Color of Victory

Colourful stickers and paintwork are as much a part of Porsche Motorsport as the boxer engine. In the latest episode of the Porsche Top 5 series, the company looks back on five historical colour combinations of the various 917 models.

First up is the car with the body number 917-001 which was a demonstration car completed just two days before the Geneva Motor Show. To mark the 50th anniversary of the 917, cutting-edge 3D technology was used to restore this model to its original condition, complete with the green and white colour scheme.

Next comes the 917/20. Better known under the nickname ‘The Pink Pig’, this racing car is more than 24 centimetres wider and underwent further modifications to improve aerodynamics. The reworked body inspired the designers in 1971 to give the car a pink finish and apply markings that show cuts of meat.

Number 3 in the ranking also dates back to 1971, the Porsche 917 ‘long-tail’ with Martini livery. A year earlier this car, then bearing a psychedelic green and purple stripe pattern, retired due to engine failure. Unfortunately, it wasn’t able to cover the full distance at the Sarthe the following year either. Nevertheless, this 917 model was the first racing car to set a record average speed of over 240kph at Le Mans.

Next is a true Hollywood star, the 917 in Gulf livery. The light blue and orange finish became famous mainly due to its appearance in the Steve McQueen film ‘Le Mans’. To this day it has remained one of the most iconic racing car’s ever.

At number 1 in the Porsche ranking is the 917 in Salzburg Red. Based on the colours of the Austrian flag, this racing car clinched its very first overall victory for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970.

Photos © 2019 Porsche AG