A glorious, colourful mixture: the different liveries of the 917 models
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.
No. 5: 917-001 with green and white colour scheme
The first is a true number 1: the car with the body number 917-001 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.
No. 4: 917/20 “The Pink Pig”
Number 4 in the ranking is a gem: the 917/20. Better known under the nickname “The Pink Pig”, the 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.
No. 3: 917 “long-tail” with Martini livery
The number 3 in the ranking also dates back to 1971: the Porsche 917 “long-tail” with Martini livery. One year earlier this racing car – at that time still bearing a psychedelic green and purple stripe pattern – retired due to engine failure. Unfortunately, it was unable to cover the full distance on the Sarthe circuit in the following year either. Nevertheless, this 917 model was the first racing car to set a record average speed of over 240 km/h at Le Mans.
No. 2: 917 in Gulf livery
Number 2 in the ranking 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 valuable models.
No. 1: 917 in Salzburg Red
Position 1 in the ranking is occupied by 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.
Fifty years ago, Steve McQueen began shooting his movie epic Le Mans—the most famous film sequence featuring a 911. Today, the new Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Design Edition would be perfectly cast for the role.
A total of 19 overall victories, countless class successes and incredible emotions have linked Porsche with the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world's largest and most traditional motorsport event, for more than six decades. On 14 June 1970, Porsche achieved its first overall victory there with the 580 hp 917 KH sports car.