Porsche let some of its most iconic race cars sing at the annual Sound Night.
Porsche held its annual Sound Night earlier this week, revving up the engines of some of its most iconic race cars in front of a sold-out audience of 1,000.
Eleven cars spanning six decades of Porsche’s competition history took to the stage during the event, titled “From Past to Present”.
The giant-killing 718 RS60 Spyder sports car was accompanied by former factory driver Herbert Linge, who piloted the car on this year’s 100th anniversary Targa Florio, a race the diminutive machine won in 1960 against vastly more powerful opposition. Fired up, its 160 horsepower (119 kilowatts), 1.6-liter, flat-four motor produced a delightfully angry buzz.
The exquisite, race-winning 804 Formula 1 racer followed, its exposed 190 hp (142 kW), 1.5-liter flat-eight engine’s staccato idle turning to a hard-edged blare as it spun past 6,000 revs per minute.
Then came the 911 SC rally car that Walter Rohrl used on the 1981 San Remo Rally. He suffered a litany of problems early on in the event but staged a dramatic comeback until the car, run by French Porsche specialist Almeras Freres, ultimately failed. Its 3.0-liter, flat-six motor is on song now.
A trio of flat-six, turbo-powered monsters whistled and blared on stage. The legendary, long-tail 935/78 known as “Moby Dick” was built specifically for the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1978, with a 3.2-liter motor that threw out 845 hp (630 kW). It didn’t really work, though, only managing eighth in the race.
The open-topped, 540 hp (403 kW), 2.1-liter 936/77, on the other hand, did win Le Mans, this very one taking victory in the hands of Jacky Ickx, Hurley Haywood, and Jurgen Barth.
The 956 went one better than the 936, winning Le Mans four times to its predecessor’s three. It’s 2.6-liter motor produced 635 hp (474 kW), to propel just 800 kilograms (1,764 pounds).
The 375 hp (280 kW), 2.0-liter, four-cylinder 924 Carrera GTR didn’t win Le Mans outright, but did claim a class victory in 1980, finishing a highly respectable sixth overall. It’s cantankerous at idle, and sounds like a gigantic hornet with throttle open.
And there was Porsche’s latest Le Mans, the 919 Hybrid, whose 600 hp (447 kW), 2.0-liter, V4 motor whips around the rev counter quicker than you could read the numbers off.