If you’re a fan of the Steve McQueen movie “Le Mans,” one of your dream cars just brought a record price during Monterey Car Week. A 1971 Porsche 917K (chassis number 917-024) used in the iconic racing film smashed the previous record for most valuable Porsche sold at an auction with its sale price of $14,080,000 at Gooding and Company’s 2017 Pebble Beach sale.
Presented in Gulf livery, the 917K was previously owned by famed racing driver Jo Siffert, who was so endeared to the car that he drove it to his 35th (and final) birthday party. Later, in October 1971, Siffert was killed behind the wheel of a BRM and the 917 led the young legend’s funeral procession. While it isn’t believed that this 917K was among those seen most often in the “Le Mans” film, its association with both Siffert and the McQueen movie undoubtedly helped it along. The result landed towards the middle of the pre-auction estimated range of $13 million to $16 million.
Other notable sales at Gooding and Company included a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C–a competition variant of the popular 275 series and one of just 12 ever built–that brought $14,520,000, including buyer’s commission. Incidentally, this car was the most expensive Ferrari to be sold at auction during this year’s Monterey Car Week and it also set a new record for the model.
Meanwhile, a 1963 Porsche 356 B Carrera 2 Cabriolet found a new home at $1,250,000. One of just 67 such cars ever produced, this Porsche is an elegant road car that features the rare 130-hp four-cam racing engine, which helped give the marque many victories in the early 1960s. The realized price was a far cry from the estimated $6,200 it cost in period.
A pair of single-family owned, highly original Mercedes 300 SLs also sold strongly. The 1955 “Gullwing” coupe brought $1,677,500 and the Roadster, $1,034,000 – both achieving results beyond their high estimates. Other notables included a stunning 1956 Maserati A6G/54 Berlinetta at $4,400,000 and a 1988 Porsche 959 Komfort at $1,056,000.
All told, Gooding and Company’s 2017 Pebble Beach sale brought in over $91,500,000 and 110 out of 135 total lots were sold for a strong 81-percent sell-through rate. Twenty-two cars sold for $1 million or more. Last year, Gooding’s Pebble Beach numbers were somewhat higher with $129.8 million in sales, an 83-percent sell-through rate and 26 cars breaking through the prestigious $1-million mark.