Auction: Steve McQueen’s Porsche is available again

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Steve McQueen’s Porsche is back

Auction: Steve McQueen's Porsche is available again-again

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Almost a million euros for a Porsche 911. For the Steve McQueen in the film "Le Mans" has driven.

Source: RM Auctions

Auction: Steve McQueen's Porsche is available again-steve

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In the film, the Porsche had yellow headlights.

Source: RM Auctions

Auction: Steve McQueen's Porsche is available again-porsche

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Steve McQueen starred in "Le Mans" the racing driver Michael Delaney.

Source: picture-alliance / obs / arte / Zdf / _Cbs

Auction: Steve McQueen's Porsche is available again-porsche

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McQueen bought the car for around 30,000 Deutschmarks.

Source: RM Auctions

Auction: Steve McQueen's Porsche is available again-steve

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It is unusual that McQueen bought the Porsche 911 S fully equipped. The car has leather seats and even air conditioning.

Source: RM Auctions

Auction: Steve McQueen's Porsche is available again-available

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The car’s boxer engine has an output of 180 hp.

Source: RM Auctions

Auction: Steve McQueen's Porsche is available again-available

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The Porsche nameplate on the rear.

Source: RM Auctions

The Porsche 911 S that the actor in "Le Mans" drove, will be auctioned in California. The car cost around 30,000 D-Marks in 1970, and today it is "something" more expensive.

E.Actually, the Porsche 911 S only plays a minor role in one of the greatest and most idiosyncratic racing films of all time. But like the dark gray sports car in the opening sequence of "Le Mans ”emerges from the fog of the Loire Plain in northern France with Steve McQueen at the wheel and meanders almost silently over deserted streets, past the lifeless small towns crouched in the dark landscape, sets the morbid counterpoint to the noisy horsepower inferno the movie is heading.

Despite the slightly depressive mood, it was precisely these four silent minutes, which were not covered by any film music, that contributed to the creation of legends about the actor and the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer. Now the original film car will be auctioned by RM Auctions in Monterey, USA (August 19).

But even without the cinematic history, the auction of the 1970 coupe would be a small event. Because the classic sports car is equipped with everything that was available for money in Stuttgart at the time: the extremely rare air conditioning system, tinted windows, the Blaupunkt radio Frankfurt and the comfort package, which included leather seats, among other things.

The absolute top model among the street Porsches cost a proud 30,000 D-Marks in the early 1970s. In addition, there is a complete history. Almost every one of the 20,000 kilometers on the speedometer can be traced.

Lead actor and producer McQueen originally bought the Porsche in 1970 for filming on the racetrack. In Slate Gray – his favorite color. He is said to have hardly ever let him out of sight during his stay in France. Nevertheless, he sold the car as early as 1971, probably because he already had an almost identical model in his collection.

The new owner for the next 30 years was a lawyer from Los Angeles – a region of the world where rust hardly plays a role. And the next owner also treated the sports car to the California sun. Today the Porsche is therefore in the best condition, according to the auction house RM Auctions. Only the paintwork, leather upholstery, shock absorbers and windshield were renewed. Since all owners kept meticulous records, there is extensive documentation.

But what makes the auction a major event in fan circles is the first owner. And his film, which almost ruined him. The box office hits "Thomas Crown ”and "Bullit ”made McQueen an unassailable star at the end of the 1960s. The car fan and racing driver used this to finally realize his dream project: the ultimate racing film.

He actually hit the spirit of the times, as his friend James Garner is already working on another later milestone in the genre, the Formula One film "Grand Prix ".

But Dickkopf McQueen disregarded Hollywood conventions. His vision was a pure car film: two hours of racing cars, overtaking maneuvers, quick cuts. But no dialogue, not even a plot. More documentary than blockbuster. When he first presented his project, the studio bosses are said to have laughed at him.

In the end it was "Le Mans “a stale compromise. As a fragile framework, a love story with the wife of a fatally injured racing driver colleague was inserted, which today seems like a foreign body between the minute-long car shots. At the box office, the taciturn film hermaphrodite was a flop.

But the fast-paced recordings of the 24-hour race with the imaginary duel between McQueen in his Porsche 917 and the German Siegfried Rauch in the Ferrari 512S still inspire today with their quasi-documentary purism far more than the crash-boom-bang orgies of modern times Successor like "The Fast and the Furious ".

In addition to the Porsche 911 created "Le Mans ”are two other icons of pop culture. On the one hand, the main actor in the film, the Porsche 917 racing car in the characteristic red and blue livery of the Gulf Oil racing team, now owned by US comedian Jerry Seinfeld. And the sports watch TAG Heuer Monaco, which is nicknamed today among collectors "McQueen Monaco ”wears.

The actor wore them in the film as an accessory to give his role credibility down to the last detail. After McQueen‘s death in 1980, the manufacturer Heuer advertised the watch with images from the film. The models are still very popular with collectors today.

It was completely unsuccessful from a cinematic point of view "Le Mans" then not. At least if you look at the opening sequence. Because the brisk passages over the strangely lonely French country lanes anticipate what the main plot is ultimately about: movement as the only possibility in the fight against death and transience.

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