Steve McQueen Porsche 917K
New edition for the Bonhams Paris sale Feb 9th 2017
Photos of edition which sold at £3500 to a private client 2015
This legendary racecar gave Porsche its first overall wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours of
1970 and 1971. Powered by the Type 912 flat-12 engine of 4.5, 4.9 or 5 litres, the
917/30 variant was capable of 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.3 seconds, 0–124 mph (200 km/h)
in 5.3 seconds, and achieved a top speed of over 240 mph (390 km/h).
The 917K became one of the most iconic sports racing cars of all time. With its high
power and blistering speeds, it was elevated further by Steve McQueen through his 1971
film Le Mans.
Depicting car and driver flat-out on the Mulsanne Straight in 1970, this work pays
tribute to Steve McQueen and the equally revered Porsche 917K.
The result of 2 months labour on the original sculpture, it comprises 8 individual
bronze castings, with an overall length of 35cms and is available in solid bronze or
sliver plate over bronze. The sculpture is currently being updated with an additional
‘wake’ of resin glass behind the Porsche to give it the extra dynamism I have always
desired. This new addition took a further week on the clay sculpture and increases the
overall length of the piece to 76cm.
Each casting and polishing process takes 5 days of dedicated labour with 4-6 weeks from
order to completion.
Solid bronze and glass clear hand polished resin set on a slate base.
Artists Proofs: 2 of each- sold, Individually numbered and signed.
Edition: 10 of each, Silver version and the new ‘Patinated’ version (see below) Individually numbered and signed.
Bonhams update July 10th 2013
First shots of my new patina work on the second artists proof of endurance, very hot and lots of chemicals where used to create this green/blue surface then an enormous amount of wax applied to create a glassy surface. This has the same glass clear extension as the Sliver plated bronze edition.
The idea is to show the Porsche after 24hrs of racing where the curves and forms of the 917 are now clothed in the muck and grime of the race track
This is the second of the two artists proofs AP002/002
Motor Racing Legend Derek Bell with the Artist Gregory Percival and Stuart Becker with one of the Patinated Porsches
Bell is best known for winning Le Mans 24 hours race five times, in 1975, 1981, 1982, 1986 and1987, making him the most successful British driver in the race to date. He was teamed with the Belgium Jacky Ickx in 1975, racing the Gulf Mirage GR8, again in 1981, racing a Porsche 936 and finally in 1982 racing a Rothmans Porsche 956. The Bell/Ickx partnership is considered as one of the most famous pairings in motorsport history. Bell went onto win the 1986 and 1987 Le Mans teamed with Hans-Joachim Stuck and Al Holbert racing a Rothmans Porsche 962.
His first Le Mans was in 1970 in a works entered Ferrari 512, with co-driver Ronnie Peterson, his last in 1996 racing a McLaren F1 GTR. Bell achieved his highest ever speed at Le Mans at the 1971 Le Mans 24 hours April test day, reaching a calculated top speed of 246mph on the Mulsanne straight in the JW Gulf Porsche 917LH.
Derek Bell took part in the filming of Le Mans (1970) starring Steve McQueen, and he and his family lived with the McQueen family during the filming, the two becoming friends. Bell had a lucky escape during the making of the film. The Ferrari 512 he was driving suddenly caught fire whilst getting into position for a take. He managed to get out of the car just before it was engulfed in flames and suffered minor burns. Although the car was badly damaged, it was later rebuilt and is still racing at historic meets.
Latest edition sold this week 006/010 edition number.
These photos show the rough casting at the foundry, then the chased and ground clean sections in a sterilising bath after being polished and finished prior to the final patination. Start to finish of a Porsche 917k ‘Endurance’ Body.