Is this the greatest collection of Porsches ever seen?

The Porsche Effect exhibition has opened at the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA. It's stunning – just look at the pictures!

Is this the greatest collection of Porsches ever seen?

The Porsche Effect exhibition, celebrating 70 years of Porsche sports cars, has opened at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

It's been organized in partnership with Porsche Cars North America and is staged in the museum's Mullin Grand Salon, and represents the most comprehensive Porsche display outside of Stuttgart. 

Some of the vehicles on display include the 1938 Berlin-Rome Type 64 race car, a 906 race car, the 919 endurance racer, the Petersen Collection’s 901 and Continental, a rare model X83 Turbo S Flachbau 964, a rally-spec Type 953 911, the world-beating Gulf 917K, the Jägermeister 962, the legendary Porsche 935 K3 Le Mans winner belonging to Petersen vice-chairman Bruce Meyer and more.

On exclusive loan from The Porsche Museum will be the 928 H50 study, a rare four-door prototype of the 928.

Museum guests will have a chance to see 50 of the brand’s most iconic cars both in the exhibition and in an all-new Porsche-dedicated vault tour in the museum’s underground treasury, below.

'Over a year in the making, The Porsche Effect will capture the innovative and iconic spirit of Porsche, showcasing the marque’s many contributions to automotive engineering and the motorsports world,' said Peter Mullin, chairman of the board of directors for the Petersen. 'We are thrilled to share this incredible history with the public in an experience that both passionate enthusiasts and casual fans will surely appreciate and enjoy.'

'When the Petersen Museum first suggested we work together on what has become The Porsche Effect, I immediately saw the mutual benefits to both,' said Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. '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 or all time.'

The exhibit will run until January 27, 2019 at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Highlights include the cars listed below:

1939 Porsche Type 64 60K10

The Porsche Type 64 60K10 is the progenitor of all Porsches and the foundation of the Porsche aesthetic. It was built to compete in the 1939 Berlin-Rome endurance race, which was cancelled due to the outbreak of war. Just three identical cars were built, each of which used a Volkswagen platform and a streamlined aluminum body designed by Erwin Komenda and crafted by Reutter. This car was reconstructed of major components from the second Type 64, which had been dismantled after World War II.

1949 Porsche 356-2 Gmünd Coupé

By 1944 Porsche design facilities had moved to Gmünd, Austria. There, with a renewed interest in creating a sports car from Volkswagen components, Ferry Porsche, engineer Karl Rabe, and body designer Erwin Komenda conceived the Type 356. The prototype 356-1 roadster had styling traits drawn from the pre-war Type 64 racer and many of these were carried into the production 356-2 coupes and cabriolets that followed. This example was the 50th Gmünd car and possibly the last built in Austria.

1964 Porsche 901

Looking to replace the ageing 356, Ferry Porsche’s son Ferdinand Alexander Porsche guided his design team in conceiving a vehicle that was distinct from the 356 but still unmistakably a Porsche. The car debuted at the 1963 Frankfurt Auto Show as the 901, but the model number was quickly changed to 911 after Peugeot claimed the rights to three-digit car designations with a '0' in the middle. The design of the car proved so enduring that the basic concept remains unchanged today despite continuous development.

1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera

Porsche began development of a turbo version of its 911 in 1972 after witnessing the success of turbocharging on its 917 race cars. Production began in 1975 but the model did not reach the US until 1976. The body, while clearly descended from that of the 901/911, had more muscular contours to accommodate wider tires and a massive rear spoiler to improve roadholding. The car’s dramatic design betrayed its exceptional performance and the Turbo Carrera was an immediate sensation.

2000 Porsche Carrera GT Prototype

The Carrera GT resulted from a challenge given to Porsche engineers and designers to create a supercar worthy of a company whose vehicles had, by then, won Le Mans 16 times. The car was to embody the most advanced racing technology then available and a body shape that was unquestionably derived from the Porsche vehicle family. The result subtly embodied numerous 911 styling elements in a substantially more aggressive package. Of two running prototypes constructed, this car is the only survivor.

