JUL 17th 2014

Porsche 908 is the 917's successful, but less remembered, little sibling

Think late 1960s and early ’70s Porsche racing cars and the chances are the 917 will be your go-to answer. But there was another endurance car in the Porsche stable at that time. As the 917 grew ever more accomplished on long, fast circuits, it became less suited to twistier, slower challenges like the Nürburgring and Targa Florio.

To complement the 917, Porsche also campaigned the 908. In its third iteration, the 908/03, it was lightweight specialist on shorter circuits. It weighed just 500kg (flyweight by endurance car standards – the 917 was 840kg), which meant its relatively modest 350hp still resulted in a respectable power to weight ratio. This was a Porsche built the Lotus way.

The nimble 908/03 took victory on the Targa Florio and Nürburgring 1000km, a point that’s always been overshadowed by the 917’s Le Mans 24-hour win. Porsche built 11 908/03s, plus another two with slightly different chassis. Some were used by the factory only for testing and development, and most went on to be successful in privateer hands.

Many remain active in historic racing today, and at the Bonhams Pebble Beach auction chassis number two, pictured here, is going on sale. It’s part of a stellar line-up, and you can see the full list of lots here.

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