Porsche 904


Porsche 904

The Porsche 904 was officially called Porsche Carrera GTS due to the same naming rights problem that required renaming the Porsche 901.

History

After having retired from F1 at the end of the 1962 season, Porsche focused again on sportscars. The 904 debuted in 1964 as a successor to the Porsche 718 which had been introduced in 1957. It was the first Porsche to use a fibreglass body which was white. While many German race cars had used unpainted aluminium bodies since the famous 1934 Silver Arrows, most 904s were painted silver which is the German racing color. The 904 marks also the beginning of a series of sportscars that culminated in the mighty Porsche 917.

Porsche designed the GTS variant first to compete in the "FIA-GT" class at various international racing events. The street-legal version debuted in 1964 in order to comply with GT-class homologation regulations requiring that a certain number of road-going variants be sold by the factory. Both versions featured a fibreglass body which was bonded to its steel chassis for extra rigidity. The 904's mid-engine layout was inherited from the Porsche 718, also known as the RSK, which was the factory's leading race car (the RS referring to the German term for racing, Rennsport).

1964 models, of which one-hundred were built, featured an aggressively tuned Convert|180|hp|kW|0|abbr=on version of the four-cam, flat four-cylinder "Fuhrmann" engine originally designed for race use in the 550 Spyder, and later featured in the 356 Carrera with Convert|130|hp|kW|0|abbr=on. To satisfy demand, twenty 1965 models were produced, some featuring a variant of the 911's flat six-cylinder engine. Very few cars that were raced by the factory featured a flat eight-cylinder power plant derived from the 1962 F1 car Porsche 804. The six-cylinder and eight-cylinder units were varyingly identified as either 904/6 or 904/8.

Race-prepped four-cylinder 904s weighed in at approximately 1,443 pounds (655 kg), giving them the ability to accelerate to sixty miles per hour from a standstill in under six seconds and to reach one hundred and sixty miles per hour as top speed. However, the 904's fibreglass body was made by spraying chopped fibreglass into a mold, the amount sprayed often varied in thickness over the shape of the car and as a result the weight of the various cars was somewhat inconsistent; some were heavier than others.

Due to the less weight issues of the first generation plastic body, the 904's successor, the 1966 Porsche 906 or "Carrera 6", was developed with a tubular space frame covered with an unstressed, lighter fiberglass body.

Racing

During its debut race season in 1961, the 904 won outright at the Targa Florio race in Italy, one of Porsche's many wins at the event. Another event during that season included the winning of first place in P3.0 at Sebring 12 Hours by Briggs Cunningham and Lake Underwood.

External links

[http://www.thecobraferrariwars.com/1553134.html Original Photos of 904 with external visual cues of the late 1964 production four-cylinder 904s, but actually has a six-cylinder 3.0 litre 911SC motor and a SC 5-speed gearbox.]


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