Steve McQueen's Nomex suit from "Le Mans." Image: Profiles In HistoryEnlarge Photo
If you have seen it, you know that the movie probably did more to promote motorsports than any film before or since. What Le Mans lacked in dialogue, it made up for in drama and period-correct racing action, and it only furthered the legend of actor and gear head Steve McQueen.
These days, anything once owned by McQueen is in demand. If you need proof, consider this: his 1970 Porsche 911 S just brought $1.375 million at auction, and his 1974 Husqvarna 400 dirt bike commanded nearly $150,000 when it hit the auction block earlier this year.
Now, Gumball 3000 tells us that McQueen’s Nomex suit, used in the filming of Le Mans, will be auctioned off by Profiles In History at a December 15-17 “Icons of Hollywood” sale.
Pre-auction estimates say the driver’s suit will sell between $200,000 and $300,000, but speculation is that it could go even higher. We’re inclined to agree, since it was worn by McQueen in one of his most memorable roles, at the peak of his career.
Whoever has the highest bid when the hammer drops gets a two-piece Nomex suit, stitched with “Michael Delaney” (McQueen’s character in LeMans) and sporting the Gulf, Heuer and Firestone logos. Time has yellowed the once-white material, but that only adds to the item’s authenticity.
If you’ve got a large bank account and space for a framed driver’s suit on your wall, you can register to bid at the Profiles in History site. Whatever the final selling price is, this much is clear: there will never be another Steve McQueen, so anything he owned or used isn’t likely to go down in value.