This Historic Porsche 917K Has Been Converted for Road Use in Monaco

This is the story of how a Monaco resident exploited a strange loophole to get his 917 prototype race car registered for road use.

byChris Constantine|
Porsche News photo

The beautiful city-state of Monaco is teeming with millionaires looking to experience the quintessential lavish lifestyle, so seeing some truly expensive cars is an inevitability.  What you may not expect to see in traffic however, is one of just a few Le Mans-winning prototype race cars converted for street use. That's because the process for registering a vintage race car is nearly impossible, but one truly determined Porsche fan found a way.

Porsche tells a captivating tale of how Monaco resident and rare Porsche collector Claudio Roddaro managed to get his 917K sports prototype road-approved through a rather confusing "loophole." The story begins with another car, 917-030, one of two 917s registered for the road in the 1970s. This car was registered in Alabama (but never came to the state) and bought by Count Rossi, the late CEO of Martini and Rossi Vermouth Company and the man responsible for Martini's sponsorship of Porsche.

Roddaro purchased 917-037 in 2016 for $22 million (estimated), which had only been a 917 chassis until 2004 when it was finished by Gunnar Racing for the Rennsport Reunion in Daytona, Florida. To get his car registered for street use, Roddaro needed to make 037 as identical to Count Rossi's road-legal 917 as possible to essentially steal 030's identity. This involved two months of back and forth with the government and loads of paperwork.


The fact that Roddaro's car was never actually finished in the 1970s, thus never raced and never crashed, was a huge help to getting his car registered. The 917-037 is made of 95-percent original Porsche parts and therefore the most original 917 out there, so Porsche provided the car with an official authentication plate. As an homage to the owner of the car that brought 037 to life, Roddaro's car now wears a period-correct Martini racing livery. 

Spend a day exploring Monte Carlo and you might find this car out on the road, rattling expensive restaurant windows with the sound of its monstrous 600-horsepower flat-twelve engine and instilling fear into the heart of any supercar that dares to try and race it at a stop light.