Porsche 904 Spyder (1965)
Premiere: May 9, 1965, Targa Florio
Engine: Porsche type 771, 2.0-litre flat-8, 191 kW
For 1965 racing season Porsche built five 904 Spyders for its own use - chassis 906-003, -004, -007, -008 and -009. All 904 spyders had 8-cylinder 2-litre engines. There were two body variants, the 003, 004 and 009 cars had natural Spyder look as you would expect from a Porsche of that era, while the 007 and 008 had not so pleasing design. To increase cornering capability in hillclimbing, the overhangs were shortened. While the spyder-version of the 904 has often been called as a Bergspyder, it was not just used for hillclimbing. The spyders also got nicknamed as 'kangaroo' because of the roadholding - the lightweight cars with stiff suspensions jumped on bad roads.
The first racing event for the 904 Spyder was 1965 Targa Florio held on May 9.
The 904 Spyder #182 (chassis 906-008) driven by Gerhard Mitter/Colin Davis is victorious in 2-litre prototype class and scores 2nd overall after a 3.3-litre Ferrari.
The sister car to the Targa Florio runner-up was chassis 906-007. Factory team entered it only twice - at the Rossfeld hill climb and Norisring racing event. Gerhard Mitter won both. The car was then sold on to private driver, while the Targa Florio car was totalled at the Cesana-Sestriere Hillclimb.
Then there were the more beautiful 904 Spyders, chassis 906-003, -004 and -009. The 003 was the first one taken to the event - the 1965 Nürburgring 1000 km - but was completely crashed at the practise.
The 906-004 car is entered into a 2-litre prototype race on Solitude on July 18, 1965 and wins it driven by Gerhard Mitter.
The last event where the factory team entered 904 Spyders was Schauinsland Hillclimb on August 8, 1965. Ludovico Scarfiotti won the event for Ferrari and Gerhard Mitter scored second just 1.9 seconds behind in a 904 Spyder, chassis 906-004. The other 904 Spyder, chassis 906-009, was on its first race, but was destroyed.
Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com
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