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.

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