917 Engine start..... after 30 years !!!!

Doug S.

Lifetime Premier Supporter
One of the guys in the first video said something about it having just been purchased from a museum.

Must have been one hell of a museum if they were "thinning the herd" by selling off an original Porsche 917!!!!!!

I love the video, just needed a couple of the guys drinking beer. Quickstart will start anything (and mount tires), but don't ya' might be a better way to get something like that fired up? When ever I have used it one some $hit boxes you can hear the knock as it starts up seems harsh to do to something that as magnificent as a 917 motor.

Now that's out of the systems, what a wonderful sound!


Randy V

I'm with Sandy...

This is a virtually PRICELESS engine and to start it with ether was a sin... The cylinder pressures made from the ignition of that stuff can hammer an engine to an early grave..

Seems they could have pulled the plugs to de-foul the engine and used gasoline down the throats instead..

Still - An amazing car and engine...
Hey man--do you REALLY think that they didn't fully prep it before they shot the film.
These guys are professionals and about the best you can get as far as 917's are concerned. That engine will be 100% OK, AND better since it's doing what it was meant to do--pushing a 917 along.

Dave Bilyk

Bronze Supporter
Hi Tim,
have a listen to the ad lib commentary at about 2min 8secs in the first video,
"Thats the first time in maybe 30yrs that this thing barked. We've done nothing except make sure the fuel pumps work, the electric works for the cd's"

I think he goes on to say something about it wouldnt matter 30 or 50yrs it would just be the same.

What about the oil though?

I thought this is the Tompson 917. On Gunnar Racings site you can follow the full rebuilt of a 917 engine, which i thought is the one started up. If so they have done a full rebuild of it.
I was surprised too that it didn´t start better. IMHO it should with the correct start up plugs and a correctly purged injection system.
May be someone can shed a littel more light on this
That is what was said for the film---I really cannot believe that those guys would start up $250,000 worth of engine without checking it out VERY fully. Do you?
I think EGLITOM is right--this engine has been rebuilt from the ground up---it probably hasn't fired itself for years but is like it came out of the factory in 69--as good as new.
Just seemed odd in any case to spray quick start in to the beast rebuilt or not.

Still was cool starting it.

It did remind me of me and my buddies in high school working on my Big Block Chevelle, but we just poured gasoline in until it fired :thumbsup:



New Member
its funny reading all these assumptions as to what went on at gunnars. I was there that day. I can tell you this. No, its not the 917 that has been on their website for a few years. that car actually was Carl thompsons car, then he sold it to Freisinger. this car has the 1971 tail with the big fins, see pic. It's been through some transformations. it is one of the original 25 longtails, which exact number I dont know, (Actually I'm forbidden to tell). The cars oil was changed. One of the CD boxes had its wires crossed so that was corrected. The high pressure fuel pump was replaced. Fresh fuel was pumped from and external fuel can. the original fuel stunk like, well, old gas! 2 batteries were charged the night before to assist the cranking. what the video does not convey was the noise, the trembling, the smell, the choking on the plumes of smoke. It was awesome! Dont worry about the motor, It is getting torn down anyway. The car was driven up and down his street because he wanted to make sure that everything was working properly. the new owner is going to be "taught" how to drive his new majestic beast at a local racetrack very soon. At 5 grand a day to rent the track, it would be wise to make sure the clutch works and the cars shifts. once the owner is "trained" the car is going to be torn apart for a full restoration.



Active Member
Probably Gumout, not ether. Gumout works good for this purpose...
A 917 engine is worth a lot (more than 250,000).
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Hi GB,
if this car was Carl Thompson's then it is reserve chassis 917-037,purchased by a Bauer Company employee,sold to Thompson in 2003 rebuild bodywork by Kevin Jeanette at Gunnar 2003/2004
Probably Gumout, not ether. Gumout works good for this purpose...
A 917 engine is worth a lot (more than 250,000).
Griffit Racing had one advertised 3-4 weeks ago on his website.
Price 140.000 GBP including spare crankshaft.

Was gone pretty quick

Just to clear things up a little bit:
The car subject of this thread is 917-021 (ex 012). David Piper rebuild it in the early 70s using the 012s spaceframe which was renumbered back to 021 when being used as a spare frame in AAWs/ Martini Racings chassis 021 after being shunted at Le Mans in 1970.
There are 2 917-021 chassis today, one of which ist the white 917 from the former Rosso Bianco collection.