Restoring any car isn't a walk in the park. Those who have had their hand in it will tell you the blood, sweat, and tears that go through bringing a classic back to life. Even manufacturers will tell you that in-house restorations are no walk in the park. Just ask Porsche.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of their first Le Mans racer, they embarked upon bringing their first endurance racer, the 917, back to life. Making this restoration even more special is the fact that the car they revived was none other than the very first 917, dubbed 917-001. This is their journey.
They started on the project back in January 2018 and it wasn't as simple as giving it a new lick of paint and calling it a day. What Porsche did was evaluate each part of the car, to see if it was viable for restoration in the first place. Making their task that bit more difficult is the fact that it had been converted to a short-tail version. The original 917-001 was a long-tail. Porsche had their work cut out for them.
Fortunately for them, the aluminum spaceframe of the race car could support the long-tail extension, but there was the matter of fabricating a new panel for it. Luckily, most of the original blueprints are still present in their archives. But if those weren't enough, Porsche also relied on reverse engineering by 3D scanning a part that needed replacing, and manufactured a new one. For months, Porsche refurbished, remade, tweaked, and readjusted the vehicle's body, spaceframe, engine, and interior.
After more than a year, 917-001 is up and running. But just because the car can move doesn't mean the project is over just yet, something restorers would probably agree on. Porsche says the restoration isn't complete yet. Just like restoration houses rushing to complete a car before a motor show, Porsche's mechanics are working double time to show the car to the public in four weeks time.
No pressure, then.