CARS

Ex-Marilyn Monroe Ford Thunderbird could fetch £400,000 at auction

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A Ford Thunderbird convertible owned by Marilyn Monroe from late 1955 until shortly before her death in 1962 is for sale at auction in Los Angeles next month, when it is estimated that it will sell for $300,000 to $500,000 (£229,600-£382,680 at current exchange rates).

Soon after buying the Thunderbird, Monroe married playwright Arthur Miller. A report published at the time suggests that the couple drove this vehicle to their civil wedding ceremony on June 28, 1956 and probably also to their private wedding two days later.

The Thunderbird has a 312 cubic-inch (just over 5,000cc) V8 engine producing 225 horsepower, which gave a top speed of 113mph. Following an engine re-build, the odometer reads 30,399 miles.

With a two-door roadster body, it was pitched as Ford’s answer to the Chevrolet Corvette produced by its rival General Motors. Its bodywork is finished in Raven Black, with a black and white interior. As standard, it has Ford-O-Matic automatic transmission, power steering and brakes along with electric windows and seats.

Although it was purchased in late 1955, the Thunderbird is a 1956 model and, as such, came from the factory with both its canvas convertible top and a detachable hard top with distinctive “porthole” windows each side.

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