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Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

If you’re looking for holiday inspiration, may we suggest a visit to Los Angeles this summer? The Petersen Automotive Museum is hosting The Porsche Effect, an exhibition celebrating 70 years of Porsche sports cars. Here are some of the many highlights.

Porsche Type 64

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

The Type 64 was designed to compete in the 1939 Berlin to Rome race, but the outbreak of the Second World War meant that the event never took place and the project was short-lived. It was based on the Volkswagen Beetle but powered by an air-cooled 1.5-litre engine, while the aerodynamic aluminium shell provided the blueprint for future Porsche models.

Porsche 906 Carrera 6

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

The 906 Carrera 6 was a development of the 904, featuring a lightweight fibreglass body, gull-wing doors and one-piece plexiglass engine cover. It made its debut at the Daytona 24-hour race in 1966, securing a sixth place finish and a class victory. At the 1966 Le Mans – the race famous for Ford’s 1-2-3 victory – the 906 took the following four places, a remarkable performance for a 2.0-litre flat-six sports car racing against the 7.0-litre V8 GT40s.

Porsche 914-6 GT

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

The 914-6 GT is a rare beast, listed in the 1971 Porsche catalogue as a Group 4 racer, with fewer than 50 leaving the factory. Power was sourced from a highly-tuned 2.0-litre engine developing around 210hp, which seemed woefully inadequate at the 1970 Le Mans. But this didn’t stop the 914-6 GT securing a fantastic sixth place finish, courtesy of Claude Ballot-Léna and Guy Chasseuil.

Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

In 1973, Porsche launched the final version of the 917 Spyder: the 917/30. To kids growing up in the 70s, this was the daddy, with its 5.4-litre flat-12 engine developing a reported 1,100hp. One of the primary sponsors was the American sales organisation, ‘Porsche + Audi’, hence the decals.

Porsche 910

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

It looks similar to the 906, but the Porsche 910 is distinguishable thanks to its smaller 13-inch wheels, front-hinged doors, and a removable roof to allow for open or closed racing. Speaking about the exhibition, Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, said: “When the Petersen Museum first suggested we work together on what has become “The Porsche Effect,” I immediately saw the mutual benefits to both. We are looking forward to sharing the story of Porsche through rare and seldom seen artifacts and display elements, in addition to some of the most iconic cars of all time.”

Porsche 904 Carrera GTS

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

The Porsche 904 – or Carrera GTS – was designed to be a fairly simple and low-cost car that could be built and sold in sufficient numbers for homologation purposes. Although it was built to go racing, the first 904 to come to Britain was driven by Richard ‘Dickie’ Stoop to go shopping. Porsche built far more than the 100 required for homologation purposes, with most sold in the USA.

Porsche Jägermeister 962

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

“At the Petersen, we always seek out compelling new ways to engage our guests and pique their interests,” said Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Because Porsche is so embedded in the Southern California landscape, we were thrilled to partner with the legendary automaker to create an experience that is truly remarkable and dedicated to the many Porsche lovers in the Southland.”

Porsche 935 K3

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

This was the actual Le Mans-winning Porsche Kremer Racing 935 K3 driven by Klaus Ludwig, Don Whittington and Bill Whittington in 1979. Actor Paul Newman finished second in a Dick Barbour Racing Porsche 935, while Kremer completed the top three in another 935. The K3 is owned by Petersen founding chairman, Bruce Meyer.

Porsche 928 H50

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

What you’re looking at is the godfather of the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo: a four-seat, four-door Porsche 928. The H50 concept of 1987 is powered by a 330hp V8 engine, which is enough to propel this practical 928 to a top speed of 168mph. Sadly, after 5,000 miles of testing, the Porsche engineers decided that it lacked the required structural rigidity and it was pushed to the back of the factory.

Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

The majority of 550 Spyders were used for competition purposes, so to find such an original and unmodified example is a rare treat. In 2016, this 1956 example sold for a world record £4.6m at the Bonhams Goodwood Revival Auction. James Knight, the auctioneer on the day, said: “The car attracted much attention from bidders, with increments rising by hundreds of thousands until the gavel finally fell to achieve £4,593,500. The car is so original, that you could travel back in time 60 years and find it in much the same condition. It’s exactly how a 550 would have looked, smelt and felt like when James Dean famously purchased his example back in 1955.” Dean’s was perhaps the most famous of the 550s; he called his car the ‘Little B*stard’.”

