The Gorgeous Porsches Of The 24 Hours Of Le Mans

With 16 victories to their claim, Porsche is the single winningest manufacturer in the history of the 24 Hours Of Le Mans. While their race cars were designed solely to win, they turned out to be spectacularly gorgeous in the process.

Porsche started competing at Le Mans in 1951, though their first outright victory wasn't until 1970 with the 917K. A magnesium framed 917 won at Le Mans in 1971, and thank god it didn't catch on fire. The 936 won Le Mans in 1976 and 1977 using only a 2.1 L air-cooled turbocharged flat-six, and looks Martini-tastic here. The wild 935, based on the 930 road car, won Le Mans in 1979.

This video also features the mighty 956 which dominated Le Mans every year from 1982-1985, until being replaced by the 962. From the modern era, a personal favorite of mine Porsche's 1998 Le Mans winning 911 GT1 is highlighted, which remains the only mid-engined 911 ever built. Of course, there is also the new 919 which put up a strong fight at this year's 24, and looks to a promising future of Porsche in LMP1.

While I'm certain Porsche's engineers didn't design these cars to be beautiful, all of them have an organic quality that is revealed in this context. Perhaps I'm just a sucker for big swooping curves (I am), but I think the simple, aerodynamic shapes of these race cars are quite stunning.