Porsche 908

Porsche 908/3 Spyder

The Porsche 908 was designed in 1968 by Porsche as a prototype for the World Sportscar Championship. He came in different versions at the beginning of the 1980s for use.


After 1967 in Le Mans, the Ford GT40 Mk IV with seven liter V8 engine even under racing average outperformed the old lap record, it transpired that the FIA rules changed since 1968 and the engine displacement of the prototypes should be limited to 3000 cc, as in formula 1 since 1966. This was officially announced in October, but Porsche had by then already prepared. With the rule change, the successful large-scale prototypes of Ford, Ferrari, Chaparral, etc., were made ​​ready for the museum within Europe and there was only the CanAm series in North America as a field of activity. Tickets for World Cup and Le Mans were reshuffled, the expectations of and Porsche high.

The previous eight- cylinder Porsche 907, which was based on the 1500 cc F1 engine in the Porsche 804 of 1962 could only be enlarged to 2200 cc, 198 kW made ​​(270 hp) and was partially unreliable. Although Porsche has not yet had direct experience with such large engines, it was decided, based on six-cylinder equal parts to construct a new eight- cylinder, which makes full use of the three-liter limit. The air-cooled Boxer - aspirated engine with 8 cylinders made ​​257 kW (350 hp) at an engine speed of 8400/min, later up to 271 kW ( 370 hp).

As a body material plastic was used on an aluminum space frame, which arose in the course of time, various versions - open-top Spyder or Coupe with short or long tail.

Racing history


The 908 made ​​its debut in April 1968 in Monza used. He was fast, but suffered from various teething problems, as well as the prototypes of the competition, the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 or the Ford P68 with the F1 Cosworth engine. Ferrari began in 1968 in protest against the short-term rule change completely, and destroyed in 1969 isolated the newly developed Ferrari 312P based on the F1 with a V12 engine at the start.

The best Porsche 907 were still more successful than the new design. Although victorious in the 1000 km Nürburgring Jo Siffert / Vic Elford in the debut of the 908 ( 44 laps = 1003.64 km in 6:34:06,3 hours), but this should be the only major victory of 908 in 1968, apart of pole- and -two in Zeltweg, which hopes were stoked.

The highlight of the season at Le Mans, which normally takes place in mid-June, had to be shifted by a quarter in 1968 due to political unrest in France and the end of September was not held until the end of the season. However, Porsche could not successfully use this additional time. Although the four 908 were in training and in the race for the first time the fastest in Le Mans, but the car had in the race problems with the alternator, and the team with the interpretation of rules for repairs (invalid exchange of complete units instead of defective parts ). Only a 908 ( Neerpasch / Stommelen ) came through and finished third, behind a 907 long-tail ( Steinemann / Spoerry ). Again won a large volume Ford GT40 Mk.I of the Gulf team.

At this time it was already determined that Porsche wanted to take the bull by the horns and show off instead would mess: in response to the Ford GT40, a 5 -liter sports car in 25 copies should be produced, because the minimum number was for 1969 as against 50 in the previous year been halved. In addition, one would expect from Ferrari for 1969, such a step, as even the 330P and 412P to 1967 have been used with large volume V12, and the Ferrari Dino 206S was produced in small series.


The 1969 season began with a debacle for Porsche at the 24 Hours of Daytona. After the triple victory of the 907 in the previous year were now all three 908 L, a Porsche 911 saved the company honor with the 4th place in front of many sports cars and large-scale U.S. tour car. Victories were two Lola T70, for which the five-liter sports car - exclusion rule was actually intended.

At Sebring, the 908 was referred by a Ford GT40 and the new Ferrari 312P prototype to third place. But by the time the big brother has already been presented: The Porsche 917 has shocked the competition on the stand in Geneva by its mere existence. The company, which had built two decades only "harmless " little sports car with a maximum of 2000 cc, dashed in front with the new development of an initially 4.5 -liter V12 to the top.

