A 1969 Porsche 917K from the film Le Mans will be among the headline entries at the 2014 Gooding and Company Pebble Beach Auction, to be held August 16-17 at the Equestrian Center in Pebble Beach, California.
The 1969 Porsche 917K on offer, chassis 917-024, played a large role in the film Le Mans that also featured a cast of racing stars, including actor Steve McQueen, and a host of race cars. Chassis 917-024 took center stage at the height of the action as the Gulf 917 claimed the checkered flag in the film (estimate upon request).
David Gooding, President, “917-024 is one of the most significant and recognizable racing cars ever to come to public auction, and we are thrilled to present the legendary Gulf 917 Porsche.”
Porsche designed and built the 917 model in the late 1960s to claim outright victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Forming the foundation of this car is a lightweight aluminum space-frame chassis fitted with a fiberglass body. The Porsche 917 is a masterpiece of automotive engineering with both success on the track and legions of racing fans around the world.
Chassis 917-024 offered at the 2014 Gooding Pebble Beach Auction has the distinction of being the first 917 model to compete in a race, which occurred when it was entered by the Porsche works team at Spa Francorchamps in 1969. 917-024 was later enlisted by the J.W. Automotive Engineering Ltd. Gulf team at the 1970 Le Mans Test, where it was driven by Brian Redman and Mike Hailwood. Redman set the fastest times, proving that the 917 model was capable of winning. This car is easily recognized by its iconic light blue and orange Gulf livery and boasts a air-cooled flat 12-cylinder engine.
Chassis 024 was then acquired by Porsche factory driver, Jo Siffert, who loaned it to Solar Productions for the film Le Mans, which he and McQueen, along with many other racing figures, participated in creating. 917-024 remained in Siffert’s private ownership until his passing and led his funeral procession, reflecting the importance of this car in his career, before being sold to a private collector.
This 917 remained hidden and unknown for roughly 25 years, before resurfacing in 2001. The benefactor of a restoration, 917-024 is presented as one of the most culturally significant 917s.
The 2014 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auctions will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17 at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center, located at the corner of Portola Road and Stevenson Drive. Preview days will start on Wednesday, August 13, and continue through Sunday, August 17. The auctions will commence at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions catalogues are available for $100 and admit two to the viewing and the auctions. General admission tickets to the viewing and auctions may be purchased on-site for $40.
For additional information, visit goodingco.com or call (310) 899-1960.
[Source: Gooding & Company; photo: Mathieu Heurtault]