911 snap­shot

With more than 60 years hav­ing passed since porsche headed to italy in search of en­durance records, to­tal 911 re­counts the story

Total 911 - - Contents - Writ­ten by Chris Ran­dall Pho­tog­ra­phy by Porsche Ar­chive

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.

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