Historic Porsche race cars represent many victories at the 24-hour classics of Le Mans and Daytona. And they also celebrated memorable successes at 1,000-kilometre events on storied circuits such as the Nürburgring and Spa-Francorchamps. To ensure that these vehicles can still be admired at race tracks today, Porsche now also offers customers a comprehensive service for historic motor racing in Germany and the USA. The priorities of the new business field are to restore vintage race cars as true to the original as possible as well as to repair and maintain them.
“These vehicles have written motorsport history and have gained in value, at times markedly, in recent years,” says Jens Walther, President & CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America in Santa Ana/California. “The historic motor racing scene has an extremely strong following in the USA, but many of these vehicles can also be seen on European race tracks. An increasing number of owners are now recognizing how important it is for future gain that such vehicles undergo a true to original restoration.”
The figurehead for the new business service is the now completed restoration of a Porsche 917K. The legendary victorious car of the 1,000-kilometre race at Spa in 1971 experienced its roll-out at Porsche Motorsport North America. The race car was also successfully campaigned in the USA before it was finally put into storage at the museum in Zuffenhausen.
In 2009, the vehicle was painted in the famed Gulf colors and exhibited in the museum. In 2012, Porsche Motorsport North America was commissioned to restore the race car to its 1971 condition and get it back on the track. This task was implemented using a variety of resources, including the Porsche Museum archives as well as in consultation with witnesses and of course relying on the experience and broad knowledge of Porsche employees.
In addition to restorations and repairs, Porsche also offers a comprehensive service for owners of historic race cars to take their vehicles racing. This includes, the replacement of safety-relevant parts. Jens Walther: “The owners of these vehicles want assurance that their cars are track-worthy and that they can also rely on us if something breaks. We want to give them this assurance.”
Another focus is the maintenance of historic race cars. As with current motor racing customers, Porsche not only takes care of supplying parts, but is available for customers with advice and assistance in all technical matters. After the completion of the new Porsche Experience Centre (PEC) in Los Angeles, which is expected mid next year, customers are also offered the chance to store their historic vehicles on site. Between race meetings, they are maintained by experts, transported to the circuits if desired, and sent back to PEC afterwards. There, they are exhibited in a first-class Porsche environment for visitors to enjoy – until the next race.
“I’m very pleased that we can now also offer our motorsport customers a comprehensive service for their historic race cars,” says Porsche Head of Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser. “At our Weissach Motorsport Centre and at Porsche Motorsport North America we have specialists for every task in this field. The 917K, which now returns to the race track after more than 40 years, is a perfect example of how we implement this expertise and preserve it for the future.”