The 906 - also known as the Carrera 6 - was conceived with a simple objective - to quite simply build the lightest and most aerodynamic 2 litre sports prototype of the time. To this end, using lessons learnt from the 904 design, the car was built on a tube-frame with an unstressed fibreglass body for ultra-lightweight construction - indeed the finished car powered by a highly developed 2 litre flat six weighed in at a mere 580 kgs. The 906 was a direct response to the Ferrari 206 Dino V6 and the tube frame construction removed the previous problems associated with the inconsistent chassis stiffness from bonding the GRP body to the chassis of the 904. Additionally new class rules meant that only 50 cars were needed to be built opposed to the previous requirement of 100, which made Porsche more confident of being able to sell a no compromise out and out racing car.
The model evolved during it's short lifetime with the run-out model named the 906 E fitted with fuel injection to improve drivability, dual headlights, accommodated in wider front wings and with a shorter tail and slightly longer nose.
The 906 heralded the first output of Ferdinand Piech - a grandson of Dr Porsche and there is no doubt that some of the innovations associated with the car were direct signatures of Piech's beliefs. Ferdinand was a graduate of the Zurich Technical Institute studying aerodynamics and the shape of the car was derived from the first use of a wind tunnel by Porsche to refine the aerodynamics and an impressive drag co-efficient of 0.35 and top speed of 170 mph. Extensive use of exotic metals in conjunction with a tube frame in pursuit of the ultimate lightweight construction meant the car was instantly competitive.
The 906 debuted at Daytona 24 hour race in 1966 where it won the 2 litre class and placed 6th overall. This was the start of a series of victories at Sebring, Monza, Spa, and Nürburgring 1000 kms races and a 906 won outright at the Targa Florio and finished 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th at the Le Mans 24 hour race - dominating the 2 litre class. Predictably the 906 was highly successful in hill climb racing with numerous championships won and after the cars were retired by the factory, the Carrera 6 proved to be a highly successful and reliable racecar, winning national events throughout the late 60's.
Although a number of examples were road registered, make no mistake these are highly strung, sophisticated thoroughbred racers and many were lost in the battle of competition. They were never built with the expectation of lasting 55+ years later and of the 65 cars built, it is believed there are approximately just 40 examples left today.
If there was ever a definition of a truly exotic lightweight racecar right on the edge of what be used on the road - the 906 fits the bill! Yes, of course you can use these cars on the road and a few today are still the highlights of the big ticket events like the Tour Auto, but make sure you can handle a close relationship with your co-driver! On a serious note the car is at it's best on track and it's lightweight build means that the driving experience is of a dramatic tactile nature of a true prototype and a long way from a modified steel bodied road car.
Predictably, the model's extensive competition life and extreme construction mean that with the exception of a few well documented remaining cars, very few cars will run with their original engines, gearboxes, frames and body components. You can't run cars in historic racing without extensive crack tests for durability of components and the exotic materials associated with this car are not known for their longevity...
For these reasons - many of today’s cars run with a mixture of components which have been replaced over the past 55 years - with varying degrees of provenance...
Make no mistake, the Carrera 6 driving experience is quite exquisite, but only a handful of truly original cars run today and with 170+ mph potential you need to be sure you know what you are getting into when you open that lightweight gullwing driver's door!
As the beginning of Ferdinand Piech's series of dedicated purpose built prototypes, the 906 is a very special car to get behind the wheel of. Here is a design that can still today be competitive in historic racing against much more powerful competition and can be used by those of a "sporting" disposition on road events, as well as circuit use. They are actually quite easy to drive and handle superlatively, although like all serious prototypes, perform at a different level to road cars of similar engine size.
We are planning to build a limited series of Historika 906 prototypes, built to authentic FIA appendix K specification for modern day historic racing, but with modern materials to ensure the safety of the car meets the considerable performance on offer. We have built countless "906 spec" engines for over the past 40 years and we shall apply our 40 years of experience to deliver a power unit which is built from the onset to be raced enthusiastically. No one would choose to race a 170+ mph car with a tube-frame chassis which has had 55 years of hard use - admittedly less in the case of numerous cars which have been "restored/repaired" to varying standards...We shall be building a car which whilst true to the purity of the original design will be created with modern construction techniques with the attendant safety advantages.
We have made a significant investment in reverse engineering all the components behind the 906 model and we shall be building a very limited number of cars which will result in authentic parts. These elements of the build will be interchangeable with those from original cars - so that the end result is a 100% accurate Carrera 6 driving experience at a fraction of the cost of the remaining original racers. We are building recreations which will be built to be raced hard and you will know exactly the origin and integrity of what you are getting, which is not always the case should you consider purchasing at great expense, one of the handful of so-called original cars when they rarely come up for sale.
Talk to us about our 906 build and the options we can offer for a brand new bespoke build.
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