Paul Walker is the new Steve McQueen of auto auctions—on a much lesser scale, of course—in that his name carries a lot of clout when his vehicles cross the block. Look no further than January 2020, when 21 of Walker’s cars and motorcycles sold for $2.33 million at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale Auction.
Perhaps it’s not just The Fast and the Furious effect, or that Walker was killed in a high-speed car crash, of all things, and at a relatively young age (40). Like McQueen, Walker was a famous and well-financed version of the rest of us. He was a true car guy.
So, when Mecum announced that Walker’s 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 was headed to its Indianapolis Online Auction July 10–18, we took notice. Then John Wiley, Hagerty’s Manager of Valuation Analytics, asked this simple question: “With this being a traditional muscle car, will it have the same appeal to Paul Walker fans as some of the other cars from his collection?”
Good question—and one to which we do not yet have an answer.
Most of the cars we’ve seen from Walker’s extensive collection have been a little more modern and thus naturally appeal to a slightly different crowd than this classic Mustang. For example, the top sale among Walker’s cars at Scottsdale was a 4600-mile, 1995 BMW M3 Lightweight. The final sale price of $385,000 shattered the previous M3 Lightweight record of $145,750. Even the lowest-priced Walker-owned M3 Lightweight at Scottsdale (two went for $220,000 apiece) would have been a record breaker, which says a lot about Walker’s influence.
Hagerty’s valuation team combed through the values of all 21 Walker vehicles at Barrett’s Scottsdale event and calculated that they sold for an average of 167 percent more than would be expected for their non-celebrity-owned counterparts. So, since a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 in #1 (Concours) condition has an average value of $352,000 and one in #2 (Excellent) condition is worth $288,000, bidding for Walker’s Boss 429 could reach $480,960–$587,840 … right? In a pre-COVID-19 world, perhaps. The pandemic’s effect on everything—including auction sales—makes it nearly impossible to predict how high the Boss may go. Mecum didn’t even bother posting a pre-auction estimate.
The first-generation Mustang is completely original, with only 14,575 miles on the clock. Painted factory Raven Black, the highly coveted Boss is powered by a 429-cubic-inch V-8 (of course) with functional Ram Air, mated to a close-ratio, four-speed manual transmission. It also features a 3.91 Traction-Lok differential, power steering, power brakes, competition suspension, functional hood scoop, color-keyed mirrors, AM radio, rear window slats and spoiler, flat-black Magnum 500 wheels (used only on Boss 429 cars), and Goodyear Polyglas tires.
We’ll see, however, whether the car’s most attractive feature is actually its connection to Walker.