Check out some of the liveries worn by one of the most beautiful race cars ever made.
Designed as they are with the single purpose of winning, form more closely follows function on racing cars than it typically does on road cars that need to appeal to customers' sense of taste. But that doesn't mean there haven't been some stylish racing cars over the course of the last several decades. And the Porsche 917 surely belongs near the top of the list – especially dressed in some of the most iconic liveries ever penned.
That's the subject of this latest video in Porsche's Top 5 series, and the accompanying images are no less a feast for the eyes.
As victorious as it was beautiful, the 917 positively dominated sports-prototype racing in the late 1960s and early '70s. It was this model, not any version of the Porsche 911, that gave Porsche the first and second of its record nineteen overall wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and scored many more victories besides. And it looked damn good doing it, too.
The Porsche 917 looked spectacular when it was first presented in 1969, wearing a simple design of white with green stripes. But it went on to wear even more memorable liveries over the course of its brief yet distinguished reign at the top of the podium.
Though hardly the most aesthetically pleasing, the Pink Pig visually spoke of the uniquely German whimsey that stands as a balance to Porsche's typically Teutonic no-nonsense approach. The aerodynamic study famously ended up looking rather swine-like with its bloated bodywork, so the engineers painted it to look like a pig on a butcher's diagram.
As comical as it looked, others followed and looked much better. Like the famous Gulf livery that featured so prominently in Steve McQueen's cult-classic film dramatizing Le Mans. Or the Martini Racing stripes that remain this writer's favorite. And the Salzburg Red that adapted the colors of the Australian flag to a dynamic racing livery. Timeless classics all, and bloated swine notwithstanding, they still look fantastic, now half a century later.