When Porsche introduced their first competition designed sports GT – the 904 – in 1964, it was the beginning of a planned policy to extol the virtues of their production cars by building similar engined competition versions that could be sold to customers
When Porsche introduced their first competition designed sports GT – the 904 – in 1964, it was the beginning of a planned policy to extol the virtues of their production cars by building similar engined competition versions that could be sold to customers as well as raced by the factory.
The new 906 Carrera 6 Coupe adopted a highly tuned version of the recently introduced 911 Series six-cylinder road car. This 210 bhp engine was to prove exceptionally reliable and its competition bred tubular space frame and glass fiber bodywork proved unbeatable in the 2-liter class of Group 4 Competition Sports Cars.
The 906 was the first design to adopt Gullwing doors for access and whereas the 904 could be used on the road, this new car was a pure competition version and was the starting point of all subsequent racing Porsches. The new FIA regulations stipulated that 50 cars must be built prior to homologation, so by January 1966 cars were rolling out of Stuttgart and in fact 67 were subsequently built, most going to privateers.
The season was a resounding success for the new car, finishing 5th overall and class winner at the Daytona 24 Hours, 4th overall at Le Mans and Index of Performance winner, outright victory at Mugello and Zeltweg and ending the season as both two-liter and Prototype Championship Winners. They also won the European Hillclimb Championship.
The 906 described here is Chassis No. 119 and was a customer car, rather than a works car. It was owned and raced by Gerhard Koch who became one of Porsche’s main privateers, providing excellent backup to the works team.
The car’s first event was the 1966 Le Mans with co-driver Buchet who crashed the car in the 8th hour while holding 18th place overall. Its real fame came later when, at the circuit of Mugello with co-driver Jochen Neerpasch, they won outright the grueling 329-mile race, their points helping the factory to secure the overall Sports Class Championship. The car returned to Le Mans in 1967, and this time with co-driver Poirot finished 8th overall and 2nd in class to Vic Elford’s similar car. After that the car was retired and sold to America where it has appeared at numerous historic race events.
The car is in full race preparation condition and still has its original bodywork and also a spare rear engine cover screen, and would make a serious contender in current historic sports car racing. The 906 is considered to be one of the most sophisticated GT cars of all time and its reliability and race prove history make it one of the most desired Porsches, being the model that began Porsche’s total domination of sports car racing.