Stuttgart. Forty years ago on March 13, 1969 at the Geneva International Motor Show, today’s Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche unveiled a car that, even by today’s standards, is underestimated when it is described as the “super sports car”: The Porsche 917. It became a legend as one of the fastest and most successful racing cars of all time.
Porsche fired the starting shot for Project 917 in June 1968, after the international motor sports authority or FIA had announced a class of “homologated sports cars” with up to five liters cubic capacity and a minimum weight of 800 kilograms. Under the supervision of Ferdinand Piëch, the stipulated 25 units of the new racing car model were completed by April 1969 so that the 917 could begin its racing career in the same year. After it initially dropped out of its first three races due to technical problems, the 917 success story began in August 1969 at a 1,000-kilometer race at the Österreichring with a victory by Jo Siffert and Kurt Ahrens.