PORSCHE has created a one-of-a-kind edition of its 911 Turbo S sports car to honour the life and career of racing driver Pedro Rodriguez, 50 years after the Mexican died in an accident on track.
Rodriguez had an illustrious career, winning two Formula One races, one behind the wheel of a Cooper-Maserati and the other in a BRM. He had stints with Ferrari, Lotus and other manufacturers before switching to what is now called the World Endurance Championship, winning the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Ford GT40 in 1968.
In 1970 Rodriguez joined JW-Gulf-Porsche, taking the world drivers’ championship title that year and the next, helping Porsche to two manufacturers’ titles in the process.
He lost his life in the crash while racing a Ferrari at the Norisring, Germany, in 1971.
To honour Rodriguez, Porsche has created this one-of-a-kind 911 Turbo S featuring Gulf’s famous motor sport livery of blue with an orange stripe, inspired by the Porsche 917K (also known as the 917 KH, standing for “kurzheck”, meaning “short tail”) that he raced.
The Gulf livery is one of the most famous and revered in racing, partly thanks to the three JWA Gulf Porsche 917Ks that raced at Le Mans in 1970 and starred in Steve McQueen’s 1971 movie Le Mans, but the colours have featured on many legendary racing cars and have recently been brought back to McLaren’s F1 team.
The special edition ‘Porsche 911 Turbo S Pedro Rodriguez’, which is to be auctioned for charity later this year, has many unique features, including a plaque on the B-pillar featuring the driver’s signature and a silhouette of the 917K in the Mexican flag colours.
The names of the eight races Rodriguez won in the 917K are engraved under the rear spoiler, while the key is finished in the famous Gulf colours and also features the Mexican’s signature.
On the inside, the seats are covered in graphite blue leather with orange stitching and have the 917K silhouette on the headrests. Rodriguez’s signature is on the centre armrest and in the carbon fibre on the dashboard. There’s even a bespoke luggage set in blue and orange to match the car.
The specifications for the car are so unique that Porsche says it won’t make them available to anyone else.
“This configuration, with these specific details and equipment, has been locked in the Porsche configurator, as well as in the production system, so that this car is literally unrepeatable,” says Camilo San Martin, director of Porsche Mexico which commissioned the car.
The division worked extensively not just with other parts of Porsche around the world but also with Rodriguez’s family to ensure that it is a fitting tribute to one of the most successful Mexican racing drivers of all time.
“Pedro Rodriguez continues to be the Latin American driver who has given Porsche the most triumphs and joy,” says George Wills, president and CEO of Porsche Latin America. “With this unique car in the world we want to pay tribute to a unique, irreplaceable driver, an idol of the past and a legend of today.”
- After reading about the unique Porsche 911 Turbo S Pedro Rodriguez, you might be interested in reading about a Porsche 917 that’s going under the hammer
- Check out our list of the top five cars owned by Hollywood legends
- Read the Driving.co.uk review of the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo