Porsche 804

Porsche won with 804 the Grand Prix of France as a world championship race and later at the Grand Prix of Solitude a race outside of the Formula 1 World Championship.


The FIA ​​changed the formula 1 season 1961 the Regulations. The engine capacity was limited as in Formula 2 to 1.5 liters. With this change, Porsche was almost unchanged use his previous Formula 2 car with minor revisions in Formula 1. 1961 turned out, however fast that developed from the Porsche 718 787 the competition was inferior engine performance and drivability.

Porsche decided to build a completely new competitive Formula racing car with an eight -cylinder engine. Ferdinand Alexander Porsche and Hubert Mimler designed the car with the internal number 804 new motor, which was first used in 1962 at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands, developed Hans Mezger.

The work team reached the 804 total of two formula - race wins and some points positions. After the 1962 season, Porsche retired from F1 and put any developments in the Formula Motorsport for about 20 years a.

Only in the 1980s, Porsche increased as engine supplier for the British team McLaren again in the Formula 1 and won from 1984 to 1986 with the team's World Cup title. After a five-year break in 1991 Porsche tried in vain to repeat past successes with a new engine with the Arrows team.

Vehicle characteristics


Like the Porsche 787 was the body of the 804 from a tubular steel frame and an aluminum outer skin. Visually, both vehicles but differed significantly in spite of identical construction. The 804er body was narrow, flat and smooth area than its predecessor. This was achieved in the tail horizontally instead of vertically mounted on the engine cooling fan.

The aluminum fuel tank had a capacity of 150 liters and were in the vehicle front and both sides next to the driver's seat. Was narrow and the cockpit adjacent to the driver's seat contained a screw off the steering wheel and the shift lever. The pilot received only the most essential information about the existing of three instrument panel displays. In the center of the rev counter and next to the oil pressure and oil temperature gauge was mounted on both sides.

The weight of the car at around 455 kg only slightly above the regulated minimum weight of 450 kg.

Landing gear

The front and rear wheels were individually suspended on two unequal double wishbones. Front suspension initially had only a lower longitudinal strut thrust, namely the rear arm of the wishbone was designed as such; after the first race was added in an upper Längszugstrebe. For suspension lying along torsion bars and shock absorbers were arranged under the front and rear mounted.

For the first time Porsche built a disc brake system in a Formula One racing car, which is already included in the standard English vehicles. This braking system was developed in-house by Porsche. The carriage rolled on 15 -inch wheels with front 5.00-15 rear 6.50-15 R and R large tires.

Engine and transmission

During the development of the 804, the eight-cylinder engine was not yet completed, so that initially the air-cooled 1.5 -liter four- cylinder boxer engine type 547/6, which was already in 787, was installed in the car for test drives. This is based on the so-called Fuhrmann- engine revised Michael -May- engine had a dry sump lubrication and a valve control, each with two overhead camshafts driven by a vertical shaft. The engine had a compression ratio of 10.3: 1 and performed at a speed of 8000 rpm a maximum of 140 kW (190 hp).

With completion of the new air-cooled 1.5 - liter eight-cylinder boxer engine of the type 753 of the four-cylinder engine was replaced. The crankcase, the cylinder and the piston were made of light metal. The cylinder bank took over two overhead camshafts with vertical shaft drive, the valve control.

The engine had a dry sump lubrication with separate oil tank and a Bosch dual ignition, which was powered by a battery with four ignition coils and two distributors. The mixture preparation was carried out by four Weber twin downdraft carburetors.

With a compression ratio of 10.0: 1, the engine 132 kW ( 180 hp ) made ​​at 9200/min. With the improved six-speed transmission of type 718 and the ZF limited slip differential the car reached a top speed of 270 km / h

Racing history

First race of the Porsche 804 was the Grand Prix of the Netherlands on 20 May 1962 in Zandvoort. Dan Gurney started from eighth, Joakim Bonnier from 13th place right at the beginning Gurney drove to the third position, but fell in the tenth round with transmission failure from. Bonnier, whose car also was not running properly, came - favored by many failures - behind Carel Godin de Beaufort in seventh place. De Beaufort drove the Type 718 from the previous year with four cylinder engine.

For the Grand Prix of Monaco on June 3, 1962 Porsche came with only a 804 with Dan Gurney. In training, he finished fifth. A surprising maneuver by Willy Mairesse at startup triggered several collisions, which also met Gurney's car: Trevor Taylor drove into the back of the 804, the frame was damaged, so Gurney retired. Bonnier as the second Porsche works driver reached with a 718 four-cylinder fifth place.

Until the French Grand Prix on July 8, 1962 in Rouen paused the 804 to be improved by Gurney's wishes. Significant improvement was a change in the rear suspension to put the car lower. In training Gurney drove to sixth place, Bonnier in ninth place. During the race it was Porsche stead that Ferrari did not compete due to a metal worker strikes, retired Jim Clark at Lotus in round 33 and Graham Hill, BRM, fell back due to a defect. Gurney won the race with an average speed of 163.98 km / h and a lap ahead of Tony Maggs on Cooper. Bonnier, who had temporarily located on court, fell in 42 of 54 rounds from a damage to the fuel pump.

A week later, when not for the World Cup scoring Grand Prix of Solitude near Stuttgart Dan Gurney drove the 804 out a start - to-finish victory; Bonnier finished second. The Grand Prix of England on 21 July at Aintree, however, was disappointing: Gurney was with a slipping clutch ninth, Bonier dropped out again; this time with broken pinion and crown.

The Grand Prix of Germany on August 5 at the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring Dan Gurney started from pole position, however, he successfully only up to the third round of the affected by heavy rain race defended. Cause of the short-term decline was that the front of the cockpit of the 804 had solved the battery, which had to hold them in place, the driver with his foot. Despite this handicap Gurney was third behind Graham Hill ( BRM ) and John Surtees ( Lola ). Joakim Bonnier came in seventh place.

Before the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 16, Bonnier drove the 804 in Karlskoga in Sweden as well as the hillclimb Ollon -Villars in Switzerland, where he set up with an average speed of 107.5 km / h setting a new record. In Karlskoga he finished third. The Grand Prix at Monza ended Bonnier sixth after Gurney had fallen out in the 67th round with transmission failure.

Last race of the Porsche 804 was the Grand Prix of the United States on October 7, 1962 in Watkins Glen. Gurney started fourth and finished fifth. Bonnier damaged his car, drove twice for repair to the box and did not come in the standings.

Shortly before the end of the season before the Grand Prix of South Africa, Porsche ended his Formula 1 activities. The reasons for the withdrawal were the procedures to obtain the special Formula 1 parts from England, because to do so was no suppliers in Germany. Also could hardly be transferred to the development of production vehicles and are used commercially formula technique. Porsche wanted to be motorsport commitment fully concentrate in future on the production-based GT and sports cars. In addition, Porsche was on the verge of taking over the body work Reutter, who was a major financial challenge, so that the cost-intensive formula Motorsport was not pursued.


The Porsche Formula 1 car was used in both 1961 and 1962 with four- and eight-cylinder engine tested and race, the four-cylinder but only for test drives. In the 1962 Formula 1 season of 804 went exclusively with the eight- cylinder engine.