With the Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard postponed, we’re pining for a paddock stroll and some hillclimb action. Luckily, this wonderful place named YouTube is delivering the goods this sunny Tuesday morning. And we’ve stumbled upon this clip of an incredible Porsche 917 LH from last year’s event.
Video: The sound of this flat‑12 Porsche 917 LH will never get old
Uploaded by user 19Bozzy92, it shows the beautiful Martini-liveried 917 LH first in the paddocks and then taking on the hillclimb, resplendent in its growling flat-12 glory. Reunited with its period driver, Derek Bell, it’s a sight for sore eyes.
One of three 917 LH (LH meaning 'langheck' - 'long tail' in German) it was built for the 1971 Le Mans 24 Hours, and it received upgrades over the previous year’s runner-up including a revised front section, partially covered rear wheels and an uprated 4.9-litre flat-12, making around 600hp at 8,300 rpm.
It’s this engine that earned the car international acclaim for the incredible speeds it reached at that year’s Le Mans, raced by Bell and co-driver Jo Siffert. During the pre-race tests Bell reached a calculated speed of 396 km/h (246 mph) on the Mulsanne straight, with the LH achieving 386 km/h (240 mph) in the race.
Although now flying Martini colours, chassis 917-45 was originally finished with a Gulf livery, and while it led the 1971 edition of Le Mans for a good hour, by hour 18 it was forced to retire. It was never raced again. The Martini-liveried Porsche 917K of Gijs van Lennep and Red Bull Formula 1 master Dr. Helmut Marko claimed the win.
What a car. And what a noise!
Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a mid-morning helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: Walter Röhrl drifting a Porsche 904 GTS makes us feel warm and fuzzy
Which is your favourite Porsche 917 livery?
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