To mark Porsche's 75 years in business, the Petersen Automotive Museum has organized an amazing exhibit of the marque's most interesting classic cars dating back to the very beginning.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

April 13, 2023

17 Slides

Porsche is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year with an eye-popping collection of its most amazing classic cars at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

The “We Are Porsche” exhibit focuses on how influential figures in the U.S. helped transform Porsche from a German builder of niche sports cars to an international cultural phenomenon over the past 75 years.

The Cars

The exhibit includes more than 40 incredible cars on The Peteresen’s first and second floors, including:

  • The 1953 550 Spyder raced by Betty Shutes and Ken Miles

  • The 1958 Carrera GT Speedster raced by Bruce Jennings, which became the winningest Carrera GT Speedster in history

  • The original "Outlaw Porsche," Dean Jeffries’ custom 1957 356 Carrera

  • Porsche's first and only Formula 1 racer, Dan Gurney’s 1962 Porsche 804, which claimed Porsche's only two Formula 1 victories

  • The Herbert Brundage/Brumos 1973 911 2.8 RSR driven by Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood, which won both the IMSA and Trans Am championships

  • The 1973 917/30 Can-Am Spyder driven by Mark Donohue, one of the most powerful and successful race cars of its era

  • Steve McQueen’s 1976 911 Turbo

  • Porsches showcased in Hollywood blockbusters “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” and beginning in October, “Cars”

The People

The exhibit showcases the stories of people who have contributed to Porsche’s pervasive popularity. This who's who list includes actors Patrick Dempsey and Steve McQueen, racers Dan Gurney, Hurley Haywood, Ken Miles, "The Spyder Women" (Betty Shutes, Ruth Levy and Denise McCluggage), and Patrick Long, custom car builder Rod Emory, and artist Daniel Arsham.

The Impact

“As a Porsche lover, I’m particularly excited that the Petersen gets to play such a significant role in celebrating the 75th anniversary of these incredible machines,” said Terry L. Karges, executive director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “Porsche’s history on and off the track speaks for itself, and we are honored to help them commemorate this milestone.”
 
“Porsche is as an iconic brand that took off in America, thriving in California’s car culture,” said Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America. “From there, the love for the brand spread around the world. We are delighted to celebrate our 75th anniversary at the Petersen Automotive Museum – the center of car culture in Los Angeles – with such a unique exhibition.”
 
The exhibit runs through April 2024, so you have plenty of time to see the cars for yourself. And it will be worth going to see them more than once because the museum will rotate cars on display during the run.

About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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