Every once in a while, a truly special vehicle goes up for auction. Not just any vehicle, with provenance optimistically thrust on it but one that is every bit as rarefied as could be. And that doesn’t apply more than it does in the case of this ’56 Ford Thunderbird. Owned by Marilyn Monroe from 1955 to 1962, the Thunderbird will be sold by Julien’s Auctions, as part of their annual Icons and Idols: Hollywood event this year, taking place on 17 November. It is estimated that it will sell for US$300K–$500K, but, with the current pattern of notable vehicles far exceeding their estimated prices, we wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be a conservative figure.
Monroe’s Thunderbird was purchased on 20 December 1955 from Westport Motors, Connecticut, in the name of her corporation, Marilyn Monroe Productions. Historical lore has it that the Thunderbird was a Christmas gift from her business partner and photographer Milton Greene, and it was reported that Monroe and Arthur Miller drove it to their civil wedding ceremony on 28 June 1956. While in the care of its current owner, the Thunderbird has been subject to a bodyoff restoration to original condition by Prestige Thunderbird Inc. and will go to auction with documents verifying Monroe’s ownership of the vehicle and a detailed history of the vehicle compiled by its current owner.