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The Amazing Story of the Porsche 917

The loophole Porsche racecar Ferrari couldn’t touch!

The Porsche 917 was the brainchild of engineering genius Ferdinand Piëch, the grandchild of Ferdinand Porsche and nephew of Ferry Porsche. The 917 was the only Porsche model produced with the 12-cylinder engine and experimentally even with the 16-cylinder. When the new rules for the International Championship for Sports Cars were made public at the end of 1967, the team in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen decided to build a new race car for the under-five-liter class. As the successor to the successful 907 and 908 types, the 917 got an air-cooled twelve-cylinder engine. Powered by the Type 912 flat-12 engine of 4.5, 4.9, or 5 litres, the 917/30 Can-Am variant was capable of a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 2.3 seconds, 0–124 mph (200 km/h) in 5.3 seconds. The long tail Langheck version had a maximum measured top speed of 362 km/h (225 mph). It was dominant, scary and probably the most insane racecar ever built. We have covered the Porsche 917 in lots of depth but we stumbled on this great video from John from @Ficarra Classic who gets a lot of the details right and is a great storyteller.