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Unprecedented collection of Porsches gather at NC museum

Featuring 22 automobiles, Porsche by Design presents cars owned by Ralph Lauren, Steve McQueen, and Janis Joplin, as well as the one-of-a-kind Panamericana concept car.
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Exhibit features 22 Porsche cars dating from the 1930s to present

RALEIGH, N.C.—On October 12 the North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) opens its first-ever design exhibition, bringing together the largest and most diverse group of Porsche automobiles ever on display in a U.S. art museum. Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed features 22 automobiles that together trace the evolution of the singular Porsche design aesthetic from its inception in the 1930s through the present day.

Porsche by Design is organized by guest curator Ken Gross, renowned automotive journalist, Old Cars Weekly columnist and former director of the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The NCMA’s Barbara Wiedemann is managing curator.

Porsche by Design presents cars owned by Ralph Lauren, Steve McQueen and Janis Joplin, as well as the one-of-a-kind Panamericana concept car on loan from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

Beginning with the crisp minimalism of the 1938 Type 64 Berlin-Rom Racer—the oldest model featured in the exhibition—the cars on display show the evolution of the signature design principles that have long linked Porsche with beauty, artistry, technology and innovation. Several cars provide stunning examples of the aerodynamic design that was the hallmark of the Formula One race cars of the 1960s, while others show the technical innovation and advancements that were introduced with contemporary models such as the 911 Carrera.

Highlights of Porsche by Design include:

· The 1938/9 Type 64 Berlin-Rom racer designed by Porsche founder Dr. Ferdinand Porsche; it is the precursor to all Porsche automobiles manufactured after 1948.

· A handcrafted 1949 Gmünd coupe designed by Dr. Porsche’s son “Ferry” Porsche, one of about 50 aluminum-bodied sports cars from the first Porsche “factory,” a converted sawmill in Gmünd, Austria.

· Steve McQueen’s iconic Porsche Speedster, a Type 356 from 1958, synonymous with the late Golden Age in Hollywood, on loan to the Museum from his son Chad McQueen (pictured above).

· A rare Type 804 Formula One race car, one of only four of this model ever built, and the car that Dan Gurney raced to victory at the French Grand Prix.

· Janis Joplin’s psychedelic Porsche Type 356C, on loan to the NCMA from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

· A Porsche GT3 R hybrid race car prototype from 2010.

Porsche Videos

The Museum has released a series of 12 short-format videos related to the exhibition featuring interviews with Porsche collectors, historians, and enthusiasts, including Jay Leno, Derek Bell, Dan Neil, Harm Lagaaij, Ken Gross, and Robert Cumberford. The videos include archival images of the Porsche family, a close look at signature Porsche design details, and footage of historic car races.

About the Exhibit

Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art. This exhibition, open until mid-January, is also made possible, in part, by the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources; the North Carolina Museum of Art Foundation, Inc.; and the William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment for Educational Exhibitions.

To learn more about the exhibit and related Porsche events, visit

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