PORSCHES AT THE PETERSEN

Porsche AG, Porsche Cars North Amer­ica and the Petersen Au­to­mo­tive Mu­seum cel­e­brate the mar­queʼs 70th An­niver­sary in fine style with an el­e­gant, his­toric ex­hi­bi­tion last­ing through­out 2018

Classic Porsche - - Contents - Words & Pho­tos: Matt Stone Ad­di­tional pho­tos: Petersen Mu­seum/kahn Me­dia

We visit the amaz­ing new ex­hi­bi­tion, cel­e­brat­ing 70 years of Porsche

Enzo Fer­rari and Fer­di­nand Porsche were in count­less ways very dif­fer­ent men. Yet they ended up on some­what sim­i­lar paths, both found­ing the now epic car com­pa­nies that bear their names shortly af­ter the end of World War II. Fer­rari counts 1947 as its found­ing year, and as such cel­e­brated in grand and global style last year. Porscheʼs birth cer­tifi­cate, on the other hand, bears 1948 as its magic date, al­though of course the seeds of it were planted years prior.

Among the many fer­tile and cre­ative minds con­tem­plat­ing this event were Petersen Au­to­mo­tive Mu­seum doyens Peter S. Mullin, cur­rent Board Chair­man of this renowned Los An­ge­les in­sti­tu­tion, and mega en­thu­si­ast/col­lec­tor Bruce Meyer (now Chair­man of the Board Emer­i­tus and se­ri­ous Porsche gath­erer). In early 2017 they and mu­seum Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Terry Karges dis­cussed the idea of do­ing ʻsome­thing ma­jor ʼ at the Petersen to cel­e­brate Porscheʼs 70th and then got Porsche Cars North Amer­ica en­gaged in the idea. The stars aligned and the re­sult is called The Porsche Ef­fect ex­hibit, which opened to the pub­lic on Fe­bru­ary 3rd, and will re­main on dis­play through the an­niver­sary year.

ʻOver a year in the mak­ing, The Porsche Ef­fect cap­tures the in­no­va­tive and iconic spirit of Porsche, show­cas­ing the mar­queʼs many con­tri­bu­tions to au­to­mo­tive engi­neer­ing and the mo­tor­sports world,ʼ says Peter Mullin. ʻWe 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.ʼ

ʻEn­com­pass­ing 50 cars, The Porsche Ef­fect is­nʼt a pure chrono­log­i­cal re­count­ing of this his­toric mar­que,ʼ com­ments Brit­tanie Kinch of The Scenic Route. Work­ing with the Petersenʼs own ex­hibits and cu­ra­to­rial staff, The Scenic Route is the ma­jor set de­sign and con­struc­tor that gave the Petersenʼs re­cent $100mil­lion re­model its high level of

mod­ern mu­se­um­craft, be­fore de­sign­ing and ex­e­cut­ing The Porsche Ef­fect. ʻWe wanted to high­light much of the com­pa­nyʼs path from one hand­built car in a small shop to to­dayʼs po­si­tion as one of the worldʼs most fa­mous car­mak­ers and most pow­er­ful brands, but itʼs not a lit­eral time­line,ʼ added Ms Kinch.

Among the many things The Porsche Ef­fect is not is a cold, dark ware­house full of 50 ran­dom cars. An­other thing this mar­vel­lous ex­hibit in­stal­la­tion is not is a tacit emp­ty­ing of the Porsche Mu­seum in Stuttgart. In fact, per­haps sur­pris­ingly, only one of the cars cur­rently on dis­play was pro­vided by the fac­tory mu­seum; all the rest are in pri­vate hands of one form or an­other.

