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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well they dont get much more Exotic than this :happy

Count Gregorio Rossi di Montelera , head of the Martini & Rossi drinks company that had sponsored the Porsche factory tem for some years , caused some headaches when he said he wanted a 917 for use on the public roads .
Some problems had to be overcome , since the Count wanted the car to be as original as possible , and only allowed a silencer to be fitted , along with a safety guard over the cooling fan , to keep out stones .

In 1975 one of the last 917K`s in Porsches possession was handed over to Count Rossi . Because it was a German racing car , it had to be sprayed silver , on the same principle as other cars in his collection which were painted French blue , Italian red and British green . A certificate of road-worthiness was obtained in the state of Alabama .
A trial run two months before the hand over went well , Count Rossi expertly driving the 620 bhp coupe around the Weissach test track .

At the hand over , on April 28th 1975 , Count Rossi received a manual containing the complete history of the car . It had been built in January 1971 with the chassis number 917.030 and raced once with the start number 28 , in the hands of Helmuth Marko / Gerard Larousse , in Martini racing colours .
This particular Porsche 917 was unique in that it was the first Porsche to be raced with Anti lock brakes . The race had not gone well for the car , but it was later used for further development on anti - lock braking , then mothballed until it was prepared for Count Rossi`s personal use .

When he collected the car , Rossi , accompanied by his personal secretary , left Stuttgart at 4 o` clock in the afternoon and was safely in Paris before midnight . No problems were encountered on the 917 which proved to have given an average fuel consumption of 9.41 mpg over the trip on 4 star petrol .

The only delay occured at the German - French border , when the customs official called over a gendarme to help classify the Porsche . He announced it was perfectly acceptable fpr use on French roads ....

The model was originally the AUTOart #35 Hippy car which was stripped and repainted with the extra silencer , mirrors and reg plates added .
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thanks for the overview Gary. I was always interested in the history of this one.

Looks like a very well made custom too.
 

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Hey Gary, I found a story about this same car in the September 1975 issue of Road & Track. You did a great job on this cnversion (even the license plate is correct) :nicejob and I'm now tempted to try the same. However, from the R&T pics, it looks like the glass headlight covers have been removed on the 1:1 and there is an orange line between the 2 blue lines right below the doors. But, again, an excellent job! :cheers
 

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Very nice conversion, Gary! I'm really impressed with the fuel consumption of the real thing. I would have expected about half that.
 

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And since it is "Jump on Gary" time, if you look at the pics of the 1:1, you will notice that the rear spoilers have been removed.

Gary, you did an incredible job. Those of us that aspire to prepare customs, especially those that replicate an actual 1:1 are in awe of your expertise.

Keep up the great work!

:cheers
 

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Nice looking car and model! Congratulation! :cheers

....also, very interesting history class! Thanks.....
 

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I don't think Gary did the conversion.....

Awesome car, Gary!
That is one 917 I will never have :giggle

Thanks for the write up :cheers
 
G

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the compliments guys :cheers

Unfortunately , I cannot take the credit ( or any criticism) for this piece as it was a custom that I actually bought from a guy in Germany . :cheers
 

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Well, since I didn't want to nit-pic when I though Gary had done such a great job, I have a couple other comments after further studying the R&T pics and story. It seems this car was built in 1971 and, of course, was part of the M&R Team which won Le Mans that year in a similar 917. In its first race in the Zeltweg 1000-km, it was leading near the end of the race when it blew a tire and crashed doing extensive rear end damage. It never raced again but was used by the factory for anti-lock brake testing for another year.

After the Count acquired it, he could not find a European country that would license it for the street and, in desperation, came to the US where he found that Alabama would license it if he removed the two verticle tail fins which the state viewed as "dagerous projectiles".

Therefore, the rear engine cover should come from a 1971 917 which to my knowledge is only produced by Universal Hobbies and is a sealed model. The rear deck differs only very slighly from Autoart's various 917s, which appears to have been used on this conversion. Most noticably, the trough directly behind the cockpit and between the rear wheals is more shallow than on AUTOart's and there are no rear spoilers. Further, there is a slightly more ridged flairing around the wheel wells. Also, on the real conversion, the "silencer" is longer.

So, if one wants to do a conversion, you are faced with using a sealed model that can be made fully correct or using the AUTOart model which may be 98% correct but has an opening interior and engine compartment. :confused I think the AUTOart is the best choice . :cheers
 

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Very very very nice work, Gary!!!!
:nicejob :nicejob :nicejob
:cheers
 

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You did a GREAT job Gary! :nicejob
I wonder how much of a pig this car had to be to ride on the street.
 
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