Ex-Jo Siffert and Le Mans movie Porsche 917K will be offered by Gooding and Company at its Pebble Beach auction with $13-$16m estimate.
One of the most iconic Le Mans racers, a Porsche 917K with the Gulf livery, has been consigned by Gooding and Company to its 18 August Pebble Beach auction. This short-tail 917K was previously owned by Jo Siffert, and was also used during production of the classic Steve McQueen film Le Mans, and will be heading to auction with an estimate of $13,000,000-$16,000,000.
917 would become one of the most successful competition cars of all time, and this car – chassis 917-024 – was used in the 1970 Le Mans tests. Driven by Brian Redman and Mike Hailwood, this car set the fastest time of the event proving that the updated 917K (‘K’ for kurz or short tail) had the potential to win at Le Mans.
The car started out as one of the first 25 long-lail cars, and it was entered into the 1969 Spa 1000kms driven by Gerhard Mitter and Udo Schütz. The handling was initially very inconsistent, which is why Jo Siffert opted to drive (and win) in the older 908 during the same race. Various bodywork changes were tested by Porsche, ultimately settling on the short tail rear end it still wore at the Le Mans test.
Chassis 917-024 was further tested at Nürburgring and the high-speed Ehra Lessien, before being sold to Porsche factory driver Jo Siffert. Although not driving the car, he loaned 917-024 to Steve McQueen’s Solar Productions for use as a high-speed camera car while filming some of the action scenes. It also appeared in the film extensively.
Following Siffert’s death in 1971, chassis 917-024 was sold to a French collector who stored the car for more than 25 years – before it was re-discovered and pulled out of hiding in 2001. It was still in remarkably original condition, and underwent a full restoration by specialist Graber Sportgarage in Switzerland, completed in 2017.