Here’s the Porsche 917K Steve McQueen drove in 1971 film ‘Le Mans’
The actor’s four-wheeled co-star was on display at this weekend’s illustrious Concours of Elegance
Popular culture has done a lot for the four-wheeled world. For decades, the silver screen has been immortalising cars and making us yearn after certain models for more than just their mechanical pedigree or striking designs.
Just look at every Aston Martin 007 has used to suavely chase down a villain. Or the brute masculine force of Bullitt’s Ford Mustang or the Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee. But, while car super-stardom isn’t hard to come by, Steve McQueen’s Porsche 917K from 1971’s Le Mans is that rarest of beasts: a movie icon and a genuinely powerful racer.
National General Pictures/1971
After playing a starring role in Steve McQueen’s racing epic, this model actually sped away from its Hollywood beginnings to win multiple real-life endurance races. With triumphs at Daytona, Monza, the Osterreiching, Spa and Monthlery all under its cambelt, the 917K racked up an impressive track record — and all in the space of one year.
However, now the Gulf-liveried Porsche has retired, the public get their shot at checking out the automotive legend. Last weekend, the orange and blue race car was on show as part of a collection of ‘Endurance Racing Legends’ at Hampton Court Palace’s Concours of Elegance.
Gentleman’s Journal headed down to the event, and took a look at McQueen’s immortalised Porsche. And, with a recent restoration bringing every inch of the car back up to its original Le Mans-winning standard, we can confirm that it’s still a motor that would make McQueen proud.
Looking for something a little more modern, but with the feel of a classic? Check out this modern classic the Rolls Royce Sweptail…