Ultimate Porsche 917: Heads to Monaco auction

  • RM Sotheby’s is delighted to announce the sale of the legendary Porsche 917K chassis 917-K81—the last of its kind to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • The ultimate Porsche 917K was the final example to be built with factory approval, capping the top-flight career of one of the most dominant models in motorsport history
  • Raced at the 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven by Bob Wollek, Xavier Lapeyre, and Guy Chasseuil
  • Contested the 1981 Brands Hatch 1000 Kilometres with Bob Wollek and multiple Le Mans-winner Henri Pescarolo
  • Among the most developed and technologically advanced Porsche 917Ks ever built
  • For more information, visit rmsothebys.com

 (London, England, 15 March 2024) – RM Sotheby’s is delighted to announce the consignment of Porsche 917K chassis 917-K81 to its upcoming Monaco auction, which takes place at the Grimaldi Forum from 10 – 11 May. A truly remarkable example of one of the great endurance racing legends, this historic 1981 Porsche 917 K-81 is the final chassis to be built with the factory’s blessing and became the last of its type to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans when it took to the Circuit de la Sarthe in 1981. This remarkable car is estimated at €3,500,000 – €5,000,000.

Porsche 917

Chassis 917-K81 played a pivotal role in one of the greatest underdog tales in motor racing when it heralded the 917s return to the top-flight of endurance racing in 1981, following a 12-year absence, taking advantage of a brief window in eligibility before the introduction of Group C regulations in 1982. The car was built by Kremer Racing with the assistance of the Porsche factory, which provided the Cologne-based team chassis schematics along with a pair of flat-12 Typ 912 engines. It became the most cutting-edge 917 ever built, thanks to advances in tyre technology and aerodynamics, before contesting the 1981 24 Hours of Le Mans driven by Bob Wollek, Xavier Lapeyre, and Guy Chasseuil. Despite running as high as 9th position, a lack of development and new ground-effect bodywork prevented the car from achieving its full potential, and it was eventually retired following a damaged oil pipe.  

The car went on to contest the 1981 Brands Hatch 1,000 Kilometres, where it qualified 3rd with Bob Wollek at the wheel, and finally showed its true pace, with Wollek taking the lead mid-race, before retiring nine laps later. The race marked the end of chassis 917-K81’s short competitive career and bookended the top-flight history of one of the most dominant and celebrated models to ever compete in endurance racing.  

Offered for the first time in over a decade, it presents a vanishingly rare opportunity to acquire one of the most intriguing and historically significant Porsche 917s ever created. Just as in period, chassis 917-K81 is a car of unparalleled and still untapped potential and could make a fiercely competitive entry at any of the numerous historic race series for which it is eligible.

For further information on RM Sotheby’s Monaco auction, please visit rmsothebys.com.