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July 15, 2021

Hagerty Feature: How To Start The Porsche 917K Race Car

Hagerty Feature: How To Start The Porsche 917K Race Car

Among the many reasons our friends at Hagerty are a wonderful partner to the SCCA is that they love #FunWithCars just as much as we do – and they are a wealth of knowledge on a variety of car-related subjects. The following article originally appeared on For this and all of Hagerty’s car-related content, visit their media site here.

Surely you’ve looked at the Porsche 917, one of history’s most storied race cars, and pondered the intricacies of such an engineering masterpiece. (No? Just us? Alrighty then.) Perhaps you’ve wondered about the hours spent honing such a lauded engine such as the flat-12, which famously powered these wondrous wedges to glory race after race. Maybe you can’t get past the fact that such a precise piece of machinery has a wooden knob atop its stubby gear lever—they couldn’t think of something sexier? (No, wood shift knobs are the best.)

But have you ever pondered how to start such a machine? We sure have, which is why the video below caught out eye.

The star of the show is this 1970 Gulf-Racing Porsche 917K, chassis 031/026, the headliner of RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale, taking place August 13–14. It has the potential to become the most expensive Porsche ever sold at auction, with a pre-sale estimate from RM of $16.5M–$18M. We covered this car’s extensive history in an earlier story, which you can enjoy here.

In the video above, Paul Lanzante of Unit Four Limited walks us through the lengthy process of waking this thoroughbred from its slumber. The process is more complex than we would have guessed for a car that’s more than a half century old.

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