In the glory days of the 917, one of my favorites was Jo Siffert. An accomplished F1 driver, he found the big sports cars a good fit as well, and slipped easily back and forth during the season. Having piloted a 906 at Sebring in 1966, he had been in a 910 in 1967 , and won that race outright in a 907 with Hans Hermann in 1968. A 908 he shared with Brian Redman had been his mount for many other wins in 1968, and he and Ahrens won the Austrian 1000 in a 917 that year as well. As the 917 evolved, arguments raged (and still do!) as to whether Siffert was faster than Pedro Rodriguez, who was responsible for a number of 917 victories.
This shot came from a fortunate moment in the Sebring pits when Siffert was briefly framed by the raised rear deck of the 917. Like Siffert himself, it is one of my favorites. Unhappily, both he and Rodriguez were dead by the end of 1971 from fiery crashes, neither in a Porsche.
About Leonard Turner and “The Last Turn”
With a background in photography spanning more than 5 decades, Leonard Turner was Porsche Panorama’s chief photographer for some 40 years, shooting several hundred covers for the magazine and countless feature spreads involving racing, new car introductions, portraits, technical illustrations, and a plethora of other topics. In the course of doing this, he has traveled widely over the United States and Europe, visiting the Porsche factories and shooting at many venues, including a portfolio of the world’s greatest race tracks.
Leonard’s photographs have been published in many books including Porsche: Portrait of a Legend; Porsche Specials; Porsche, the 4-Cylinder, 4-Cam Sports & Racing Cars; Sebring, the Official History; Carrera RS; and Porsche: Prototype Era 1964 to 1973. His magazine credits, other than Panorama, include Autoweek, Road & Track, Automobile, Christophorus, and Excellence.
It was with this background in mind that we asked Leonard to open up his archives to share with you here on FLATSIXES.com. His personal files, both digital and film, contain tens of thousands of images of Porsches, Porsche people, and events they shaped and which shaped them. Our plan is to share one of Leonard’s images with you every other week, and the story behind it, in this newest feature, “The Last Turn” here on FLATSIXES.com.