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A Camper Van Owned and Driven by Steve McQueen Is For Sale

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Ontario-based LMC is offering for sale a 1952 Chevrolet 3800 camper van once owned and driven by Steve McQueen.

When it comes to cars and late actor Steve McQueen, for most people the ride that comes immediately to mind is the Ford Mustang used extensively in the movie Bullitt. In fact not long ago one of the two cars used in the movie sold for $3.4 million U.S. at an auction.

Yes, the car used in the film is iconic and unique, which explains the price, but so is pretty much everything touched by Steve McQueen, an actor known for his love of all kinds of cars. Other vehicles that belonged to the film legend have also piqued the curiosity of fans, and the model currently offered by Ontario-based Legendary Motor Cars (LMC) promises to do just that.

The model offered is a 1952 Chevrolet 3800 camper van that is said to have been frequently used by Steve McQueen for camping trips across the United States. A one-ton truck, the vehicle was of the model range’s strongest category (the equivalent of a 3500 HD model today at Chevrolet).

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1952 Chevrolet 3800, profile
Photo: LMC
1952 Chevrolet 3800, profile

Under the hood sits a 235 cubic-inch inline-six engine working with a four-speed manual transmission sending power power to the rear wheels. The model is also equipped with radio and... heating. The roof of the rear passenger compartment section is made of galvanized steel and aluminum. This part was not originally supplied by General Motors at the time, but after-market suppliers sold it and it was likely installed after original purchase.

The camper van is equipped with a double bed, cupboards and drawers, and an observation deck on the roof. Five-gallon gas cans, two tool boxes and a spotlight for lighting ensured this vehicle was ready for any eventualities wherever it went.

1952 Chevrolet 3800, interior
Photo: LMC
1952 Chevrolet 3800, interior
1952 Chevrolet 3800, interior, rear
Photo: LMC
1952 Chevrolet 3800, interior, rear

Steve McQueen is believed to have purchased the van from a migrant worker in the late 1970s after seeing it parked on the side of the road. It is also likely the vehicle that took him from his home in Santa Paula, California, to the local airport on their way to Mexico, where he received his last cancer treatment before he died of mesothelioma in November 1980.

This vehicle has actually already been offered at auction, specifically at the actor’s estate sale after his death. It comes with a certificate of authenticity of this sale, signed by his daughter and son, Terry and Chad McQueen. LMC is inviting interested parties to contact them for information about the asking price. We can imagine that will be in the neighborhood of a few tens of thousands of dollars, considering who owned it.

1952 Chevrolet 3800, three-quarters front
Photo: LMC
1952 Chevrolet 3800, three-quarters front
1952 Chevrolet 3800, back section
Photo: LMC
1952 Chevrolet 3800, back section
1952 Chevrolet 3800, engine
Photo: LMC
1952 Chevrolet 3800, engine