Los Angeles, California - A two-seater convertible owned by Marilyn Monroe is going up for auction in November and could fetch up to $500 000. The 1956 raven black Ford Thunderbird, owned by the movie star for six years until shortly before her death in 1962, is being auctioned for the first time.
Monroe, one of the most collectible celebrities, was pictured driving in the car with her husband, playwright Arthur Miller, shortly after their June 1956 wedding.
Darren Julien, president of Julien's Auctions, said the car was "not only part of automotive history but comes with an aura of glamour, romance and tragedy of a true Hollywood legend.
"It was bought new from on 20 December 1955 from Westport Motors in Connecticut by her company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, and most accounts suggest it was a Christmas gift from her business partner and photographer, Milton Greene.
"It was a powerful car for its time with a 165kW V8 and a top speed of 180km/h, and this car features the signature dual 'through the bumper' exhaust system that gives it a deep throaty sound and adds to its 'va-va-voom' personality."
Monroe gave the Thunderbird to the son of her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, as an 18th birthday gift shortly before her death in August 1962. The current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, tracked the vehicle down through registration and other documents that were sold in 2016 as part of John Strasberg's estate.
"Finding this car, a classic two-seater model, after 56 plus years of its unknown whereabouts, was a singular event," he said. "No other car has been located and documented as owned by the incomparable Marilyn Monroe."
The car will be sold at Julien's Auctions in Los Angeles on 17 November. Below is a compilation by the Thunderbird Project of photographs of Monroe and her then husband Arthur Miller in the car.