The 5 Best Porsche Racing Liveries, Ranked

Porsche is a consummate winner on the track and the street. Porsche reports a total count of over 30,000 victories across 60 years in the world of motorsport. That's a fantastic record of success, to be sure. And to go along with all this winning that Porsche racers have achieved, there's a laundry list of incredible and iconic liveries that have added visual weight to winning race cars.

Porsche entrants have come from a variety of models. claims that while Porsche began with lightweight 356s on the track, "the Porsche 917 is considered one of the most iconic racing cars of all time," being the vehicle that first took victory for the outfit at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

From the Gulf 917 popularized by Steve McQueen as Michael Delaney in the 1971 movie "Le Mans," to the 911 GT1-98 sporting "Mobil 1" emblazoned across its nose, Porsches have often taken center stage and basked in the limelight. A combination of tasteful livery design and the frequency of Porsche victories makes selecting the best among the bunch somewhat tricky. Still, several standout models deserve recognition, and these are the best Porsche liveries ever to hit the track.

5. The 1971 Pink Pig

The first livery on this list is undoubtedly an oddity. In 1971, Martini—a Porsche team racing partner—rejected the color scheme of the 917/20 rolled out for that year's racing season. The car, for Martini, was allegedly ugly. In response to the criticism, the designer, Anatole Lapine, opted for a different kind of stylization for the car that would ultimately participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for that year.

The 1971 car didn't finish the race, but a 2018 tribute with the design on a Porsche 911 RSR won the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year. The car was painted pink all over, and then dashed lines were added to the body in rough coordination with where a butcher would slide up a pig into all the cuts sold to consumers. The car is wonderfully strange, showcasing unique creativity among the Porsche design team that isn't present elsewhere.

4. Mobil 1: the 1998 Le Mans winner

Like the "Pink Pig" came back in 2018, so did the Porsche team's white, red, and blue Mobil 1 livery as a tribute to the car that won the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans. The original racer was a 911 GT1-98, and the tribute was featured on a 911 RSR that entered the Petit Le Mans.

The car showcases the Mobil 1 sponsorship (as well as an IBM logo) prominently on the hood, but the attention-grabbing feature of the livery is in its blue and red swirls. These heaps of color dominate the otherwise white Porsche and are akin to racing flames or a minimalistic Māori tattoo. 

The swirling color of the red and blue lines flow perfectly around the car's wavy body structure and immaculately complement the vehicle. The car is a shining example of creative livery design, and the fact that the vehicle was also a winner certainly doesn't hurt its credentials, either!

[Featured image by Morio via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and scaled | CC BY-SA 3.0]

3. Bob Akin's 1986 Coca-Cola Porsche 962

In the 1980s, Bob Akin drove several Porsches, one being a red 962 decked out in Coca-Cola red and white. The car went through a few varieties of Coca-Cola livery styles. Still, throughout its time on the track, the vehicle maintained the classic white swoosh that's seen on Coke cans, as well as different naming conventions across the body of the car ("Coke" and Coca-Cola"). Porsche even revisited the design in 2019. 

The Porsche is somewhat elongated and utilizes a substantial tail fin that rises up behind a hump located centrally along the vehicle's chassis. This space makes room for the racer and the turbo intercooler located over the engine behind the driver. The car is fascinating in its classic Coke and racing red color pattern. The 1986 Porsche 962 is perhaps the best example of this livery, as it won the Sebring 12 Hours that year.

2. The blue and orange Gulf 917

One of the most iconic Porsche liveries to hit the track is the Gulf livery donned by a Porsche 917. Goodwood's Ben Miles notes, "Gulf liveries have looked good on many cars, but the 917 is the car with which it is most closely associated." The association was perhaps made most famous by Steve McQueen's portrayal of a Porsche team driver in 1971, though many other racers have also driven one. There's something magical about the powder blue and orange highlights of a Gulf livery combined with the sweeping chassis of a Porsche 917.

The International Motor Racing Research Center touts the combination of a Gulf liveried Porsche 917 and the magnetic driver Pedro Rodriguez as "one of the great car and driver combinations in motorsport history." The blue and orange are subdued and don't scream out at the onlooker. Even so, it's hard to avert your gaze from the beautiful shaping lines of the vehicle and the orange flashes that complete the aesthetic.

1. The 1970 long tail 917 in swirling green and purple

Finally, there's the long-tail 917 Porsche that competed in the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans. This vehicle fits better somewhere in a Batman movie rather than on the high-performance track. 

The livery is a swirl of green and purple that sway across the front and sides of the vehicle, giving it a unique visual design to match the two veritable wings that rise on either end of the car as the chassis begins to work its way over the back tires. The vehicle includes a few dabs of white alongside these whirling colors to support the painted-in number, and the car itself is a part of the Martini Racing team's effort rather than featuring for the Porsche racing side.

Yet, the wild color scheme of this livery has remained a thing of beauty and was restored in recent years by its owner Vincent Gaye. The Martini logo is hard to pick out on the vehicle, but you'll find it if you look hard enough (which onlookers inevitably will). The oddity of this livery makes it an instant classic and earns it top billing here.