Le Mans Camera Car Set for Monterey Auction
By Graham Kozak
Just in time for the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, RM Auctions has announced that it will be offering a Ford GT40 camera car used in the production of the 1971 film based on the race at its sale in Monterey, Calif., in August.
Le Mans, which starred Steve McQueen as the Gulf Porsche 917-driving Michael Delaney, is praised by enthusiasts for capturing the high-speed drama of the legendary endurance event. The film's production crew accomplished this feat by converting several high-performance cars into rolling camera platforms that could keep up with the on-track action.
As Hemmings reports, chassis No. P/1074 was one such car-turned-camera mount. Before it entered the movie biz, the car--first built as a lightweight Mirage sports prototype--was piloted to a first-place victory at Spa in 1967 by Jacky Ickx and Dick Thompson and saw action at other world-renown courses. Rebuilt as a GT40 for the 1968 racing season, it competed at Le Mans, Monza and Watkins Glen with varying degrees of success.
Though its bodywork was substantially altered for Le Mans filming, its sleek GT40 form was restored after the movie was completed, and the car underwent a total restoration after collector Bernie Carl purchased it in 2000.
Cars and motorcycles with a McQueen connection have a history of bringing top dollar at auction. Still, it remains to be seen whether a car one-degree removed from the King of Cool, such as the Le Mans GT40, can command a premium as well.
RM Auctions has provided no public preauction estimate, so we'll have to wait until August to find out.
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