Every manufacturer has its “halo car”, the car that defines its success on the racetrack during that perfect time in history. A time where restrictions on design and development were seemingly unlimited compared to today. The climate was different, racing was different, and Porsche was being prompted by the wins at LeMans by the likes of Ford & Ferrari, to compete at a higher level. Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 1969, the 917 would be produced in approximately 12 different variants and it is estimated that 59-65 917’s were constructed through 1971.
The Irish poet, Oscar Wilde, once stated, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness”. As long as the most significant cars of our time have been produced, craftsman have been there, in all their flattery, to recreate them. Replicas, continuations, recreations, tool room copies, and the like have seemed to live in their own circles of the collector car world. Over the past few years however, the lines have been blurred and today these works of art & engineering share, in many instances, the same space as those they mimic.
The Australian manufacturer, Kraftwerk, produced only a handful of rolling chassis and bodies from original drawings and careful measurements of an original example. While little is publicly known or found about this particular builder, it is known amongst enthusiasts that the Kraftwerk LMK 917 is considered a top choice for those serious about acquiring a 917 recreation on the open market. Its first and current owner acquired chassis number LMK 917 021 in December of 2008 direct from Kraftwerk. It was immediately airfreighted to LA and then further to the renowned Porsche specialists at Patrick Motorsports of Phoenix, AZ. Patrick Motorsports would bridge the gap between a raw rolling chassis and a track ready masterpiece. Complete and detailed build records are available for review by clicking the “View Documents” button above.
This example is powered by a 993 power plant, the M64 3.8L Flat-Six which was taken down to just the block and rebuilt utilizing the best of the best. Such as Mahle Pistons & liners with 11:4:1 compression, Pauter Rods, GT2 oil pump, and an equally as high performance valve train with titanium retainers and racing valve springs. The cams are from an RS and the ignition is a twin plug with 12 individual Denso 580 coils. All being fed air and fuel through 6 individual throttle bodies. These many items are all tuned to work in harmony thanks to a MoTec ECU management system. The transmission is a Type 915 that has seen total rebuilding to match the output of the power plant as a reliable and capable unit.
Various one-off items have also been produced by Patrick Motorsports to accommodate the high level of quality-craftsmanship needed to make this car both perform and present as such. Items such as the Patrick Motorsports transaxle cooler developed with Setrab. Further collaborations specifically for this example include development with Fuel Safe for the fuel cell. Sticking to the road comes by way of correct-style center lock wheels wrapped Dunlop CR82’s with 11” wide in the front and 15” wide in the rear. Adjustable Koni shocks can be found on all 4 corners and a dual master cylinder feeds AP Racing calipers and rotors on all 4 corners as well.
The closer you look the more beautifully executed details you find. The clearer the quality becomes. Parts can be ordered, and things can be bolted together. However, the culmination of careful attention to detail, and efficient engineering, just like they did in Stuttgart in period, provides for an impressive result by Patrick Motorsports.
Finished in 2018, LMK 917, chassis number 021 has seen only track testing time for sorting and final completing with only heat cycles and the occasional careful local drive to keep it in turn key condition.
While the car presents very well it does have a variety of minute flaws typically found in cars with composite body work. Various stress cracks can be found upon close inspection, mostly near flex points or Dzus Fastener points. The paint is otherwise very nice, well finished and the body is free of any accidents or fundamental issues.
The plexi-glass throughout and trim items are all in good condition overall with the occasional spider crack near a bolt head on the plexi-glass.
The wheels are in good condition with the center lock nut heads showing wear from being taken on and off but otherwise no issues noted.
The spartan interior shows well for the cockpit of a purpose-built machine such as the 917. The sills show some light scratching but the seats, dash and presentation of the interior is excellent showing little signs of use but otherwise can be considered excellent.
Though extensive road/track testing has not been completed by LBI, we have tested some elements of the cars electronics and we believe everything to be in working order. Further testing of these items can be completed upon request.
The engine bay is a work of art. Everything is tidy, new properly coated, routed, and situated in just the way you would want. There are no obvious issues to note. Perhaps a scratch or a blemish here or there but nothing note worthy.
The engine starts easily, runs strong, and once warm maintains excellent oil pressure and does not suffer from any overheating in a stationary position, simply idling. We have not completed any extensive road or track testing to confirm further function. However, judging by how well this car runs we have no reason to believe it would be anything except superb if one were to run it extensively.
The transmission selects gears correctly, feels nice and firm and mechanical with properly sorted linkage.
Brakes and suspension appear to be in excellent order with no obvious signs of age or excessive use as this example has seen little time.
The tires are old and are starting to crack due to age, compounded by living in a very dry environment on racing tires that generally have a short life-span. They will require replacement immediately to be deemed safe for road or track use.
Unfortunately we have not had the pleasure of putting the LMK 917 through its paces. By its running condition and overall inspection we believe that it would likely be one of the more exhilarating experiences behind the wheel.