Steve McQueen’s Stylish Porsche 917K From Classic ‘Le Mans’ Goes Up For Auction

by Will Shepard
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The 24 hours of Le Mans is the oldest active endurance car race. It has been held in Le Mans, France, every year since 1923. In 1971, Steve McQueen released a movie about the legendary race.

The race itself is one of the most highly respected automobile races in the world. It is a race that combines speed, efficiency, and endurance into one race. The rules of the race are complicated, but just like any other race, the first car to cross the finish line wins. However, there is a lot more that goes into the race.

During the 1971 movie called Le Mans, the Porsche 917k that the actor drove was in the race. It wasn’t a stunt drive with fake cars around, instead, it was the real thing. While there was some outside footage, a lot of the movie was filmed during the 1970 Le Mans race.

Originally, Steve McQueen had intended to enter a car and drive it alongside the legendary Jackie Stewart. But, that was not accepted by the race headquarters. So, the actual car that was used was a Gulf Porsche 917K.

Now, though, that Porsche 917k is up for auction. It is the car that was made for the 1970 Le Mans entry by Mike Hailwood and David Hobbs JW Automotive.

After the movie was made, the car was entered into another endurance race. Entered by Ernst Kraus and Jürgen Barth in 1971-1973 as a European Interserie contender.

As the auction homepage reads, it was featured “heavily in the race footage used by Solar Productions in Steve McQueen’s seminal racing film.” Moreover, the car has been taken care of immaculately. There have only been three owners of the car since 1974. All of whom made certain to keep it in the best possible shape.

Steve Mcqueen Was a Humble Actor During His Day, Not Just a Good Racing Driver

One of Steve McQueen’s iconic movies was Bullitt. In the movie, he played a lone wolf cop who was tasked with fighting crime.

In an interview with Fox News, Jacqueline Bisset talked about her co-star. She shared what it was like to work with him and how he was on the set.

“I remember my first impression of Steve McQueen was that he’s terribly handsome,” Bisset remembered. “We read together, and it was quite straightforward. I’m sure there were many others testing for the role. I remember hair and makeup. It was very uneventful.”

Moreover, Bisset shared how Steve McQueen wasn’t quite as she had pictured. During the height of his fame, he was one of the most recognizable names and faces in Hollywood. However, the actor was quiet and reserved. He was just another actor on set.

In fact, he tried to go unrecognized in public whenever possible. He would try to hide whenever he ate at restaurants with the other cast members.

“I learned that Steve was quiet, charming, and thoughtful,” Bisset recalled. “I wouldn’t say shy exactly, but not introverted either, I just felt he was a normal guy. He treated me like a normal woman, and it was pleasant. I was really just worried about the work because one wants to be good, and one wants to get it right.” 

Outsider.com