Steve McQueen’s Ferrari Chassis Is Stolen From Famed Ferrari Designer Tom Meade

An extremely rare and valuable Ferrari chassis belonging to Steve McQueen was, among several chassis, stolen from Ferrari designer Tom Meade, a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleges.
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April 9, 2010 - PRLog -- Press Release   Source: Law Offices of Tristram Buckley― 310.980.1842
Friday, April 8, 2010, 10:00 am ET


Steve McQueen’s Ferrari Chassis Is Stolen From Famed Ferrari Designer Tom Meade

LOS ANGELES, Calif., April 5 ―    A lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging the theft of a highly collectible Ferrari chassis once owned by Steve McQueen, the legendary actor known as the “King of Cool”.  McQueen was an avid racer and collector of motorcycles and sports cars.  In 2007, a Ferrari formerly owned by McQueen, sold for $2.3 million dollars.  Bidders at the auction were paying several times more for the Ferrari because it had been owned by McQueen.

The lawsuit, which seeks $4.8 million in damages, was filed by Tom Meade, a  renowned sports car designer credited with designing several of the most desirable multi-million dollar Ferraris, including the three million dollar Ferrari Nembo Spider.

According to the lawsuit, McQueen’s Ferrari chassis was one of a total of four vintage Ferrari chassis stolen from Meade while he was hospitalized in Los Angeles with a stroke.  

Many of Meade’s designs may have been made available to the masses via toy car replications.  Even these toy cars though typically sell for more than $200 each.  According to historian Stan Nowak, speaking of one of Meade’s designs, “Of all the specials not authorized by [Ferrari] number 1777 GT must be considered the most successful, or at least the most visually attractive. Luigi Chinetti did see it and it did inspire the creation of the NART Spyder which it resembles.''  In fact, many consider Meade’s design to be arguably the prettiest Ferrari of all time.

McQueen received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sand Pebbles. His other notable films include The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway, Papillon, and The Towering Inferno. In 1974 he became the highest paid movie star in the world. While he studied acting, he supported himself partly by competing in weekend motorcycle races and bought his first motorcycle with his winnings. He is recognized for performing many of his own stunts, especially the majority of the stunt driving during the high-speed chase scene in Bullitt. McQueen also designed and patented a bucket seat and transbrake for race cars.  McQueen died at the age of 50 as a result of cancer in 1980.

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