Martini Porsche 917-053, Artwork Digital Download


Martini Porsche 917-053

We were very lucky to get a glimpse of this rare Le Mans winning Porsche 917, it is owned by the official Porsche Museum and brought over to the Goodwood Festival of Speed to be ob Static display.

Le Mans in 1971 was a race of records. Driving this very car – chassis number 917-053, the last coupé built – for the factory-affiliated Martini Racing Team, Gijs van Lennep and Dr. Helmut Marko covered 5,335.3km over the course of the 24 hours, at an average speed of 222.3kph. In doing so, the duo set a distance record that would stand for almost four decades. That’s pretty remarkable for a car that, when it was introduced two years prior, was deemed almost un-driveable at high speed by even the finest of drivers.

Its Le Mans victory is not the only special characteristic of this car. Chassis number 917-053 is the sole surviving (and only raced) Porsche 917 coupé with a tubular frame built from magnesium – an alloy that, though ultra lightweight, burns at a very low temperature, and so fiercely that it’s near impossible to extinguish. Furthermore, the frame was pressurised with gas. When the pressure gauge in the cockpit dropped, Brian Redman reported that the engineers would go around all the joints with a cigarette lighter to identify the leak.

It seems ludicrous today that company executive’s took the decision to allow men to drive what was essentially a mobile bomb in anger. But this was a sign of the times, and by no means were they alone. It is for this reason that, following its triumph on its maiden outing at La Sarthe, 917-053 was retired by Porsche and never fired up again, simply for fear of what would happen with its ageing and fragile chassis. It is therefore a one hit wonder, in the finest sense of the term.

This Digital Artwork is created by myself from my own original photograph. It is from a  shot I took at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Link to the original Photograph.



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The Art


  • Model: Artwork Download