An Icon of Porsche Racing History Is Restored to Its Former Glory
The ’51 Gmünd coupe was almost lost forever
She was the first sports car Porsche produced for racing. And race she did. In 1950, the 24 Hours of Le Mans team met with Ferdinand Porsche at the Paris Auto Show and invited him to race the following year. So, he pulled together the aluminum iteration of the 356 in Gmünd, Austria, for the occasion. Four were made — two prototypes and two that were entered in the race. One crashed in practice and one remained. This little number right here.
The 1951 Porsche 356 SL Gmünd Coupe won its class — the manufacturer’s first victory — and took 19th overall that year.
Not considered a pivotal piece of Porsche’s history at the time, the #46 was sold to Max Hoffman, an Austrian ex-pat living in the States, like it was just any other car. Hoffman in turn handed the steed over to racer John von Neumann, who lopped off the roof to cut the car’s weight. It was then purchased by racer Chuck Forge who owned the coupe until his passing in ’09. It was only then that expert restorers the Emory Outlaws picked up the car and revived it to its original state.
Nice work, fellas.
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