Motor

History of the legendary machine Porsche 917 │ 917-001 history

I don't think this is a machine that was created 50 years ago. "Icon" is a completely worn word, but what other adjectives could be used to describe the legendary Porsche 917? Looking back on the long and colorful life of chassis number 917-001, which was reborn after receiving the restoration by Porsche himself.

On March 12, 1969, when the clock on the entrance to the Geneva show was about to reach 3 o'clock, the heat of Porsche's gorgeous stand was swelling to the limit. Journalists from all over the world were waiting for the cover of the most important Porsche racing car ever to be removed. The car was a new machine that would have won the overall Le Mans championship, won the world championship, or both, if planned.



The FIA ​​sports car class, which Porsche attended in 908, was designed to encourage the participation of private teams as well as the powerful budget-rich Works team. Since its introduction in 1966, sports car class participants have had to meet the production obligation of 50 cars for 12 consecutive months. Porsche met the regulation with the Type 906 "6 Carrera", however, in the 1966-67 season, he was the invincible force of the Ford GT40 and swept the series with invincibility.

At that time, Enzo Ferrari was a single-player era when Ford VS Ferrari broke out when he refused the offer to buy from Henry Ford, and although there were sometimes exciting races, too strong Ford forces were. The FIA ​​wasn't keen on overrunning Le Mans. The FIA, which had a majority of French, believed that Le Mans, the world's best race, should be more attractive.

FIA executives held a meeting at the end of 1967 and decided to limit the engine displacement of the sports car class to 5 liters from the following year, and the production capacity obligation of 50 units per year was maintained. The prototype class will have a maximum displacement of 3 liters. Porsche introduced the 907 in the prototype class, and in the first two races of the season, it actually won the consecutive wins by far separating the sports car class Ford and Laura.


On the other hand, McLaren, who was aiming to enter the Can-Am machine with a coupe specification, urged the FIA ​​to reduce the number of vehicles required for homologation, but even if it was slightly reduced, it would be limited. It didn't look like they could produce the number they needed. Surprisingly, however, after the dull 1968 season began, the FIA ​​announced that it would change its policy again, reducing the production required for the sports car class to 25. This change in rules had a major impact on Porsche's race plan, and ultimately took the first step leading to the 917.

At that time, the 910 met the requirements for participation in the sports car class, but there were rumors that Ferrari was developing a 5-liter engine. That meant Porsche was less likely to win the overall title with a smaller 908. Both Ferdinand Piegi and Hans Metzger knew the path to go, but they also knew they had no money to design and build a whole new racing car. Piehi convinced management to insist that 25 vehicles could be sold to private teams during the season, but that wasn't enough.

It's not entirely clear where the funding for the project came from, but the most probable one is said to be V W, who co-developed the 914. There is also the theory that Porsche was funded by a consulting business that was carried out to the outside, and according to Peter Morgan who published a book on 917 20 years ago, it was funded by the German government. It was said.

In any case, no matter what the source of funding, one day suddenly I could secure a budget. In July 1968, there was a go-ahead for a project later known as the Type 917.

After that, competition with the awaited schedule… Continues to the next time


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