The first Porsche 917 is unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on 12 March 1969 and causes a stir around the world. On 21 April 1969, representatives from motorsport governing bodies examine the 25 Group 4 sports cars that are lined up for inspection in plant 1 in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen: the 917 is homologated for racing from 1 May 1969. The vehicle is a base model that can be piloted as both a long-tail and short-tail version, thanks to a detachable rear section. Spoiler flaps on the front and rear sections are a prominent aerodynamic feature of the car, and are linked to the wheel suspension to change the angle of attack depending on the car’s downforce and lift. The very first 917 – chassis number 001 – serves as a test and exhibition vehicle for the entirety of its service life, experiencing several paintwork makeovers and being converted into the short-tail version in autumn 1970. Painted in the colours of Porsche Salzburg’s winning Le Mans car, and emblazoned with starting number 23, the 917-001 is exhibited at the Paris Motor Show in October 1970. The car eventually becomes a permanent feature of the Porsche Museum’s collection. The process to restore the car to its 1969 condition starts in January 2018.
Engine: 12-cylinder V 180˚
Displacement: 4,494 ccm
Output: 426 kW (580 PS)
Weight: 800 kg
Top speed: 320 km/h (short-tail version)