On the racetrack, now dominated the three-liter 908 Brands Hatch, Monza, Targa Florio, Spa -Francorchamps and was able to win the 1000 km Nürburgring, the latter even with a five-fold (! ) Victory. The Ford GT 40 were almost obsolete for normal race tracks, the result of vibration on long-haul unreliable, and also the fast, but predominantly singly An incoming Ferrari 312P usually defeated in the F1 proven three- liter V8 Cosworth about the Ford P68 the many Porsche 908

The World Sportscar Championship in 1969 was achieved ahead of schedule, against Ferrari and Ford Although it had in 1964 the former subscription winner Ferrari snatched the title, but under different conditions.

What was missing was the victory in the most important of all long- distance race, the 24 - hour race at Le Mans. The stronger should be the Porsche 917 secure, at Spa, and two weeks earlier, but had disappointing performances on the North Loop of the Nürburgring. The new car proved there as almost impassable, the works drivers refused to drive the twelve-cylinder engine, and preferred the 908, with success. At Le Mans, the 917 was the fastest in front of the 908, but after 20 hours in the lead was no longer up there. Only the Porsche 908 of Hans Herrmann, who already had a longer repair behind him, was still promising in the race against two of the old Ford GT40 and two Matra MS 650 In a very exciting final Jacky Ickx continued with only 120 m boss before by the Germans, which was hampered by brake wear.

A subsequent three win the 908 at Watkins Glen as well as the long-awaited debut victory of 917 in Zeltweg was only a small consolation.


For slow tracks like Targa Florio and Nürburgring, where the 917 (and its rival Ferrari 512 S) was less suitable, compact and agile Spyder Version 908/3 in 1970 and 1971 supplement to or as a replacement for the 917 developed and largely victorious employed. Porsche was doing 909 Bergspyder as a base.

On a Porsche 908/ 02, the actor Steve McQueen in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1970 with Pete Revson second behind the Ferrari 512 S by Mario Andretti / Ignazio Giunti / Nino Vaccarella. The same Spyder served at Le Mans during the race as a camera car for his Le Mans movie, although McQueen himself was not allowed to go (and not go as planned on his 917 with Jackie Stewart), because his insurance the risk seemed too high. The car even came to the finish, but was slowed down by the weight of the cameras and stopped by changing the film too much, to cover the requirement for a minimum distance rating. The Porsche 908 by Rudi Lins / Helmut Marko was behind Herrmann / Attwood and Larrousse / Kauhsen (both Porsche 917) third in the 24 Hours of 1970.


After 1971 three-liter prototypes were only allowed, eliminated the special rule for five-liter sports car. Ferrari had already in 1971 on the development of the Ferrari 312PB concentrated on the basis of F1 V12 with flat " boxer " engine. Alfa Romeo and Matra had also powerful three-liter engines as Porsche with the air-cooled two-valve. The previous advantage of Porsche, the lower weight, however, was eliminated by the FIA rules that purported 650 kg minimum. That was 100 kg more than the Porsche 908/ 03 possible. Porsche refrained thus from 1972 to other work assignments in the World Sportscar Championship in favor of other activities; the remaining, used only 4 race 908 were sold.

A private 1969 Porsche 908 Coupe from the collections of Jo Siffert, however, was used by Reinhold Joest, 1972 in Le Mans, the third place was achieved. It continues by various customers 908 were driven in long-distance races like 1000 km Nürburgring.

After Porsche had turned the power penalty in the three-liter class by the development of modern turbo engines into an advantage and this transposed into success from 1976 in the Porsche 936, also replaced 908- owner obsolete eight-cylinder vacuum cleaner by turbo 2140 cc according to the Handicap Factor 1,4. Thus, the power output increased from 370 to 450 hp to well over 500 hp. 1980 won Rolf Stommelen / Jürgen Barth with a modified 908/3 by Reinhold Joest and Liqui Moly team the 1000 km race at the Nürburgring ( 1004.52 kilometers ) in 5:52:15,1 hours.

The 1980 Le Mans piloted by Joest and Jacky Ickx to second place, but as a Porsche 908/80 Turbo designated car was actually a constructed of factory replacement parts, disguised Porsche 936 From 1982, the new rules of group C were valid, in which the engines were largely exempted. The aerodynamics had made great progress, so the 908 now finally were considered outdated, despite initial successes against the untried new car.

Today various 908 are still used in racing series of historic vehicles such as the Classic Endurance Racing.

The results 1968-1982


The Porsche 908 was produced until 1971 and inserted by the factory in 1967 in the following versions: