The Petersen Automotive Museum is one of the top car museums in the country and, month after months, curates fascinating groupings of cars to give first-timers and frequent attendees alike something to pique their interest. The museum’s newest exhibit, Redefining Performance, highlights Porsche’s rich racing legacy with five winning examples spanning almost the entirety of the brand’s history. Here they are, in chronological order:
1951 Porsche 365 SL Gmund Coupe
Just weeks after its debut, the first 356 won its class in the first race in Austria after WWII. This example took class victory in the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans. It may date from the ’50s, but 356 has a look that is decidedly Porsche and the silhouette and rear-engine design continues to this day.
1966 Porsche 910
A trio of six-cylinder Porsche 910s entered the 1967 running of the 6 Hours of Nürburgring and finished 1-2-3—just ahead of the lone surviving 910/8. This beautiful coupe went on to win the S 2.0 class in the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans.
1977 Porsche 934 RSR Turbo
Drivers Bob Wollek, Philippe Gurdjian, and J.P. Wielemans wrestled this turbocharged racer to seventh overall place in the 1977 24 Hours of Le Mans, good enough for first place in the GT class. A Porsche 936/77 took the overall win.
1980 Porsche 924 Carrera GT
Porsche’s front-engine, four-cylinder turbo racers weren’t built in large enough numbers to satisfy Le Mans’ homologation rules for 1980 competition, so they were forced to race in the GTP class. By 1982 however, they were fully competitive and won the IMSA GTO class.
2016 Porsche 911 RSR
In a switch from tradition—and in a departure from its production namesake—the 2016 911 RSR moved its 500-hp flat-six engine in front of the rear axle. It took the LMGTE Pro class win in the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Of course, this exhibit celebrating Porsche’s racing heritage isn’t the only place you’ll find Stuttgart’s finest in the Petersen. A 959 and Ruf CTR are not far away in the Petersen’s Supercars: A Century of Spectacle and Speed exhibit. Great cars keep excellent company in this place.