Porsche 917 Doors For the Wall

917 doors as wall art

This place recognizes Porsche 917 body panels for what they are—works of art. These would make a lovely addition to the garage wall.. or better yet above the dining room table.

The decision isn’t so much whether to get one, but which iconic 917 livery to choose. Gulf? Hippy? Pink Pig? Martini? Perhaps I should just let each become a centerpiece of a different room. More information at CD Automobilia.

Happy (Porsche) 9/17.

Watch…No. Listen to this Porsche 917

This video of a Porsche 917 lapping is great in a way that most videos I’ve seen of 917s—or any other racing machine, really—usually aren’t. It’s because of what isn’t in it. There’s no damned royalty-free terrible music. There’s no barely understandable commentator over the barely audible track loudspeakers. There’s no clapping or “oohing” and “aahing” from a crowd. There is only that miraculous engine note.

It’s why Victory By Design was so great and why most AutoWeek segments aren’t. Cars—particularly racing cars—particularly Porsche 917s—are visceral things. They live in all of our senses. There is a sight, a smell, and my goodness there is a sound. We can feel the air move as they pass. When they pass by quickly, all is a blur. We can rarely capture it in our mind in perfect clarity. The lines of the bodywork are lost in the shake of a car under hard braking or acceleration or turning. We can just make out barely discernible graphic details as they blur by in an instant; often little more than a flash of color.

But that sound… That sound is crystal clear.

917/10 Road Test

ZANTAFIO56’s 1970 LeMans

Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood's Winning Porsche 917

I don’t know that the 1970 running of the LeMans 24 Hours race is particularly pivotal for the public at large, but that particular running is just so cemented in my mind. I’m sure the documentation of it in the form of McQueen’s LeMans is the key reason. Also significant for Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood’s victory that gave Porsche their first outright win at the race: A feat they’d repeat 15 more times and started Porsche down their road to winningest team in the event’s history.

These images from Flickr user ZANTAFIO56 only serve to further add to the importance and beauty of the race in my mind. He seems to have been all over the track, with some marvelous shots from several corners of La Sarthe and the pits as well. More of Zantafio56’s shots at his flickr set. Fantastic!

I just realized that this is my third 917-centric post in a week. I’ll take a break from her now. I promise.

The Solar Productions 908 with Jonathan Williams and Herbert Linge at the wheelsThe winning drivers' celebratory lapTurn 1

Notice the crashed LeMans cars behind the Chevron

2 N.A.R.T. FerrarisWicky Racing Team 911Martini 908

Cleaning Up Around the 917

Porsche 917 by Bob Tilton

It’s always a treat to scroll through Bob Tilton’s posts on Werk Crew. He has a wonderful eye for design and photography and he uses his blog to showcase some of his process both as an artist and as a glimpse behind the scenes of his Porschephile nirvana books and calendars. This post on his photographic retouching process was particularly insightful recently.

Porsche 917 by Bob Tilton (Unretouched)I know that there are some that decry the use of any retouching; that the photograph should only exist as it was when it left the camera. If you’ve ever shot at a race weekend though, you know that the environment doesn’t always play nicely with your composition. This isn’t a magazine shoot we’re preparing for here, it’s messy. There are parts and tools and trash in the way. There are other racefans and onlookers and gawkers cluttering up the background. Bob’s relatively light touch on the post-processing here is a good example of doing retouching in a tasteful way.

On top of that, the craft of his retouching effort is on full display here. He’s pulling people out of the background and filling in the scene behind, including the proper reflections in the paintwork. He’s cleaning up the garage floor without obvious clone stamping from other sections of the concrete. There is absolute artistry in doing this properly. I’ve seen some bad shops in my day but when done properly this is very arduous, meticulous work and this is an excellent example.

Click on through to the Werk Crew post for the details on the retouching work. Keep at it, Bob. Love your stuff.