The Porsche 908 was introduced in 1968 to continue the Porsche 906/Porsche 910/Porsche 907 series of models designed under Ferdinand Piech. As the FIA had announced rule changes for Group 6 Prototype-Sports Cars limiting engine displacement to 3000 cc, Porsche designed the 908 as the first Porsche sports car to have an engine with the maximum size allowed. The previous Porsche 907 only had a 2200 cc Type 771/1 flat-8 engine developing 270 hp. The new 3-litre Type 908 flat-8 air-cooled boxer engine produced 257 kW (350 hp) at 8400 rpm. The 908 originally was a closed coupe to provide low drag at fast tracks but from 1969 on was mainly raced as the 908/2, a lighter open spyder. A more compact 908/3 was introduced in 1970 to complement the heavier Porsche 917 on twisty tracks that favored nimble cars, like Targa Florio and Nürburgring.
Our car, chassis 908-010, is one of the earliest 908’s and one of only five to be fitted by the Porsche Race Department with the special short-tail coupe bodywork. Upon completion, Porsche System Engineering immediately entered 908-010, together with its sister car 908-011, for the 1000km of Spa race held on May 26th 1968, the 7th round of the International Championship of Makes where it carried race nr 6 and would be driven by the fearless Vic Elford and Jochen Neerpasch.
The weather played a huge role in the race which saw the brilliant young Belgian Jacky Ickx and England’s talented Brian Redman dominate and win in their 4.7 liter Ford GT40. Vic Elford, who had qualified 4th took the 1st stint in the #6 Porsche, pitting on lap 32 and handed the car over to his team mate Jochen Neerpasch. As Elford later recalled in his autobiography (Reflections on a Golden Era in Motorsports), “After just a couple of laps, Jochen did not pass the pits and, since communications was minimal in those days, it took a while until we learned that Jochen had slid off the road on the fast sweeping downhill at Malmedy where he knocked down a telegraph pole which hit his crash helmet, knocking him out. The car had luckily stopped at the edge of the road and Jochen spent the night in hospital with a slight concussion but no other injuries.” The car, however, was badly damaged especially on the right side where it had impacted with the telephone pole.
After Spa, 908-010 was returned to the factory where it was disassembled and put into storage. Several years later the chassis and body were sold to a Swiss collector where it sat for more years until it was found and purchased by American Porsche Prototype specialist Dale Miller on behalf of Florida racer and collector Bill Ferren. The chassis and body were brought to the USA where a lengthy restoration was started in 1999 by prototype expert John Corson of Pline Plains, New York. Corson repaired the original steel spaceframe chassis, replacing the damaged portions of the tubing, and tracked down the missing parts including a series correct, factory original flat-8 three liter engine (number 908-034) from the Vasek Polak estate and a correct 908 five speed transaxle with number 015. Most of the original fiberglass body panels had survived largely intact and were repaired by Corson as required.
The car was painted its original factory white color and sent to Florida just in time for the 2004 Rennsport Reunion at Daytona where proud owner Bill Ferren took the car out for demonstration laps and then placed it on display. Elford and several other Porsche factory racing drivers autographed the car. In December of 2006, the car was sold to its current US owner on the West Coast where the car has been regularly raced in historic events.
908-010 has been meticulously maintained jointly by renown Emery Motorsport together with engine specialist Rothsport Racing who refreshed the factory engine in 2016 after which the car has been used very sparingly. It was featured in the acclaimed North Carolina “Porsche by Design” exhibit and was also awarded “Best is Class” at the July 2016 Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance where it was judged by Miles Collier and Dr Julio Palmaz. It also participated at several Rennsport Reunions.
The car is supplied with a spare set of correct light-alloy center-lock wheels and with its old 2010 FIA HTP in addition to extensive documentation including recent invoices and a detailed restoration photo-book, bills and receipts of John Corson’s initial restoration upon 908-010’s arrival in the USA.
This is a very rare opportunity to acquire an early, factory built Porsche 908 coupe prototype driven by some of the company’s greatest drivers. 908-010 would sit prominently in any collection of important Porsche competition cars while it remains a star attraction and entry in today’s historic race events around the world, including Le Mans Classic and countless other prestigious events.