Porsche had been competing for class wins in the world’s greatest endurance races since 1950, but lacked the proper machinery to challenge for overall victory in races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 1969 they took advantage of new regulations and developed one of the most significant, beautiful, and advanced sports prototype cars in history, the 12-cylinder 917. Further developed as the 917K (‘K’ for kurz or short tail), by 1970 the model became a dominant force in international competition.
The 917K featured above, chassis 917-024, was first used by Porsche during the 1970 Le Mans Tests, where it was piloted by Brian Redman and Mike Hailwood. Redman set the fastest times of the event, proving that the updated model was capable of winning the coveted 24-hour race, which it would accomplish two months later. Following testing sessions at Le Mans, Nürburgring and Ehra Lessien, 917-024 was sold to Porsche factory driver, Jo Siffert, who leased the car to Steve McQueen’s Solar Productions for use in the making of the seminal film Le Mans (1971). According to extensive research by noted 917 historian and author the late Walter Näher, 917-024 was utilised as a camera car during production, and also starred extensively during the film.
Gooding & Company will be offering this car at their upcoming Pebble Beach Auction between 18-19th August, the estimated value is between $13m - $16m. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. All images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Mathieu Heurtault.