Throughout the rest of the 11-round series, this potent projectile won three of the great 1,000km races – at Monza and Spa (with Rodriguez and Brit Jackie Oliver) and at the Osterreichring with Rodriguez and Richard Attwood, the man who’d given Porsche its first Le Mans win a year earlier. That Austrian success would be the last at World Championship level for the 917, although 013/034 did win the non-championship Paris 1,000km at Montlhéry, courtesy of Englishman Derek Bell and Dutch ace Gijs van Lennep.
‘Our’ 917 then went into hibernation for a few years, thanks in no small part to the regulation change at the end of 1971. No longer eligible to race in the Manufacturers’ Championship, due to an engine-size cap of 3-litres, the Group 5 prototypes had nowhere to go, with many of them ending up with private collectors and racers. And that’s what happened to 013/034: Aubrey Finburgh took the car under his wing and it has remained in the family ever since. When not getting an enthusiastic airing at events, like it did at the 74th Members’ Meeting, it lives in a Belgian museum during the winter.
Proudly shown off at the Festival of Speed every year since the event began in 1993, 917K chassis 013/34 is surely one of the finest examples of one of the finest sports-prototypes that ever raced. If you’re old enough to have seen this fast and fabulous machine in period action, lucky you!
Photography by Tom Shaxson and Pete Summers