Thursday, January 11, 2018

Steve McQueen’s Le Mans Racing Suit Sells for $336,000

Steve McQueen’s Le Mans Racing Suit Sells for $336,000

Not a NASCAR story – but super cool racing factoid.

Worn during the shooting of “Le Mans”, Steve McQueen’s racing suit, helmet and underwear were sold for $336,000 by the famous RM Sotheby’s auction house. 

Steve McQueen’s Le Mans Racing Suit Sells for $336,000

For the younger race fans below is the 1971 Le Mans story-line:

Almost in breadth and depth of a documentary, this movie depicts an auto race during the 70s on the world's hardest endurance course: Le Mans in France. The race goes over 24 hours on 14.5 kilometers of cordoned country road. Every few hours the two drivers per car alternate - but it's still a challenge for concentration and material. In the focus is the duel between the German Erich Stahler (played by Siegfried Rauch) in Ferrari 512LM and the American Michael Delaney (played by Steve McQueen) in Gulf Team Porsche 917. Delaney is under extraordinary pressure, because the year before he caused a severe accident, in which his friend Lisa's husband was killed.

“I’m not sure whether I’m an actor who races, or a racer who acts,” quote from Steve McQueen

The Gulf racing suit, Bell helmet and Nomex underwear worn by Michael Delaney, Steve McQueen’s character, had never been auctioned before. However, these objects had been in the hands of a German family since 1971. After the release of the film “Le Mans”, the German magazine Bravo launched a competition to win a Porsche 914 or Steve McQueen’s racing gear… Disappointed that he didn’t won the Porsche, the teenager who participated and won the second price stored the suit and underwear on a shelf for all these years and used the helmet for his motorcycle for a few years.

The objects used in “Le Mans” are still very popular to Steve McQueen’s fans and motorsport fans. Steve McQueen’s Porsche 917 used for the film “Le Mans” was auctioned off last summer and sold for 12 million euros. The Porsche 917 was actually the first Porsche to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970.

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