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

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

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

917 \u201cLong-Tail\u201d 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

1970 Porsche 917K

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

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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This gorgeous 911 sports a rebuilt title.

Cars and Bids

Values of even less desirable Porsche 911 models have skyrocketed in recent years, but the early- to mid-1990s cars have always been special. This one falls well within the parameters, though it's got a backstory that will turn many buyers away. This 1991 Porsche 911 has a rebuilt Texas title, and as one commenter noted, the issue could be the result of a collision with a deer.

Rebuilt title or not, this car's quite the looker. It wears Grand Prix White over black leather, and it feature power windows and exterior mirrors, a sunroof, and a unique Turbo body kit. It has been modified, although lightly, with 18-inch wheels, power front seats, and a new stereo system. Under the rear engine cover lies a turbocharged 3.3-liter flat-six that makes 315 horsepower. It's connected to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission.

1991 Porsche 911This is one of the most iconic sports car silhouettes ever.Cars and Bids

This car's apparently flaw-free appearance hides the rather nasty fact that it has a rebuilt title. A detail-oriented commenter on the auction mentioned finding information on the car's damage, including repairs performed after a collision with a deer and subsequent hair removal. We'll let you decide how that impacts your feelings on the car.

1991 Porsche 911The interior looks untouched, though those are replacement seats.Cars and Bids

If it's any indication of how valuable a good condition example of this car would be, it was bid to $95,000 with a rebuilt title and still didn't meet the reserve price. While it's a bummer for those hoping their bid would be the one, cars like this do occasionally pop up without deer damage, so it's worth keeping your eyes open.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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