Gooding and Company, one of the leading automotive auction houses will present one of the most recognized racing cars of the 20th century at Pebble Beach in August this year.
The 1969 Porsche 917 has been been restored to its original state and painted in the famous Gulf Oil colors that it wore both as a racer and a star of the 1971 Steve McQueen classic, Le Mans.
Porsche designed and built the famed 917 model in the late 1960s to compete with Ferrari and Ford at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 917 is built on a lightweight aluminum space-frame chassis fitted with a streamlined fiberglass body. The Porsche 917 is an undisputed masterpiece of automotive engineering with both overwhelming success on the track and legions of racing fans around the world.
917-024 was the first 917 model to compete in a race, making its debut at Spa Francorchamps in 1969. This car was later driven at the 1970 Le Mans Test, where it was piloted by Brian Redman and Mike Hailwood. Redman set the fastest times, proving that the 917 model was capable of winning thanks to its precise handling and powerful air-cooled 12-cylinder engine.
The 917 was then purchased by Porsche factory driver and F1 winner, Jo Siffert, who loaned it to Solar Productions for the film Le Mans, which he, McQueen and other leading drivers of the day participated in. 917-024 remained in Siffert’s private ownership until his passing and led his funeral procession.
After being purchased by a private owner, this 917 remained hidden and unknown for roughly 25 years, before re-emerging as perhaps the greatest ‘barn find’ ever.
This car’s pedigree both on the track and on the screen mean it will be in high demand when it hits the stage.