Porsche celebrates both its return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and its record 16 victories in the French classic with a special display, “24 Hours for Eternity. Le Mans,” at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany. The exhibition, which includes more than 20 Porsches that have raced at Le Mans, opened today and runs through July 13.
As a special event within the special exhibition, the museum will be open throughout the running of the race June 14-15 with visitors able to follow the progress in a public viewing on monitors both inside and outside the museum. Admission fees will be waived for the Le Mans-viewing weekend.
Throughout the exhibition, the interior of the museum has been turned into a miniature version of the famed Le Mans circuit with various Porsches placed not only to be viewed but to be seen in simulated racing situations. The exhibition includes full-scale wall art.
Porsche made its debut at Le Mans in 1951 when Auguest Veuillet and Edmund Mouche drove a 356 with skirted front and rear wheels to win the 751-1100cc class while finishing 20th overall. They repeated the class victory in 1952, when they were 11th overall.
Other class victories ensued — Paul Frere and Richard von Frankenberg drove a Porsche 550 coupe to victory in the 1101-1500cc category in 1953.
Porsche scored its first overall victory in 1970 — in fact, Porsche’s ran 1-2-3, and also took 6th, 7th and 9th that year — with Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood winning in a 917L. Not only did Porsche win, but it showed the depth of its engineering with a 917L, 917 LH, 908, 916/6 and 911S among the first nine in the final standings that year.
In addition to the cars, the exhibit includes helmets and other pieces, including Ferry Porsche’s personal diary.
As part of the exhibition, the museum’s shop will offer 1:43 scale models of all of Porsche’s 16 Le Mans-winning cars.