Porsche is a German luxury high-performance automobile manufacturer with a racing history. The Volkswagen Group automobile brand has produced a range of iconic and stunning vehicles that have set racing records. The Porsche 917 is widely regarded as one of the automaker’s best-known racing vehicles. Porsche won its first 24 Hours of Le Mans title with the 917.
Butterflies inspired the design of the Porsche 917. Automotive artist Heidi Merz created artwork on a Porsche 917 depicting the floor.
For the engineers working on the Porsche 917, it was a difficult task to accomplish. The aerodynamic efficiency of the Porsche 917 was inspired by the evolution and flight patterns of butterflies. Meraj refers to this as arthropod aerodynamics. To tell the legend, the automotive artist used about 1000 paper butterflies to create the artwork for the Porsche 917. A 4×6 foot canvas and a multi-layer composition make up the artwork. The Porsche 917K with chassis number 917-022 is depicted in the artwork. To create the shape of the famous automobile, the paper components were cut, arranged and pinned by hand.
It was the Porsche 917 that appeared in Steve McQueen’s 1971 film “Le Mans”. The automobile was painted in Gulf colours, which were synonymous with the German automaker at the time. The Porsche 917 artwork, which was created using paper insects, follows the same color scheme. It complements the Gulf Car’s blue and orange racing livery.
According to Merz, a similar link between the evolution of butterflies and the metamorphosis involved in the origin of 917. She characterizes the evolution of the Porsche 917 as a transformation from a volatile beast into an immortal race vehicle.