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Little Classics News: 25 June 2014

Porsche is Addicted to Winning at Goodwood FOS

Porsche 962C 1987 Le Mans winnerThe theme for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, Addicted to Winning – The Unbeatable Champions of Motorsport, has Porsche all excited given its unrivalled record of 16 wins at Le Mans, and reputation for race-bred engineering innovations that are then transferred to the Stuttgart marque’s road-going sports cars.

This year’s Goodwood will see Porsche show off their historic prowess on the track with a stable full of icons, past and present.

Porsche classic car highlights at the Festival

Porsche has been a long-time supporter of the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart is proud custodian of over 400 classic car exhibits, and each year brings examples of its priceless treasures to Goodwood to evoke old memories and create new ones.

1987 Porsche 962

Between 1982 and 1994, the Porsche 956 / 962 (top) was synonymous with Le Mans and helped underline Porsche sports car supremacy in an arguably golden era of endurance racing. The car at Goodwood won Le Mans in 1987 driven by Derek Bell, Hans Stuck and Al Holbert, a year in which the factory Porsche team overcame challenges from Jaguar as well as many private entrants driving similar 962 chassis.

To this day, Porsche is the world’s largest manufacturer of race cars and the 956 / 962 was to all intents and purposes a race car anyone could buy – should they have had the equivalent of 650,000 Euros to hand! Porsche built 148 examples and with a powerful and efficient flat-six twin-turbo engine, the cars collected ten World Championships and seven Le Mans victories in various guises.

1983 Porsche Gruppe B Studie – static display

1983 Porsche Gruppe B Studie

Ok, it won’t be going up the hill, but based on the 911, this Porsche concept was originally intended as a race and rally car for the Group B category of motor sport. However, despite the regulations changing, the car was further developed and, as the 959, became one of the most exciting road cars of its era.

Unveiled at the IAA Frankfurt Show in 1983, the Gruppe B Studie showcased a 2.8-litre flat-six with twin turbochargers offering two-stage boosting for the first time. The car also offered electronically-controlled four-wheel drive, which was able to direct torque to the axle with most grip, and an innovative computer-controlled ride height system. This aided the airflow at high speeds, but the aerodynamic characteristics were so advanced there is no lift at all – even at speeds above 300 km/h.

1969 Porsche 917-16 cylinder – static display

1969 Porsche 917 16 cylinder

In addition to developing the 12-cylinder 917 Spyder for the Can-Am Championship in the US, in 1969 Porsche also built an identical chassis featuring an innovative, larger capacity 16-cylinder engine. Virtually at the same time, the company began exploring turbocharging its 12-cylinder engine, and in 1970 drivers were able to choose between the two powertrains.

It quickly became apparent that the 16-cylinder had less of a future, since the turbo engine turned out to have the same performance even during the first test runs. In fact, ultimately the turbocharged 917/30 produced 1,200 hp from its 5.2-litre 12-cylinder versus the 880 hp from the 7.1-litre 16-cylinder. Thus it was that Porsche opened a new, turbocharged chapter in engine development and the 16-cylinder remained in Weissach for test purposes.

911 Targa

New Porsche 911 Targa makes Goodwood debut

While enthusiasts will recognise cues from the classic Targa concept, pioneered by Porsche in the late 1960s, this latest 911 Targa model is the first to combine state-of-the-art open roof technology with the distinctive coupéappearance.

Just like the legendary original 911 Targa model, the new model features a characteristic wide bar in place of the B-pillars aft of the doors, an automated roof section above the driver and passenger, and a wrap-around rear window -- with no C-pillar.


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