The Key

Steve’s Racing Cars

Photo credit: RM Sotheby’s, Porsche, McQueenonline.com, Speedsters.com

If Steve McQueen had been asked to choose between being an actor or a driver, he would probably have chosen race tracks full of cars and motorcycles. The Key 2020 has discovered unpublished photos of the young actor arriving at a track in his 1957 Ford Fairlane, towing a trailer with a Porsche Speedster on top that he raced under the colours of a Californian dealer. Magnificent photos that make his true passion perfectly clear: Steve unloading the car and checking the engine oil, a real driver who dreamed of turning professional. And this passion also extended to motorcycles, to the point that when he competed at the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1970, together with Peter Revson in a Porsche 908, where they were arrived second overall behind the official Ferrari 512S driven by Andretti, Giunti and Vaccarella, he was suffering and in pain from a fracture. In fact, he had fallen from his bike but, in order not to be left out of the race, he hid his pain and went the entire distance in truly demanding conditions. A magnificent story worth discovering.

Steve McQueen a real driver- here with the winner’s trophy in 1969 at Ascot Park
The 1953 Siata 208S with a 2,000cc Fiat V8 engine, that Steve McQueen raced at Palm Springs in 1958. The car was sold at auction in Monterey in 2011 for $946,000
Race preparation: Steve McQueen unloads the Porsche 356 Speedster in 1959 that he was given to race with by a Los Angeles dealer in exchange for great advertising
Once again in 1959, he competed with a Lotus Eleven in races organized by the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) on the Californian circuits that allowed him to stay close to his acting work that was developing fast
A growing ambition: in 1962 with little Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite, Steve participated in the 3 Hours of Sebring and the 12 Hours of Sebring
The temptation to drive a single-seater was enormous: in 1962 he bought this Cooper T52 Formula Junior but was met with very strong opposition from film production companies in Hollywood who feared for his safety. In the end he conceded and sold the car
In 1970, Steve McQueen competed against professional drivers at the 12 Hours of Sebring alongside Peter Revson. The two almost won by coming second in the final sprint behind the official Ferrari 512S driven by Andretti, Giunti and Vaccarella. A true demonstration of an authentic talent
During a break, Steve sitting in his Porsche 917 while filming the
famous movie “Le Mans”
On the set of the film “Le Mans”, filmed in the middle of the summer, the actor was in the company of Derek Bell. The two get some sun while dreaming of the French Riviera