Petersen Automotive Museum launches its largest Porsche Exhibition yet
In collaboration with Porsche Cars North America, the never-seen-before display, We are Porsche, will celebrate the storied marque’s seventy-fifth anniversary by featuring key models and personalities behind the brand’s success. Hosted at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, the exhibition opens to the public on April 16th and focuses on how influential figures in the USA helped transform Porsche from a builder of niche sports cars to a cultural phenomenon across more than seven decades.
Classic Porsche can reveal this highly anticipated exhibition will feature in excess of forty exceptional Porsches across the museum’s first and second floors. Key inclusions are the 1953 550 Spyder raced by Betty Shutes and Ken Miles, the 1958 356 A 1500 GS Carrera GT Speedster (pictured top right) campaigned by Bruce Jennings, and the Porsche many enthusiasts recognise as the first true Outlaw: Dean Jeffries’ custom 1957 356 Carrera.
NO CELEBRATION OF PORSCHE IN THE USA IS COMPLETE WITHOUT A SPRINKLING OF HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR
Perhaps unsurprisingly, motorsport machines make up a significant number of the cars included in We Are Porsche. The Type 804 Formula One car driven by Dan Gurney (and responsible for Porsche’s only wins in F1 as a constructor) ranks high among the Porsches set to excite exhibition visitors. Designed by Ferdinand Alexander ‘Butzi’ Porsche under the watch of Porsche PR and motorsport director, Fritz Huschke von Hanstein, and featuring a chassis overseen by factory engineer, Helmuth Bott, the 804 features a tubular steel frame paired with an aluminium body and was the first Porsche to make use of body panels made from composite materials. Propelled by an air-cooled flateight developed by Hans Hönick and Hans Mezger, the 804 took top honours at the 1962 French Grand Prix, as well as the non-championship Solituderennen race, held at Castle Solitude in Stuttgart. Gurney was driver on both occasions. None of our readers will be surprised to learn We Are Porsche pays tribute to BRUMOS, the iconic Jacksonville race team famous for fielding high-output Porsches in a variety of endurance racing competitions. The 1973 911 RSR 2.8 driven by Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood takes on a starring role in the exhibition, chiefly on account of the car winning both the IMSA and Trans-Am championships.
Of course, the Sunoco-liveried 917/30 Can-Am Spyder famous for being the most powerful sports race car ever assembled will also be available to see in the metal. Forever associated with American driver, Mark Donohue, this extraordinary Porsche was capable of producing a shade under 1,600bhp and dominated Can-Am racing to such a large degree that the series was effectively wound up — no other manufacturer could compete with the 917/30, as demonstrated by McLaren exiting the competition in frustration. No celebration of Porsche in the USA is complete without a sprinkling of Hollywood glamour. To this end, Steve McQueen’s 1976 911 Turbo (930) will be included in proceedings, as will the Porsches making recent appearances on the silver screen, namely the Stuttgart-crested cars featured in Top Gun: Maverick (911 S, pictured right) and Glass Onion: Knives Out.
Running until April 2024, We Are Porsche will also feature a rotating cast of supporting vehicles. “As a Porsche lover, I’m particularly excited the Petersen gets to play such a significant role in celebrating the brand’s seventy-fifth anniversary,” says Terry L. Karges,
Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “Porsche’s history on and off the track speaks for itself, and we are honoured to be able to commemorate such a significant milestone.” Further information, including an outline of key exhibits and ticket prices, can be found by visiting petersen.org/porsche.