Petersen Auction Offers McQueen’s 1st Trophy

In May of 1959 Steve McQueen drove his little ’58 Porsche Speedster 1600 Super up to Santa Barbara to compete in his first race. Now we tend to merge the legend of McQueen as an actor with his racing exploits. But that had to start somewhere; and it started in the E-Group Production Class at the airport. Starting from the middle of the pack, he leapt up several positions on the first lap, and by the fourth was in the lead. Amazingly, he won the first race he competed in; cementing the reputation that would define him among racing fans long after his death.

This weekend, Bonhams will offer lot 177 at their annual Petersen Auction. The pewter goblet that served as his trophy for that first race. I’m sure this little tankard was filled and refilled as it was passed around many times the table at wherever Steve celebrated that night.

Steve sold the Speedster that he won that event with, returning to Santa Barbara later that year in a Lotus XI. He finally bought back the Speedster in 1974. Chad McQueen still owns it.

There’s a brief writeup of the race on this McQueen site, and here’s a photo of the Porsche Speedster from the “Friends of McQueen” car show held earlier this year.

Update:

This lovely piece of McQueen history SOLD for $6,600. Sounds like a lot of loot for a pewter goblet. “Well bought”, I say.

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