The Solitude Racetrack in Southwest Germany is aptly named, nestled deep within the forest near Porsche headquarters in Stuttgart. Every two years in July it becomes the site of the Solitude Revival, a relatively small but no less epic classic car event because the Porsche Museum lets some of its priceless treasures out to play.
That includes everything from the iconic Porsche 804, one of the marque's rare forays into Formula 1, which competed for a single season in 1962, and the incredibly beautiful 917, the model responsible for the marque's first overall victory at Le Mans.
“For us, taking part in this event is both an obligation and an honor,” as Porsche Museum head Achim Stejskal says. Solitude was a seminal racetrack in Porsche's racing history, a sort of backyard proving ground where cars like the 550 Spyder and 718 RS 60 Spyder first proved their competition prowess.
Exhibiting in various classes, the cars at the Revival all demonstrate that they're still capable of thrilling the crowd in a series of driving demonstrations. One of the clear favorites this year was the 356 B Carrera GTL Abarth, a rare racer from 1960.
In addition to the cars themselves, legendary drivers were on hand to pilot them, from icons of the 1950s and 1960s like Hans Herrmann, Eberhard Mahle and Herbert Linge, to champions from the 1970s and 1980s like Walter Röhrl and Hans-Joachim Stuck, and younger drivers such as Stéphane Ortelli, Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and André Lotterer,
All in all, there were around 12,000 spectators on hand to view more than 400 historic cars. "I recognize many of these cars only from black-and-white images and films," commented Neel Jani, another of Porsche's Formula E drivers. "Seeing, hearing and experiencing them here and now, live, is truly unique.”
If you missed this year's edition you'll have to wait until 2021 for another chance, though in the interim many of the cars will return to displays at the Porsche Museum, where they remain potent reminders of the marque has achieved — and what victories are yet to come....