The Porsche 911 is an automotive icon with few equals. 1970s 911s are particularly coveted among the cognoscenti. A 1970s 911 owned by the King of Cool? Well that’s just sick. Steve McQueen’s 1970 911S that was featured prominently in his 1971 flick Le Mans is set to cross the auction block come August, and given the provenance no one’s even trying to guess how much cash it could bring in. Not only did it get a lot of screen time in the film, McQueen used it as his personal vehicle while filming in France. The opening sequences of his character Michael Delaney driving it through the French countryside while reflecting on life, death and racing were pretty true to life.
McQueen had a nearly identical 1969 911 back home in California, also slate grey, but he either didn’t feel like shipping it overseas or else Porsche wanted the latest model in the movie, Matt Stone recounts in the must-read McQueen’s Machines (a great new edition of which was recently published by Motorbooks). In any case the King had it shipped home once filming wrapped but later sold it. Stone actually got a chance to get behind the wheel – “Driving this car was like piloting a time machine that took me back to what it must have been like during the summer of 1970 in France,” he writes. We probably won’t be that lucky, but we can still enjoy an eyeful, so feast yours.
Jared Paul Stern writes the Classicist column for Luxist.
(All photos © Darin Schnabel 2011, courtesy RM Auctions.)