Steve McQueen’s Baja 1000 racing Chevy heads to auction

When we think of Steve McQueen, our mind tends to drift to muscle cars — specifically the 1968 Mustang GT from "Bullitt." McQueen, however, was a well-rounded motoring enthusiast, sporting two-wheeled passions as well as four. He also maintained an appetite for trucks, including a 1969 Chevrolet Baja racing pickup that's set to go under the hammer at Mecum's Santa Monica auction next month.

The truck was designed by legendary off-road designer Vic Hickey, and was sold to McQueen in 1970. It made its racing debut in the inaugural Baja 1000 back in 1968, and consists of a C10 chassis with a C30 one-ton cab. McQueen purchased the car as part of a package deal with GM, and held onto the racy truck for just two years. Allegedly, it was sold after divorcing his first wife Neile, an endeavor that cost the car-nut many of his prized machines. The truck spent the next handful of years working as a farm vehicle — a far cry from its racing roots — before it was picked up in 1990 by an off-road enthusiast and relinquished of its chores.

Amassing a total of just 14,000 miles since birth, the red paint and Lucas spotlight are all original, as is the Vic Hickey roll cage installed to withstand the punishing dunes of Baja. Predicting what this truck might fetch is tough, but, given its previous owner, one would expect it'll make a tidy sum. And if you don't care for trucks, you're in luck: McQueen's 1931 Harley Davidson hits the blocks as well.

Photo: Mecum Auctions