Porsche's One-Off Le Mans Liveries Will Celebrate 75 Years of History

porsche 963 le mans 2023
Porsche's One-Off Le Mans Liveries Will Celebrate Porsche

Porsche is the most successful brand in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans by a fairly wide margin, winning the race overall 19 separate times. Its campaign to stretch that record to 20 starts with the new-for-2023 Penske Porsche 963 program, and those factory-run 963s will wear a vibrant one-off livery at this year's 24 hour classic.

As 2023 marks both the 75th anniversary of Porsche and the 100th anniversary of Le Mans, the cars are a throwback to the entirety of the brand's prototype racing heritage. Rather than wrapping each car in an individual tribute, all three incorporate elements of historic liveries into the existing red-black-white scheme the car has run in both Europe and North America since its January debut. Those tributes come in seven different colors, making up fifteen stripes that start at the nose and spread over the width of the car's sidepods.

porsche 963 le mans

Those tributes start on the outside, with the orange accent element from the Gulf livery most famously worn on the John Wyer-run factory 917s that starred in Steve McQueen's film Le Mans. Moving inward, the pink stripes represent the "Pink Pig" 917/20 that ran Le Mans in 1971 and returned as a GTE-Pro class winner in a tribute livery on the 2018 911 GT3 RSRs. Then comes the green from the "Hippie" 917 longtails, the light blue accent from the Martini-wrapped car that won Le Mans in 1977, the dark blue from the Rothmans 956s that won twice in the early 1980s, the red that gave the brand it's maiden victory on the Salzburg-run factory 917 shorttail in 1970, and, finally, the yellow from Penske's American Le Mans Series RS Spyder program.


Together with black in between each stripe, the source colors combine to create an unfolding pattern that replaces the red stripes on the standard Penske 963s. Each car retains a contrasting fin to help identify the specific entry, with black on the No. 5 WEC entry, white on the No. 6 WEC entry, and red on the additional No. 75 entry being run with IMSA-based personnel only for the race.

The Porsche 963 has not yet won a World Endurance Championship race, but a Penske-run car won the IMSA round at Long Beach two weeks ago. In addition to the three cars run by the factory Penske operation, a fourth customer 963 entered by LMP2 stalwarts Jota Sport will also be fielded the race. That car wears a unique white and gold livery.

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