The Steve McQueen, "Le Mans" Movie Car
917, chassis # 022, was purchased in 1970, from the Porsche factory, by Solar
Productions. This is the movie production company that was owned by Steve McQueen.
It was also the company that would bring the movie "Le Mans" to the big screen.
This is the car that McQueens character, Michael Delaney, starts the race in,
and "crashes" late in the race, "writing the car off." The car that was crashed
was really a Lola T-70, painted and rebodied, to look like a 917 (the T-70 was
a cheaper alternative to write off, than the 917). Many innovations in cinematography,
were first tried in this movie. They even went so far, as to weld brackets to
the front frame work of the 917, so they could mount a camera to shoot Steve,
and the other drivers, in the cockpit. The brackets are still on this car.
the movie was finished, the car was raced a few times, and then sold to Brian
Redman. Brian sold the car, in 1975, to friend, and Le Mans winning 917 driver
Richard Attwood. Richard ran the car sporadically, in European historic racing
events, painted up like the 1970 Salzburg 917K, which is the car he drove, with
Hans Hermann, to give Porsche its first overall victory, at the Le Mans 24 hour
finally decided to sell the car, in 1999, at the RM auction in Monterey. Before
putting the car up for auction, he repainted it, to the colors that it was most
famous for wearing, even, if only in a movie. The car was purchased by longtime
Porsche collector Frank Gallogly. It has joined us, at Gunnar Racing, in our museum,
next to Franks other 917, the Martini and Rossi car that won Sebring in 1971,
with Vic Elford driving. It is a real treat to see the car that so many of us
have watched in that infamous movie. You can almost picture Steve McQueen, as
Michael Delaney, in the cockpit.