1968 Porsche 911S Targa Sportomatic

Unable to satisfactorily engineer a 911 convertible, Porsche developed the Targa, a novel body type that offered open-air motoring without sacrificing structural rigidity while retaining the established 911 form. Anticipating US safety regulations that never materialized, Porsche touted the Targa’s built-in roll bar as a first-of-its-kind safety device. This car’s Sportomatic manual transmission – extremely rare in a Targa – permits shifting without a clutch, a feature Porsche expected to resonate with American buyers.

1955 Porsche Continental Cabriolet

Derived from the Porsche 356, the Continental was conceived by influential New York importer Max Hoffman who believed that the American market would be more likely to embrace a vehicle with an evocative name, rather than a mere number designation. Porsche was forced to re-badge the Continental when Ford informed them that they had already trademarked its name. As a result, few Continentals were produced and the name was briefly changed to 'European', then back to 356.

1987 Porsche 928 H50 Study

Porsche’s first front-engine 'family' car was a one-off 928-based concept dubbed the 942. It had full seating for four but only two doors and was presented to Ferry Porsche by his staff for his 75th birthday in 1984. Three years later, Porsche expanded on the idea with the 928 H50 Study on display, a feasibility experiment with four doors for improved access to the rear seats. Though not intended for series production, it is regarded as an early precursor to the modern Panamera.

2016 Porsche 911 GTS Club Coupé

The GTS Club Coupe’s very existence demonstrates the close relationship between Porsche and the Porsche Club of America (PCA). Porsche produced the car in honor of the PCA’s 60th anniversary in 2015. Based on the 911 Carrera GTS, the Club Coupé features a unique bright hue known as Club Blau along with a number of distinctive trim pieces. Porsche offered 59 for sale to PCA members via a lottery system, and one lucky PCA winner received a Club Coupé for free.

1955 Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder #0073

The mid-engine 550 Spyder was the first production Porsche specially developed for racing. The aluminum body and tube-frame chassis reduced weight while the 110bhp four-cam flat-4 engine gave a race-winning performance. Porsche also utilized wind tunnel testing to perfect the shape of the Spyder and improve airflow. The 550 was an overall success on the track, including this example which finished second in points in its SCCA class for the 1956 season.

1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6 #134

The 906 was the second in a series of lightweight race cars developed under Ferdinand Porsche’s grandson, Ferdinand Piëch. Drag-reducing features included a generously rounded windscreen, cutoff Kamm tail and covered headlights. Its tubular space frame, which replaced the steel chassis of the 904, supported a lightweight fiberglass body. One of the original Ben Pon Racing Team Holland cars, #134 was raced by Gijs van Lennep, later a Porsche factory driver and Le Mans winner. It was the winner of the 1966 Grand Prix De Paris.

1969 Porsche 917K, Chassis #015

Taking advantage of an FIA rule change allowing larger engines, Porsche developed a completely new race car: the legendary 917. Constructed of advanced lightweight materials and powered by an air-cooled flat-twelve that generated nearly 600bhp, the 917 initially had handling problems due to aerodynamic lift. Changes to the tail designs improved stability and in 1970 a 917K delivered Porsche its first of 19 wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This example won the 1970 24 Hours Of Daytona

1983 Porsche 956 #105

When new FIA regulations rendered the 935 and 936 obsolete by 1982, Porsche built an all-new race car and their first with true monocoque construction. Engineers explored new aerodynamic principles and created a “ground effect” by using the shape of the floor pan to guide air under the car. Rather than reducing the speed of the car, the air stream created suction, keeping it firmly on the road. The 956 became one of the most successful race cars in history, winning Le Mans four times in a row. Chassis #105 won the 1985 Norisring Trophäe.

1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar #010014

A modified 911 4x4 captured overall victory in the 1984 Paris-Dakar Rally, Porsche’s first desert race. At the time, Porsche was also developing a racer for the new Group B class, and used its experience with the 911 4x4 in engineering the resulting 1985 959 rally car. Technically advanced for its day, the 959 featured electronically controlled all-wheel drive and, for 1986, an innovative sequential turbocharging system. Porsche 959s finished 1st, 2nd, and 6th in the 1986 Paris-Dakar Rally.

