Picture of the Day: Mark Donahue’s Porsche 917/30K


Today’s Domestic Bliss on the AMC Javelin brought up a name I hadn’t thought about in quite awhile – Mark Donahue. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this Fiendish legend, allow me to enlighten. Most of us are hoping that when we die, we get reincarnated as this guy’s shoes. Donahue raced a laundry list of sheet metal I’d kill to touch, much less drive, throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. Ford GT40? Yup. Shelby Cobra? You know it. Ferrari 250LM and 512, Chevrolet Camaro, McLaren M16? Of course. The most Fiendish of the lineup has to be his Porsche 917/30K. The 917 chassis was lengthened to accommodate a forced-induction 12-cylinder engine with 1,580 horsepower – making it the most powerful sports-car racer ever constructed and entered into competition. The twin-turbos dumped 39 psi into the mill and launched the lithe 917 to sixty in a mind-boggling 1.9 seconds. The century mark flew by in as little as 3.9 seconds, and 200 mph fell in line after just 10.9 seconds. The car was a force of nature. Donahue piloted the 917/30K to repeated victory throughout 1973, causing rival McLaren to abandon Can-Am racing for other venues, but by the following year new regulations were enacted to level the playing field including max fuel consumption. Does it get much more Fiendish than that? I think not.

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