Interspersing real footage within a fictional framework, 1971 film Le Mans delivered a stunning inside look at the famous 24 hour race. The movie starred Steve McQueen as high octane driver Michael Delaney, and naturally featured a bounty of drool-inducing race cars. Meanwhile, the suit Delaney wore in the film has likewise retained iconic status over the years as both Hollywood memorabilia and classic racing gear. Now, that suit is up for sale, complete with a matching Bell helmet and Nomex underwear. Bidding starts at just under half a million dollars.
The suit’s history is slightly amusing, whereas it was given away as the second place prize in a competition held by German magazine Bravo. The recipient was a teenager who was really after first prize, a Porsche 914, and thereby crestfallen when he won the suit instead. However, that didn’t stop the teenager from accepting the suit and it’s been in his family’s possession ever since.
Being that the suit was stored carefully and never really enjoyed, it’s remained in remarkable condition over the last 46 years. Some light black racing stains on the trousers, jacket and necktie lend it a genuinely authentic touch. Also featured on the jacket are all the original patches from brands like Gulf and Firestone. The adjoining helmet saw more use and has been accordingly repainted to look good as new. It’s unfortunate the suit’s owner has passed away after winning second prize all those years ago. Given Sotheby’s staggering asking price, he could’ve used the money to buy that Porsche always wanted.