Monroe owned the car from 1955 to 1962

By Emily Zauzmer
September 26, 2018 10:41 AM
Marilyn Monroe - 1956
Credit: Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

Some like it hot — and others like it vintage.

Marilyn Monroe‘s 1956 Ford Thunderbird is going up for auction at Julien’s Auctions on Nov. 17 in Los Angeles and online. The car — which could rake in between $300,000 and $500,000 — belonged to the screen siren from 1955 to 1962, according to a press release.

The auction house’s CEO Darren Julien said in a statement, “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.”

He added, “It will make the centerpiece of any classic car collection and be an object of fascination to millions.”

The sleek black car was bought on Dec. 20, 1955, in Connecticut by Marilyn Monroe Productions. Monroe reportedly rode in the Thunderbird with playwright Arthur Miller to their civil wedding, which took place on June 28, 1956, and may have driven in the car two days later en route to their private wedding. She and Miller split in 1961.

Marilyn Monroe's Ford Thunderbird hits auction block - expected to etch $500k.
Marilyn Monroe’s car
| Credit: Julien's Auctions/Splash News

RELATED NEWS: Jackie Kennedy Ironically Got Help From Marilyn Monroe’s Therapist During Her Darkest Days

According to the press release, the car is believed to have been a gift from photographer Milton Greene to Monroe. His wife Amy Greene said in a statement, “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.”

Monroe gave the car to John Strasberg, director Lee Strasberg‘s son, on his 18th birthday, not long before she died at age 36 of an apparent drug overdose on Aug. 5, 1962.

Portrait Of Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
| Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty
Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe

The anonymous owner said in a statement about the car, “I found the vehicle in lovely show condition. Nevertheless, the car has received a frame-off restoration to its exact original appearance by Prestige Thunderbird, Inc., of Santa Fe Springs, CA.”

The owner continued, “Finding this car, a classic two-seater model, after 56 plus years of its unknown whereabouts, was a singular event. No other car has been located and documented as owned by the incomparable Marilyn Monroe.”

Julien’s Auctions noted that the vehicle had an attitude as chic as its owner did: “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.”