Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Sunflower 901

Words & photos - Daniel Bevis

Well, that's a bold livery. But don't go thinking that it's some cheesy stunt by a London florist - these are the colours worn by this car in period as it slithered across frozen lakes and bounced through forests.
What we're looking at here is a Porsche 901; that is, a very early 911, built in the first year of production. You may be aware of the old story - Porsche unveiled their replacement for the 356 at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September '63, under the name 901. Peugeot objected, claiming that they had the rights to use three-digit numbers with a zero in the middle (fifty years later, incidentally, they're still yet to create a Peugeot 901...), so Porsche changed the name to 911. However, a number of 901s had already been built - officially these were only used for testing and exhibitions, although several have now found their way into private hands. And this particular car, one of the first 232 built under the controversial name, was sold new to the Swedish racing driver Anders Josephson, who raced it frequently until 1969. It could often be seen ice-racing in this lurid floral livery and, as you can see, it's now fitted out with a modern rollcage, bucket seat and harness, electrical cutout & extinguisher system, ready for contemporary competition. After all, it'd be a shame to mothball an old warhorse like this, wouldn't it? Racing cars are built to race...

Spotted at Salon Privé 2013 - click here for more photos.

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