The Porsche 917 could arguably hold the title of “greatest race car of the 20th century” due to its titles in some of the world’s most prestigious racing series’ – among them the World Sportscar Championship, Le Mans, and the Can Am.
And one lucky – and affluent – car collector might own the model that holds all the accolades – the Porsche 917. But of course it’s not going to be an easy – or a cheap – win. Let’s go back in time – the development process started way back in 1968 with the traditional goal of taking down the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team went to the event with the Porsche 917 in May of 1971, and in its inaugural attempt it won with a record, finishing with an advantage of 5,335.16 kilometers (3,315.11 miles), the biggest margin at that point – and an impossible achievement for almost four decades.
The Porsche 917 had two 911 flat-six engines joined at the crank, for a total displacement of 4.5 liters, but then it surged to 4.9 liter, and eventually a 5.0-liter with as much as 1,100 horsepower (820 kilowatts) on tap. This particular example is an early prototype for the convertible 917/10 – and was finished in 1970 – it was never raced, but it was used for testing, for up to 23 consecutive days on the Weissach skidpad at a time. The car was afterwards rebuilt and sold to Willi Kauhsen, who raced in the US, Europe and South America – then it was retired for more than two decades and restored back in 1997.