Porsche GB Unveil Project 50
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF 911 SPAWNS ‘PROJECT 50’ HISTORIC RACE CAR
The Porsche 911, since its debut in 1963, has proved itself a winner on race circuits all over the world, with around 20,000 of Porsche victories to date courtesy of the iconic car. And this success on the race track over the past 5 decades has given rise to many ideas and innovations.
So, to help in the celebration of the ‘life’ of the Porsche 911 this year, Porsche Cars GB have unveiled an exciting initiative whereupon 1965 ‘short-wheelbase’ 911 will be racing under the ‘Project 50’ team banner in selected ‘Masters Series’ events around the world – with other guest appearances at some of the larger festivals such as the Nürburgring OldTimer and Silverstone Classic.
THE PROJECT CAR
The car, run from Porsche GB headquarters in Reading, Berkshire, will be driven at the events by some famous names that are forever etched into the Porsche 911 Hall of Fame – like Richard Attwood (1970 Porsche Le Mans Winner) and Barry Horne (inaugural Carrera Cup GB Champion in 2003) amongst others – and technical and maintenance support will be supplied by the in-house Porsche Cars GB Motorsport team who are also responsible for the technical support for the Carrera Cup GB Championship and GT3 Cup Challenge GB.
The Project 50 car was originally built back in September 1965 and is powered by a rear-mounted, 1,991 cc flat-six ‘boxer’ engine capable of developing 130 hp. The car is a right-hand drive and originally cost £3,438 when sold to a customer in Italy, but was then exported to America. In the late 90s, the car made its way to the UK where an established historic Porsche motor sport preparation company fully restored and converted it into an ‘FIA-Approved’ race car.
Obviously, before an ignition key is turned ahead of a race circuit debut, the Porsche Classic workshops in Freiberg am Neckar, near Stuttgart will be giving it the ‘once-over’ a good many times to make sure that all is in good working order – and if not, they stock of over 35,000 genuine Porsche spare parts for cars spanning the 356 to the Type 993 911 that they can use to ensure optimum safety and performance.
Only 6,607 examples of the short-wheelbase 911 2.0 coupe were produced between 1964 and 1968, making it a rare piece of engineering indeed, and combining rarity with its dynamism and eligibility for pre-1966 era Historic motorsport makes sure that desirability is also high on the list.
THE PROJECT 50
The whole idea of the Porsche Cars GB ‘Project 50’ activity is to show off the 911’s origins, especially its roots in racing, showing how the unique rear-engined concept has evolved over the years whilst maintaining the epitome of cool.
Porsche is the world’s largest manufacturer of racing cars with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car – the best selling racing car of all time – competing in the world’s fastest international one-make Championship, the Mobil1 Supercup, as well as entertaining its fans around the world in the domestic Carrera Cup Championships in Germany, Asia, France, Italy, Japan, Scandinavia and Great Britain.
Project 50 is the first step that Porsche claim with culminate in a return to Le Mans – where Porsche has 16 overall victories – in 2014 in the top LMP1 category. The Porsche Motorsport headquarters in Weissach, near Stuttgart, Germany, is where preparations are being made by a new department headed by Fritz Enzinger, and overseen by Head of Porsche Motorsport, Hartmut Kristen.
From tiny acorns…