5. PORSCHE 908

Motor Sport News - - Le Mans Preview: Retro -

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

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