Page 1 of 2 Next >> From the early 1960s, Porsche introduced new competition cars in remarkably quick succession. These were obviously not all-new but each combined existing components with newly developed ones. It was no exception that before a new model was first raced, the successor was already being submitted to tests. Such was also the case in 1967 when the 910 was launched and quickly followed by the 907, which combined the chassis and running gear of the 910 with a brand new body, created specifically for long distance events.
Intended to run at Le Mans for the first time, much of the 907 development focused on a low-drag body that was somewhat reminiscent of the original 550 Coupe; Porsche's first purpose-built racing car. The Lang Heck or Long Tail bodywork featured a fighter plane style narrow canopy, which looked out of proportion because of the minimum height stipulation meant it was taller than it needed to be. The overall width of the 907L was also reduced compared to the Porsche 910, which helped minimise the frontal area and allow for the lowest drag figure for a Porsche ever.
The low drag and lightweight body was draped over the existing Porsche 910 chassis. This was built around a steel tubular monocoque, which used some of the tubes to carry oil to and from the front-mounted oil cooler. The front and rear independent suspension was also conventional. While the 907 was built to use the Type 771 flat eight engine used for various applications since the early 1960s, with varying degrees of success, the first cars were powered by the altogether more reliable six-cylinder engine also found in the 906. At the time this was Porsche's only engine with a proven record in 24-hour races.
First seen at the 1967 Le Mans test, Porsche's latest endurance racer was not instantly successful. The low drag design proved to be very unstable at speed, so for the race detail changes were made like an additional rear wing and cooling snorkels for the gearbox. Two examples were entered for the race. One retired after just six hours with an engine failure caused by over-revving. The other had a trouble free run and finished fifth overall. Its efficiency was awarded with the Index of Performance. Equipped for the first time with the eight-cylinder engine and fitted with cut-off rear tail, a 907 was raced just once more in 1967, finished an impressive fourth at Brands Hatch in July. Page 1 of 2 Next >>