Porsche's 917 is an iconic racer that planted the automaker as a force to be reckoned with in endurance racing decades ago. With that said, it's easy to understand why the cars are so sought after and fetch well into the seven figures on the rare occasions they actually come up for sale. Well, that and a starring role in a little ol' movie called “Le Mans.”
With less than 60 of them ever built, your chances of seeing a 917 on the road, let alone actually driving one are next to nil.
Enter Icon Engineering.
2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed's Central Feature
The British outfit has spent the past few years developing exacting replicas of the 917 starting with nothing but an original 917 shell acquired by co-founder Dave Eaton, and the attention to detail that has gone into the car is simply breathtaking. It's so good that organizers of the Goodwood Festival of Speed used one of the company's replicas for 2018's Central Feature sculpture.
Icon Engineering's first 917 replica developed for road use was completed and registered in the United Kingdom on September 1, 2019. Fittingly, it featured the same green and white livery that Porsche used when the 917 was revealed to the world at the 1969 Geneva International Motor Show.
Icon Engineering is now ready to start accepting orders and will build the cars at a rate of no more than five per year. It means the wait time on one might stretch out a while, especially if demand picks up. There's a good chance of that happening considering the asking price. Icon Engineering's 917 replica starts at a very reasonable 200,000 British pounds (approximately $241,200) for cars equipped with air-cooled 3.6-liter flat-6 engines originally designed for the 964-generation Porsche 911.
Icon Engineering Porsche 917 replica
Buyers with deeper pockets can opt for a water-cooled engine from a later 911, as well as turbocharged units. The standard transmission is a Porsche 5-speed transaxle. The company has also previously said that the engine bay is big enough to fit the flat-12 engines used in some of the original 917s, so theoretically it could fit most engines. Icon Engineering is even investigating the potential of a battery-electric powertrain to help future proof the car.
Each car features a steel tubular structure with a fiberglass body shell. Should demand be sufficient, Icon Engineering is prepared to develop a carbon fiber body. Just imagine that in unpainted form. According to the company, the design is 95 percent true to the original. The main changes were to make the car street-legal, such as developing front crash structures, as well as an interior with all the necessary gauges and warning lights. The company also used steel for the structure instead of aluminum like the original, but an aluminum setup can be installed should the buyer desire.
As mentioned above, you’d be lucky to find an original Porsche 917 for sale, and if you did it would cost millions. Icon Engineering’s replica is an interesting, reasonably priced alternative, especially for anyone with a longing for nostalgia or perhaps jaded by modern supercars.