Porsche’s 917 was a breathtaking yet deadly instrument used to bludgeon race car drivers with at least 600 horsepower, and onlookers with knee-weakening bodywork. Decked out in Martini livery, it’s second in its visual presence only to the Gulf-liveried example made infamous by Steve McQueen in Le Mans. Such famous decoration could make any car look more alluring and sportier, as evidenced by this 924 that looks exorbitantly faster than it really is. Find this 1977 Porsche 924 Martini & Rossi Edition in Portland, OR for $2,225 with one day to go via eBay.
A few stripes in red and blues over white paint do wonders for the undeveloped lines of the early 924. It would be easy to make an emotional purchase here, seeing as you practically owe it to your childhood self to pick up sorta related to a 917 for only $2 grand. Then reality sets in, and you realize you just bought a base 924. Not the 944-engined 924S or the turbocharged 924 Turbo. Just 125 horsepower from an Audi-sourced 2.0L, water-cooled four. Maybe 917 drivers will give you a generous head start at vintage track days.
Older Fuchs wheels are period correct and get the job done, but this thing would look super fly cross-equipped with Weissach Edition rims. Things are even more attractive inside, with well-preserved seats and just a few dash cracks. The shifter wears a rubber turtleneck of a boot. Or, it’s attempting to swallow the shift knob like a catfish gulping down a lure. Do 917 shifters look like that? Did Steve McQueen shift faster for fear of losing an appendage to a hungry shift boot?
These cars showed their strengths with adroit handling and a platform ultimately capable of handling significantly more horsepower. At about 0.1% the cost of a well-kept 917, and with about 20% of the horsepower, it’s probably the cheapest way to get such a famous livery with a modicum of the prominence, all as original equipment. Just pipe some turbocharged flat-twelve engine noises through the Blaupunkt stereo (better hope you can get an 8-track of it) and you’re ready to live the ultimate Porsche illusion.
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