Race suit worn by Steve McQueen could become the most expensive ever sold

Any budding circuit driver will know that racing suits aren't exactly cheap – but one example heading to auction is rather pricier than most. In fact, it's expected to reach a mind-boggling £370,000 – because it was worn by the one and only Steve McQueen.

A prop left over from cult classic movie Le Mans, the suit is the first of its kind to be offered at auction. It's not just the fireproof exterior either, as the lot comes complete with its original Bell helmet and Nomex underwear – as worn by McQueen himself.

Race suit worn by Steve McQueen could become most expensive ever sold
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Race suit worn by Steve McQueen could become most expensive ever sold

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The suit was originally handed out as a competition prize in the November 1971 issue of German magazine Bravo. The seller's late husband entered, hoping to win the top prize – a Porsche 914. However, coming in second netted him the suit, helmet and underwear, which have remained in his family's possession since.

Stored away safely for the last 46 years, the suit itself presents in near-perfect condition. The helmet has been repainted, having been used as a daily motorcycle helmet for several years, but all are as originally intended and even have light black staining 'synonymous with being used in a race car'.

RM Sothebys, which is selling the suit, describes it as "an unrepeatable opportunity to acquire a tangible piece of one of the greatest automotive films and celebrity car enthusiasts of all time".

It's heading to Rm Sotheby's New York Icons auction on December 6, and carries an auction estimate of $400,000-$500,000 – around £296k-£370k. Though it's not the most expensive item of clothing ever sold – that honour goes to a dress worn by Marilyn Monroe – it's very likely one of the most expensive piece of racing memorabilia ever.

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