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Winter 2016 3

We will admit to having a soft spot

for Steve McQueen. He was an honest

car guy and the “King of Cool” in the

1960s and 1970s, when there was a lot

of cool going around. So when we saw

that the Nomex driving suit he wore in

“LeMans” was going on the block we

were all ears. Not that we could afford

the Bonham’s Auction estimated value

of $200,000-$300,000. There were ap-

parently three suits used during the

filming and this is the only one known

to still exist. The final sale price, after

a bout of prolonged bidding, was an in-

credible $425,000 (U.S.) Slightly out of

reach for most of us mere mortals.

One of the most memorable scenes

in the film takes place after the race is

over. McQueen’s character, Michael De-

laney, has been battling Ferrari driver

Erich Stahler all season. Delaney’s

Porsche finishes 2nd to the Ferrari’s

3rd. Delaney catches Stahler’s eye and

gives him the English bowman’s salute

to indicate he finished second.

When the English were fighting

the French during the Hundred Years’

War, between 1337 and 1453, English

archers were especially hated and

when one was captured the French cut

off his middle finger so he could not

pull back a bow string again. The Eng-

lish bowmen would taunt the French

by holding up both fingers to show they

still had them. Some believe this was

the origin of the middle finger salute.


It’s a difficult job, but somebody’s got to do it. We received this picture from

SAAC member Colin Comer who claimed no knowledge of the details surround-

ing it. We forwarded it to ‘66 Registrar Howard Pardee, who immediately

launched an investigation. Based on the plate, he determined the serial number

was 6S1214. The car has had five owners since new. Pardee was able to locate

the current owner, Richard Bolyard of Volcano, California. He bought the car

in November of 1971 and after Pardee emailed him this picture he immediately

disavowed any knowledge of the girl on the hood of his car. However, Bolyard’s

wife is the person who runs the computer in their household, so who knows?

Whoever owned the car when the picture was taken may not be too anxious to

reveal any details. We sent the image to several SAAC members we consider

particularly Photostop-savvy and after a close examination of the pixels, their

opinions were that it was most likely a result of some Photoshop work but no

consensus could be reached as to exactly what was modified and what was not.

It could not be determined if the model was actually standing on the hood or

was added to the picture at some point after it was taken. Pardee, indefatigable

as ever, vowed to continue his investigation, “

So help me, for as long as it takes