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Walter Röhrl Laps The Porsche 904 GTS

Posted in Collector Cars, Porsche, Track Events by Kurt Ernst | March 16th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Walter Röhrl knows a thing or two about car control, having won the WRC title in 1980 and 1982. A senior test driver for Porsche, Niki Lauda once called him a “genius on wheels”, and Italy elected him the “rally driver of the century”. Not to be out-done, France turned around and elected him “rally driver of the millennium”, after which a panel of motorsports journalists awarded him the title of “best rally driver ever”. In other words, no matter what set of keys you toss him, Röhrl can drive the car at 10/10ths. In this case the car in question is a 1965 Porsche 904 GTS, and it’s one of about 30 made with a flat six engine. It’s also owned by a member of the Porsche family, so it’s definitely a car you don’t want to stack into the tire barriers at the Mallorca circuit. Video below.

Porsche only built around 130 Type 904s, and the car was only offered in 1964 and 1965. All 1964 models came with flat four engines, and Porsche only produced 30 flat six 904 variants in 1965. As you can see from the video, the cars were a handful to drive thanks to the lightweight chassis and mid engine, rear drive layout. The skinny tires and short wheel base didn’t help matters any, and the car was prone to sudden oversteer if you gave it throttle, lifted the throttle or even turned in with anything other than absolute finesse. The cars seem to polarize fans, with an equal mix of those who love the car’s lines (like myself) and those who hate them. The 904 has enough of a following to spawn replicas from both Martin and Walker in the UK and Chuck Beck in the United States.

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