Steve McQueen’s Porsche 917 From ‘Le Mans’ is For Sale
There are movies that feature cars, like Mad Max, and then there are car movies, like Ronin, where the rides are legitimate, enthusiast-approved performers. And then there’s Le Mans, the 1971 film that was seemingly made for the sole purpose of showcasing Steve McQueen driving a drop-dead gorgeous, Gulf-liveried Porsche 917. This is that exact 917, and it’s hitting the block at Gooding & Co.’s Pebble Beach event in August.
The sleek 917s were the first cars Porsche built capable of winning in the highest categories; the 600 hp air-cooled, flat 12 cylinder engine powered the marque to its first overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970 and ‘71. This car happened to have been the very first 917 to turn a wheel in anger, racing at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium before setting the fastest practice times at Le Mans (151 mph in ‘69).
After the car’s racing career was over, Porsche racer Jo Siffert bought the car and loaned it to the production team to film Le Mans. The car, with its iconic orange and blue Gulf colors, was at the heart of the film, as McQueen seemingly raced it forever. Upon Siffert’s untimely death in 1971, the 917 led the funeral procession, making it officially the most badass funeral car of all time. After that—for 25 years—this car sat in a shed in rural France, before being rediscovered and restored to its original glory.