Most porschephiles know the legend and prowess of Vic Elford, Bjorn Waldegard and many others behind the wheel of a 911 rally car. It is where the series got its first major wins and made a name for itself in racing. Fewer know about Slobislaw Zasada and his victories rallying a 912, and that he won the European Rallye Championship for Group 1 touring cars in his 912. There really isn't a whole lot of info out there past that on the history of 912s in motorsports. But don't ever let anyone fool you that the
912 doesn't have a motorsports pedigree. It may be overshadowed by its 6
cylinder brother, but its there, and it runs through the veins of our
Over the last several weeks, because I am a history geek, and in effort to get some inspiration for upcoming changes to my 912, I have been digging a little to find more info and even pictures of some of these 912 rally cars. Until recently I had only known of the one picture of Zasada's 912. With the internet and the help of Rick Becker (founder of the 912 Registry), Hugh Hodges of Australia, and Thomas Lundeval of Sweden (both 911 rally experts), I have started to find what I hope can be the first of many 912 rally cars. This write up is not a definitive history, and nor is it complete. It
also should not be taken as the final word. But what i do present is
at least more information than the average 912er may find.
The most famous of all, as previously mentioned is Slobislaw Zasada. There were many others though, and most of them were from Sweden.
The 912 competed in Group 1 (touring cars) rallies, where as the 911 competed in group 2. Some other famous 912s, actually raced as 911s, like Tony Adamowicz (aka Tony A to Z) famously won the 1968 TransAm Series in his 911.. which was actually born a 912!
To my knowledge, and from speaking with other sources, none of the 912s were factory Werks Cars. Not even the famous Zasada Car. It can be stated though that the factory was well aware of his, and other privateer 912 Rally cars, and that some most likely had factory support. Zasada was no stranger to Porsche after all, and was a factory driver, and piloted werks 911 cars in several rallies in 1968, including London to Sydney, Monte Carlo (S-C 9167), Tour De France, Argentina to name a few.
So, lets start with the most famous one of all.
the car was a 912 with the license plate 6177 KR. Some say it was loaned by the factory, but i have not found any proof of that to date. It was a privateer entry, not a factory werks car as mentioned above (none of the 912s were), but we do show evidence of factory support.
we can see this is evident in the announcement from Porsche congratulating Elford and stone on their season, as well as for Zasada for capturing the European group1 rallye championship for touring cars in 1967.
Translation from above: "1967 Year-End Report.
Second part, Motorsport
Sobieslav Zasada, Polish Ralley Champion, 912.
Porsche wins the European Championship for Gran-Tourismo- and "Close-to-Road-Spec" cars.
Since the last Ralley Monte Carlo with the Porsche-Team, top driving-team Vic Elford/David Stone overarchieved all expectations and won with their Porsche 911S not only the Rally European Championship. They won the Lyon Charbonnieres Solitude, the Tulpenrally and the Rally Geneva in their class, too.
In the "Close-to Series" cars class, the Pole Sobieslaw Zasada the European Master Title in a Porsche 912.
Elford/Stone = 57 points, Zasada = 64 points"
We show Zasada had the following history of rallying this 912
1967 European Rally Championship for Drivers Group 1 Porsche 911 S / Porsche 912/ Porsche 911 S/ Porsche 912
1967 Polish Rally Championship for Drivers Lancia Fulvia 1.3 Coupé HF / Porsche 912/ Lancia Fulvia 1.3 Coupé HF/ Porsche 912
We also show that his wife Ewe Zasada was usually his co driver.
Here is a picture I found a few years ago of the Zasada car in the Polish Rallye.
Below are a few others... including the trophy ceremony.
Below is an image of Zasada and Nowickiduring their 5th place run in the Danube rallye
Lastly it is important to note that Zasada also second in Czechoslovakian Rally in 1967.
Next we look at Leif Nilsson.
Here he is at the KAK Rallye Sweeden in 1967, where he finished 8th.
Here he is in another rallye, though not sure which one (you can tell its the same car by the license plate).
Although not as widely known today, probably the most famous 912 rallye driver back in the day was Albin Griberg. He consistently raced 912s in 67 as well as 68, and was quite successful.
Albin Griberg/Lennart Svensk in 1967 (not sure which rallye)
Albin Griberg/Lennart Svensk in the 1968 KAK Sweden Rallye
Albin Griberg/Lennart Svensk 1968 not sure which rallye.. since no decals, livery or sponsorship, could be practice stages.
