Porsche and Penske. That’s an honest relationship. Both have little left over for nostalgia. Anyone who lives for motorsport drives the future before them. Only the next lap counts, only the next improvement is of interest, only the next race, the next victory. The past, the heroic tales, are for others to tell. People like us, for example.
Okay, then. Because in addition to its weighty legacy and imposing number, when the 963 debuts at Daytona this coming January, it will be accompanied by the anniversary of a unique victory dating back exactly half a century. The story starts with a stray seagull: It’s February 4, 1973, we’re at the Daytona International Speedway. Hurley Haywood is comfortably in the lead at the 24-hour endurance race – behind the wheel of a 911 RS. It’s the first outing for the car, the racing variant of the 911 Carrera RS 2.7. Victory seems within reach. Suddenly the car hits a seagull, which comes crashing through the windshield and gets stuck there. Haywood maintains control of the car and continues driving while the pit crew feverishly searches for a solution. They don’t have a spare windshield on hand. In the end, the team resorts to taking the windshield out of a privately owned 911, and Peter Gregg re-enters the race for the final laps. At 3:03 p.m., the checkered flag is waved for car number 59, ahead with a twenty-two-lap advantage. The fans cheer. The engine howls. The crew is beside itself.