Steve McQueen’s Porsche 356 Speedster

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

Speaking of Steve McQueen… this is his old Porsche 356 Speedster. In the 1960s, he sold the car to Bruce Meyer, but purchased the Porsche again just seven years later. Meyer regrets selling the Speedster, saying: “Steve called me and wanted to buy it back. We were friends, we’d done some motorcycle racing together. So I sold it back to him. His son Chad owns it today. “

Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

Bringing things right up-to-date, the 918 Spyder features a V8 engine and two electric motors delivering a combined 887hp. It’s enough to propel the four-wheel drive hybrid to 62mph in just 2.6 seconds, before hitting a top speed of 214mph. Amazingly, it’ll top 93mph in electric mode.

Porsche 911 Targa Sportomatic

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

Another rarity: the Porsche 911 Targa Sportomatic features a vacuum system and torque converter, which means that the driver is able to select their own gears without using a clutch pedal. Owners Alan and Lisa Grant are incredibly lucky to own this classic boulevard cruiser.

Porsche 997 RSR Flying Lizard Art Car

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

This Porsche 997 GT3 RSR showcases Flying Lizard’s livery for the 2011 Le Mans race. “The livery commemorates the heritage of Porsche at Le Mans, starting with drivers Hans Hermann and Richard Attwood, who secured the first overall victory for Porsche in 1970,” said Jennifer Hart, Flying Lizard’s vice president of marketing.

Porsche 911 GT1

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

Another treat: a road-legal Porsche 911 GT1 alongside its race-going sibling. The race version made its competition debut at Le Mans in 1996, where it finished second and third overall, winning the GT1 class in the process. A total of 25 ‘Strassenversion’ GT1s were built for homologation purposes, each one powered by a 3.2-litre flat-six, twin-turbocharged engine.

Porsche Continental

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

The 356 Continental was the brainchild of Max Hoffman, the North American importer of Porsche cars. The idea was to shift stock of the ageing 356, with Porsche using the tried and tested method of adding many extras to the standard car. But Ford wasn’t happy with the choice of name, and when the courts ruled in favour of the Blue Oval, the Continental name was dropped.

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

The Porsche 924 Carrera GTS is distinguishable from the Carrera GT thanks to the perspex headlight covers and an intercooler in front of the engine, rather than on top of it. A mere 59 were built, making it one of the rarest and most coveted of Porsche models. It was 59kg lighter than the GT, although the Clubsport and GTR models were lighter still.

McLaren TAG-Porsche

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

This is the 1987 McLaren TAG-Porsche, as raced by Alain Prost. The Frenchman finished fourth in the 1987 drivers’ championship, winning a total of three races. In total, the TAG-Porsche engine propelled McLaren to 25 Grand Prix victories.

Porsche 911 Singer

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

Perfection.

Porsche 968 Turbo RS

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

Just four 968 Turbo RS models were built, making it one of the rarest Porsche cars ever produced. With 337hp and 369lb ft of torque on tap, the Turbo RS wasn’t lacking in punch, offering an ability to hit a 911-troubling top speed of 175mph.

The vault

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

You’ll find the vault deep beneath the Petersen Automotive Museum, which is available for tours as a bolt-on to the general admission ticket. On the basis of this photo alone, it’s worth booking ahead.

The Porsche Effect

Porsche Passion: an incredible sports car collection

The Porsche Effect exhibition is in residence until 27 January 2019. You can find the Petersen Automotive Museum at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. View the slideshow below for more Porsche photos.

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Petersen Automotive Museum

In pictures: inside America’s best car museum

Petersen Automotive Museum

To paraphrase Randy Newman: LA… we love it. Or rather, we love the look of the Petersen Automotive Museum, which sits at the gateway to Los Angeles’ famed Museum Row. In conjunction with Porsche Cars North America, the museum has just thrown open the doors to its latest exhibition: The Porsche Effect. We’ll showcase those 48 cars in a separate gallery, but for now, allow us to take you on a virtual tour of this wondrous museum.

$90m total renovation

$90m total renovation

The Petersen Automotive Museum dates back to 1994, but reopened at the end of 2015 following a 14-month and $90 million renovation. Around 95,000 square feet of exhibit space is spread across three themed floors, with visitors encouraged to begin their experience on the History floor, before making their way down to the Artistry level.

25 rotating exhibitions

25 rotating exhibitions

The museum is housed in a former 1960s department store, with the Welton Becket-designed building featuring more than 150 vehicles and 25 rotating exhibitions, including the new display of Porsche vehicles. When you’re done with Santa Monica Boulevard and Hollywood, the Petersen Automotive Museum is the place to hang out.

The Porsche Effect

The Porsche Effect

The Porsche Effect – which we’ll showcase in a separate gallery – encompasses five thematic sections, including Elements of Style; Zuffenhausen and Beyond; Extended Families; Innovation through Competition; and World/Image/Object. The exhibit will remain at the Petersen Automotive Museum until 27 January 2019.

