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Bhuvan Chowdhary

Cars

January 31st, 2017

A super light, air-cooled retro Porsche 911 is hard to forget

Gérard Larrousse is one of the most prolific racing car drivers to have come out of France during the golden era of motorsports. Larrousse began his motor racing career in 1961 from rallying, something that gave him a deep understanding of how the car moves underneath the driver, and the art of ringing things back in control over loose surfaces. His first victory came to him the following year in the French Rally Championship while behind the wheel of a Alpine A110, powered by the Renault R8 engine and parts. But his real success story began when Gérard went on to race Porsche cars, winning the Tour de Corse aboard a Porsche 911 R in 1969 and then on to win more events like 12 Hours of Sebring with a Porsche 917K. While he kept moving to bigger, more prestigious racing events, even participating in Formula 1, the biggest success in Gérard’s career came during 1973 and 1974 when he consecutively won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the Matra MS760C.

Despite such an illustrious career that took Gérard from racing cars, to becoming a team manager … and on to have his own Formula One team (1987 – 1994), Larrousse, even today, finds his heart beating and emotions dripping for one car… which off course is a very special Retro Porsche 911.

In 1970 Gérard was tasked with driving the Porsche 917 Le Mans at the 24 hour race. As he finished second during that year’s event, he was almost immediately requested to race one more Porsche in the Tour de France. This was the a very special retro Porsche 911 ST, that had been build specially for the long distance race. Its specialty, a weight of only 780 kilos (1,719 lbs). This Porsche 911 ST was not only the lightest 911 sports classic build then, but even today when Historika painstakingly restored the car to its original condition.

This film sees the emotional side of a great racing driver once again uniting with one of his most loved machines. Although the super light Porsche 911 ST couldn’t actually win the Tour de France (coming in at a respectable third), it was the car’s overall nimble charechter that was such a vivid memory for Larrousse to experience once again after 47-years. His emotions and description of how the car handles and what makes it such a visceral driving experience, somewhat similar to what Bugatti’s design director Achim Anscheidt describes as well.

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