By Jill Serjeant
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bruce Springsteen's 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, referenced in his iconic song "Born to Run," is up for auction and is expected to fetch several hundred thousand dollars.
Springsteen super fan Michael Crane said on Thursday the auction of the car was the first in the planned sale of his entire Springsteen collection because he wanted to move on from his long love affair with The Boss.
"I've been a fan since I was 7 years old. I got to meet Bruce Springsteen with the car, which was amazing. But I'm ready to move on in my life and I want to pass the torch on to somebody who will enjoy the car and get to drive it," Crane, 46, told Reuters.
Crane, who like Springsteen is also from New Jersey, believes Springsteen was referring to the car in his 1975 hit "Born to Run" in the line, "I looked out across my hood and saw the highway buckle 'neath the wheels of a gold Chevy 6."
The car is being sold on eBay in an auction that ends on Monday. Bidding on Thursday afternoon was $200,100 - below the undisclosed reserve price.
Crane bought the yellow soft-top with orange flames on eBay in 2006 and it was exhibited at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland from 2008-2010. It has registration and insurance documents in Springsteen's name and is in running condition.
Springsteen mentioned the car in his 1998 book "Songs."
"In '70's New Jersey, the car was still a powerful image. That summer I bought my first set of wheels for two thousand dollars. It was a '57 Chevy with dual, four-barrel carbs, a Hurst on the floor and orange flames spread across the hood," the rock musician wrote.
Crane, a real estate developer, started collecting Springsteen memorabilia in 2006. He has amassed a collection of handwritten lyrics, guitars, posters and personal effects that has been appraised at over $7 million.
He plans in the coming months, however, to dispose of it all, including Springsteen's 8th grade report card, in which he got a D for music.
"I am selling the whole collection. My love affair with Bruce has become more real. I'm moving on to some bigger projects. I started a non-profit and I am raising money for orphans and widows now, and it's kind of where my life has taken me," Crane said.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Dan Grebler)