Porsche made their debut at the 1951 Le Mans 24 Hours. They produced a small run of aluminum-bodied 356s and received an invitation to compete in the endurance race. Three of the four cars suffered severe damage during practice, and only this 356 Gmünd SL Coupe was left to take the start. Driven by French drivers Auguste Veuillet and Edmond Mouche, it came first in class.
Porsche didn't keep the winning car, it was exported to the States and raced by different owners with the roof of the coupe removed to make it more competitive. Eventually, it fell into the hands of the current owner, Cameron Healy. The Porsche enthusiast delivered the Gmünd SL to his longtime tuning partner Rod Emory of Emory Motorsports for restoration back it to its original factory condition.
However, since the Gmünd SL was no longer a coupe, reverting the car back to its 1951 Le Mans configuration was extremely challenging. Emory poured through the archive photos and data of the winning vehicle as well as other cars from the same period to make sure every part was as close as possible to the original. 3D scanning technology was used to build the wooden body buck while the aluminium panels for the brand new roof were hand-beaten into shape. With the details completed and its authenticity verified by Porsche, the 356 Gmünd SL Coupe is now officially resurrected. Images courtesy of Emory Motorsports.