Next is Åke Nilsson. I am not sure where this rallye was.
These next two are also 912 rallye cars in 1967, but it is not clear which rallye or who the drivers were.
This next one, is really an honorable mention.
Tony Adamowicz (aka A2Z)
In 1968 Tony was racing in TransAM. His 911 was totaled in a race at Daytona, and they needed to act quick to get a new car, however all of there money was in the wadded up 911. The result was the junkyard dog. With lucky they heard about a 912 from an impound lot in New York, and picked it up and then set about modifying it for racing, including removing the 912 engine and installing a 911 engine. There was not much in the way of Road Racing parts for Porsches in Transam at the time, so they rolled their own, especially suspension.
Below are some pics. pics are taken from site listed above..
The most interesting thing to me was the equipment. After seeing so many images of 911 group 2 rally cars, I imagined the 912s would have the same set up. But then i noticed something. No roll bars.. little in the way of any safety equipment really, and not even racing suits. I also noticed other interesting details. Look at one of the images of Albin Griberg/Lennart Svensk in the 1968 KAK Sweden Rallye -the rear seats are present and in the upright position! Look at the same set of pictures in the one that shows the car from behind. It has a full dash minus the radio. It appears that everything was left bone stock.
Then I looked up the FIA regulations for group 1 touring cars. http://www.fia.com/sport/regulations/histappjregs.html Feel free to read through them but the basic definition is bone freaking stock. It must contain the same number of seats from the factory. There are rules on seat measurements. It literally says 'No changes may be made as it is supplied by the manufacture'. It does allow some room with lighting, saying the number of lights you can use is 'free'. Very interesting to see and a little depressing for me in my hopes to make a period correct 912 rallye hotrod. I guess my excuse will be that Fritz will be a group 2 car. :)
I have received a lot of compliments in the last few weeks on my blog. I cannot thank each and everyone of you enough for the kind words and motivation. Many of you have blogs that I admire and enjoy reading myself, and have been a great inspiration to me to start 'Bound to Cover Just a Little More Ground'. I just hope that I can captivate, entertain, and inspire my audience as much as many of you have done so for me. More than anything, I am just happy to share things that mean a lot to me.
The last few weeks and for the next few coming weeks, postings will be fewer than the first month or so. Right now is an extremely busy time with work, and I am busy putting together quarterly and yearly client reviews. It is one of those things I have to do uninterrupted, so I find myself working early or later than my normal work day on them. It can be a lot of work, and a lot of intensive data analysis and quite a bit of powerpoint and excel wizardry, but I love what I do, and I love hitting a home run when it comes time for my Account Managers and VPs to present.
In the mean time, with not a whole lot to write about these days, I would like share with you a little blast from the past that I rally... i mean really enjoyed.
A trip through the way back machine, when racing was racing, and the legendary Targa was still being ran. Posted are several videos for your viewing (and listening) pleasure. Some great vintage footage with some excellent exhaust notes emanating through the Sicilian mountain side. Enjoy!
I had mentioned the other day that I had picked up a really nice original radio for my car. When I picked up Fritz, he had an AM/FM/Cassette player installed. Thankfully it was the old school kind with two knobs and the previous owner did not mangle the dash, like so many other cars. I really wasn't in the market for a radio, but it was one of those deals that i couldn't pass up for an original part that i would probably have paid dearly for down the road. It will go in a box for safe keeping.
What I originally had in mind was a radio delete plate. These are sought after because cars that were light weight and sports purpose (or that had an owner who didn't order a radio for one reason or another), had these plates to block off the hole where the radio normally sat. These plates are often times very pricy. A friend of mine had the same thought many do. Why are we paying so much for a piece of plastic with the word 'Porsche' written on it. So instead of buying one, he rolled his own. It looked so good, and since i really didn't want to pay a few hundred for something so simple, I asked to buy one from him. It just arrived today, and I cannot wait to install it. Mike did a hell of a job. It is amazing what many of us come up with as alternatives to rare, or expensive parts.
About 6 years ago I came up with my own through the grill fog lights using Carello's and cutting up an old pair of horn grills. My friend Kenny and I couldn't find any originals to go by so we cut them in a way we thought looked best.
One day I will figure out how to make recaro sports seats using nothing but a paper clip, shoe string and a roll of duct tape. I wonder if they make duct tape in a houndstooth pattern?