Porsche Museum cars for Australia

Porsche 356 B Carrera GT (1960)
1960 Porsche 356 B Carrera GT

20th September, 2006

A priceless collection of racing cars from the Porsche Museum in Germany will come to Australia for two of the country’s historic racing events in the coming months.

With victories in Formula One, endurance events such as Le Mans and classic road races such as the Targa Florio, these seven Porsche racing cars bear testimony to Porsche’s success across major fields of motorsport.

Each car has its own story, its own place in history as well as being regarded amongst the best of its era.

When these cars competed, more often than not they dominated – such was the innovation and sophistication Porsche engineers melded into each machine.

Their on-track success helped lead to supremely engineered road cars – cars such as the 911 and Boxster.



Heading the list of the Museum cars is the 804 Formula 1 from the early 1960s – Porsche’s first and only wholly-produced F1 car that won the 1962 French GP with American racer Dan Gurney. The 804 featured a 1.5-litre eight-cylinder engine with 132 kW of power and a 270 km/h top speed.

Porsche withdrew from Formula 1 at the end of the 1962 season, believing there were more benefits to be yielded for its road cars from GT and sports car racing.

This led to the development of lightweight and agile race cars such as the 908/03 Spyder; a purpose-built open-top eight-cylinder (3.0-litre) racer which competed in four races and won three – Targa Florio in 1970 and the Nurburgring 1,000 kilometre endurance races in 1970 and 1971.

Joining this pair in Australia will be two Le Mans racers.

The 936/77 Spyder gave Porsche perhaps the most memorable of its Le Mans 24 Hour victories back in 1977. The heroics of drivers Jacki Ickx, Juergen Barth and Hurley Haywood saw the 936/77 Spyder claw its way back from a discouraging 41st place to take a stunning victory. This car also won the Le Mans 24 hour in 1976 – the first for a turbocharged Porsche.

Porsche’s last factory assault on Le Mans was in 1998 with the all-conquering 911 GT1. The lightweight, hi-tech GT1 was powered by a 400 kW turbocharged 3.2-litre engine and scored an emphatic 1-2 for Porsche in its 50th year, bringing total Porsche victories at Le Mans to a record-setting 16.

Perhaps the most emotive of the Museum cars to tour is the 550 Spyder – the genesis of Porsche racing cars. Powered by a unique, quad-camshaft, four-cylinder engine, the 550 Spyder embodied Porsche philosophy of ‘lightweight’ and ‘manoeuvrability’ and resulted in the 550 Spyder scoring a 1-2 class win in the Carrera Panamericana, a notorious border to border race across Mexico in 1954.

The 908/02 Spyder also has a special place in Porsche history as its first race car to win the Constructors’ World Championship, in 1969, going on to win races at the Targa Florio and Brands Hatch. Rounding out the rare collection is the 356 B Carrera GT of 1960 – an adored car that won its historic class in Targa Tasmania in 1998 and was running an amazing third outright in 2000 with genius Walter Rohrl at the wheel before suffering a minor mechanical fault.

Rarely does such a significant collection of valuable cars leave the Porsche Museum for promotion and competition half way across the world, says Porsche Cars Australia Managing Director, Mr. Michael Winkler.

“Not since our 50 year celebration in Australia in 1998 have we been able to secure such an impressive collection of iconic race cars from Porsche’s rolling museum,” said Mr. Winkler.

“It is Porsche’s approach that our museum cars are maintained in working order so they can be featured in competition, demonstrations or static display."

“Porsche aficionados will be in for a rare treat when these cars tour Australia.”

Porsche Cars Australia will confirm in the months ahead which museum cars will appear at the Classic Adelaide and Phillip Island events.

Classic Adelaide, in which Porsche this year is the ‘featured marque’, runs from 15th to 19th November, with 85 Porsche entries expected. The Phillip Island Classics, which last year attracted 20,000 fans, runs 9th to 11th March, 2007.

Porsche 550 Spyder (1954)
1954 Porsche 550 Spyder

Other Porsche news: here.

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