In 1971 the first ever Starbucks coffee house was opened in Seattle, Washington. That same year, the fourth manned landing on the moon took place with Apollo 15, and Disney World, Orlando, Florida was opened. It was also fifty years ago this year that Porsche 917-053, the #22 Martini Kurzheck race car, shot across the start/finish line at Le Mans to notch up Porsche’s second consecutive win in this great race.
This was a rather special and important Porsche 917, because it had a magnesium chassis, and two upright tail fins. It was the third of only three cars to carry a magnesium chassis. The big advantage of the magnesium chassis was of course weight, this being 42 kg lighter than the aluminium chassis used by the other 917s. According to Walter Näher, in his superb book, Porsche 917: Archive and Works Catalogue 1968-1975, pointed out that neither of the two drivers, Helmut Marko and Gijs van Lennep, knew that they had a very special car under them.