Remember that seriously cool Porsche 917 we told you about last month. That’s right, it’s up for auction in a bit over a week. Turns out it has a very cool back story.
Actually, it also turns out the car may no longer be for sale. It’s not currently listed on the website of selling agent Gooding & Company; we’ve fired off an email to see what we can find out.
Anyway, returning to the background of 917-024. It was entered by Porsche in the 1969 Spa 1000km race. It tested at Le Mans, although never raced in anger. After Porsche was finished with it former factory driver Jo Siffert bought the car and then loaned it out for use in the legendary Steve McQueen film Le Mans. Siffert was also used during the making of the film for many of the driving scenes.
In 1970, after filming of Le Mans had finished, the car had reached the end of its useful life. Regulation changes meant the 917 was no longer able to be raced and back then there were no Goodwood Revival or Festival of Speed type meets of any merit to extend the car’s life.
Siffert was killed in a minor race meeting at Brands Hatch in 1971. His 917 remained with his estate until 1978 when it was bought by a French car collector. Unbelievably, by today’s standards, chassis 917-024 then sat in a barn, and idle, for 23 years.
In 2002 the car was discovered by Uwe Meissner, from German-based restorers Modena Motorsport. The 917’s owner had recently passed away and Meissner brokered a deal with the estate to sell it on and found a backer willing to buy and fund the required restoration project.
After the break you can see a short video on the car’s restoration. It was a no expense spared operation! We’ll let you know if we hear back from Gooding & Company, too.
[Source: Car Build Index | Thanks to Tiaan for the tip]
UPDATE 6 August: Here’s the from Gooding & Company: “The car has been withdrawn from the sale. Gooding & Company does not comment on property withdrawn from our auctions.”