Iconic motorsport vehicle set to cross the auction block

1969 Porsche 917K, chassis 917-024. Image copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photo by Mathieu Heurtault.

1969 Porsche 917K, chassis 917-024. Image copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photo by Mathieu Heurtault.

Gooding & Company has added the 1969 Porsche 917K, chassis 917-024 (estimate upon request), featured in the film Le Mans (1971) to its Pebble Beach Auctions, which will be held August 16-17, 2014.

Set in the golden age of the sport, Le Mans (1971) is one of most watched and revered racing motion pictures ever made. The film features a cast of racing glitterati, including actor Steve McQueen and a host of extraordinary race cars. Porsche 917-024 takes centre stage at the height of the action as the Gulf 917 that claims the chequered flag in the film.

Porsche designed and built the famed 917 model in the late 1960s to claim outright victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Forming the foundation of this car is a lightweight aluminum space-frame chassis fitted with a streamlined fiberglass body.

The Porsche 917 is an undisputed masterpiece of automotive engineering with both overwhelming success on the track and legions of racing fans around the world.

Chassis 917-024 has the important distinction of being the first 917 model to compete in a race, which occurred when it was entered by the Porsche works team at Spa Francorchamps in 1969. It was later enlisted by the legendary J.W. Automotive Engineering Ltd.-Gulf team at the 1970 Le Mans Test, where it was driven by Brian Redman and Mike Hailwood. Redman set the fastest times, proving that the 917 model was capable of winning.

It was then acquired by Porsche factory driver, Jo Siffert, who loaned it to Solar Productions for the film Le Mans (1971), which he and McQueen, along with many other celebrated racing figures, participated in creating. It remained in Siffert’s private ownership until his passing and led his funeral procession, reflecting the importance of this car in his career, before being sold to a private collector.

This 917 remained hidden and unknown for roughly 25 years, before re-emerging as perhaps the greatest “barn find” ever.

Since resurfacing in 2001, 917-024 has benefitted from an exceptional restoration. The car is easily recognized by its striking lines and iconic light blue-and-orange Gulf livery and boasts a magnificent air-cooled flat 12-cylinder engine.

Additional highlights from Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions are available at www.goodingco.com.

Pebble Beach Auctions

Date(s): Saturday, August 16 at 5:00 pm PST and Sunday, August 17, 2014 at 6pm PST

Location: Equestrian Center, Corner of Stevenson Drive and Portola Road, Pebble Beach

Public preview: August 13-17

Auctions catalogues: $100, includes admission for two to the viewing and the auctions

General admission: $40, includes admission for one to the viewing and the auctions

Live auction broadcast: www.goodingco.com

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