5. PORSCHE 908
BEST RESULT: 2nd (1969, 1980) The only car on this list to score outright podiums at Le Mans in three different decades (1969, 1972 and 1980), the 908 should be on everyone’s list of great sportscars. It stormed to the 1969 world sportscar title, and won at events as diverse as the Targa Florio, Nurburgring 1000Km and Spa 1000Km.
But it’s a stealth great, partly because of the iconic status of its successor – the 917 – and partly because the three-litre prototype never won Le Mans.
A faulty brake warning light and an inspired Jacky Ickx defeated Hans Herrmann’s surviving 908 in 1969, but the car’s longevity was underlined when it took another second place as late as 1980 (though how much of that car was actually 908 and how much was 936 is open to debate).
Brian Redman, who dominated the 1969 season in 908s alongside Jo Siffert, says: “Jo and I both tried the 917, we just felt that we’d have a better chance in the 908 [in 1969]. We had a special long-tail spyder. We were leading when the gearbox failed due to lack of cooling caused by the new long tail.
“If Jacky Ickx hadn’t been driving the JWA Gulf GT40 or – with the greatest respect to Hans Herrmann – if Jo Siffert had been driving the [remaining] 908, then we would probably have seen a 908 win Le Mans.”
Redman and Siffert were strong in special ’69 spyder
Montjuich 908 finished fifth in 1973