In 1970, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood drove the 917 KH (short-tail) with start out selection 23 and in the environment-well-known pink-white Salzburg layout to the initially of (so far) 19 total wins for Porsche at the circuit. The 917 was Porsche’s very first time in the league of immensely strong, huge-potential racing cars. Its 580bhp 4.5-litre 12-cylinder engine set new requirements, and is however famous nowadays.

Adjustments in the restrictions meant that prototypes were being allowed a optimum engine measurement of 3. litres, and for athletics automobiles 5. litres were being permitted – but a collection of at least 25 had to be constructed. The 1969 race time authorized the 917 to grow to be absolutely race established, with the end result that the vehicle entered 1970 with its dependability confident and enhanced aerodynamics to rectify its formerly wayward conduct at superior pace.

For the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hours the manufacturing facility did not enter the cars and trucks instantly, but by means of its companions, John Wyer Automotive and Porsche Salzburg. In a rain-soaked race, amid fierce opposition from Ferrari, the 917s fought a close-won victory. Here’s the photo I took of it at the Concours of Magnificence 2020.

This auto, a Salzburg entry in the team’s crimson and white livery started out with a drawback – driver Richard Attwood had opted for the smaller of the two engines available by 1970, the 4.5-litre rather of the 5.-litre, and experienced chosen the 917 KH ‘short-tail’ edition rather than the more quickly 917 1H long-tail. This was due to the fact the lengthy-tail he’d pushed at Le Mans in 1969 had been exceptionally unstable – but by 1970 the extended-tail design and style experienced been manufactured significantly much more steady.

So, at first, Attwood and co-driver Hans Herrmann lagged behind the rest of the 917s and the Ferrari 512s. Even so, as rain started to slide in the night, getting to be torrential via the night time, the car’s milder specification and the two drivers’ experience shone through – and to their great surprise they discovered them selves in the guide.

The heavy rain induced misfiring as a result of the night time, due to water leaking onto the ignition components, but the car or truck saved going. Immediately after 24 several hours it was continue to in the direct, regardless of the motorists getting fatigued – especially as Artwood later discovered that he had been struggling from the mumps.

Porsche 917 rear see at Concours of Class 2020

This was Porsche’s very first-at any time total get at Le Mans, and an additional 917 completed second. Given that then, Porsche has reached a file complete of 19 over-all La Sarthe victories to day – but the initially, in automobile 23, was undoubtedly the greatest of all.


4.5-litre, flat-12, double overhead camshaft, 580bhp, gasoline injection


Rear engine, four-pace handbook transmission, rear-wheel push, tubular spaceframe, glassfibre bodywork, unequal higher and lessen arms, coil springs, discs