Porsche Marks 50 Years of 917 with This Gorgeous Concept

Porsche 917

The Porsche 917 was a car that would set the world on fire: it was dominant for years in racing, and took titles such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall victory in 1970 and 1971; and Can-Am victories, toppling McLaren’s supremacy, there.

The first Porsche 917, dubbed 917-001, debuted at the Geneva auto show on March 12, 1969, painted white with a green nose.

This “long-tail” style of 917 proved almost undrivable on the track, and “was incredibly unstable, using all the road at speed,” according to Porsche factory driver Brian Redman.

It wasn’t until a trackside modification was done to give the car more downforce – by essentially removing the tail section of the car – that it would become the successful racing car we know today.

In total, some 37 examples of the 917 were built of varying size, length and engine displacement.

Now, Porsche’s unveiled a modern take on the icon, a concept with throwback styling based on the 917K (“K” for Kurz, meaning “short”) that won the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans, piloted by Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood.

It will be on display at the Porsche Museum during a special exhibit between May 14 and September 15, alongside no less than 10 real 917 race cars, including 917-001.

Porsche has stated it has no plans to make the concept car into a real road car, and that it is purely a concept study carried out by a small team of designers and engineers. The car actually bears a pretty strong resemblance to the 918 Spider, and we’re pretty sure the wheels are directly from the hybrid hypercar.

This just goes to show that if something was once a good design, it will always be a good design.

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