Porsche Gmund SL 063 Le Mans Class Winner
This is the car that arguably started it all, Porsche's first works Le Mans entry and class winner.
1951, a terrible year for Bordeaux wine, but a great year for Porsche as it launched its fledgling company's cars into competition around the world, especially throughout the wine-growing regions of France and Italy.
Having produced a small run of vehicles with aluminum bodies early in its serialized production of the 356, Porsche was asked to compete in the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans. Europe was getting back on its feet from the war and there was a great deal of development in the automotive sector. Ferdinand Porsche was forged in an environment of creativity and competition, so racing was a natural for him and his sons followed suit.
The road to Le Mans was paved with accidents as the company tested the mettle of its cars and drivers who would need to last a full 24 hours. Three of the four cars prepared for competition suffered significant damage, so only one was left as the sole entrant for the mid-June event. The hopes of an entire company rested on the shoulders of the two French drivers and an aluminum-bodied coupe with a 1.1-liter engine.
There is a much longer story to be told about the history of Gmund SL 063, but the one we will begin to tell here is the story of the restoration by Emory Motorsports to its Le Mans-winning form and livery.
The car's current owner, Cameron Healy, a long-time client of Emory Motorsports and dyed-in-the-wool Porsche Motorsport enthusiast, commissioned Rod Emory to restore 356/2-063 to its factory-original form, a coupe.
Chassis 063's bare-metal reveal at the 2015 Porsche Rennsport Reunion V was significant as this was the first time in 63 years that it had been seen in public as a coupe, the way it won its class at Le Mans in 1951. Porsche AG acknowledged its authenticity and inivted it to share a stage with two other Le Mans winners. This was a proud moment for owner and restorer alike, but there was much more ground to cover before the finish.
2016 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
The restoration of the 1949 Gmund SL was completed in time for the 66th edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. This was Porsche's first works entry into an international racing event and in 1951 it came home from Le Mans a class winner. The car was never meant for show, but some 65 years later its presence at the world's premier concours seemed fitting, considering the exhaustive attention to detail given to its Le Mans-winning renaissance.
356/2-063 competed in the class "O-2 Post-War Sports Racing" against some very worthy competition, not the least of which were an Aston Martin and a Maserati Tipo 60/61. Ultimately, the Porsche (the only Porsche in this year's show) took second in class to the "Bird-cage" Maserati (a two-time Le Mans entrant).
A few media links with Rennsport Reunion V coverage:
Singer 911 Targa Roll Bar Cover Louvers
Singer Vehicle Design decided to develop a Targa version of their reimagined 911. Because 964 variants of the 911 did not have Porsche's signature triple vertical louver, it was an opportunity for Singer, with the help of Emory Motorsports, to put their spin on the roll bar cover. We lent our expertise in louver design, tooling and prototyping, which ultimately yielded a small number of Targas with the reimagined 2-louver design using original 964 stainless steel roll bar covers.
Magnus Walker 911 Front Fender Louvers
Magnus Walker came to Emory Motorsports with a louver project, "right up your alley." We agreed. He wanted some race-inspired louvers in the front fenders of what would become his "911 SRT," featured at SEMA in 2014. We began by 3-d scanning a similar fender, using its curves as the basis of our die design. We had the dies milled out of tool steel from our CAD files, then set about the process of punching louvers.
4-liter Singer 911 Air Filter Bezel
Singer Vehicle Design asked Emory Motorsports to design a special piece for their new 4.0-liter 911 powerplant. They created a new air plenum to supply enough oxygen for the beastly engine, but needed a 'crown jewel' to capture the air filter. We started by scanning the plenum to understand its dimensions, then set about designing a filter bezel according to Singer's guidelines.
Porsche America Roadster Windshield Frame Redesign
Joe Cavaglieri, noted master craftsman of vintage racing car restoration, came to Emory Motorsports with a windshield project. He was tasked with redefining the windshield aesthetics of a 1952 Typ 540 Porsche America Roadster. He asked if we could apply our 'digital know-how' to refine the A-pillars with more graceful lines, something much more fluid like the rest of the Roadster's body. We began by 3-d scanning the existing A-pillars, center post and cowl channel. Ultimately, our CAD files were machined from solid aluminum billet to make an all-new windshield frame.
During our design process, we used 3D Systems' QuickParts service to source a 3d-printed prototype of the initial A-pillar design which we showed to the customer. This SLA part proved a useful tool and ultimately yielded the final design which we committed to machining once our client had approved of the revisions. This process is documented here at 3D Systems -->