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Porsche 917 class pleases at Pebble Beach

A dozen plus one of the remarkable racing cars were on display

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Of all the classes at recent and 70th Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, my favorite — and I was not alone — was the Porsche 917 class. The class was made up of 13 of these mythic Porsche prototype racing cars. 

Since it is rare to see a single 917 in the wild, seeing 13 of them together is something we might not get to see again, well, at least outside of pages of Jeff Zwart’s 917 X17 book. And while the book is a masterpiece, it cannot duplicate the experience of being up close with the cars as we were able to do during Monterey Car Week.

917, Porsche 917 leases at Pebble Beach, ClassicCars.com Journal

One of the coolest of those cars was the 1971 No. 22 Le Mans-winning 917 KH. This 917 was driven to victory by Gijs van Lennep and Helmut Marko, covering a distance of 5,335 kilometers at an average speed of 222.3 km/h. Those were two Le Mans records that held for a remarkable 39 years.

But by no means was the No. 22 the only standout among the class as it also featured the Sunoco-liveried Penske 917 Mark Donohue-driven Can-Am car, and my personal favorite, the No. 3 1970 Porsche 917 LH Hippie car, which was also a Le Mans contender that clocked a speed of 240 mph and finished second behind the 917K driven by Richard Attwood and Hans Herrmann.

Other notable cars in the class were the four Gulf-liveried cars, a Donohue-driven 917 Can-Am car, and the screaming-yellow Bosch-liveried 917/10.

917, Porsche 917 leases at Pebble Beach, ClassicCars.com Journal

No matter what era or which type of 917 was your favorite, there was an example on the show field. 

For many classic car fans, including this one, this grouping is something we’re not likely to see again.

917, Porsche 917 leases at Pebble Beach, ClassicCars.com Journal
917, Porsche 917 leases at Pebble Beach, ClassicCars.com Journal
Here come the judges
917, Porsche 917 leases at Pebble Beach, ClassicCars.com Journal
917, Porsche 917 leases at Pebble Beach, ClassicCars.com Journal
917, Porsche 917 leases at Pebble Beach, ClassicCars.com Journal
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

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