Page 1 of 2 Next >> In 1964, Porsche had won the coveted European Hill Cilmb Championship in both the GT and sports car class with two variants of the Ferdinand 'Butzi' Porsche penned 904. For the GT class, the fully homologated 904 was used, while in the prototype class Porsche fielded two examples equipped with more powerful eight- and later six-cylinder engines. The threat of the imminent arrival of a new V6-engined Ferrari sports prototype prompted Porsche to create an altogether more extreme version of the 904 for the 1965 season.
Tasked to develop the new 904-based sports racer was Ferdinand Piech, a grandson of Ferdinand Porsche. Although this was the first time he was in charge of a project, the ruthlessness Piech would become famous for already showed. He wasted little time to remove the fabulous coupe panels styled by his cousin and replace it with a very minimalistic fibreglass roadster body in an attempt to shed as much weight as possible. Aesthetics were clearly not a consideration as just enough fibreglass was used to cover the wheels and make the car legal.
For the underpinnings of the new 904 Bergspyder, the Porsche engineers recycled five chassis originally laid down for a production version of the six-cylinder 904/6 Coupes. This project was cancelled as a change in the regulations prompted the design of a new car around the six-cylinder engine from scratch. The new sports racer was dubbed the Carrera 6 or 906 but confusingly, the dozen 904/6 prototypes also received the 906 serial. These included the five cars that were built up as Bergspyders.
The steel platform chassis of the 904 was reinforced with cross-braces to compensate for the rigidity that had originally been provided by the coupe body. As before, the Bergspyders were tried with both the exotic twin-cam eight-cylinder engine and a highly tuned version of the flat six that had been developed for the new 901/911 road car. In eight cylinder guise, the new bare-bones machines tipped the scales at little over 560 kg, which was over 100 kg less than the similar engined 904 Coupe raced a year earlier. Page 1 of 2 Next >>