With more than 60 years having passed since porsche headed to italy in search of endurance records, total 911 recounts the story
Find out how a 911R broke no less than six world records at Monza in 1967
in the late 1960s the 911r was intended to take the neunelfer to even greater heights on the race track and rally stage. Unfortunately, a combination of Fia homologation requirements and ambitious pricing would see that particular dream go unrealised, with just four prototypes and a further 20 cars constructed in total. But more than 60 years ago it would be involved in an endurance record attempt that resulted in five world records and 14 international class records.
the first 96-hour record attempt began at noon on 29 october 1967. an all-swiss lineup of four drivers were involved – Jo siffert, Dieter spoerry, Hans-heinrich ‘rico’ steinemann and charles Vögele – taking to the Monza track in a 906, but the first attempt ended in failure as the bumpy surface proved too much for the fragile racer. Fortunately the rules allowed for another attempt as long as it took place within 48 hours and, following some frantic phone calls, porsche offered the drivers the 911r.
Having already tasted success at the nürburgring a few months previously it was the perfect candidate, so two cars were despatched to Monza by road. there had been little time for preparing the r, although the transmission had been fitted with what amounted to two fifth gear ratios in case of failure, and it was also discovered that the car about to go record breaking was fitted with an engine that had already endured 100 hours of bench testing back at Weissach.
still, there was no turning back, so at 8:00pm on tuesday 31 october 1967 the record attempt got underway. Wet weather wasn’t ideal and the car soon began to suffer the effects of freezing temperatures as ice affected the carburettors, but both would be overcome over the course of four days. More rain and fog and a potholed surface that took its toll on the 911r’s dampers were further challenges if any more were needed, given the concentration required to pound around the circuit for hours at a time and at speeds in excess of 130mph. in fact, the surface was so bad on parts of the banking that peter Falk painted white arrows on the track pointing to the worst potholes so the drivers could avoid them. Fortunately, both the porsche and the drivers were made of sterner stuff, and after an exhausting few days five endurance records would belong to them: 15,000km at 210.22kmh; 10,000 miles at 210.28kmh; 72 hours at 209.94kmh; 20,000km at 209.23kmh and 96 hours at just over 209kmh. those numbers make for impressive reading even today, let alone six decades ago using a car that had been driven to the track. Within the pages of total 911 you’ll often find talk of porsche’s engineering prowess, but if you need any further convincing then you need look no further than this very special 911r and a wintery 96 hours at Monza.