This Porsche 908/02 Flunder Spyder is one of the most extensively raced examples of one of Porsche’s most successful sports racing cars of all time. In its inaugural season, chassis 908/02-018 was victorious with works pairing Jo Siffert and Brian Redman at the 1969 Watkins Glen 6 Hours – competing prolifically in successive decades right into modern times.
The 908 and the 917 alike were offspring of regulations for the sports car manufacturers championship, which saw Group 6 Sports Prototypes limited to three litres, with up to five litres in Group 4 for homologated Competition Sports Cars. The nimbler 908 proved more suitable for twisty circuits, complementing the mighty 917s that dominated at Le Mans.
Capitalizing on the rumoured rule changes in July 1967, Porsche engineers began work on a new 3 litre flat-eight (Type 308) with four chain driven camshafts, two valves per cylinder, and air cooling by vertical fan. With Bosch fuel injection and dry sump lubrication, power output reached 350 bhp at 8400 revs, packaged in an agile 907-derived spaceframe chassis in coupé form.
New for 1969, the 908/2 helped secure Porsche’s first victory in the World Championship of Makes, taking wins at Brands Hatch, the Targa Florio, Watkins Glen, and at the Nürburgring 1,000 km, in a famous 1,2,3,4, and 5th place sweep. Incredibly successful, the 908/2 Spyder took over 50 major victories and more than 100 podiums between 1969 and 1972.
Chassis 908/02-18 was constructed in May 1969 by the Porsche racing department in short “Flunder” form. The Flunder body was named for the “sole” or “flounder” flat fish reflecting the new flat surface design. Debuting at the 1969 Nurburgring 1000 km, chassis 18 was entered by the works team and raced by Rolf Stommelen and Hans Herrmann. 908/02-18 finished 2nd as part of the famous 1,2,3,4,5, factory sweep. This result contributed to Porsche securing their first-ever victory in the 1969 Manufacturer’s World Championship.
After their victory at 1000 KM Nurburgring and retirement at Le Mans, driver pairing Jo Siffert and Brian Redman were enlisted to drive chassis 18. With three races to go, the Manufacturers World Championship was already secured so the win at Watkins glen was the icing on the cake. The 1969 Motorsport Magazine reported that Siffert looked commanding from the start, lapping the slower privateers by the 11th lap. Siffert and Redman’s win at Watkins Glen once again demonstrated why they were considered the best endurance partnership in the sport.
Sold in October 1969 to privateer Karl Freiherr von Wendt for his BG Racing Team, 908/02-018 appeared for 1970 at events including the 1970 Buenos Aires 1,000 km and 200-mile races, and took 7th overall at the Nürburgring 1,000 km that year, with works drivers Willi Kauhsen and Herbert Schultze.
Sold to Guillermo Ortega of the Ecuador Marlboro Team, after suffering an off in the September ’72 12-Hour Marlboro Race at Yaguacocha, she was moved on via Kurt Lotterschmid to August Deutsch of Germany. Alongside chassis 022, Deutsche rebuilt then raced her as the Deutsch-Spezial, with bodywork designed by Felix Gmachmeier. Sold to R+H Racing of Canada in 1977, she competed in CanAm races through 1979, still with the special body.
From 1980 a new era began for chassis 018 after sale to Bill Bradley Racing, with a full restoration by ex-factory engineer Paddy O’Grady, including reinstating original 908/2 short Flunder bodywork. Later owners have included Mike Ostroumoff and Richard Attwood (who raced it extensively in the 80s), Frank Gallogly, Bob Jordan, and Joe Mundy. A report by marque expert Andy Prill and other information on file gives further background and detail.
This 908 has been enthusiastically campaigned in historic racing during its current German ownership, appearing at the Goodwood Revival, Le Mans Classic, Spa Classic, Mugello and more.
Suitable for so many of the best historic racing events, this ex-works 908/2 Flunder Spyder will be an exhilarating thing to race and to possess, symbolizing the start of Porsche’s legendary domination of endurance sports car racing.
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