Can Something Be Captivating Because It’s Uncommon?
In the early ’70s, Porsche—like every other carmaker—decided to add stripes to its 911. Stripes themselves are nothing new, least of which in Stuttgart, but instead of taking the easy route, designers envisioned a more polarizing look. I can imagine the styling studio exchange now:
Designer #1: “What if ‘911’ covered the hood of the car?”
Designer #2: “Sounds cool, what if it was so bold and obvious and brilliant that we could remove the Porsche crest from the hood as well?”
Designer #3: “…this is so contemporary, we should offer them in different colors, too!”
The result, you see above in a Porsche photo from its first driver training outing in 1974, were the so-called “Safety Stripes”, available in black, silver, orange, or gold. What makes them safer? They’re matte, with a number of sources saying the finish was to reduce glare. Rare? Yeah, you bet, and accurately replicating the look isn’t simple: cars originally ordered with them were fitted with hoods without the holes needed to affix the Porsche crest.
The 1974 911 was completely revised for a number of safety-related items, including its bumpers. The “Safety Stripes” are but one example, but I think I’ve fallen in love with how they look.
Is there a vintage accessory you’re equally captivated by?