Porsche 910 Bergspyder

Premiere: 1967 May 21, Montseny hill climb in Catalonia

© Porsche

Engine: 2.0 flat-8, 188 kW

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910 Bergspyders had 8-cylinder engines, so they were called as 910/8 or 910/8B ("B" for Bergspyder) © Porsche
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This is the state of the car in the Porsche museum collection, the PORSCHE-lettering on the side is a later addition (the lettering wasn't there when the car actually raced) © Porsche

Gerhard Mitter had won the 1966 European Hill Climb Championship driving the 906-010 Targa and the 910 Targa. For the 1967 season he got a new weapon, the 910/8 Bergspyder.

The car was called as a Bergspyder and not just as a Spyder as it was specifically made for hill climb events. The hill climb cars had very small fuel tanks and fragile 8-cylinder engines could be used because of the short distances they had to withstand.

1967 May 21, Montseny, Catalonia, Gerhard Mitter in the new 910/8 Bergspyder took the victory in front of Rolf Stommelen in the other 910/8B unknown (please inform if you know)
1967 June 4, Rossfeld-Berchtesgaden (Germany), winner Rolf Stommelen unknown (please inform if you know)

On June 18, the Mont Ventoux hill climb in France is won by Stommelen. On July 10, at Trento Bondone in Italy, Mitter is victorious again. Just a week later, on July 16 at Cesana Sestrieres in Italy, Stommelen wins again. Another Porsche 1-2 victory comes on July 30 at the Freiburg-Schauinsland hill climb in Germany.

1967 July 28, Ferdinand Piëch watching as his creation is checked. This 910/8B #156 is driven by Rolf Stommelen (scores second at this Freiburg-Schauinsland event after Mitter). © Willy Pragher / Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, reference no. LABW_5-797835-1

For 7th event in the 1967 EHCC calendar at Ollon-Villars on August 27, a new 910 Bergspyder was introduced, it was made as light as possible, even the bodywork was removed where possible (on the sides under and the rear face), the front lid vent was eliminated and left side air scoop was introduced. The frame of Mitter's car was made of titanium tubes and the car weighed just 450 kg/990 lb. Stommelen's car was around 20 kg heavier. With their 8-cylinder engines these cars were extremely agile and fast.

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1967 August 27, Ollon-Villars, Switzerland: Gerhard Mitter, here at the age of 31 (dies after racing accident at the age of 33) and team mate Rolf Stommelen, here 24 (dies after racing accident at the age of 39). Note: the new lightweight versions of the 910 Bergspyders had new front lids and vent scoops on the left side.
1967 August 27, Ollon-Villars winner Gerhard Mitter. Note the bodywork of the lightweight version of the 910: the cut-away rear face and the body not extending to the ground on the sides.unknown (please inform if you know)

At the September 3 Gaisberg hill climb in Austria, Mitter had a car with the side air scoop on the right side (Stommelen still had a car with left side scoop). At this event Stommelen was victorious, Mitter second. This was the last event of the 1967 EHCC season. All the 1967 EHCC races were won by 910 Bergspyders, either by Mitter or Stommelen. They finished the championship with the same amount of points. Both had won 4 events, both had scored second 3 times. And Mitter had one third place finish, while Stommelen did not participate in one event. Gerhard Mitter became the 1967 EHCC champion, his second year in a row.

For the 1968 season, the 910 Bergspyders got more modifications. The lightweight spyders now had their air scoops on the right side and a new rear spoiler was introduced. Instead of one wide rear spoiler now the cars had two active spoilers. At the hill climb events the rules allowed a lot of experimenting, so active rear spoilers could be used.

In addition to Mitter and Stommelen, Porsche had hired Ludovico Scarfiotti to pilot the third factory entered 1968 910 lightweight spyder. Since 1958 Porsche took the European Hill Climb Championship every year except in 1962 and 1965 when the championship was won by Ludovico Scarfiotti for Ferrari. At the first 1968 event in Montseny Scrafiotti scored second between Mitter and Stommelen.

1968 June 2 Montseny event winner Gerhard Mitter. Note the new active rear spoilers that are individually connected to the frame and to the moving parts of the chassis - if a side is lifted in the corner, the spoiler on that side has steeper angle of attack.unknown (please inform if you know)

The next event was at Rossfeld in Germany and a day before the competition, on a training (June 8, 1968), Scarfiotti flew off the track and into the trees. He is thrown off the car and is airborn for a long time before hitting the ground. His life cannot be saved. Ludovico Scarfiotii (at the age of 34) becomes the first Porsche factory driver to die at duty. Stommelen is not participating in the next days competition, Mitter wins it.

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Gerhard Mitter, the winner of the 1968 Rossfeld-Berchtesgaden hill climb © Porsche
1968 July 28, Freiburg-Schauinsland hill climb is won by Gerhard Mitter in the #154 Porsche © Willy Pragher / Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg, reference no. LABW_5-797803-1

At the 1968 EHCC Mitter wins 7 hill climbs out of 8 and becomes the King Of The Hill, third year in a row. Stepping on his heels was mainly Dieter Quester with BMW Monti. Rolf Stommelen had skipped two hill climbs and didn't win any in '68. During the two last events Stommelen used the new Porsche 909 Bergspyder that was even lighter than the 910 Lightweight Bergspyder.

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Posters with 910 Bergspyder© Porsche

It is unclear how many 910 Bergspyders were made, probably five. One of the cars with original early 1967 "heavy" body, with front lid vent, no side vent and single rear spoiler belongs to the Porsche Museum and it is known that 910/8 Bergspyder with chassis number 910-032 was later converted to a 910/6 Targa.


Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com


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