This Porsche raced at Le Mans in 1970 and captured my imagination as a boy like no other race car. Beyond being a member of the ultra-gnarly 917 family of Porsches, this car sports a paintscheme like no other. Campaigned under the brand umbrella of Martini, those iris swirls were as arresting then as they are now, and are what lended this particular car the sobriquet of "hippie".
It's a beautiful design that's stood the test of time, and I'd wager it is a flexible one, too; if this pattern were printed on the side of resuable shopping bag from Whole Foods, none of us would bat an eye.
Here's where I need your help: I know that the design team behind the hippie graphics was headed by Anatole Lapine. Somewhere in the cobwebs of my memory I have a vague recollection of reading that a member of his design team was a graduate of the Stanford design program. If you have any information about this, could you please send me an email or leave a comment below? Design mysteries are few and far between, and this is a fun one.
By the way, it's Porsche Week over at Unabashed Gearhead Gnarlyness.
photo credit: Kelzone