Steve McQueen racing suit sells for $984.000

Posted: December 28, 2011 by Jonathan Ursem

The legendary racing suit that actor Steve McQueen wore in the movie “Le Mans” has been auctioned for a whopping $984.000.

The two-piece racing suit (jacket and pants) features a zipper and Velcro closure jacket with “Michael Delaney” stitched in blue thread above the right breast zipper pocket, iconic orange and blue Gulf racing stripes as well as Gulf patches on the breast and back. In addition there are United States flag, Hinchman Nomex, Heuer Chronograph and Firestone sponsor patches.

When principle filming of Le Mans was completed, Solar Productions donated this suit to the British newspaper, The Observer for a special Le Mans-themed contest in 1971. By answering 3 Le Mans history questions correctly 12 year old Timothy Davies of Wolverhampton, England was chosen as the winner and presented with the suit by racing driver Richard “Dickie” Attwood, winner of the 1970 Le Mans race and driver of the Porsche 917K Gulf car during driving sequences in the film.

Filmed on location in Le Mans, France, the film’s spellbinding cinematography provides a thrilling glimpse of the sights and sounds of Porsche 917s and Ferrari 512s, locked in fierce competition for outright victory. It featured footage from the actual 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans race and remains popular with racing enthusiasts today as it accurately depicted the era with lots of racing and minimal dialogue. The film featured numerous top-level racing drivers of the day for the driving sequences including Derek Bell, Vic Elford, Jacky Ickx, Brian Redman, Jo Siffert and many others.

The suit had a presale estimate of $200,000-$300,000, but sold mid December at the Icons of Hollywood auction for $984.000.

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Ursem is the owner & managing director of Label Orange. He lives in Cape Town and sells Dutch design in South Africa. In a previous life, he was chief of Quotenet & Quote 500.