Porsche Displays Racing Heritage in Singapore

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Porsche has had more than a few victories in motorsport, so we’ll allow their latest PR move as an appropriate homage to successful racing campaigns of yesteryear – even if the liveries are applied to a crossover. It would be much better if Porsche had slathered this paint and stuck these decals on a bevy of Caymans or 911s.

Still, in this sleepy week between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s neat to see shoutouts to great designs of the past. Porsche chose Singapore as the venue to show off these specially painted Macans.

The combination of blue, red, and silver first showed up in 1970 on the Hockenheim circuit in Germany, when the livery appeared on a Porsche 917. It is linked with the successes of the Porsche teams in rallying, touring car racing, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and overpriced track-day clothing. After the sponsorship from the Italian beverage company Martini & Rossi began, Porsche enjoyed a string of victories.

Debuting at Le Mans in 1982, the Porsche 956 made a strong impression. In a fantastic display of chest-puffing, that year saw a triple victory where the Porsche cars finished neatly in their number order of one, two, and three. It also demolished the Nurburgring, putting in a record-breaking time of 6:11.13. The 956 went on to dominate the 1984 and 1985 races, setting a new brand record. Not that anyone cares, but this is your author’s favorite livery out of the five shown here.

At Le Mans in 1971, the Porsche 917/20, a one-off experimental car, was sent into the race. With an extremely wide body and exceptionally rounded wheel cutouts, its wheels were hidden deeply in the wheel housings. The snout equally low and flat, like that of the new long-tail coupé. As a one-off version, Porsche Style decided to slather the body in pink paint, then label each of the body parts according to butcher-style cuts. According to reports at the time, it was the most frequently photographed race car of the year – despite Instagram being 35 years away – and remains popular among the visitors to Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

This simple red-and-white Macan references the Salzburg livery which also showed up at Le Mans in the very early ‘70s. This was the scheme worn by a 917 KH driven by Hans Hermann and Richard Attwood.

Arguably the best known of the five – and probably the most copied – is the famous Gulf livery. Made famous on tracks all around the world thanks to John Wyer, the man who successfully convinced Gulf Oil to sponsor his new car before he came to represent Porsche. At that time, Gulf Oil had just purchased a smaller firm that used a blue and orange colour scheme. Gulf chose those colours for the cars that Wyer raced. During the 1970 and 1971 Le Mans, Wyer led the Porsche team to the world championships, searing the blue and orange colors into the pages of history . Showing up in Steve McQueen’s 1971 racing movie, Le Mans, surely didn’t hurt either.

And with that, I’m off to search eBay for Rothmans Porsche memorabilia.

[Images: Porsche]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Texex Texex on Dec 29, 2017

    Missing the Brumos livery.

  • ToddAtlasF1 ToddAtlasF1 on Dec 30, 2017

    The Pink Pig 917/20 was painted by Porsche's Tony Lapine, but the body was designed by SERA, a French research group. The Porsche crew painted it like a butcher's map of meat cuts because they were jealous that someone else had designed a body with better drag and downforce than they could conceive. Painting a Cayenne in the same manner is either their first expression of self-awareness, or proof that they're utterly devoid of the stuff.

  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.