The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2010 was held March 14th on the fairways of the Golf Club of Amelia Island adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Florida. Among others, the 15th annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Porsche 917’s victories at the 1970 24 Hours of Daytona and 24 Hours of Le Mans races.
A seminar kicked off the celebration of the incredible Porsche 917 endurance racer, as the men who drove the 240 mph giant – Derek Bell, Brian Redman, Hurley Haywood and Vic Elford – told stories that left spectators in awe of these brave men.
The legendary 917 only raced for three seasons in the World Sportscar Championship that included the latter half of 1969 through 1971. During that short span of time a 917 was entered in 21 major races and came in first 14 times and second twice. This overwhelming success probably contributed to its demise because no other factory race car could compete with the 917. So FIA changed the rules and 1971 would be the last year for the Porsche 917. By the way, the only Gulf Porsche 917 to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans was the one in the Steve McQueen movie.
The 917 didn’t disappear just because of a few rules changes. Porsche decided to enter a higher power version of the 917 in the North American Can-Am championship. The newly evolved cars known as the 917-10 and later the 917-30 were so successful that some automotive writers feel that their success eventually killed the Can-Am series.
Porsche 917 Class at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2010
Porsche 917 Class at Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance 2011 – Photo Gallery
[Source: Amelia Island Concours; photo credit: Al Wolford]