Track Day

Do you know the stories behind these 5 historic Porsche 917 liveries?

The Porsche 917-001 was restored, and revealed in its original livery 2019.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

Porsche is celebrating its past with a recent post on their newsroom site featuring five different iconic liveries sported by the 917 during races. The liveries sport famous designs including looks including Martini, Gulf, and one known as the "Pink Pig". Below are the featured liveries and the stories behind them.

917 in Gulf livery

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

The Gulf-liveried Porsche 917 is most popular because of its appearance in the Steve McQueen film "Le Mans". The car used in the film sold for $14 million in 2017, which was, a sum making it the most expensive Porsche in the world.

917-001

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

Despite it's race-like livery, the 917-001 was never a race car. The first Porsche 917, chassis number 001, was completed in March 1969, just two days before a press event announcing the arrival of new Porsche Group 4 sports cars is set to occur. The following month the model received its homologation certification, meaning that it was approved for racing. However, instead of racing, the 001 became a show car and a test vehicle.

By the time the car made its way to the German International Motor Show in Frankfurt in September 1969, it had been repainted from a white body and green front to an orange and white paint scheme.

In 2017, in preparation for its "50 Years of the 917" anniversary event, the Porsche Museum decided to restore the 917-001 to its original appearance. Restoration as completed in 2019 and was commemorated with an appearance on the track at Goodwood.

 917 “Long-Tail” with Martini Livery

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

This isn't the original livery on this race car. The Porsche 917 pictured here originally had a green and purple stripe pattern. In 1970, the car, and the pattern, were retired after the vehicle suffered engine failure.

The fresh, and now iconic, Martini livery wrapped the car for the 1971 season when it became the first race car to set a record average speed of over 240 km/h at Le Mans. Currently, speeds top out around 330 km/h during the 24-hour race due to the shortening of the straights.

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

This 917 secured Porsche's first victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970. The automaker was favored for victory, having placed well in each of the previous seven World Sportscar Championship races that season.

Its livery is based on the colors of the Austrian flag with its signature red earning the name "Salzburg Red". Saltzburg is one of the most populated cities in Austria and birthplace of Mozart and former Formula One racer Roland Ratzenberger.

The car raced for victory being driven by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood. It was powered by a 4.5-liter Ferrari flat-12 engine and completed 343 laps.

The 1970 Le Mans race was also significant because of its Hollywood connection. The race would provide the shots for the Steve McQueen movie "Le Mans".

Porsche 917/20

Photo courtesy of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG

The Porsche 917/20 is a one-off that Porsche's engineers co-designed with SERA. Its body is elongated in height and width with very round wheel cutouts. Inside those cutouts, the wheels sit, hidden. Its nose is low and flat.

The model's unique pink paint job, decided upon by Porsche designer Anatole Lapine, has earned it multiple nicknames including "Pink Pig", "Big Berta", and "Truffle Hunter". The car's body parts are even labeled like butcher-style cuts.

It was the fastest car during the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans pre-race qualifying runs. Piloted by Martini International Racing Team's drivers Reinhold Joest and Willi Kauhsen, the model was powered by a 4.9-liter Ferrari flat-12 engine. The car was running in fifth place during the race before it dropped out halfway through following an accident during lap 181.

Watch the videos on AutomotiveMap or visit the Mungenast Classic Automobiles & Motorcycles Museum to see the cars and motorcycles in person.

Photo courtesy of the Mungenast Classic Automobiles & Motorcycles Museum

Like sand through the hourglass, these are the Honda vehicles of our lives. The Mungenast Classic Automobiles & Motorcycles Museum is dedicated to sharing the passion behind late motorcycle racer and dealership owner Dave Mungenast Sr.'s vehicle collection with the St. Louis community and beyond. Mungenast became a Honda motorcycle dealer in 1965 and was one of the first Acura dealers in the U.S.

The newest videos in the museum's "Honda Kokoro" series pay homage to the 1960s and 1970s, taking viewers on a virtual visit to the Honda showrooms of the era. They celebrate the heritage, culture, people, and products that make Honda unique, according to a release.

The two-part video that can be watched below shows of Honda's automotive and motorcycle history through the products and memorabilia that are located at the museum.

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The videos feature several rare vehicles including Honda "S" model cars that were never sold in America, a Z600, and a 1979 Civic. There's also the first Honda Scrambler to win a National Championship, a XLV750R (never sold in America), Z50 Mini Trail, XL250, CBX, GL 100 Gold Wing, and a 1970 CB750.

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To see the cars and motorcycles in person, visit the Mungenast Classic Automobiles & Motorcycles Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

MARTY, the autonomous drifting DeLorean.

Photo courtesy of Stanford, by Jonathan Goh

The DeLorean may be one of the most coveted cars on the planet. Despite its short time on dealership lots, the car became an instant class, thanks in no small part to the role it played in the "Back to the Future" movies. The future of the DeLorean is coming in fast and hot thanks to a team of engineers at Stanford's Dynamic Design Lab.

At Thunderhill Raceway in California, among the tire smoke, dirt, sand, and pavement, is a 1981 DeLorean nicknamed MARTY – which stands for Multiple Actuator Research Test bed for Yaw control – that has been converted into an all-electric self-driving drift car. The car is the work of recent mechanical engineering PhD graduate from Stanford Jon Goh and his colleagues at the Dynamic Design Lab.

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MARTY's insides are nothing like they were in 1981 or in the "Back to the Future" movies. The car's powertrain has been replaced by electric motors and batteries. The car's soft suspension was enhanced with further stiffness to improve the car's ability to drift. Mechanical steering, braking, and throttle controls have all been replaced by electric systems. The car also has a new roll cage.

Two GPC antennae sit on MARTY's roof and are able to track the car's location within a single inch. Computers are stashed in the rear seats.

Four years ago, the DeLorean did its first drift moves with inhuman precision.

"We're trying to develop automated vehicles that can handle emergency maneuvers or slippery surfaces like ice or snow," said Chris Gerdes, mechanical engineer. "We'd like to develop automated vehicles that can use all of the friction between the tire and the road to get the car out of harm's way. We want the car to be able to avoid any accident that's avoidable within the laws of physics."

When a driverless car operates traditionally, the use of a steering wheel and pedals is relegated to simplistic movements to keep a car moving steadily or stopping with ease. With drifting, it's a completely different story.

"Suddenly the car is pointed in a very different direction than where it's going. Your steering wheel controls the speed, the throttle affects the rotation, and the brakes can impact how quickly you change directions," Goh said. "You have to understand how to use these familiar inputs in a very different way to control the car, and most drivers just aren't very good at handling the car when it becomes this unstable."

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The Stanford team studied the habits of professional drivers and worked to duplicate those maneuvers when developing the software for MARTY.

"Through drifting, we're able to get to extreme examples of driving physics that we wouldn't otherwise," Goh said. "If we can conquer how to safely control the car in the most stable and the most unstable scenarios, it becomes easier to connect all the dots in between."

To get in deep on how MARTY was able to pull off the drift, check out the first MARTY-related journal paper.