RE: You Know You Want To... Porsche 917 Bodyshell

RE: You Know You Want To... Porsche 917 Bodyshell

Monday 1st August 2011

You Know You Want To... Porsche 917 Bodyshell

Great, but...what do you do with it?



Replicas. Are they a chance to taste an otherwise prohibitively expensive motoring experience, or just the sacrilegious work of the devil?

That debate will run on forever, but the fact is that whether you lust after a Cobra, a Diablo, or even an MGTF, there are ways of getting into something which will at least look (and sometimes even sound) like the car you dream of, but for a fraction of the cost.

'Don't you have anything better to write about?' was the immediate response from esteemed car broker and the man who assembled the knee-weakening Gulf Collection, Adrian Hamilton, when I asked him what he made of this bodyshell. His response summed up how some people feel about replica cars. He asked me the starting price, and when I replied he paused briefly before adding 'I'd rather buy a new typewriter.' Not one for the purists then...


The vendor of the car (and owner of the John Wyer-Gulf Oil liveried car in the background), however, has been racing his 917 replica for five years and loves it. He made two replica bodies from David Piper's chassis #10 917 to supply repair sections for his racing car, and this one is now surplus to requirements. But, assuming that you don't have a replica 917 which needs replacement body sections, what would you do with it?

You can buy replica 917s like this, which come painted and fully assembled aside from an engine and transmission. This car is built in South Africa by Bailey Edwards and will cost approximately Β£60,500...plus shipping...plus duty...plus VAT...which leaves you to supply and fit the running gear and source a set of tyres (they're delivered with only used racing slicks.) But of course, even they already come with their own bodyshell...


Trevor Williams, who runs TWR replicas had an idea. He reckoned you could take the body off a 911, turn the engine around and mount it further forward (the 917 was, of course, mid-engined), flip the gearbox upside down, and then mount the 917 body on the 911 floor pan - which is apparently how some 917 replicas have already been created. Mind you, you'd still have no windscreen, other clear plastics, interior, electrics etc...and even if you sourced all those bits you'd still be running a flat six engine as opposed to the correct flat 12.

Original Porsche flat 12 engines do still change hands...apparently for around Β£250,000 a throw...minus transmission, although an Australian company has built a Porsche flat 12 out of two flat sixes, but that'll still be on the expensive side.


Sadly, it looks like buying a 917 bodyshell and then building a car around it isn't as easy as it sounds (And it doesn't sound all that easy - Riggers). But there must be something you could do with it - turn it upside down and make a canoe, perhaps?

Author
Discussion

robinessex

Original Poster:

7,312 posts

126 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Put it on Beetle floor Pan?

jellison

12,802 posts

222 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Is this GT40917 or similar on here?

The Danimal

178 posts

100 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
How about turning it upside down and filling it with jelly? you could then have a le Mans themed party and a full size 917 edible jelly sculpture as a centre piece.... actually I think i'm going to bob a bid in and do this for my wedding.

Greenwich Ross

1,219 posts

118 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Plop it on top of a Ford Cortina chassis and running gear. Job done.

mat205125

15,660 posts

158 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Would an MR2 or a Fiero fit underneath?

robinessex

Original Poster:

7,312 posts

126 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Greenwich Ross said:
Plop it on top of a Ford Cortina chassis and running gear. Job done.
Er, think you'll find the engine is at the wrong end.

carl carlson

786 posts

107 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
robinessex said:
Er, think you'll find the engine is at the wrong end.
put it on backwards. Job done. wink

robinessex

Original Poster:

7,312 posts

126 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Er, let's see. 5 reverse gears, and 1 forward. Steers like a forklift.

MarJay

2,063 posts

120 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Ultima.

AV12

5,208 posts

153 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
flat-6 from the RS 4.0 is an excellent start. Or two, welded...

morgrp

4,124 posts

143 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Space frame, big block chevy, race it

silversixx

140 posts

156 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
The Danimal said:
How about turning it upside down and filling it with jelly? you could then have a le Mans themed party and a full size 917 edible jelly sculpture as a centre piece.... actually I think i'm going to bob a bid in and do this for my wedding.
I think we have a winner smile

Caractacus

2,530 posts

170 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Paint it in period sponsorship, Gulf, etc, and hang it on the garage wall.

jmatras

220 posts

168 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
robinessex stole my idea, but as for the flat 12 vs flat 6 conundrum, as mention by the author, just do what Emerson Fittipaldi did. Back before Emo was famous, he built a car with a VW front half pan/suspension, a rear half tube chassis/custom suspension, fiberglass VW Beetle body and two hotrodded V-Dub engines connect 90 degrees out of phase. He took it racing against the prototype racers of the '60s in a race in Argentina and was running in the top handful until the link between the engines failed.

Of course, that was with Emo driving but it sounds like fun anyway.

But what to do with the 917 shell, put it on a jacked-up Chevy Suburban frame and go off-roading?

jamespink

1,029 posts

149 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
A shell like this must be a brilliant excuse to use a big V8 and go the Can Am route. The TWR replicas http://www.twrreplicas.com/lm917.html look superb. What a blinding road car! Yes please, can't foresee and issues with Mr Plod here...

sospan

700 posts

167 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Good buy for a kit car?

GFWilliams

4,820 posts

152 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Could you do anything with an Ultima chassis?

Pistachio

1,116 posts

135 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Found this which might help…http://www.race-car-replicas.com/rcr917.html
now just the engine to find…hmmmm,...

exceed

436 posts

121 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Just drop a K20 in it... Profit.

hairykrishna

11,005 posts

148 months

Monday 1st August 2011
quotequote all
Easy enough to knock up a space frame to hang it on. Flat twelves are a bit too rare to go for a completely faithful engine sadly. The commonest is probably a Testarossa one and that'd cost you a lot for something that was't very good. I'd do the well trodden Audi V8 + FWD gearbox route or american v8 plus upside down 911 box, depending on the budget.