Racing success had been a consistent thread throughout Porsche history in both production and prototype classes. From the early years of 550 Spyders in the small-displacement classes at Le Mans, to the prototypes of the 1970s and 1980s to the Group 5 silhouette racers of the 1980s, Porsche has symbolized international endurance racing.
The marque received its first overall win at Le Mans in 1970 with the 917K. But the ultimate Plastic Porsche has to be the turbocharged 917/30, a 1200-hp, 1,862-pound Can-Am racer that Roger Penske and driver Mark Donohue used to crush the competition in 1973. Porsche went on to become the most successful company in motorsports, dominating almost every form of the sport, from hill climbs and rallies to sports-car racing, which has added to its allure.
To see this article in its original format, view the pdf version of the Winter 2008 issue of Hagerty magazine.