Marilyn Monroe is known worldwide as one of the most famous icons of the 20th century, up there with the faces of religious figures as the most recognizable visages in history. Her famous car, a 1956 Raven Black Ford Thunderbird, isn’t quite as identifiable as the legendary Norma Jean herself, but it’s damn close. Now, it’s up for auction.
A beautiful black version of the 1956 Thunderbird production model, the black soft-top, whitewall classic was driven by Monroe with playwright Arthur Miller in the passenger seat on the way to their wedding. Records show the car was given as a Christmas gift by Milton Greene, Monroe’s business partner. Greene’s wife Amy Greene averred that the movie star loved to take the T-bird out for drives: “Marilyn liked to drive. We’d take the convertible and with the top down, we’d go sailing along the highway. We both liked to feel the wind in our faces and the warmth of the heater on our legs.” The car was aberrantly powerful for the period, with a 225-horsepower V–8 engine that helped the Ford reach a top speed of 113 mph. Truly a piece of history, the car will go up for auction November 17, 2018, and is expected to fetch between $300,000 and $500,000.