Porsche 910

The 910 is an exceptionally rare and important part of Porsches racing history, and should be of great interest to any serious collector, as it was a direct ancestor for the 908 with which Porsche won its first World Championship in 1968.

The 910 was one of the second generation of Porsche sports racers; it was a line which began with the 904, and it had been strengthened by the lessons learned when the factory bought two Elva Mk 7s, one of which came second in the 1964 European Hillclimb Championship. The 904 was highly successful both for the factory and its many customers; it was followed by the 906 which, again, sold (and won) in quantity. And so to the 910 which, most unlike Porsche, illogically came before the 907, 908, and 909, with which it was closely related.

The Porsche 910 was raced by the factory for only a single season, 1967, but it powered Gerhard Mitter to his third European Hillclimb Championship, took the first three places in the Targa Florio, and gave Porsche its first outright victory in its home sports car race, the Nurburgring 1000 kms. At the Nurburgring, Porsche did rather better than a simple win: 910s filled the top four places.

At the end of the season, the Championship table showed Ferrari at 34 points; Porsche, 32; and Ford, 22, but the Porsche 910 was a 2-liter car, while Ferrari was running 4-liter P4s, Ford (winner at Le Mans and Sebring) was running cars up to 7 liters, and also in the field was the 7-liter Chapparal, which won the BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch, and the 5.7-liter Mirage variant of the Ford GT40, which won at Spa.

In addition to Ford, Ferrari, Mirage and Chapparal, there wer evarious types of Lola T70, powered by Chevrolet and Aston Marton engines, a works team from Alfa Romeo, and works cars from Lotus, Abarth, and Chevron.

It was a robust season, and Porsche actually won more races than Ferrari, which took the title, but had all points finishes been taken into consideration, Porsche would have won by the proverbial country mile.

Gerhard Mitter drove the first 910 in the last round of the 1966 European Hillclimb Championship, which he won. The model’s spaceframe dervied from the 906, but the front track was increased, the wheels were wider, and there was considerable weight saving (to the order of 65 kg) thanks partly to the use of exotic materials and measures such as using the chassis tubes to carry the oil to the cooler and back. The coupe body benefitted from sessions in the wind tunnel, which then was fairly unusual.

The factory raced with both six- and eight-cylinder cars, the latter usually being of 2.2 liters and unreliable by Porsche standards. In Europe, Monza saw another third place, behind two Ferraris, while Siffert and Herrmann co-drove to secnd at Spa behind one of the 5.7-liter Mirage-ford GT40s.

The Porsche 910 was always a potential winner becuase of its superb finishing rate, as evidenced by a 1-2-3 in the Targa Florio and the 1-2-3-4 in the Nurburgring 1000 km. Le Mans saw the introduction of the 907, which was a 910 with a slightly more aerodynamically efficient body and right-hand drive, a belated recognition that RHD is an advantage because most circuits run clockwise and therefore have a preponderance of right-hand bends.

A 907 was fifth at Le Mans, with 910s in sixth and seventh to head a 1-2-3 in class. With only the BOAC 500 to go, Porsche had a chance of the World Championship, but could manage only third overall behind a 7-liter Chapparral and a 4-liter Ferrari.

A special lightweigh 910 “Bergspyder” was built for 1968 and Gerhard Mitter duly won his third successive European Hillclimb Championship. The factory then sold its 910s and ran 907s for the first part of the 1968 season before switching to the 908, which was a further derivative of the 910, this time with a 3-liter engine, and this was to give Porsche its first World Champsionship.

Coys Auction House offered chassis #910-021 at its 1992 Nurburgring auction. This car was run by the works in 1967. It was then sold to Italy and was later owned by David Piper, who sold it to the then-current owner ten years ago. During the 1980s it as successfuly campaigned throughout Europe in historic events before undergoing a complete ground-up restoration to the correct specification. It was described as being in excellent all-round condition, retaining its original engine, gearbox and chassis, and was prepared ready to race. Coachwork was, of course, in white, with a contrasting green nose panel.