He was the King of Cool.
And his car collection was known as being just as cool.
Steve McQueen’s car collection made him a motorhead of the highest order.
Legendary Hollywood actor Steve McQueen was also a world-class gearhead and car collector – not to mention a successful professional race-car driver. Not surprisingly, he collected some amazing cars throughout his illustrious career.
In fact, he had accumulated a huge collection of rare and valuable cars before he passed away in 1980.
If you are of a certain age – or a movie buff – you may remember McQueen for his many hit films, including The Magnificent Seven, the Thomas Crown Affair, The Great Escape, and the Towering Inferno, among others.
There was often a car chase – who can forget the one in Bullitt – and many great stunts that McQueen performed himself long before Tom Cruise was even a blip on the screen.
To seal his legendary status, McQueen became a successful race car driver in real life who competed in the 12 Hours of Sebring, where he finished second behind the legendary driver Mario Andretti.
“Racing is life, everything else is just waiting.” -Steve McQueen
Then came his 1971 race car passion project, Le Mans. McQueen’s Le Mans was a tribute to the world’s greatest race. McQueen played Michael Delaney, and it was his Porsche 911S that McQueen fell in love with. Delivered to the set for filming, McQueen had it freighted to LA to join his other 911 after shooting.
Indeed, McQueen’s success in Hollywood and on the track allowed him to amass quite the car collection. In fact, it was so big we can’t cover every car.
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So, today let’s take a look at four of the iconic Porsches once in Steve McQueen’s car collection.
The 1958 Porsche 1600 Super Speedster.
This was McQueen’s first sports car, the same one that began his career as a racing addict and legendary gearhead. It was movie stars like McQueen who helped to establish the German automaker as one of the premier brands for true motoring enthusiasts. Steve McQueen had a soft spot for Porsches throughout his career as both an actor and race car driver. Outfitted with fuel injection, a non-intercooled turbocharger, and larger wheels, McQueen’s car was so powerful he even installed a switch to turn off the rear lights in case he was being chased by police. That power and McQueen’s mystique helped it sell at auction for $1.95 million in 2015.
The 1969 911 S.
Steve McQueen’s car collection only got better with time. By 1969 Porsche had upped ante in racing with its powerful flat-six engines. And though the car industry overall had largely turned to water cooling, Porsche helped keep their cars simple to work on by sticking with air cooling. McQueen drove a 1970 911S in the film Le Mans and owned it afterward.
Porsche 908/2 “Flunder” Spyder.
McQueen, already a successful race-car driver, used his own 908 for the 1970 Le Mans film, one of a handful of Porsches used in the film. Originally, McQueen raced the 908 in the 12 Hours of Sebring race in 1970, finishing second overall after the most famous race-car driver of all time, Mario Andretti. For the film, the car carried three cameras – one in front and two at the back – and was driven by Herbert Linge and Jonathan Williams. Extra pit stops were required for changing the film rolls, but the crew still managed to cover 282 laps which were not bad compared to the winner’s 343 laps. That same year Porsche took overall Le Mans victory for the first time (with the 917). Steve McQueen’s celebrity helped that race car to become the most expensive Porsche ever sold at the time – auctioning for over $14 million in 2017.
McQueen’s 1976 Turbo Carrera.
He purchased this 930 Turbo, chassis 9306800408, just four years before his death. Painted Slate Gray, this example was outfitted with an early production non-intercooled 3.0-liter engine, equipped with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. It was a special order out of a dealership in Hollywood and included such features as dual mirrors, a sunroof, black sport seats, and a limited-slip differential, all of which were factory options. Steve McQueen, the actor also added some modifications of his own. “My dad had little things done to it,” his son Chad McQueen said shortly before the car sold at auction for $1.95 million in 2015. “Like on the dashboard, he had a switch put on so it would kill the rear lights in case he was being chased on Mulholland Drive.” The elder McQueen also replaced the wheels on the 930 shortly after he received the car, replacing the standard wheels with larger-diameter rims. McQueen eventually sold it back to the dealership where he purchased it and then sold it to movie producer and writer Floyd Mutrux.
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