2008 Porsche RS Spyder #802

In 2005 Porsche developed the RS Spyder entirely in-house to meet LMP2 (Le Mans Prototype 2) category rules. As a privateer (non-factory) class, LMP2 was off limits to Porsche directly. A partnership with Penske Motorsport offered a solution, with Penske gaining exposure and Porsche retaining a triumphant presence in racing. Over three seasons, RS Spyders delivered 24 class wins and 11 overall wins, in addition to winning the manufacturers, drivers and team championships all three years. This one was the winner of the 2008 12 Hours of Sebring.

2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid #1506

The 919 Hybrid was constructed for use at the legendary Le Mans 24-hour endurance race in the Prototype 1 Hybrid category. Power comes from a 500-horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine and a 400+ horsepower electric motor that derives power from a combination of reclaimed braking and exhaust energy. During the 2015 season, this 919 Hybrid won the 6 Hours of Nürburgring, 6 Hours of Circuits of the Americas, and 6 Hours of Fuji, and came in second at Le Mans.

1979 Porsche 935 K3

Overall winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1979, this 935 K3 survives as one of the foremost examples of racing success bolstering Porsche’s image of excellence. The 935, which competed in the Group 5 production car class, was the ultimate 911-based racer of its era and one of the very few production cars to win Le Mans overall. Its K designation refers Germany’s Kremer Racing, a shop that modified a variety of Porsches for use by privateers.

1958 Porsche 356A 1600 Super Speedster

Celebrity ownership of a car often elevates the esteem in which that car’s brand is held, a cultural effect enjoyed by Porsche when Steve McQueen acquired this Speedster. McQueen bought the car with income derived from acting and used it to pursue his passion for racing. His competition successes in the Speedster at Santa Barbara, Del Mar, Willow Springs and Laguna Seca served to magnify perceptions of Porsche’s automobiles as both desirable and capable.

1979 Porsche 911 Turbo

By the late 1970s, Porsche’s 911 Turbo had evolved into what even today remains one of the most iconic versions of the 911. Exceedingly muscular in appearance and adorned with a massive tea-tray rear spoiler, the car conveyed power and aggression while remaining true to the iconography of its heritage. This distinctive aesthetic accurately conveyed the Turbo’s extreme performance and has fostered regard for its silhouette as that of the quintessential sports car.

2015 Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche introduced its advanced 918 Spyder at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, but production did not begin until September 2013 and lasted only until June 2015. A true gas-electric hybrid, its V-8 engine operates in conjunction with two electric motors, one on each axle. For optimum performance and efficiency, the Spyder is fitted with all-wheel drive and electrically-assisted steering. Its combination of innovations proved so potent that one of the 918 Spyders became the first production car ever to run a lap at the Nürburgring in under seven minutes.

1951 Sauter Porsche 356 Roadster

Industrialist Heinrich Sauter and fabricator Hans Klenk worked with Porsche to build a more competitive 356 racer with a re-contoured body and a 1.5-liter engine to replace the stock 1.3-liter unit. The modifications proved successful and in 1952 the Porsche won six of the seven races in which it campaigned. Unusual on a Porsche, reverse-hinged doors gave the car a split-second advantage in Le Mans-style racing, which required drivers to begin the race by first getting in the car.

1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder

Porsche and Penske Racing introduced the 917-30 for the 1973 Can-Am series. Driven by Mark Donohue, the 917-30 not only claimed the championship but achieved a closed-course speed record of 221.120 miles per hour at Talladega. Winning all but one race in the series, the car was nicknamed 'The Can-Am Killer'. Of the six 917-30 Can-Am Porsches built, only three were raced due to rule changes in 1974 that rendered them unable to compete.

1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion

The 911 GT1 Strassenversion (street version) was a road-going version of the 911 GT1 race model designed by Norbert Singer and styled by Tony Hatter. The car was produced in limited numbers for racing homologation purposes and wears a carbon fiber body that combines styling themes of both the 911 and the 962 race car. Modifications to make the Strassenversion better suited for street use included a softer suspension, de-tuned engine, more civilized interior and greater ground clearance.

