Porsche by Design

The car that won the 1971 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans: A Type 971K driven by Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep

The car that won the 1971 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans: A Type 971K driven by Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep

On December 26, 2013, we went to see the wonderful "Porsche by Design" exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. The show was crowded and rather dimly lit; this made shooting a bit of a challenge. All images on this page were taken with a Fujifilm X100S camera.

Click on any image to see a larger (1500 x 1000 pixel) version!


Type 64 Berlin-Rome Racer (1938) Type 356 Gmünd Coupe (1949)

Type 64 Berlin-Rome Racer (1938)

Type 356 Gmünd Coupe (1949)

Many people believe that the Type 64 was the first real automobile that came out of what would become the Porsche company. Only three were built, of which only one survived WW II; the car on display is a recreation based on a Porsche-built VW chassis and original parts from the second Type 64. The second-oldest automobile on display was a Type 356 Coupe built in Gmünd. In 1944, Porsche relocated their design studio and production site to this Austrian city to escape the heavy bombings in Stuttgart.


Type 550 Prototype (1953) Type 550 Prototype (1953)

Type 550 Prototype (1953)

Type 550 Prototype (1953)


Type 356 Speedster 1600 Super (1958) Type 901 Prototype (1963)

Type 356 Speedster 1600 Super (1958)

Type 901 Prototype (1963)

At the September 1963 Frankfurt Auto Show, Porsche presented the Prototype of what was going to be the replacement of the venerable Type 356: The Porsche 901. The French car maker Peugeot objected to Porsche using model names consisting of any three digit number where the middle number was zero, and, having already sold many models with that scheme in key markets, asserted ownership of the naming rights. Porsche simply changed the middle "0" with a "1" and called the car "Porsche 911".


Type 718 RS60 (1960) Type 718 RS60 (1960)

Type 718 RS60 (1960)

Type 718 RS60 (1960)


Type 356B 1600 Carrera GTL Abarth Coupe (1961) Type 356B 1600 Carrera GTL Abarth Coupe (1961)

Type 356B 1600 Carrera GTL Abarth Coupe (1961)

Type 356B 1600 Carrera GTL Abarth Coupe (1961)

In spite of spectacular results in automobile racing, Porsche never really felt at home in Formula One. Their only championship victory came when Dan Gurney won the 1962 French Grand Prix on a Type 804. At the end of that year, the company withdrew from F1, citing cost reasons. Though Porsche built Formula One engines for McLaren in the 1980s and for Arrows in 1991, no Porsche-built car has competed in Formula One since 1962.


Type 804 Formula One (1962) Type 804 Formula One (1962)

Type 804 Formula One (1962)

Type 804 Formula One (1962)


Type 356C Carrera 2 Coupe (1964) Type 356C Carrera 2 Coupe (1964)

Type 356C Carrera 2 Coupe (1964)

Type 356C Carrera 2 Coupe (1964)


Type 356C Carrera 2 Coupe (1964) Type 904/6 Prototype (1965)

Type 356C Carrera 2 Coupe (1964)

Type 904/6 Prototype (1965)


Type 904/6 Prototype (1965) Type 908K Prototype (1968)

Type 904/6 Prototype (1965)

Type 908K Prototype (1968)

Porsche has enjoyed successes in many branches of motorsports, and particularly in endurance racing. The car that really established the company on race tracks is the 1969 Porsche 917; in 1970 and 1971, the car won the first two of over a dozen 24 Hours of Le Mans victories for the company. With the 917, Porsche managed to transform its underdog status into that of the undisputed leader in sports car racing.


Type 917K (1971) Type 917K (1971)

Type 917K (1971)

Type 917K (1971)


Type 935 "Baby" (1977)

Type 935 "Baby" (1977)


Type 935 "Baby" (1977) IROC Porsche Type 911 Carrera RSR (1974)

Type 935 "Baby" (1977)

IROC Porsche Type 911 Carrera RSR (1974)


Panamericana Concept Car (1989) Type 962C (1990)

Panamericana Concept Car (1989)

Type 962C (1990)


Type 962C (1990) Type 962C (1990)

Type 962C (1990)

Type 962C (1990)


Type 959 (1988)

Type 959 (1988)

More recently, Porsche started to experiment with hybrid technologies for both its road and race cars. The flywheel-based Type 911 GT3 R Hybrid Race Car Prototype was introduced at the 2010 Geneva Automobile Show; it has since then been perfected, and on May 28, 2011, it won its first race at Nürburgring.


Type 980 Carrera GT (2005) Type 911 GT3 R Hybrid Race Car Prototype (2010)

Type 980 Carrera GT (2005)

Type 911 GT3 R Hybrid Race Car Prototype (2010)


Type 911 GT3 R Hybrid Race Car Prototype (2010) Type 911 GT3 R Hybrid Race Car Prototype (2010)

Type 911 GT3 R Hybrid Race Car Prototype (2010)

Type 911 GT3 R Hybrid Race Car Prototype (2010)

Also part of the exhibit, but curiously located in a different building, was Janis Joplin's 1965 Type 365C convertible. After she bought the car used in 1968, she asked her artist friend Dave Richards to paint it for her. The result was a psychedelic masterpiece. After Joplin's death in 1970, her family initially gave the Porsche to her manager, and eventually, the singer's siblings Michael and Laura got the car back, repaired and repainted it, and drove it for many years. In 2009, Michigan Porsche Club of America member Vic Rivera meticulously repainted the car based on photographs, a project that took 48 days. The result is interesting, to say the least!


Type 356C Cabriolet (1965) Type 356C Cabriolet (1965)

Type 356C Cabriolet (1965)

Type 356C Cabriolet (1965)


These, as well as a few other photographs taken at the exhibit, are available in one of our web galleries.
Among other things, the gallery allows viewing the photos as a slide show. Check it out!




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