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$4.4 Million Porsche 917/3

Submitted by on March 10, 2012

The awesome 1973 Porsche 917/30 Can-Am Spyder just sold for US$4.4 million at The Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction.

Pumping out an estimated 1,200 HP from its flat 12, twin turbo engine, chassis 004 is one of just six chassis constructed by Porsche. It is an iconic machine and one that is famous for setting the closed-course lap for a racing car at 221.120 mph (355.8kmh), a record that stood for 20 years.

Sold new to Australian Porsche importer Alan Hamilton, 004 was built to the same basic specifications as the legendary Penske team cars but finished with plain white bodywork. Hamilton, who greatly admired the incredible sophistication and performance of the 917/30 chassis, displayed the Can-Am Spyder in his Melbourne showroom alongside several significant racing Porsches from his private collection.

In the 1980s, Porsche began purchasing independent distributorships including Alan Hamilton’s Porsche Australia. In 1991, as part of the purchase agreement, Porsche acquired a number of Hamilton’s racing cars; not surprisingly, 917/30-004 was among the group of historic racing cars to return to Germany.

After arriving at the Porsche factory, 917/30-004 was refinished in the iconic blue, yellow and red Sunoco livery made famous by Roger Penske’s all-conquering 1973 Can-Am cars. In July 1992, Porsche AG completed an FIA Historic Vehicle Identity Form for 917/30-004 in anticipation of entering the car in historic events. The following month, Porsche AG entered the 917/30 in the AvD Oldtimer Grand Prix at Nürburgring, where former Porsche works driver Günter Steckkoeing was entrusted with the powerful Can-Am Spyder.

Later in January 1994, noted Porsche collector David Morse of Campbell, California, made an agreement with Porsche AG to purchase 917/30-004. The car was purchased by Matthew Drendel in 2001 and was the star of the Drendel Family Collection.

Almost four decades have passed since the introduction of the 917/30, yet it remains one of the most iconic racing cars of all time, a monumental work of automotive engineering and the ultimate test of a racing driver. It is undoubtedly one of Porsche’s most magnificent creations.

Driver Mark Donohue had this to say about the Spyder in 1973 “At this time there is nothing in the world any quicker, any better handling, any more advanced technically, or any more fun to drive. It is, to me, the perfect race car.”

Below are some other results from the Drendel Family Collection:

$1.92 million for the 1984 Porsche 962 : Driven by Derek Bell, Al Holbert, Chip Robinson and Al Unser Jr, it is the “Winningest” 962 in History. Famous for back to back wins in the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1986 and 1987

$2.95 million for the 1974 Porsche RSR Turbo Carrera: The second of four Martini works Turbo 2.14 models built, the RSR ran in the 1974 World Sports Car Championship and was sold with original Factory paperwork.

$1 million  for the 1967 Porsche 906E: 1967 Porsche Works 12 Hours of Sebring Entry and beautifully restored to Otto Zipper specifications.

$2.53 million for the 1976 Porsche 935/76 Driven by Rolf Stommelen and Manfred Schurti The First 935 Built and the First 930 Chassis The Only Works 935/76 in Private Ownership

$1.265 million for the 1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution: A factory team car, one of four built whichcompeted at Le Mans, Nurburgring and Laguna Seca.Later campaigned by Rohr Racing at Daytona and Harry Bytzek in the Canada GT Challenge Cup and sold with extensive spares including a GT1 customer engine.

Full results to follow.

Images: Gooding & Company

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