Gulf Porsche 917K
When Ferdinand Piech took over as head of Porsche Development the pace and scope of the companys racing activities increased. The 906 was introduced for the 1966 racing season followed by the 910 and 907 for 1967. In 1968, the 907 was further developed and the 908 was introduced with the goal of overall Le Mans victory instead of a class win. There were multiple iterations of the 908 for 1969, but again no Le Mans win. When the FIA amended its regulations for 5-liter sports cars, reducing the production number from 50 to 25, Porsche made the decision to build 25 large capacity racing cars.
The 917 was introduced to a stunned racing world at the 1969 Geneva Auto Show. Throughout 1969 the car was proving to be a difficult beast to tame. The expense of the racing program was becoming an issue that Ferry Porsche could not ignore. Piech had instituted a policy of building a new car for each race. Although the used cars were refurbished and sold off, it was getting out of hand. Throughout 1968 and 69 Porsche with its depth of resources was being beaten by the John Wyer Ford GT40 team. During 1969 Porsche approached Wyer with the proposal that his JWA team would be the official factory team starting in 1970. After Wyer convinced his sponsor Gulf Oil to fund the endeavor, the iconic Gulf Porsche 917 was born.Although Porsche would win the 1970 and 71 Le Mans 24-hour race it was not the JWA Gulf car. In addition to the cars success in endurance racing, it became a major star on the silver screen when Steve McQueens opus film Le Mans was released. Gulf Porsche 917K was shot at the 2015 Rennsport Reunion V held at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.