The Trans Am from Steve McQueen’s Last Movie Has Been Found

Despite entering the ‘70s as one of the biggest stars in the world, Steve McQueen ended the ‘80s with the relatively obscure “The Hunter.”

Although it focused on the life of real-life bounty hunter Ralph Thorson, co-starred “The Ugly” from the “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” and featured a ’79 Pontiac Trans Am, the picture isn’t as well remembered as the likes of Le Mans or Bullitt.

But what the movie lacks in cultural cachet, it makes up for McQueen significance, because it was the last movie he ever starred in and one of the Trans Ams used in it was recently found in a barn in Illinois.

The car has seen better days but that’s as expected because it was destroyed for the film. It was one of two cars that crew blew up for the movie and it’s as a result of the damage that Harold McQueen (no relation) got the car.

Howard lived near the shooting location in Illinois and was asked for the use of his tow truck for the film. His truck is the one you see towing the blown up Trans Am in the movie.

After filming, he was asked to tow the two cars that been used for stunt work to the Kankakee airport to be delivered back to Pontiac. They asked him how much it would cost and he said: “You guys figure out what is it worth to you.” They told him that he could keep one of the cars if he delivered the other back to Peter Levin Pontiac in Chicago.

The company initially wanted its car back (it had lent the production the cars with the understanding that they would get them back and then sell them), but a bill of sale from Paramount and the unlikeliness of this particular car ever getting back on the road—plus a little tenacity to boot—convinced Pontiac to just let Harold keep the car.

He put the car in his garage with every intention of fixing it, but as all too often happens, couldn’t find the time. So there it sat, unused and partially destroyed, until recently, through another friend who had worked on the production, it came into the ownership of Calvin Riggs, owner of Carlyle Motors in Houston.

So far Carlyle Motors isn’t clear on what it plans to do with the car, but it looks like a big enough job that it won’t be for sale any time soon.

[source: Hemmings]