Home » Car of the Week: Porsche Restored This Race-Winning 1966 Carrera Six, and Now It’s Heading to Auction

Car of the Week: Porsche Restored This Race-Winning 1966 Carrera Six, and Now It’s Heading to Auction

by multimill
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On August 18, Bonhams will offer a very special 1966 Porsche 906 racer at its Quail Auction, on the grounds of the Quail Lodge & Golf Club, during Northern California’s famed Monterey Car Week. Marketed simply as the Carrera Six, the model was a two-seat endurance star back in its day—and this example has a particularly interesting and involved motorsport legacy, including multiple race victories in period.

The development of the Porsche 906 roughly coincides with the commercial launch of the then-new 911 (formerly 901) series in 1965. With the model’s creation approved by Ferdinand Piech, who would eventually become the supreme leader of the VW empire, the 906 was the successor of the 904 GTS, and its design emphasis was on weight reduction. At less than 1,250 pounds, it weighs 255 pounds less than its 904/6 predecessor.

A 1966 Porsche 906/Carrera Six race car.

The 1966 Porsche 906/Carrera Six race car being offered through Bonhams at its 2023 Quail Auction.

Bonhams

The Porsche 906’s original 2.0-liter SOHC flat-six engine makes 207 hp, but the enlarged 2.5-liter power plant on chassis No. 906-120 now develops about 256 hp at 6,600 rpm. While 50 examples were required to meet Group 4 homologation requirements for competition, the 906 comprised an official total of 62 cars, according to the factory. Of those, 52 were fit with the 2.0-liter flat-six engine.

The flat-six engine inside a 1966 Porsche 906/Carrera Six race car.

The flat-six engine has been enlarged to 2.5 liters and now makes about 256 hp.

Bonhams

From that limited production run, chassis No. 906-120 had a life of endurance competition. In March of 1966, it was delivered to driver Shintaro Taki, who proceeded to compete in five major Japanese races, winning the Clubman round at the Suzuka road circuit, and the All-Japan race at the Mt. Fuji circuit. Small, lightweight, and muscular, the 906/Carrera Six was a true David among Goliaths, as the model went up against Fords that had three-and-a-half times the displacement.

A 1966 Porsche 906/Carrera Six race car.

With the design approach to the 906 being focused on weight reduction, the car is less than 1,250 pounds.

Bonhams

As for Taki, he entered the car in eight races during the 1967 season, and finished first in five of them, including the all-important 1,000-kilometer race at Suzuka. The year 1968 saw further victories in long-distance competitions that really tested the mettle of driver and machine. And in 1969, the car once again aced the Suzuka 1,000 kilometer, co-driven by the Tudor Watch Racing Team’s Tomohiko Tsutsumi and Jiro Yoneyama. It also took the checkered flag at two other contests that year.

The cockpit of a 1966 Porsche 906/Carrera Six race car.

With Shintaro Taki behind the wheel, the car won five of the eight races it competed in during the 1967 season.

Bonhams

By 1970, this particular 906 was essentially “just an old race car.” But that didn’t stop enthusiast-drivers Peter Bellemy and Bob Hathaway from campaigning it in Japan, garnering a couple of third-place results. Despite being past its prime, the diminutive Porsche soldiered on in competition through 1974.

In 1992, a Yokohama collector—who, in the preceding years, had become this 906’s latest steward—commissioned the Porsche factory to inspect and sympathetically restore the car, ensuring its roadworthiness and authenticity. At some stage in the vehicle’s life, the engine was enlarged from 2.0 liters to 2.5 liters, and the car retains the same rebuilt engine today.

A 1966 Porsche 906/Carrera Six race car.

In total, 62 examples of the Porsche 906/Carrera Six were built.

Bonhams

It’s hard to imagine a more usable and fascinating piece of Porsche history than this specific Carrera Six, which is eligible for historic racing events, including the Goodwood Revival and RennSport. And with a high-end estimate of $2.4 million, it’s certainly in the upper echelon of collectible Porsche’s, especially with its winning provenance.

Click here for more photos of the 1966 Porsche 906/Carrera Six being offered through Bonhams.

A 1966 Porsche 906/Carrera Six race car.

The 1966 Porsche 906/Carrera Six race car being offered through Bonhams at its 2023 Quail Auction.

Bonhams



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