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Porsche 917: Archive and Works Catalogue

cover-3835Most people, even those only vaguely interested in motor sport, will have heard about the Porsche 917. The first of Porsche’s race cars to truly dominate the world of sports car racing, the 917 project was in 1969 almost a step too far for the small Stuttgart manufacturer as it stretched the company’s financial resources to the limit.

The origins of the mighty 12-cylinder boxer engine can be traced back to a little known 6-cylinder engine developed in 1968, the Type 916. This experimental engine is based on the production 2.2-litre 911 engine of which only six were produced. It featured twin overhead cams and was one half of the final 4.5-litre engine that powered the 917 into the history books in the 1970s. The brainchild of Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, the 917 was created with one goal in mind, to win the Le Mans 24-Hour race. The FIA regulations at the time allowed for cars of up to 5-litre to compete in Group 4 of the World Championship, subject to a minimum production of 25 units.

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