Seeing Red: 70 Years of Ferrari

Seeing Red: 70 Years of Ferrari

The Seeing Red: 70 Years of Ferrari exhibit does exactly what it says on sign: celebrate Ferrari’s 70th anniversary using only red cars. Eleven of the company’s most significant road and race cars are on display are on display until May 2018, so you’ll need to be quick.

Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO

Of the Ferrari 250 GTO, Bruce Meyer, the Petersen’s founding chairman and member of its board of directors, told the Robb Report: “That car resonates with me the most because I’ve had considerable time behind the wheel.” It is owned by Meyer’s good friend, William “Chip” Connor, and the founding chairman said: “I have done rallies with Chip in it and have driven the car on the racetrack.”

Ferrari 248 F1

Ferrari 248 F1

This is the Ferrari 248 F1 car driven by Michael Schumacher in the 2006 Formula One World Championship. The German finished second, 13 points behind the 2006 champion, Fernando Alonso. Schumacher announced his retirement from F1 at the end of the season, but returned in 2010 to drive for the new Mercedes GP team.

Ferrari LaFerrari

Ferrari LaFerrari

Bringing things right up-to-date, here’s a LaFerrari from 2014. The hybrid hypercar is capable of speeds in excess of 217mph, while the 0-62mph sprint is polished off in just three seconds. You can see more photos from the Seeing Red exhibition later in this gallery.

The Vault

The Vault

Hidden underground beneath the heart of Los Angeles, The Vault features 120 cars within a working garage. The cars may have been part of the main museum at some point, but there’s nothing quite like seeing them in a subterranean environment. Access to The Vault is via a guided tour and is in addition to the general admission ticket.

The Vault

The Vault

What you’ll find in The Vault depends on the date of your visit, but it could include historic race cars, vehicles owned by heads of state, cars on loan to the museum, and some awaiting restoration.

Davis Divan

Davis Divan

The Perspective Gallery houses an exhibition focused on our love for the automobile, especially in Southern California, where residents embraced the independence offered by cars. This is a Davis Divan, a two-door, three-wheeled roadster dating back to the 1940s.

GM EV1

GM EV1

This is the GM EV1: the first mass-produced electric vehicle built by a major manufacturer. The EV1 was way ahead of its time and available on a lease-only basis. Sadly, after four years, GM pulled the plug on the project and all but 40 were sent to the crusher. Loyal fans of the pioneering EV were also left feeling crushed.

Cisitalia 202

Cisitalia 202

Still on the third floor, this is a Cisitalia 202. Consorzio Industriale Sportiva Italia (Cisitalia) began building single-seat race cars after World War II and launched the 202 in 1947. The Pininfarina-designed coupe is considered to be one of the most beautiful cars of the era, but only 170 were built before the company folded.

Lightning McQueen

Lightning McQueen

Moving down to the second floor, here’s Lightning McQueen from Pixar’s Cars animated movie franchise. According to director John Lasseter, McQueen’s shape was influenced by the C6 Corvette and Ford GT40, along with sports stars Muhammad Ali, Charles Barkley and Joe Namath.

Ford GT40

Ford GT40

Speaking of the Ford GT40… It’s a MkIII road car from 1967, originally owned by Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan, and is one of just seven built.

Ford GT

Ford GT

The GT40 is joined by its modern-day equivalent: the Ford GT. The next-generation supercar was unveiled at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show and is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 Ecoboost engine producing 656hp and 550lb ft of torque.

The High Art of Riding Low

The High Art of Riding Low

Once on the first floor, you’ll find a celebration of the lowrider, in an exhibition called The High Art of Riding Low. Located in the Armand Hammer Foundation Gallery, the exhibition – which runs until July 2018 – examines the diversity and complexity with which 50 artists visualise and celebrate the lowrider through vehicles, paintings and sculptures.

Chevrolet Sedan

Chevrolet Sedan

Using pinstriping brushes and lacquer-based textile crayons, artist Gilbert ‘Magu’ Luján transformed his family’s 1950 Chevrolet sedan into a lowrider with what he called “a lighthearted kind of folk art narrative”.

Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet Impala

Created in 2006 by artists John Jota Leanos and Artemio Rodriguez, El Muertorider is an art installation that addresses themes related to the culture of lowriding. The artwork employs evocative imagery taken from Western art history and Day of the Dead.

Opening times

Opening times

The Petersen Automotive Museum is open daily from 10am until 6pm and is located on Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. Vault tours are available on a first come, first served basis, and tickets can be purchased one month in advance. Keep clicking for more photos from inside America’s best car museum.

In pictures:

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