Porsche 907 LH #66 – Spark

907 LH #66
1968 Porsche 907 LH
Pilots: D. Spoerry, R. Steinman
Team: Squadra Tartaruga
Race: 2nd overall (1st in P 3.0) at Le Mans in 1968
Spark - S3480(resin)

Published 08/30/20

The Porsche 907 LH first appeared in the racing scene in 1967. The model came as an evolution and a substitute for the 910. The 907 had a lot in common with its predecessor, however it had one critical distinction – a longer body. That longer body (LH, “Langheck”) gave the car better stability at speed, especially at La Sarthe. The 910, with its shorter body, could not reach speeds high enough to stand up to the competition. So the 907 LH would be a better option for endurance racing in fast circuits. The engine was the proven and reliable Typ 901, a boxer-6 with 1991 cm³, with SOHC and 12 valves. It delivered over 200 hp, which was enough for a class victory in the 1967 24 Heures du Mans. Furthermore, the 907 LH was the first Porsche to average over 200 km/h and cover more than 4800 km.

The 907 LH was tailored-made for the Les Hunnundiarie at La Sarthe.

However, due to the neck-breaking speeds of Ford’s GT40, FIA changed the rules for 1968. With that, the big Ferrari V12 and Ford V8 engines became illegal, and both manufacturers did not have a suitable 3 l substitute. But Porsche had one. Consequently, they could hope for a WSC win and maybe even an overall victory at Le Mans. That being so, Porsche upgraded the 907’s engine to the Typ 771/1. The 771/1 was a variation of the 1961 F1 Typ 771 boxer-8, expanded to 2196 cm³. With DOHC, 16 valves and mechanical fuel injection, the 771/1 delivered close to 270 hp. With a shot at the 1968 podium, as a result Porsche not only enhanced the 907 LH but also developed a brand new model, the 908.

907 LH #66
Despite the team’s name, car #66 finished first in class.

At the 1968 Le Mans race the Porsche works team consisted of four of the new 908 LH. Nevertheless, the factory gave official support to privateers fielding the 907 LH, 906 and and 910. Swiss Squadra Tartaruga was one such team, that raced 907 LH #66 (chassis #907-008). The 908, despite its bigger engine, had a lot of issues, and only one finished the race. But 907 LH #66 raced very reliably, and while the competition fell prey to mechanicals or accidents, it soldiered on. With that, it came in five laps behind the winning Gulf GT40 and second place overall.

Same car, same race, very different outcomes.

I’m not exactly a 907 fan, and my previous #67 was basically enough for the Garage. However, when I found the class winner 907 LH #66 up for grabs, I just couldn’t say no. And in addition the price was great too! So here it is, and a very nice one from Spark. The 907 only raced in 1967 and 1968, and by 1969 the 908 completely took its place. So maybe not a very prolific car, but for the Le Mans nut an interesting one.

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