A Steve McQueen skid lid from Le Mans is for sale
Le Mans was McQueen’s take on the definitive racing film. Shot during the 1970 24-hour race, the original plan was for McQueen to compete himself, but insurers vetoed the idea. Instead, additional footage was shot of McQueen behind the wheel and then intercut with real racing material from camera cars, including a Porsche 908 fitted with three Arriflex cameras. It was an epic shoot that ran to five months, went $1.5 million over budge, and saw directors and writers disappear almost as quickly as the cars on track.
The crash helmet was mostly worn by Swiss actor Fred Haltiner, who played Johan Ritter, Michael Delaney’s teammate (played by McQueen). However the auction listing says that McQueen also donned the lid during filming, along with racers Brian Redman, Jo Siffert, and Derek Bell.
The helmet has been signed by 13 drivers and actors, including Jackie Ickx, David Piper (who lost a leg in a horrific crash during filming), and even Dr. Wolfgang Porsche.
This remarkable piece of movie and motorsports memorabilia comes with a set of gloves and photographic evidence of McQueen wearing it. The helmet is being offered at the Automobilia Ladenburg Auction and can viewed at the liveauctioneers.com website. Bidding starts at €18,000 ($21,782) and the auction ends on May 7.