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.

Porsche 917 in Salzburg Red

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.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTS My SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTS The pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTS I'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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Dodge offers upgrades that push power to 885 ponies in some models.

Dodge

The world may be going electric, but Dodge is still offering plenty of support to owners of its famed Hellcat muscle cars. Today, the automaker announced a program to provide factory-backed performance parts for SRT Hellcat cars. The components can be ordered and installed by one of Dodge's "Power Broker" dealerships.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Dodge's packages include graphics for the Challenger.Dodge

Called Direct Connection, the service is Dodge's official source for performance parts and other components. Dodge offers two kits for Challenger SRT models: Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye cars can be upgraded to 885 horsepower and the standard Hellcat can be pushed to 750 ponies. In all, Direct Connection offers 14 kits for the Challenger and 13 race-ready kits. There are also four graphics packages for the Challenger Mopar Drag Park model.

Because of their connections with the company that designed and built the cars in the first place, factory-backed tuning and performance operations are usually top-notch. Dodge's program offers live technical support and an online catalog that allows users to mix and match performance parts using the site's "recipes." All parts that are installed or replaced by a certified Dodge dealer do not interfere with the cars' three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty or the five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Direct Connection Challenger Performance Parts | Dodge youtu.be

If Dodge-approved performance parts get you excited, you don't have long left to wait. The kits will go on sale late in the first quarter of 2022. The Dodge Power Brokers dealer network will also start around that time.

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