Steve McQueen Le Mans suit auctioned for $984,000

Article by Christian A., on December 30, 2011

The Porsche 911 that Steve McQueen drove in the iconic racing film Le Mans sold for $1.25 million at the Profiles in History Icons of Hollywood auction last weekend. Meanwhile, the suit he wore in this film fetched $984,000.

The suit was donated by McQueen’s Solar Productions in 1971 to the British newspaper The Observer for a special Le Mans-themed contest, which was won by a 12-year-old kid from Wolverhampton named Timothy Davies.

The suit is referred to by Profiles in History as “the Holy Grail of racing film costumes.” The suit clearly did better than its pre-auction estimate of $200,000 to $300,000.

At this auction, one of DMC De Loreans used in Back to the Future III was also sold. It is claimed that there’s just one of three left. This model is the only one of those three that was held by private hands.

The De Lorean was sold for $541,200, which falls within the dealer’s estimate of $400,000 to $600,000. This is an amazing price as the regular model with no connection to any hit movie is priced at around $30,000.

A film released in June 1971, Le Mans depicts a fictional 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Its cast of characters includes Steve McQueen as main protagonist Michael Delaney, Siegfried Rauch as Erich Stahler, Elga Andersen as Lisa Belgetti, Ronald Leigh-Hunt as David Townsend, Fred Haltiner as Johann Ritter, Luc Merenda as Claude Aurac, as well as Christopher Waite as Larry Wilson.

With screenplay written by Harry Kleiner, Le Mans was directed by Lee H. Katzin and produced by Jack N. Reddish. Lasting 106 minutes (1 hours and 46 minutes), the film was distributed by National General Pictures.

The movie tells the story of Le Mans race car driver Delaney – the rivalry, the obsession and hunger for victory and the sophistication of this kind of sport. Le Mans, however, is not just about the adrenaline, but also respect, love and restraint. It basically tells how a driver so skillful on the race track is an average human in other aspects of life.

Le Mans was actually filmed on location on the famed Circuit de la Sarthe near the town of Le Mans in France. Filming was done on the Le Mans circuit between June and November 1970. Filming was also done during the actual 24 Hours of Le Mans race in mid-June, 1970. Additional footages were shot after the actual race, employing actual Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512 units in competition liveries.

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