Five times Le Mans winner Derek Bell straps himself behind the wheel of a gorgeous 1960 Porsche 718 and tells the story of the small four-pot Targa Florio winner.
This isn’t any 718 either; it’s the actual car with chassis number 718-041 that won the 1960 Targa Florio race at the hands of Hans Herrmann and Jo Bonnier. Petrolicious brought the racing legend and this feisty tiny Porsche together in their latest film.
“Once you get it on song, get up to 7,000-plus-revs, it was absolutely amazing,” says Bell. “And the fact you could brake so perfectly, flick it into a corner, put the power on, it just wanted the hell driven out of it.”
Powered by an air-cooled naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine, the original 718 offered an impressive 170hp in a lightweight package that proved too hard to beat in the 800 corners of the legendary Sicilian event.
“I had a very special feeling that I can’t really put into words, but it was almost choking me when I put it into 1st gear and driving it up the road, and that feel—it’s actually the feeling of freedom,” said Bell. “Because I was on my own, on this amazing course, nobody around, and I was driving through corners that the greats had actually gone ’round those corners.”