Getting our hands on the mighty Porsche 906
From the mythic Targa Florio race to public roads. We get our hands on one of the most iconic racers from Stuttgart, the mighty Porsche 906.
Here we are, standing in front of one of the heroes that helped build Porsche's success story in racing. Those who know, know. But for the ones who aren't familiar with it, here's a little introduction.
The Porsche 906, or Carrera 6, first appeared in the Daytona paddock in 1966. Unlike earlier factory competition Porsches, the first 906 was neither silver nor white but painted in deep blue. With a height of 98 cm and a decidedly modern look, the new competition Porsche ranked 6th and made the other 59 cars look obsolete. In 1966, the stars of the 24 Hours of Daytona were the 7-liter Ford Mk IIs and the Ferrari 365 P2/3. Cars that had more than double the engine capacity of the 906 017 driven by Hans Herrmann and Herbert Linge. However, on the 906's first release on track, it proved its competitiveness to the rest of the paddock. The impact of this apparition was enormous. With just 210 PS but 580 KG the 906 was ready to become a legend.
The footprint of Piëch had already marked different projects at Porsche, especially the preparation of the 6-cylinder version of the 904. The engine of the Carrera 6 was derived from that of the 911 for reasons of weight. The motor housing 901/20 (internal designation) was in electron (aluminum for that of the 911), the linkage, the distribution and the cylinders featured differences.
A 901/20 competition engine weighed 54 kg less than a standard 911 engine. The 906 gearbox had 5 gears housed with the differential in an electronically sump / tunnel, with six different gear sets being available. The body is very innovative, it looks like it had been sculpted externally by the wind. The car was equipped with "butterfly" doors without which it would be even more difficult to sit at the wheel. In the spring of 1966, the first cars were delivered to customers and the factory focused on the development of factory cars. In order to build 50 copies of the 906 in time to certify the new car for the 1966 season, Porsche decided to subcontract the manufacture of tubular truss frames to the "Karosseriewerk Weinsberg". The car featured in this article is car number #906 115. It is a Porsche Carrera 6 that was sent on March 9 1966 by the Porsche factory to its first owner, Mr Ermano Spazzapan, in Italy. The car was white and equipped with Dunlop racing tires. The engine was No. 906-113 and the transmission was 906110-906 / 1.
The car was entered in the first round of the World Brand Championship on May 8 1966 at the Targa Florio with the race number 156. It was driven by Ignazio Capuano and Ferdinando Latteri. She finished 8th overall and 4th in her class (up to 2 liters). July 10 1966 #906 115 participates in the "Trento Bondone" race with Ignazio Capuano at the wheel finishing 5th and 2nd in the under 2 liters category. This famous hill race counted for the European Championship of the Mountain. On April 25 1967, the car participated in the 1000 km of Monza with Luigi Taramazzo and Guilio Bona at the wheel with the race number 46. She finished 10th overall and 2nd in her class. A little later, on May 14, the car participated in its second Targa Florio, still with Luigi Taramazzo and Guilio Bona and race number 118. It did not finish, stopped by a mechanical breakage (transmission). In June 1967 Luigi Taramazzo won the general classification of the famous "Bolzano-Mendola" coast race and on July 16 of the same year Guilio Bona finished 9th, 4th of the under two liters, of the infamous "Cesano-Sestriere". On July 1 1968, #906115 participated in the 1000 km Nürburgring with Ennio Bonomelli and Cesare Guzzi, race number 97, but did not obtain any significant results.
The car remained the property of Mr Bonomelli for another 9 years during which it participated in many competitions. It was never severely damaged. When it was sold in 1977, its body and its chassis were still original, as well as the mechanics . It was bought in 1977 by a German gentleman driver, Mr Bernd Becker who had it revised and restored by Rolf Götz at Waldenbruch before participating in a race at the Nürburgring the same year. From 1977 to 1985, Mr. Becker kept the car but did not use it for personal reasons. When he decided to put it back on the track, he found that the housing was damaged. He had it replaced as well as pistons, rockers, connecting rods, camshafts, etc. The car then took part in many historic races, including Donington, Spa Francorchamps, Nürburgring, Monza, etc. Mostly driven by Mr Rolf Trier and Mr Becker himself. In August 2001, the 906 took part in the Oldtimer Grand Prix on the Nürburgring.
The last owner bought it directly from Mr Becker and had the 906 115 repainted in its original white livery, as it was delivered by Porsche in 1966. It was then noticed that the bodywork was the original one and, amazingly enough, had not suffered from its 35 years of service. The car was tested at Spa Francorchamps in October 2001 and its engine proved it was in good health. It was sold shortly thereafter under the hammer of Maître Poulain and has been running very little since. It is now being kept in perfect working order and the car is ready to run. It still has all its original documents, FIA, its own lighthouse fairings, exhausts, its Magnetti Marelli double ignition, its original bodywork, its seats and its original tour count, its original roof closures, its suspensions, taillights , luggage compartment, its original box oil radiator, its small spoilers built in 1967 for track racing and cylinder heads, pistons, shirts, connecting rods and crankshafts as they should be. The car has had only four owners since 1966 and Jürgen Barth attests that 906 115 is the most original Porsche Carrera 6, with the best track record of existing customer cars. It now belongs to the Perego family in Switzerland and sits in their dealership between Geneva and Lausanne. Surprisingly, it can be driven on public roads but only in countries that are within the European union. To approach such a car and get a feel for it was an immense privilege for us and this might be the coolest car we've reviewed so far on Cars & Recreation. Check out the video to see how it sounds!
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I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Perego Cars, situated in Switzerland, for giving me the opportunity to review and shoot this car that is currently on sale. Website: www.peregocars.com/en Facebook: www.facebook.com/peregocars/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/peregocars/
Photo credit: Jonathan Yarden