WW II ended with Germany in ruins and the Porsche organization desperate to survive while in Gmund, Austria and against all odds started to build the 356 sportscar. At the 1950 Geneva Motor Show Ferry Porsche met with Le Mans organizer, Charles Faroux who impressed upon Porsche the value of the small company participating in the Le Mans race. Ferry Porsche directed the company to proceed with developing cars for the 1951 Le Mans race. Porsche made the gamble that racing success would the resulting publicity would negate the need for expensive advertising campaigns.
Two aluminum-bodied 356 Gmund cars were diverted to the experimental shop to be modified into race cars. The cars were identified as 356 SL (Super Leicht). Power was from the VW derived 4-cylinder engine that produced 46hp. Brakes were hanged from cable-operated to hydraulic. Bodywork changes included replacing the rear-quarter windows with louvered blanking plates. Although most of the body was aluminum, the floorpan and doors were steel.
The two cars were completed and driven to Le Mans for the June 1951 race. The evening before the race car no 47 crashed and did not take part in the race. The lone car, no 46, was driven by Frenchmen Auguste Veuillet and Edmond Mouche. The little 1086cc Porsche completed 210 laps in the 24-hours to place 19th. From this humble beginning the Porsche Le Mans legend began.
After the 1951 season the 356 SLs were sold to Porsche American distributor, Max Hoffman. Car no 46 eventually ended up in California and raced by John von Neumann. During the von Neumann years the top was removed and the car painted red. Eventually Chuck Forge bought the car and campaigned it in west coast historic races for years. When Forge passed away in 2009, Cameron Healy bought the car and with the assistance of Rod Emory and Porsche research led to the car being the 1951 Le Mans 356 SL car. Although the car had an extensive west coast history and connection to von Neumann, in Healys words, ‚ÄöLe Mans Trumps everything and so started the multi-year restoration to bring the car back to 1951 Le Mans specifications.
Humble Beginnings was shot at the 2015 Rennsport Reunion. The restoration was not completed and the car was presented in bare aluminum. The image was made with a Nikon D750 DSLR.
There are 3 types of prints offered, each in multiple sizes. There are 2 paper print options using Hahnemuhle Fine Art paper.
Option 1 is printed on Baryta paper. It is a bright white, cellulose-based Fine Art paper. Baryta is an acid and lignin-free, 325 gsm and 100% Œ±-cellulose paper that conforms to ISO 9706 for museum quality and highest age resistance.
Option 2 is printed on Fine Art Photo Rag Metallic paper. Metallic is a silvery-shimmering Fine Art paper with a specially formulated coating for Fine Art use. The natural white cotton paper contains no optical brighteners and has the characteristic Photo Rag surface structure and sumptuous feel. Metallic is an acid and lignin-free, 340 gsm and 100% cotton paper that conforms to ISO 9706 for museum quality and highest age resistance.
Both Hahnemuhle Fine Art paper prints are shipped unframed and are ready for matting and framing.
Option 3 is a dye sublimation printed on aluminum with a glossy finish. The Aluminum print has a high-gloss white finish that bright colors and high image definition. Prints are shipped with a float mount hanger mounted 2in inside the rear of the print.
Although the aluminum print is more expensive, it is delivered ready to hang and there is no additional framing cost.