There are only three racing cars of a total of 640 vehicles in the Porsche Museum that have gone untouched since decommissioning, and this stunning 910/8 Bergspyder is one of them.
Actually, Porsche has decided not to restore this hillclimb racer, opting instead to preserve it in the state that it is today: with a rusted front bonnet, scuffed seats, toothless timing belt, weathered paint and so on “for the sake of authenticity.”
“We do nothing to alter the condition. Any tinkering would destroy its unique originality,” explains Alexander Klein, Head of Vehicle Management at the Porsche Museum. This goes beyond the aesthetics and means the engine must never run again and the racing car will not be driven anywhere.
“We have no intention of returning it to a ready-to-drive state. The Bergspyder has fulfilled its mission – it has already proven that it can drive and win,” Klein adds. Why such a radical decision, you may ask?
Well, this is the first time that the Porsche Museum has decided to exhibit a racing car that has survived its entire career and has been completely unaltered ever since. That’s a rare thing and could signals a shift in attitude towards restoring iconic classics. Mind you, the car is only on display during the conservation work, after which it will be stored again in the museum warehouse.
“Attitudes towards classic cars and what to do with them have changed markedly in the past 10 years. The focus is no longer just on restoring them to their original pristine condition,” says Achim Stejskal, Director of the Porsche Museum. Instead, the tendency now is to maintain cars in their authentic condition and try to prevent or delay continued deterioration.
Unfortunately, that means the world will probably never get to see the fantastic 910/8 Bergspyder chassis #031 in action, although there might be hope. Porsche says the conservation work is totally reversible so, in theory, the car could be used again.
This hillclimb racer packs a mid-mounted eight-cylinder boxer rated at 275 PS (271 hp) that enabled it to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in around 3 seconds.
That’s because it weighs in at less than 450 kg (992 lbs) thanks to its lightweight construction that included materials like titanium, magnesium, aluminum, and plastic. The chassis was designed in line with Formula 1 standards of the time and consists of a steel space frame covered in a glass-fiber shell.
The Porsche 910/8 Bergspyder last raced in 1967 when it won the then-popular European Hill Climb Championship in the hands of Gerhard Mitter.