Although Porsche was the featured marque at the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year, the automaker celebrated another anniversary at the annual hillclimb—the 50th birthday of the 917 sports prototype racer. To honor the beloved racecar's golden anniversary, Porsche paraded a number of 917 variants up the hill at Goodwood, highlighted by the appearance of one of the only road-legal Porsche 917Ks in the world.
In a video posted by Youtuber 19Bozzy92, one of currently two Porsche 917Ks converted for road use can be seen flying up the Goodwood Estate's hillclimb track, its 4.5-liter flat-12 engine at full snarl. This car, chassis number 917-030, has a particularly interesting story as no 917s were built for legal road use despite homologation requirements.
The car was primarily used for development of Porsche's first anti-lock braking systems and was only fielded in competition by Martini Racing a handful of times. After its retirement, 917-030 was sold to the late Count Gregorio Rossi di Montelera, heir to the Martini and Rossi fortune. Count Rossi immediately sent the car back to Porsche for a conversion to be able to drive his dream race car on the road, which consisted of mufflers, rear tail fin delete, a more understated silver paint job, and an interior reupholstered in beige leather. Unfortunately throwing buckets of cash at the project only got Rossi so far, as getting the car legally registered proved to be a nightmare. After France, Germany, and even Italy turned down his request, Rossi finally got the car legalized in Alabama, the caveat being that the car could never set foot, er, tire in the state.
Thanks to expired Texas plates, 917-030 is actually no longer legal to drive, but another street-legal 917K currently exists that can be seen (or more accurately heard) trundling around Monaco every so often. Rossi's car is supposedly valued at more than $40 million and the high cost of an average 917 chassis (around $20 million) coupled with the miles of legal red tape required to get one road-worthy means this dream car is as unobtainable as they come.