Imagine for a moment, if you will, driving a 52-year-old Le Mans prototype worth several millions of dollars on public streets. You know, public streets, where any dingus in a Hyundai Santa Fe could just run a stop sign and run headlong into, on top of, and vaults over you and your Gulf Oil-liveried wedge on wheels. When you’re a certified badass like Bruce Canepa, you throw caution to the wind and head out for a jaunt on the dangerous streets in your air-cooled flat-twelve-powered Porsche endurance racing legend. Crank up your speakers and head out for a street drive with this monster machine.
While the 917 was specifically built to run 200 miles per hour down the Mulsanne straight at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, or around the high banking at the Daytona 24, it seems to be quite a docile around-town bop. Somehow the car doesn’t have any issues trundling around town at legal speeds. As we all know, there is nothing better than seeing things in places they don’t belong, so watching Weissach’s kurzheck wonder pull up to a stop light on a street corner in sleepy Scotts Valley, California. I could watch stuff like this all day every day.
This is just a quick jaunt around the block for seven minutes, but that’s seven more minutes of driving a 917 on the street than I have ever done. With Monterey Car Week just around the corner, it’s nice to know that Canepa has his 5-liter Porsche heater tuned up and ready to roll for the Historics races out at Laguna Seca. Canepa’s shop is a short 51 mile jaunt down the 1, so maybe one day he could be convinced to drive the 917 down to the track. Oh man, could you even imagine?