood to take place on November 17, 2018 live in Los Angeles and online at juliensauctions.com. It is estimated that it will sell for $250,000-$500,000.
One of the most desired women in the world, Monroe’s life was deeply troubled, but during that time she owned this car and enjoying some of the happiest days of her life. Soon after buying the Thunderbird, Monroe married the celebrated playwright Arthur Miller. A published report at the time suggests that Monroe and Miller drove this vehicle to their civil wedding ceremony on June 28, 1956 and likely their private wedding on June 30, 1956.
The Marilyn Monroe Thunderbird was purchased on December 20, 1955, from Westport Motors, Westport, Connecticut in the name of her corporation, Marilyn Monroe Productions. Most accounts suggest it was a Christmas gift from her business partner and photographer, Milton Greene. Amy Greene, Milton Greene’s wife, speaking about this car, said: “Marilyn liked to drive. We’d take the convertible and with the top down, we’d go sailing along the highway. We both liked to feel the wind in our faces and the warmth of the heater on our legs.”It was a powerful car for its time with a 225 horsepower V-8 engine and a top speed of 113 MPH. This car features its complete dual, through the bumper exhaust system and gives a deep throaty roar at speed–adding to its “va-va voom” personality.
The vehicle has a roadster body with two-doors and was designed to be Ford’s answer to the two seater Chevrolet Corvette. However the Thunderbird emphasized driver comfort and amenities as well as performance. By dubbing it a “Personal Luxury Car” Ford created a whole new niche in the American automobile market. The 1956 model had the spare wheel mounted in a flashy exterior “continental kit” to allow for more trunk space. Marilyn Monroe’s 1956 Thunderbird came from the factory with both its canvas convertible top and a detachable hard top with distinctive “porthole” windows. A truly iconic look for a Hollywood legend.
Monroe owned this gorgeous vehicle for six years until generously giving it as an 18th birthday gift to John Strasberg, the son of director and acting coach Lee Strasberg and his wife Paula. Legal transfer likely took place ony a few short months before Monroe’s tragic death August 5, 1962.
Darren Julien, President/Chief Executive Officer of the leading American Auction House that bears his name, says: “Once in a while something comes along that has a powerful magic about it, a charisma, because of everything and everyone associated with it. This wonderful black Ford Thunderbird is not only part of automotive history but comes with an aura of glamour, romance and tragedy of a true Hollywood legend. It will make the centerpiece of any classic car collection and be an object of fascination to millions.”
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