Porsche 908/3. Legend for Sale. Get your wallets out

As a piece of racing history, the 908/3 remains a truly fascinating speed machine, an inextricable part of Porsche’s 1970 and 1971 Makes Championships, and a brilliant partner to the legendary 917.

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I’ve almost made a habit of not buying the likes of Octane Magazine any more. An odd decision you might think, bearing in mind the stunning content, photography and editorial quality of a magazine that pretty much has its little space in the automotive print world all but sewn up.

The reason however is simple; there is just way too much heartstring-teasing contained within the pages, making me sad for my position in life. The classifieds section in the back is mostly to blame, as it’s chock full of cult classics, rare bespokes and the utterly wonderful world of historical race cars.

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All of them and I mean ALL of them, are well out of reach of mere mortal. These are big, big money, and sitting reading through the magazine just murders days. As I used to flip through the mag, I’d find myself disappearing into a dream scape of ‘what if?’. Which just can’t happen.

But then I have another problem, and it’s called the internet and the dangers of clicking the wrong link. Not that kind of link, you dirty so-and-sos, but ones such as  led me to the images you see in front of you.

Thanks to the team at RM Auctions, I have once again tumbled into an introspective world, trying to understand why I never became a venture capitalist or an investment banker. Damn you, careers advisor!

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So the car, this piece of art pulling at your heartstrings. The 1970 season proved to be a milestone for Porsche racing in a number of respects. After winning the International Championship for Makes (the forerunner to the World Sportscar Championship) in 1969 with the 908/2, and at the same time developing the  the soon-to-be-mighty Porsche 917, the manufacturer officially bowed out of factory team racing. One issue though. While the monster flat-12 powered 917 was slated for a majority of the 1970 and 1971 seasons’ endurance events, two events proved tricky for Porsche and the 917 in particular.

They were the Targa Florio and the Nürburgring 1000. As the 917 was a destined to be a Le Mans machine, these races were just too technical, winding and bumpy for true domination to be achievable.

To address the challenges of the Targa Florio and the Nürburgring, Porsche grabbed the stunningly effective 350bhp, 2997cc DOHC air-cooled flat eight out of the now defunct 908 and wrapped it up in a wide, lightweight polymer body, all draped over a typically effective and well thought out Porsche chassis.

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The rest as they say is history. The stunningly sexy 908 performed its mission flawlessly, with Jo Siffert and Brian Redman taking first place at the 1970 Targa Florio for John Wyer’s Gulf team, and two other 908/3s placing second and fifth. At the other Achilles heel race, the Nürburgring 1000, the Spyder continued on its roll, finishing first and second, after which Porsche pulled rug on the program, mothballed the cars and continued in earnest with the 917 program.

And now one of those cars is available for sale, and the dreaming continues.

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