50 Years Young: Porsche 917 meets Concorde

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

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April 1969 saw the debut two hugely innovative machines, today they meet.

April 9, 1969; saw the maiden flight of the first British made Concorde from Filton Airfield in Bristol England.

The airframe was a prototype would go on to complete 438 flights, constructed to test a hugely innovative and pioneering aircraft that would ultimately break speed records (to the tune of 2,179km/h) at the time.

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That same month, the Porsche 917 was homologated as a Group 4 sports car. Produced equally as innovatively with engineering and design; the 917 pioneered an aerodynamic body draped around its powerful 12-cylinder engine meanwhile utilising materials that were previously exclusive to the aircraft industry. The 917 remains a lasting icon, and is ostensibly one of the greatest racing cars of all time.

Porsche-917-Concorde-rear.jpg

Recently, Porsche’s first 917 (001) was united with the pioneering Concorde at the Royal Navy Fleet Arm Museum in Yeovilton England, where the very first Concorde is now on display.

Marking the special anniversary of these two astounding vehicles, two daring pilots who helmed these vehicles into the unknown met for the first time, and guided each other through their machines.

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Richard Attwood won Le Mans at the wheel of a Porsche 917 in 1970, having never driven the car before.

Captain Tim Orchard who holds the World Record for the flight between New York and London (in a staggering time of just two hours and 52 minutes) flew Concorde for nine years.

Porsche-917-Concorde-pilots.jpg

Captain Orchard said of the 917: It was fascinating to be shown the 917, which was very much a car of Concorde’s era and I think developed with the same devotion and focus. The brutality of the car - its simplicity - is striking, and from I hear it was quite a formidable machine to drive."

"The Porsche and Concorde are kindred spirits, both created with enourmous care by a small team of passionate people – yet capable of performance that was unheard of before they arrived", he closed.

Attwood enthused: "Like a lot of people I’m a big fan of Concorde and always wish I could have flown on her – I’ve missed my chance! The 917 and Concorde seem so pure and simple from the outside, but both mask an array of engineering ingenuity that is still extremely impressive by today’s standards."

Porsche-917-Concorde-pilots-in-concorde.jpg

Both vehicles reflect a vintage era where engineering and the innate human endeavour for challenge were inextricably intertwined. While both vehicles are no longer in commission, they both made their mark in history.

Enjoy the video above of the two brave pilots meeting, and check out the stunning gallery below!

 

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Porsche 917 Concorde cover Porsche 917 Concorde cover
Porsche 917 Concorde 917 cabin Porsche 917 Concorde 917 cabin
Porsche 917 Concorde 917 engine Porsche 917 Concorde 917 engine
Porsche 917 Concorde cabin details Porsche 917 Concorde cabin details
Porsche 917 Concorde cabin instruments Porsche 917 Concorde cabin instruments
Porsche 917 Concorde helmet Porsche 917 Concorde helmet
Porsche 917 Concorde pilots Porsche 917 Concorde pilots
Porsche 917 Concorde pilots in concorde Porsche 917 Concorde pilots in concorde
Porsche 917 Concorde pilots outside concorde Porsche 917 Concorde pilots outside concorde
Porsche 917 Concorde rear Porsche 917 Concorde rear
Porsche 917 Concorde rear side Porsche 917 Concorde rear side
Porsche 917 Concorde wheels Porsche 917 Concorde wheels

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