I'm on a 60's era F1 kick recently and especially the Porsche F1 804. I haven't found too much info, that is except for seeing it the other day at the Lime Rock races. Anyone have any links, vintage photos, or thoughts they'd be willing to share?
The Porsche F1 story is predominantly about the 804, it was the only purpose built chassis they produced for the category. They had updated an F2 chassis for the 1961 season but the 1962 804 was a really serious and competitive design and Dan Gurney won the French GP that year.
The car was fitted with a flat-eight air cooled engine designated Typ 753 and with it's boxer configuration and use of magnesium gave a very low centre of gravity - the engineering was beautiful as is always the case with Porsche, the intricate crankshaft took a specialist supplier 9 months to produce and each engine required 220 man hours of assembly!
The neat chassis got to within 20lbs of the formula's weight limit but gained weight during the season as numerous modifications were made.
Cooper had won the 1960 world championship on a £10,000 budget but Porsche spent £550,000 developing their 1961/62 GP team so I think we can all understand why they pulled the plug on the project.
The 804 debuted in '62 at Zandvoort. Normally a car such as this would have grabbed all the headlines but on this occasion it's thunder was stolen by the debut of another car, one that would become a legend, the Lotus 25. Oh well!
After a season of racing the 804 was not deemed a success by Porsche who withdrew from F1 to focus on sports car racing. Having said that, the car did have some success with a win for Dan Gurney in the French GP and a resounding Gurney- Bonnier 1-2 in the non-championship event at Solitude.
There were three chassis built and this one, 804/02 can be seen as part of the Donington Collection:
Yeah, I saw it ( and took a few pictures of it ) the other day. I'm hoping to find some vintage photos of it to determine what it looked like over the races ( 2 I guess? ) that it ran in. I also have the book Porsche Racing Legends and they describe it and the F2 cars from 1961 that preceeded the 804.
QUOTE (Dennis David @ 19 Sep 2004, 03:46)Not only that check out a picture of Gurney in the Porsche and see where the top of the roll bar is in relation to his head
...the team did address that issue (along with various other mods) after the Monaco shunt, Dan providing less wind resistance from France onwards!
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