On June 10, 1956, the company now known as Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, celebrated one of its biggest and most important racing victories. Italian racecar driver Umberto Maglioli was the surprise overall winner in a Porsche 550 A Spyder at what was then the world's longest-standing and most difficult road race, the Targo Florio. The young company Porsche gained worldwide recognition with this victory, as it was the first time that a driver in a smaller racing class vehicle of up to two liters cylinder displacement managed to beat vehicles with a higher cylinder displacement. With an average speed of 90.9 m/h and a lead of nearly 15 minutes on the second place vehicle, Maglioli not only out-classed the competition but also assured the first overall victory for Porsche in the Brand World Championships.
This victory was made all the more surprising because of the fact that the Porsche 550 A Spyder only debuted eleven days before the Targa Florio at a 1,000-kilometer race on the Nürburgring. Spurred on by the victory in this class, Porsche's Head of Racing, Huschke von Hanstein, traveled to Sicily with driver Maglioli and two mechanics to test the open-top Spyder's competitiveness once again. In contrast to other road races of the time, routes were not closed during training, so the drivers always had to be prepared for traffic and obstacles. Furthermore, for the Stuttgart sports car manufacturer, it was the first time they took part in this legendary race as, at the time, the Targo Florio was seen as the territory of large Italian racing stables. Maglioli completed the 720-kilometer route without changing drivers in a time of 7:54.52 hours – and thanks to the reliability of his Porsche, only pulled in to the pit stop to refuel.
'Der Thundersodder Spezialer' is one of our favorite race cars and belongs to one of our Norwegian Screwdriver friends.
Based on a Nov '52 Zwitter
Built in Norway in 1964 for rally and hillclimb racing. It was raced until 1974, when it broke the crankshaft in two and was put in a barn.
The drivers seat is made of bakelite and comes from a 1951 vampire fighter jet. Porsche 356B brakes all round, Lemmertz 356 15x4.5 wheels, Porsche PreA gearbox, fully syncronized.
The car originally used a 1500 motor with a TDE dual carb kit, but the engine was missing when the car was found in 1997. It was very rusty, crashed front and rear and has been 'repaired' NOT restored. The complete interior/dash is untouched as built in 1964.
The present motor was built turn key by Sauer & Sohn Germany in 1967 and delivered to the customer in Denmark, who raced a '56 Oval in dirt track racing. He went on to win the Danish championship with this motor in 1970 and 1971.
It has S&S hemi-pistons, S&S heads and intakes manifolds, dual Solex 40's, SPG roller bearing crank, insane S&S cam and a dry sump system.
The original blue print says 127hp, not bad for a 1600 motor!
The motor was found in the basement of the original owner, in Denmark, the flywheel had been torn from the crank and was in need to a total rebuild.
So it was rebuilt and put in the Norwegian car, nice combo? You betya :-)
The 356SL or 'Sport Leicht' is the original Oldspeed race car.
Porsche produced only 7 of these super light race cars, based on the aluminum Bodied Gmünd cars. They used a heavily modified VW motor and the displacement was lowered to 1086cc (73.5 bore x 64 stroke) so they wereeligible for the popular and highly competitive 1.1 litre racing class. Equipped with high compression heads and twin Carburetors, the Porsche power-plant produced 40bhp,a full 15 bhp more than the Volkswagen spec.
The first 3 SL cars were built in 1950 when Porsche moved back to the Stuttgart suburb of Zuffenhausen.Two were entered for the 1951 24 Hours Le Mans. However, an accident during one of the practice session decimated the Porsche entry to just one. The other one (pictured above) completed the race 20th overall and more importantly 1st in class in the hands of French drivers Auguste Veuillet and Edmond Mouche. The two drivers repeated that class victory in the next race. It was the start of a love affair between Porsche and the legendary 24 Hours Le Mans.