No surprise that one’s a Porsche and the other’s a Ferrari. The headliners are taking star billing ahead of the sale by Gooding & Co, official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, on Friday and Saturday 18-19 August. So what exactly will all those millions – at current exchange rates the cars are about £12.3m each – get you?
It’s everyone’s favourite race-car pin-up, the Porsche 917K, and in Gulf colours too.
Look familiar? It should: it was one of the cars used in Le Mans, the film. Jo Siffert, who owned it at the time, lent it to the production company for, among others, Steve McQueen to blast around La Sarthe in, chasing Ferrari 512s.
This 1970 example of what was the ultimate sports racer of its era – and what to some is the greatest racing car of all time – knew its way around Le Mans but it never raced there, or indeed anywhere else. It was built by Porsche as a test car to hone the mighty flat-12 engined beast in new K (or short) form ahead of the great race.
In the early months of 1970 in the hands of Brian Redman and Mike Hailwood, it duly did the business, setting the fastest time during testing and paving the way for 24 Hours glory by another 917K in June. The sale car (officially, 917-024) was used for further testing before Jo Siffert, F1 ace turned Porsche sports car hero, bought it.