Historic Porsche factory racer joins RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale docket

908 was driven at Spa in 1968 by Vic Elford and Jochen Neerpasch

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A 908 short-tail coupe raced by the Porsche factory works team in the 1968 Spa 1000-kilometer event will headline the docket for RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction scheduled for August 24-25 in northern California.

The car, chassis 908-010, is known as a 908 K, the K short for Kurzheck, the German word for “short-tail.”

Porsche entered 908-010 and 908-011 in the Spa 1000 in 1968. The car being offered for sale wore racing No. 6 and was driven by Vic Elford and Jochen Neerpasch. Elford started the race, drove the first 32 laps and led in several occasions. Neerpasch then took over but slid off a wet track after only two laps.

1968 Porsche 908 was a factory racer, but was retired after one start | RM Sotheby’s photos by Robin Adams

The car was damaged and retired not only from that race, but from competition as Porsche sold the car to a Swiss buyer, who placed the car in storage for more than two decades, RM Sotheby’s said in its news release.

The 011 car was driven by Hans Herrmann and Rolf Stommelen and finished third in the race, trailing only a Ford GT40 driven by Jacky Ickx and Brian Redman and a Porsche 907 driven by Gerhard Mitter and Jo Schlesser.

The 010 car was discovered in Switzerland in the late 1990s by Dale Miller, a former Porsche Club of America historian. The car was sold to an American, Bill Ferren, who oversaw its complete restoration by John Corsen. The car returned to the track for the 2004 Rennsport Reunion in Daytona Beach, Florida.

The consignor has owned the car for 12 years and has raced it in a variety of vintage events on the West Coast, including several Rennsport Reunions. It also was featured in the Porsche By Design exhibit in 2013-14 at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

“The car retains its repainted original chassis, as well as a fresh, recently service factory 908 engine,” RM Sotheby’s said, adding that the car’s pre-sale estimated value is $2.3 million to $2.8 million.

“The 908 is unquestionably one of the most successful endurance racing platforms that Porsche ever produced,” David Swig, RM Sotheby’s car specialist, is quoted in the news release. “Built to maximize the new 3-liter displacement limits put forth by the FIA at the time, the 908 took a big evolutionary step from the 904, 906, and 907 that came before it.

“Introduced in 1968 and raced up until the early 1980s, the model had a useful competition life of almost 15 years – an incredibly long time in endurance racing. Chassis 908-010 is one of very few of the first-series 908s, which pioneered development of the 908/02 and 908/03; these models went on to become some of Porsche’s most celebrated and successful race cars of all time.

Historic Porsche factory racer joins RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale docket

“Driven by two of the great Porsche team drivers of the 1960s in one of the marque’s final years in official Works competition, 908-010 is an important piece of motorsport history. For Porsche collectors, this is an actively campaigned, fully prepared, turn-key vintage racer that they could get into today and take to the track.”

“The 908 prototype is a fantastic early highlight for our Monterey sale, made even more exciting by its offering during Porsche’s 70th anniversary year,” adds Gord Duff, Global Head of Auctions, RM Sotheby’s. “The RM Sotheby’s team led Monterey week in 2017 with $133 million in total sales, an 89 percent sell-through rate, and 32 individual million-dollar-plus results.

“We plan to build on this success for 2018 and are thrilled to return to the reopened Monterey Conference Center following its $60 million-dollar renovation, offering our clients a stunning new experience and a beautiful space for the display of some of the world’s most important motor cars.”

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