Also on hand to be en­joyed are a fas­ci­nat­ing va­ri­ety of archival arte­facts and ephemera ded­i­cated to Porsche as a de­sign driven com­pany, in­clud­ing draw­ings, mod­els, fur­ni­ture, Porsche De­sign watches and such. One item we found par­tic­u­larly com­pelling is a hand­writ­ten note­book- style jour­nal from Dr Porscheʼs shop de­tail­ing any given dayʼs ac­tiv­i­ties, and ac­com­plish­ments. One en­try reads ʻNew project to be called Volk­swa­gen.ʼ At that point, the world changed in an in­stant.

The Petersenʼs multi-storey park­ing garage con­tains a few small al­coves big enough to dis­play a car in plan view, so as youʼre walk­ing into the build­ing, youʼll see a few Porsches just to whet the ap­petite. The main lobby houses an­other ten cars and re­ally gets the spine tin­gling. Sev­eral of these, in­clud­ing street and rac­ing GT1S, can be seen through the win­dows from the street.

The main and largest gallery ex­hibit is also on the ground floor, and most in­trigu­ingly, an­other dozen or so cars are dis­played in the Petersenʼs some­what myth­i­cal ʻVaultʼ base­ment, most of­ten used to house col­lec­tion cars not cur­rently on dis­play. Most of the Vaultʼs Porsche dis­plays are rac­ing cars, über rare high per­for­mance street mod­els, and cus­toms, such as those served up by Singer

Ve­hi­cle De­sign, and Rod Emory Mo­tor­sports.

Em­ploy­ing four sep­a­rate, and very dif­fer­ent look­ing, spa­ces to en­com­pass one ex­hibit theme is a cre­ative and highly ef­fec­tive ex­am­ple of mu­seum craft on the parts of the mu­seum staff and The Scenic Route. The re­sult is that The Porsche Ef­fect looks highly de­signed, not merely gath­ered.

And whatʼs on show: plenty, in­clud­ing the 1938 Ber­linRome Type 64 race car, Ben Pon 906, the Le Mans team 919 Hy­brid en­durance racer, the Petersen Col­lec­tionʼs early 901 and 356 Con­ti­nen­tal Cabri­o­let, a rare ʻX83ʼ Turbo S Flach­bau 964, a Dakar Rally-spec Type 959, Gulf 917K (along with a 917 en­gine on a stand right next to it), the Jäger­meis­ter 962, the leg­endary Porsche 935 K3 Le Mans win­ner be­long­ing to the above noted Bruce Meyer, and a smat­ter­ing of 550 Spy­ders. On ex­clu­sive loan from the Porsche Mu­seum is the 928 H50 study, a rare four-door pro­to­type of the 928.

There are a cou­ple of dif­fer­ent 356 Speed­sters on show, in­clud­ing the black ex-steve, now Chad Mcqueen 1958 1600 Su­per, which wears chromed Rudge knock-off wheels and once in its life was also owned by Bruce Meyer. Down­stairs among all the track cars sits an ex-prost Mclaren Porsche F1 ma­chine, plus one of the March/porsche V-8 Indy­car rac­ers.

Prior to the pub­lic open­ing, a lim­ited num­ber of guests at­tended the pre­view re­cep­tion, which fea­tured live mu­sic, gourmet food, and a cu­rated panel dis­cus­sion with iconic Porsche driv­ers, in­clud­ing Hur­ley Hay­wood, Patrick Dempsey and Tommy Ken­dall.

The Porsche Ef­fect runs through 2018, and over time, var­i­ous as­pects of the ex­hibit will be ro­tated in and out, so while the core of the event will re­main rel­a­tively con­stant, it will take on an evo­lu­tion­ary aspect as time goes by. The Petersen Au­to­mo­tive Mu­seum is open seven days and is to be found at 6060 Wil­shire Boule­vard, Los An­ge­les, 90036. Learn the rest at www.petersen.org. CP

Ar­guably the star ex­hibit is the Type 64 Ber­lin-rome car shipped over from the Pro­to­typ Mu­seum in Ham­burg. Re­built from parts res­cued by Otto Mathé, it rep­re­sents Ground Zero for all fu­ture Porsche de­signs

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