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Porsche 908 K Flunder Spyder
Premiere: June 1, 1969 Nürburgring 1000 km
The 908/02 K Spyder and 908 K Flunder Spyder were basically the same cars with slightly different bodyworks. If you look at the non-Flunder Spyder, you see that the body drops behind the front wheel arch and rises again before the rear wheel arch. In the Flunder-model, this concavity doesn't exist. The difference between the two models was mainly visual, no difference in racing use. The first competition the Flunder-model was entered, was the Nürburgring 1000 km on June 1, 1969. Rolf Stommelen and Hans Herrmann drove the #4 908/02 K Flunder to second place behind a 908/02 K non-Flunder Spyder of Jo Siffert/Brian Redman.
While the non-Flunder 908 Spyders were built with chassis numbers beginning with 908/02-xxx, only a few 908 Flunder Spyders had the 908/02 chassis and the rest were converted from first generation 908/01s with chassis numbers 908-xxx (for example cars that were born as 908 Coupes). That is also the reason the headline of this article doesn't include "/01" or "/02" as the Flunder Spyders were built with both chassis.
At the July 12, 1969 Watkins Glen 6 hour race the 908/02 K Flunder Spyder driven by Jo Siffert/Brian Redman was the winning car. It was followed by two 908/02 K non-Flunders making it another among countless Porsche triumphs of the Piëch era.
The versions of Porsche 908 are successful around the world and a 908 K Flunder Spyder of Gerhard Koch/Hans-Dieter Dechent scores 3rd at the Kyalami 9 hour race in South Africa on November 8, 1969.
All the five 908/01 LH-69 Coupés (chassis 908-022...026) that were built for the 1969 Daytona 24 hours and used in a few other races, were rebuilt as 908 Spyders and sold to private drivers. They used the chassis from 908/01 and the body panels from the 908/02 Flunder Spyders (both K and LH).
At the Sebring 12H race on March 21, 1970, actor and car enthusiast Steve McQueen teamed up with Peter Revson to drive a 908 K Flunder Spyder (chassis 908-022) and well they did. As McQueen had broken his foot at the dirt bike race not long before the Sebring event, his foot was in casting. They had to modify the foot room in the car for McQueen to be able to drive the car. Revson naturally was faster of the two, averagely 8 seconds per lap and did lion's share of the 12 hour driving. The “Son of Queen” raced fighting the pain in his foot - what a man! And their 3-litre Porsche finished just 22 seconds behind the winning 5-litre Ferrari 512 S.
On April 19, 1970, a 500 km race is held at Zolder race track and the second place is taken by Helmut Leuze/Peter Hoffmann in a 908/02 K Flunder Spyder.
Steve McQueen had an idea to make a film based on Le Mans 24H racing and so he signed his 908 up for the 1970 Le Mans. The car was equipped with three cameras, one in front and two at the back. The car was driven by Herbert Linge and Jonathan Williams. They had to make extra pit stops for changing the film rolls, but still managed to cover 282 laps which was not bad compared to the winner's 343 laps. 1970 was the year Porsche took overall Le Mans victory for the first time (with the 917).
On October 11, 1970 a 1000 km race is held in Austria at Zeltweg and the 3rd place is taken by a 908/02 K Flunder Spyder of Gérard Larrousse/Rudi Lins.
Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com
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