24h Le Mans
10/10/2018 16:01

Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: an exhibition celebrates 70 glorious years

The histories of Porsche and Le Mans are intertwined, something that becomes evident with a visit to the exhibition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum celebrating the marque’s 70th anniversary.

Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans: an exhibition celebrates 70 glorious years

The histories of Porsche and Le Mans are intertwined, something that becomes evident with a visit to the exhibition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum celebrating the marque’s 70th anniversary.

Always an ambassador for his brand, Ferry Porsche once claimed that the Circuit de la Sarthe was Porsche’s second home.  The exhibition Porsche at Le Mans, which opens this week, gives that very impression. There is a moving tribute to Ferry, the son of company founder Ferdinand Porsche, with a display of some of his personal effects including a diary open at the page of the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans. Sixteen cars are presented, from the 1951 356 driven by Edmond Mouche and Auguste Veuillet to the 919 Hybrid with which Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb won the 2016 race.

“We picked the cars that were part of the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans”, explained Christoph Emde, representing the manufacturer at the official opening. Yet not all the exhibits are household names. The exhibition includes some delightful lesser-known models. “If I were to choose just one, I’d say the 917,” says Emde. “The car is a legend in itself. It won so many races and it really epitomises Porsche’s relationship with Le Mans.” The 917 was the first Porsche to win Le Mans, in 1970 and 1971.

She will be a popular exhibit, alongside the 936, 935, 956 and 911 GT1, the 1964 904 , the 1981 924 and the 1974 Carrera which takes pride of place in the middle.  The oversized ducktail spoiler, extra-wide tyres and turbocharged engine are just as impressive now as they were when the model was launched.

Fabrice Bourrigaud, ACO Culture and Heritage manager is particularly proud to play host to such a precious exhibit. “Look at it from the front, and it’s a road-legal GT. But from the rear, it’s definitely a racing car.” The engine was used for the 936 prototype that won Le Mans in 1976, 1977 and 1981 and the 935 that claimed victory in 1979.

Porsche at Le Mans is at the crossroads of the past, present and future of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Photos: Jean-René Roger/ACO Some of the key cars in the history of  Porsche at the 24 Hours of Le Mans are currently on display at the 24 Hours of Le Mans Museum: the 1973-74 Carrera (n°7), the 956 (n°1), the 935 (n°41), the 936 (n°11) and the 917 LH (n°23).



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