Last update at 19 · 03 · by milo‧‧‧ One of 807
The 917K is revered as one of the most iconic race cars of all time. It was the car that brought Porsche its first overall victory at the world’s most gruelling race, and the car that would go on to set one of the most impressive records of dominance in prototype racing series the world has ever seen. If its racing achievements alone were not enough, the car would go on to be immortalized on the big screen by Steve McQueen in the film ‘Le Mans'.
Powering the early 917 was a 4.5-litre Flat-12 engine, designed by the noted Porsche engineer Hanz Mezger. To curtail development costs, the engine borrowed heavily from its 3.0-litre counterpart found in the Porsche 908. The 1969 race engines produced 580 bhp and 376 lb-ft of torque. Later models had the option to run larger-displacement engines of 4.9, 5.0 and eventually 5.4 litres, each providing a corresponding bump in performance. The Flat-12 would go on to become the 917’s most defining trait.