The Porsche 917 won Le Mans outright in 1970 and ‘72, and dominated North America’s CanAm series in 1972 and ‘73. And this year it turns 50.
To celebrate its half-centenary, Porsche has done some things. First, it set about restoring the first-ever 917. Chassis number 001 was revealed at the 1969 Geneva Motor Show and used mostly as a “test and presentation vehicle”. In its life it went through many colour and spec changes, making its restoration especially challenging. It took a team of engineers and technicians over a year, using original parts and materials where possible, to return 001 to original condition.
It will form part of a special exhibition at Porsche’s museum in Germany, running from May to September. Ten of the 14 exhibits are actual 917s (with a combined power output of 7,795bhp), and one is the model pictured above. It’s a concept study produced by a “small number of designers and engineers” within the company as a homage to the 917’s first Le Mans victory.
Look closely and you’ll see it’s a bit rough around the edges – this is a full-scale model, nothing else, that’s supposed to give us an idea of what a modern-day 917 might look like. No plans to turn it into a real thing, which is a crying shame because it looks ace. Think Porsche ought to revive the 917 proper?
By: Tom Harrison, March 11, 2019
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