The “King of Cool” Steve McQueen drove the Porsche 917 in the famous Gulf Racing Colors in the 1971 film Le Mans. At that time the auto-racing drama was poorly received and lacked success. The film now has a large cult following for the realistic racing scenes.
As a true car enthusiast and professional race car driver McQueen wanted to drive a Porsche 917 with Jackie Stewart in the actual race. But the film backers threatened to pull their support if he did. So instead of driving the 917 for “only” 24 hours he decided to drive it for the entire summer making the film.
The film was made on location during the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in mid-June 1970. The real race was driven by Jo Siffert and Brian Redman. A Porsche 908, equipped with heavy movie cameras provided actual racing footage from the track. And while this Porsche, driven by Herbert Linge and Jonathan Williams did not classify as it had not covered the required minimum distance (they had to stop many times to change film reels) they did finish 2nd in the P3.0 class.
The light blue and orange color scheme, associated with the Porsche 917 and the Ford GT40, is one of the most famous racing colors and was sponsored by Gulf Oil.