As well as dominating Le Mans and the World Sportscar Championship the iconic Porsche 917 had success in Can-Am. Now the chassis where it all started is up for sale.
In 1970 Porsche looked to take its incredibly successful Porsche 917 over to the ‘anything goes’ Can-Am series, so built this – the Porsche 917/10-001.
It was tested extensively for well over a year by the likes of Jo Siffert and Mark Donahue, and Porsche tried out a huge amount of modifications. Normally-aspirated and turbocharged versions of its flat-12 engine were tested and the car spent a huge amount of time in the windtunnel, which meant no fewer than five different body styles were tried on it. Five!
After Porsche had learned what they needed to the car was sold and run privately in both Can-Am and Interserie (which was kinda like a European version of Can-Am). Emerson Fittipaldi even raced it once!
In 1971 the ‘regular’ Porsche 917 enjoyed success in its last year in the World Sportscar Championship (a rule change made them unable to race in 1972), but in their first Can-Am season the 917/10 couldn’t compete with the mighty McLarens. The addition of a turbocharger the following year allowed them to win however, and the following year won it again with the brutal 1500hp 917/30.
And this is the car where it all started. It’s currently fitted with the front end of the Gulf 917 that raced at Le Mans in 1971, but apparently also comes with the yellow Bosch-liveried bodywork that it raced with in period. It also fully conforms to the FIA’s historic racing regulations, so it’s pretty much good to go!
Any Porsche 917 is off-the-charts awesome, but this one is just that little bit more cool than most. It goes up for auction later this month at RM Sotheby’s with an estimate of between £3-4.6 million. Bargain!