Since its inception Porsche had always wanted to be involved in motorsport. Despite an extremely limited budget and time post World War II, the 356 was the company’s first entry to LeMans in 1951.
It’s a little known fact that Porsche dubbed the name SL before Mercedes did so with the 300SL, SL standing for Super Light. Unlike the competitors, Porsche invested all of its budget into the engineering of the car, for they had no official motorsport department.
As such the 356 SL stood as a testament of what the company was capable of, and naturally won attraction when with zero experience, it won best in class on its first outing.
Over the following decade Porsche’s engineers got better and better, and with the 907 then up for replacement, the 917 came to fruition.
Race car development costs were just as immeasurably expensive back then, and Ferdinand Piech had his reservations. Despite the obvious hesitancy, the 917 project was given the green light and its goal was to dominate LeMans.
Norbert Singer, the chief engineer for the project, had quite a task ahead of him. Considering Porsche’s size at the time, the team had multiple jobs per individual. Some incredible innovations were established through the project, however.
Adaptive aerodynamics were pioneered for the rear tail fins, where linkages were attached to the rear suspension to assist the cars stability in corners. The tireless work paid off, and Porsche won LeMans in 1970.
The following year Porsche achieved the impossible, they crossed the line in a 917 a full two laps ahead of the competition and set a record that was only broken in 2010, nearly 40 years later. The car achieved 3315 miles at an average speed of 135 miles per hour.
Sadly the rules were then changed, the glorious flat 12 like the car featured here was no more, and Porsche turned their attention to the 911 using a 3-liter motor with a turbo and came second overall.
This 917 features the utterly demonic Type 912 Flat 12 engine. With some of the finest noises you can hear from any internal combustion engine, the footage presented by YouTuber, 19Bozzy92, is an absolute treat to witness.
Although chassis 917-025 never won, it did see third place in one of its 12 races. Regardless of this particular examples heritage, the hair raising overrun is pure adrenaline fuel for the senses. Turn the bass up and enjoy the show with one of the greats LeMans cars ever conceived.
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