CMC Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, 1,000 km, Nürburgring 1964, Koch/Pon, #45
Limited Edition 1500 pcs.
Exhaust system: Sebring
When the Porsche 904 debuted at the Solitude Circuit, Germany in November 1963, a plan was also in place to build it for a minimum of 100 vehicles so as to meet the FIA’s regulations for homologation of a racing as well as road-legal vehicle.
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HISTORY (ORIGINAL VEHICLE)
The Porsche 904-055 was delivered to its first owner Ben Pon in May 1964, when he decided to switch to sportscar racing from F1 championship that he had engaged in 1962. With its orange livery, 904-055 contested under the auspices of Racing Team Holland in the 1964 and 1965 racing seasons. It debuted in the 1000 Km Nürburgring 1964 as car #45, clinching a class win and an amazing 3rd overall with Ben Pon and Gerhard Koch behind the wheel.
This race is remembered for its huge entry of over 100 cars, which could be divided into two categories: prototype GT cars and homologated GT cars. There were numerous sub-divisions and capacity classes, but the overall picture was simple: it would involve a duel between two groups of prototypes, namely the Ferrari works team with two 3.3-litre V12-cylinder open 275Ps versus the Porsche works team with two 2-litre flat-8-cylinder 904 coupés. The race started at 9:00 pm and lasted well after 4:00, during which time the leader covered 44 laps of the Nürburgring.
It soon became clear that the prototype Porsche 904/8 was no match for its counterpart. In the end, the Ferraris had a 1-2 victory, with Scarfiotti/Varcarella finishing 1st on a 275P and Parkes/Guichet/Mario coming 2nd on a 250 GTO. For 904-055, a 4-cylinder GTS, to finish 3rd among a top-quality field of 81 starters, it was nothing short of being impressive.
Fresh from the podium success in Germany, Pon and his 904-055 were headed to La Sarthe for the Le Mans 24 Hours. It resulted in an eighth overall and second in class finish with Henk van Zalinge as his co-pilot. A few weeks later, Pon was joined by Rob Slotemaker for the Reims 12 Hours, and they finished seventh and third in class respectively. On July 19, they proceeded to contest in GP Zoland, only to find that the delivery van had lost control of the trailer carrying their 904s, breaking the windscreen of 904-055, among others. A wind deflector had to be installed temporarily, and yet it didn’t stop Pon from winning the race!
904-055 boasted a fantastic record of 13 class wins over two seasons. Among the 1965 highlights were a 4th place finish and a class win in the Monza 1000 Kms. The Dutch driver Gijs van Lennep was made to man the car in the season finale at Zandvoort, where he continued the winning streak on 904-055.
The car was sold to the USA in 1966, and it formed part of several collections till it was brought back to Europe in 2013.
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