Porsche disclosed that it has launched a new business arm that aims to restore vintage cars and make them as close to the original version as possible. Porsche will also offer repair and maintenance services. This was born out of a need to make sure that classic vehicles from Porsche continue to be appreciated at race tracks even today.
Historically, Porsche has had many wins at different 24-hour classics like the Daytona and Le Mans. The brand also had memorable successes at different 1,000-kilometer races like the Spa-Francorchamps and Nürburgring.
This particular service however will only be offered for now in the U.S. and Germany. President & CEO of Porsche Motorsport North America Jens Walther shares that since most of these vehicles have become part of motorsport history, a number of them has experienced an increase in their value especially in recent years.
Though the historic auto racing scene continues to have a very strong following especially in the U.S., many of these vehicles have been seen on different race tracks in Europe. More and more owners have started to realize the importance of future gains and how restoring such vehicles plays an important role, Walther concludes.
Porsche reveals that the figurehead for its new venture is the Porsche 917K that has been completely restored. This is the same car than won and became a legend during the 1971 1,000-kilometre race at Spa. The Porsche 917K was originally rolled-out from Porsche Motorsport North America.
Enthusiasts now have a chance to admire the Porsche 917K even closer with the “Rennsport Reunion”, which is considered by many as the largest event that features historic Porsche race cars. The event was held at Laguna Seca in California last September 25 to 27.
Though the 917K had a number of successful campaigns in the U.S. like Watkins Glen, it was eventually stored at the Zuffenhausen museum. It was later exhibited in the same museum by 2009 but it was painted with Gulf colors.
Porsche Motorsport North America was then commissioned in 2012 to restore the car back to its original 1971 condition and at the same time make it run again on the race track.
To perform this task, Porsche Motorsport North America used a number of different resources. The first step was to look at the archives of the Porsche Museum with its vast collection of documents. The second was to consult people who witnessed the car perform during its prime.
Finally the wide knowledge and lengthy experience of former and older employees of Porsche were also sought out. Thus aside from restoring former Porsche models to its original glory, this new business field is also aimed at securing all this expertise and passing it to the next generation of staff and employees.
Most restoration and repair services often end up with the car still on display. Porsche however differs in this regard. Its comprehensive service also allows the owners to take their restored historic race cars actually up and running and racing on the track.
Safety has always been one of the concerns the company takes into consideration when restoring race cars. This is a big issue especially with Group C vehicles that had been manufactured 30 or even 40 years ago. Thus Porsche will not replace parts where safety is concerned and is even willing to deviate from authenticity.
For example, the car will never be fitted with the old safety belts. In order to make every customer’s wish come true, the company plans to create a network composed of repair specialists and vintage car restoration experts long known in the field.
Thus customers are able to get the best guarantee of supply in everything. Walther shares that while the owners want to be assured that their restored cars are indeed track-worthy, the company wants to also give them the assurance that they will always be there if and when something breaks.
The final aspect of the new business field is on maintenance. Similar to its approach to current motor racing customers, the company does not only take charge in supplying the necessary parts. Porsche ensures that they will always be there for customers to give assistance and advice in matters related to the technical aspects of the car.
Porsche discloses that by the middle of next year, it expects to complete its Los Angeles Porsche Experience Centre (PEC). Once completed, customers will now have the opportunity to store their own historic vehicles on the site.
Thus in between race meetings, the car will not only be maintained by different experts but will be transported to the tracks as needed and afterwards sent again to the PEC. While at the PEC, their historic cars will continue to be exhibited in a first-rate classy atmosphere for the many visitors to enjoy between races.