The 1970 Porsche 917K driven by Steve McQueen in the famous "Le Mans" classical Hollywood movie will be put up for auction scheduled for Aug. 13-14.
Sotheby’s estimates the value of the iconic car that crossed the finish line in the 1971 "Le Mans" to 18,5 million dollars. Collectors around the world have to opportunity to buy now a car that has been fully restored to its former glory.
The car is powered by a flat-12 cylinder, air-cooled engine with signature naturally aspirated sound track. It only had three long-term owners since 1974.
The 917K "winning car" in Steve McQueen’s "Le Mans" is now expected to become - after the Sotheby's Monterey event - the most expensive Porsche ever sold.
According to the international auction house, the 1970 Porsche was:
- Delivered new to 1970 Porsche Works team JW Automotive Engineering
- Driven by David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood in the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours
- Immortalised as the winning car in Steve McQueen’s 1971 Solar Productions film Le Mans
- Rebuilt in 917 Spyder specification at the Porsche factory in 1971
- Campaigned in Interserie in 1971-1973 by Jürgen Neuhaus, Team Shell Heckersbruch, and Gelo Racing
- Owned and raced in historic events by the late Michael Amalfitano for over 20 years
- Beautifully restored to original 917 K specification and accompanied by original Spyder body
The Porsche 917K - A Car Like No Other
"During the golden era of motorsport, the most famous and fearless drivers were sometimes equated to rock stars or Hollywood celebrities. For only the most exceptional examples, this same equation proved true for the racing cars themselves. Permanently preserved on celluloid in perhaps the most accurate depiction of sports car racing that will ever be attempted on-screen, this example co-starred in Steve McQueen’s seminal 1971 feature Le Mans, using footage shot during the 1970 Le Mans race. Adding to the Le Mans movie’s overall authenticity—a requirement personally insisted upon by McQueen—this Porsche 917 K was no mere picture car", a spokesman for Sotheby's said.
Piloted by David Hobbs and Mike Hailwood, the Porsche 917K was a genuine contender for victory during the real 24 Hours of "Le Mans", running as high as third place before the oft-treacherous race claimed the car, with rain causing Hailwood to aquaplane and retire after 49 laps.
"The car performed strongly over the next three seasons against ever-more-powerful competition, before being retired at the end of 1974. Purchased by the consignor, a noted collector, in 2012, the most recent chapter in the storied history of this racing Porsche was a full restoration to its original, Gulf-liveried Le Mans coupe specification. Executed by Paul Lanzante, one of the top European racing car restorers, without regard to cost and with access to many correct and original NOS components, the results are impressive in every sensory regard, from the stunning presentation and attention to detail to the mechanical preparation that is headlined by the unmistakable symphony of the flat-12 cylinder at full revs", added the spokesman.