The Porsche 908 was introduced in 1968. In the previous two years Porsche had progressed rapidly from the 2-litre 906 and 910 through the 2.2 litre flat-8 907 to the 908, developed under Technical Director Dr. Ferdinand Piech, a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche and later CEO of Volkswagen Group.
The Porsche 907’s 2.2-litre flat-8 generated around 270bhp. The 908 model’s 3-litre flat-8 produced some 350bhp at 8,400 rpm.
A beautiful 908LH ‘Langheck’ (‘long-tailed’) version also was developed for exceptionally high speeds at Le Mans, Spa, Monza and Daytona. And for 1969 Porsche developed an ultra-lightweight open-cockpit Spyder version – the Porsche 908.02 – with two body styles, a curvy “Coke bottle” shape and an aerodynamic wedge shape nicknamed the ‘Flunder’ (flat fish).
The 1969 Federation Internationale de l’Automobiles World Championship of Makes saw Porsche 908s win six of the ten qualifying rounds. The new 4.5-litre flat-12 Porsche 917 won a seventh, making Porsche the World Champion marque.
That year the driving duo of Jo Siffert and Brian Redman dominated the Watkins Glen 6-Hour race in the car you see here. The next day, Siffert drove the car in the Watkins Glen Can Am Championship race. Remarkably, the 3-litre Porsche punched way above its weight, finishing sixth out of 25 among 7-litre cars from McLaren, Lola and Ferrari.
The car sold eventually to French privateer Christian Poirot, who raced often at Le Mans into the 1970s.
Photos – Peter Harholdt
Briggs Cunningham imported the first Ferrari to race in the US and you can see it in the museum. Learn more