It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’d post a 917 today. Well to me, the Porsche 917 is the all time racing GOAT. Two succesful seasons on the endurance racing circuit caused the FIA to change the rules to outlaw the car. Two succesful (let’s be real, completely dominant) seasons in Can-Am right after that caused the no-holds-barred racing division to ban the car as well.
I could go on and on about the 917 and how it’s easily my favorite race car of all time, but I’ll save that for future models. Instead let’s just talk about this car for a second. This car may be the most famous of all the 917's, and it didn’t even win a race.
It did compete at the 1970 LeMans with the Gulf-Wyer team (which was ridiculously successful) with Jo Siffert and Brian Redman (the guy resonsible for getting Rennsport Reunion started) behind the wheel. Unfortunately the car got a DNF half way through the race with engine failure.
Now the main reason this car is so famous is because it’s a movie star. This was the hero car in Steve McQueen’s movie LeMans. I think most of us know his famous scene: flipping bird to Ferrari.
Steve McQueen was obviously a huge car guy and loved racing as he was a professional driver himself. He had a cousin to the 917, the 908 Spyder.
Anywho, the gulf #20 car was the hero of the movie and it won the race in fantasy land. What’s exciting, though, is McQueen had intended to drive in the 1970 LeMans with Jackie Stewart, but they did not make the entry list. Instead they did take footage of the race to use in the film. Also of note is that a GT40 was used as a film car - it now resides in the Shelby American Collection in Boulder, CO.
Now this hero car? Well it currently resides with another well-known car guy and huge Porsche fan, Jerry Seinfeld. If you haven’t checked it out, Seinfeld has a show called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee on Netflix. It’s always neat which car he picks out for his guests. Anywho, this is one of those few occasions where a movie car was also an actual race car. Bullitt ain’t got nothin on this.
As for this little 1/64 model? Well it’s from the Hot Wheels RLC line and personally, looks amazing in the spectraflame Gulf blue. It’s so darn shiny. Of course if you want to pick one up, EBay will take all of your money these days...
Cheers and happy 70s day!