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Lot 75

2016   |   Amelia Island Auctions 2016

1968 Porsche 908 Coupe

Estimate

$3,000,000 - $3,300,000

Chassis

908-011

Car Highlights

One of Just Five Factory 908 Coupes Thought to Exist
Factory-Entered at Spa, Watkins Glen, and Zeltweg in 1968
Comprehensively Restored by Porsche Specialists to Spa Livery
Eligible for Some of the World’s Most Exciting Collector Car Events
A Gorgeous Example of Porsche’s Iconic and Successful 908

Technical Specs

2,997 CC DOHC Flat 8-Cylinder Engine
Bosch Mechanical Fuel Injection
350 BHP at 8,500 RPM
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Ventilated Disc Brakes
Four-Wheel Independent Suspension with Coil-Over Shock Absorbers

Saleroom Addendum

*Please note this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale

Register to Bid

Porsche AG, Stuttgart, GermanyClaude Haldi, Switzerland (acquired from the above in 1970)Sepp Greger, Germany (acquired from the above in 1974)Josef and Herbert Reichpurner (acquired from the above in 1982)Dale Miller, Asheville, North Carolina (acquired from the above in 1998)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2005)

Spa 1000 Kilometer, Spa, Belgium, May 26, 1968, Herrmann/Stommelen (3rd Overall)6 Hours of Watkins Glen, Watkins Glen, New York, July 14, 1968, Follmer/Buzzetta (DNF)500 Km Zeltweg, Zeltweg, Austria, August 25, 1968, Neerpasch/Lins (DNF)

Monterey Motorsports Pre-Reunion, Monterey, California, August 2012Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Monterey, California, August 2012Sommet des Legendes, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, July 2013The Hawk at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, July 2013Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival, Sonoma, California, May 2014Sommet des Legendes, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, July 2014The Hawk at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, July 2014Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Amelia Island, Florida, March 2015 (Most Outstanding Porsche Race Car)Royal Automobile Club, London, England, May 2015Sommet des Legendes, Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, July 2015The Hawk at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, July 2015Porsche Rennsport Reunion V, Monterey, California, July 2015

Racing is in Porsche’s blood, and its production models benefit greatly from the marque’s ingrained need to compete. Robust, well-engineered, and reliable racing machines remained Porsche’s hallmark from the company’s inception through the 1950s and into the 1960s. Early adaptation of aerospace technology in the form of fiberglass and composite construction further enabled Porsche to distance itself from the competition when utilized in the 904 of 1964. Porsche’s fiberglass technology was developed further with the inception of the 906, which utilized a lightweight tubular space frame with the body bonded directly to the tubing. This basic methodology would remain Porsche’s preferred method of sports-racing car construction until the introduction of the 956 in 1982.

While the 906 of 1966 and 910 of 1967 used variants of the flat-six-cylinder engine from the 911, it became apparent that a competition-specific engine would be necessary to remain competitive on the world’s racing circuits. Porsche’s answer was to develop a flat-eight that borrowed its inspiration from the flat-eight engines it had raced in Formula 1 in the Porsche 804 of 1962. The new engine displaced 2.2 liters and was installed in the Porsche 907, itself a development of the 910. The results were impressive, with this combination successful in winning two of the 1968 season’s biggest races at Daytona and Sebring.

In July 1968, Porsche boss Ferdinand Piëch decided that the company would develop and build the 25 copies of a new 4.5-liter car necessary to qualify it for international competition. This model was to be called the 917, and its goal was to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1970.

To keep Porsche competitive in the meantime, Chief Engineer Hans Mezger developed a larger three-liter variant of the flat-eight that took advantage of new FIA rules limiting engine capacity for Group-6 Prototypes to three liters. The engine was installed in a mild evolution of the 907 known as the 908, with the initial cars being closed coupes intended to provide low drag for a high top speed. The 908s would go on, in coupe and spyder forms, to be one of Porsche’s most successful and long-tenured models, with some running professionally into the early 1980s in the hands of privateers.

This 908, chassis 908-011, is one of just 31 built and one of two examples that debuted at the 1968 Spa 1000 Kilometers. In a race that saw Jacky Ickx dominate in a Gulf GT40 in wet conditions on his home track, factory drivers Hans Herrmann and Rolf Stommelen had an impressive and trouble-free run to 3rd Place in 908-011. Next for 908-011 was a trip to New York for the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, where it was driven by George Follmer and Joe Buzzetta but did not finish due to a mechanical failure resulting from an over-rev. The final outing in the factory racing career of 908-011, with Jochen Neerpasch and Rudi Lins driving at the 500 Km Zeltweg, ended in a disqualification, although it had qualified 9th on the grid.

According to accompanying history compiled by Porsche prototype specialist Dale Miller, 908-011 was sold by Porsche in 1970 to racer Claude Haldi of Switzerland, who is said to have used the coupe in local hill climb and race events and, at some point, damaged 908-011 in an accident. In 1974, the damaged 908 was sold to Germany’s Sepp Greger, who stripped the car of parts to use as spares for his other similar Porsches. Greger sold the frame and body of 908-011 to Josef Reichpurner of Geneva, Switzerland, who repaired the chassis and installed a new nose. Reichpurner’s son, Herbert, sold the frame and body of 908-011 to Dale Miller of Asheville, North Carolina, as chronicled by an accompanying Bill of Sale dated July 21, 1998. Miller, who is credited with refurbishing many significant sports-racing Porsches, performed a comprehensive restoration on 908-011, which is documented in a photo album that accompanies the car. This album also includes factory documentation regarding this car and other 908s from the 1968 racing season, including race documents regarding 908-011.

Miller sold 908-011 to the consignor, a West Coast collector and vintage racer, in 2005, and the Porsche has since been used for both competition and display events, with appearances at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and Rennsport Reunion, along with being honored with display inside the rotunda of the Royal Automobile Club in London.

Since being acquired by the consignor, 908-011 has been maintained by the capable staff at J&L Fabricating in Puyallup, Washington, with recent work including a rebuild of the car’s three-liter engine by marque specialist Jerry Woods Enterprises. This renowned expert used factory parts, except for an engine case remanufactured in the correct magnesium. According to the consignor, this rebuild has dyno-testing time only and the Porsche is stated to be ready for use.

Accompanying the 908 at sale are numerous spare parts, including four wheels and an original Porsche engine case that, according to the consignor, has had the bores enlarged to allow the use of 90 mm cylinders that would give the flat-eight a displacement of 3.3 liters. Also included are the aforementioned restoration album, factory photos of 908-011 in period, and various articles pertaining to the car.

Prototype Porsches have always been at the cutting edge of racing technology, a lineage that continues to this day with the 919. An example such as 908-011, with factory competition history, known provenance, and resplendent presentation in its 1968 Spa 1000 Kilometer livery, enables entry into some of the world’s most exciting vintage motorsport events, such as Le Mans Classique and Tour Auto. Bolstered by electrifying performance and benefiting from beautifully purposeful styling, 908-011, like all sports-racing Porsches of the period, remains a must-have experience for the true Porsche connoisseur.