First hitting the silver screen in 1971, Le Mans is unequivocally one of the most celebrated racing movies of all time. On top of an engaging plot and star-studded cast lead by Steve “The King of Cool” McQueen, Le Mans is also highly regarded for its use of actual wheel-to-wheel race footage from the 1970 running of the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. Fast-Forward just over half a century to today, and one of the most iconic cars seen in the ’71 flick is now headed to auction.
Touted as “the most iconic racing sports car ever,” this 1970 Porsche 917 K — chassis #‘031/ 026 — sports the distinctive orange and blue Gulf race livery and was campaigned in the 1970 running of the world-famous endurance competition by David Hobbs and motorcycle racing legend Mike “The Bike” Hailwood. Powered by a 4.5L flat-twelve engine, this 50-year-old car was capable of exceeding 230mph. Featured heavily throughout the 1971 movie, this complete matching numbers specimen — which was one of three Factory Gulf Porsches from 1970 — sadly crashed out, resulting in a DNF. It was later sold off and converted to a Porsche 917 Spyder, before being returned to its original Le Mans-coupe spec (and Gulf livery with original racing numbers) roughly a decade ago. This elite piece of motorsport and movie history is now slated to cross the auction block at RM Sotheby’s upcoming Monterey sale in mid-August where it’s expected to fetch between $16,000,000 and $18,500,000.
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