1997 Porsche 911 GT1

The Porsche GT1 was the first mid-engine 911 derivative and the first to use an entirely water-cooled engine. Based on the factory-backed GT1s that took 2nd and 3rd at Le Mans in 1996, nine GT1s were built by Porsche for private team use in the 1997 FIA GT Championship. This car (chassis #101) competed in the 1997 Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and later won China’s Three Hours of Zhuhai. In its 36 races, #101 achieved 21 podium finishes with eight overall wins.

1967 Porsche 910

Originally built as a factory racer for the 1967 Targa Florio, this Porsche 910 won its class and finished ninth overall at the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans while driven by then-owner Christian Poirot. At the 1967 Nürburgring 1000 Km race, Porsche 910s famously finished 1-2-3-4, giving Porsche it’s third outright win at a major World Sportscar Championship event. Although derived from the dual-purpose 906, the 910 was a true prototype racer and the first of many to be built by Porsche.

1956 Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder

Porsche introduced the 550/1500 RS Spyder at the 1953 Paris Auto Show. Designed specifically for racing, 550 Spyders met with success in the hands of both Porsche Werks team members and privateers. Although 90 Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyders were produced between 1953 and 1956, few have survived intact because they were modified for competition and driven hard. Having never been raced, 550-0090 remains the most original example in existence.

1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS

The 904 Carrera GTS was Porsche’s first fiberglass car and also their first to feature a ladder-type chassis. Developed using expertise gained from building and racing the 550 and RSK Spyders, the 904 was also Porsche’s first closed mid-engine car and four-, six- and eight-cylinder versions were offered. This Porsche was driven successfully in German hill climbs and later owned by Los Angeles-based Porsche dealer Vasek Polak.

The full list of Porsche Effect cars

  • 1939 Porsche Type 64 60K10
  • 1949 Porsche 356-2 Gmünd Coupe
  • 1951 Sauter Porsche 356 Roadster
  • 1956 Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder
  • 1956 Porsche 550/1500 RS Spyder, # 0073
  • 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster
  • 1958 356 Speedster
  • 1958 Porsche 356A Super Speedster / McQueen
  • 1964 Porsche 901
  • 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS
  • 1964 Porsche 356 'Emory Special'
  • 1965 Porsche 911
  • 1965 Porsche 912
  • 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera 6, # 134
  • 1967 Porsche 911R
  • 1967 Porsche 910
  • 1968 911 S Softwindow Targa Sportomatic
  • 1969 Porsche 917K, # 015
  • 1969 Porsche 911E 'Brown Bomber'
  • 1970 Porsche 914-6 GT
  • 1971 Arova-Porsche 212 Skibob
  • 1973 Porsche 917-30 Can-Am Spyder
  • 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight
  • 1974 Porsche 911 Number 2
  • 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera
  • 1976 Porsche 934 Turbo RSR
  • 1979 Porsche 935 K3, # 009 0015
  • 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo
  • 1979 Porsche 928 Risky Business
  • 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport
  • 1983 Porsche 956, # 105
  • 1985 Porsche 959 Paris-Dakar, # 010014
  • 1985 Porsche 911 Junior
  • 1987 Porsche 928 H50 Study
  • 1987 McLaren TAG Porsche
  • 1988 March-Porsche 88C Indy Car
  • 1991 Porsche 944 S2 CS
  • 1992 Porsche 968 Turbo RS
  • 1994 911 (964) Turbo S X83
  • 1996 Porsche FS Bike
  • 1996 Porsche 993 RS
  • 1997 Porsche 911 GT1
  • 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion
  • 2000 Porsche Carrera GT Prototype
  • 2003 Porsche Gravity Racer 'Soapboard'
  • 2008 Porsche RS Spyder, # 802
  • 2009 Porsche 997 RSR Art Car
  • 2015 Porsche 919 Hybrid, # 1506
  • 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder
  • 2016 Porsche 991 GTS Club Coupe
  • Sally Carrera

Pictures courtesy of Evan Klein and Petersen Museum

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