1969 Porsche 917 by Peter Hutton
Peter Hutton is the finest illustrator of motor vehicles, particularly racing machinery, and buildings. Although retired the skill is permanent and he will take commissions.
In 1969 Porsche expected its first outright win of Le Mans. That it lost to a non works car that had been designed in 1965 must have been galling. JW Automotive, founded by John Willment and John Wyer were Porsche's nemesis with the Gulf Ford GT40.
In an inspired move Porsche invited Wyer to their garage after the race. It is said Wyer immediately noticed the aerofoils on the tail of Vic Elford's car hadn't topped any bugs; evidence the foils were not foiling. This meeting with the enemy in the aftermath of battle laid the groundwork for JWA of Feltham Middx to manage the Porsche racing program for 1970 and beyond. Commerce and competition are the solvents of emotion and prejudice. In 1970 and '71 917s built and raced by JWA in Gulf Colours carried all before them. This included a lap of Spa by Jo Siffert at an average speed of 162 mph.
The 917, the development and build of which had nearly bankrupted Porsche in '69, cemented their reputation in sports cars pretty well to this day. Porsche went on to win 5 Le Mans in the 70's and were even more dominant in the '80s.
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