Steve McQueen’s Le Mans Porsche 917K Estimated To Fetch $16 Million At Auction
In the world of cinema, one of the starring character’s defining characteristics is the car he or she drives. The King of Cool, for example, is associated with the Mustang from Bullitt and the 917K from Le Mans.
This story is about the latter car, which is now in private hands and searching for a new, caring owner. Gooding & Company is tasked with finding him, and the estimated auction price is fairly astronomical in the view of mortals like you and me: $13 million at the least, $16 million tops.
Bearing in mind the history of this car and its role in probably the best movie with and about the greatest endurance of them all, chassis number 917-024 is definitely worth its estimate. The K at the end of 917K stands for Kurzheck, which translates to the short-tail variant of the 917. Designed for greater aerodynamic stability at high speed, the 917K became the dominant force on the endurance racing scene of the 1970s.
This year marks the second time Steve McQueen’s 917K heads to auction, the first happening in 2014. For some reason or another, Gooding & Company had withdrawn the car less than two weeks before the auction, refusing to comment on the details of this decision. Fingers crossed this year’s Pebble Beach sale won’t be hampered down by a similar conduct.
Discovered in a warehouse in France in 2001, the first owner of chassis number 917-024 is Porsche factory driver Jo Siffert. Then dubbed the year’s most important barn find, the 917K is now a part of a private European collection. The current owner finished restoring the iconic racecar early in 2017 with the help of Graber Sportgarage in Switzerland.
The belly of the beast is a mid-mounted flat-12 displacing 5.0 liters, which is believed to produce something in the ballpark of 560 horsepower. And of course, 917-024 retains its original transaxle and the original space-saver spare.