The Story of How a Road-Legal Porsche 917 Roams the Streets of Monaco

 April 18, 2018

Porsche 917 - Claudio Roddaro
Claudio Roddaro's Porsche 917 / Photo: Porsche.com


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The last thing one would expect to see on the roads of any city in the world is a Le Mans-winning racer whooshing by. But thanks to the legal system of the Principality of Monaco, that is a common occurrence on the streets of Monte Carlo.

A Porsche 917, wearing 1970s-style Martini racing livery and sponsor decals, twists the heads of the rich and police officers in one of Europe’s most luxurious regions. Behind the wheel of the car is Monaco resident and amateur racer Claudio Roddaro.

Under the hood, the same 4.9-liter air-cooled flat-twelve used by the 917 since its debut in 1969. Power is rated at 600 bhp, the same as on the car that saw action at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In other words, how could this thing be wearing a license plate?

Porsche 917 - Claudio Roddaro

Claudio Roddaro’s Porsche 917 / Photo: Porsche.com

In one word, precedent. After buying the car in 2016, says Porsche, Roddaro started looking for ways to have authorities let him drive the car on the streets. And he found not one, but two precedents when 917s had been registered for public road use.

Porsche says the first such car was the chassis number 917-021, who was given green light for only a short time. The second, 917-030, belonged to an heir to winemaker Luigi Rossi, one of the founders of Martini.

Thorough legal loopholes probably not even Michael Cohen could untangle, the 917-030 has remained the single road-legal 917 ever since the 1970s.

But that’s not the case anymore. To make his Porsche legal, all Roddaro had to do is prove his 917-037 is the same as Rossi’s 917-030.

Porsche 917 - Claudio Roddaro

Claudio Roddaro’s Porsche 917 / Photo: Porsche.com

Which he did, with a big helping hand from Porsche, which managed to track down the car through the ages and until Roddaro bought it, so that a chassis plate authenticating 037 as a genuine 917 was provided.

We’re not sure how many 917s are left out there, but what we learned from this story is that now everybody who owns this type of car can have it declared road legal. At least in Monaco.

Porsche 917 - Claudio Roddaro

Claudio Roddaro’s Porsche 917 / Photo: Porsche.com

Originally published by Daniel Patrascu at AutoEvolution.com

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