Marathon de la Route - 914/6 GT
Endurance races are typically measured in hours - 10 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours or even 25 hours. From 1965 to 1971, however, the world's longest endurance race stretched for 84 hours over three and a half days. The Marathon de la Route is perhaps the least well known endurance race but was a key part of Porsche Research and Development at the time.
When long-distance rallies across Europe became less viable due to traffic, spectator safety, and other logistics challenges, the concept moved to the Nürburgring in Germany. The fascinating history of the event, its origins and what it meant for Porsche is well-told by Porsche historian Glen Smale on the Porsche Road and Race website. It is absolutely mandatory reading.
In 1970, a trio of factory-entered Porsche 914/6 GT examples swept the top three places. They were all painted orange but distinguished by a large black 1, 2 or 3 painted against a white circle.
In 2019, the Revs Institute collection brought its 1970 Porsche 914/6 GT and added to the atmosphere for the Luftgekühlt event, held on the Universal Studios back lot in Los Angeles. The Revs Institute owns the third place finisher from the 1970 event. Amidst a back lot filled with Porsche air-cooled history, most cars have stories and unique history. In this case, the plucky little 914/6 brought history from the podium at the world's longest endurance race.
This photo was taken through nearby shrubbery. The 914/6 sat in front of a fire station facade looking across the town square to the City Hall made famous by "Back to the Future." The gent walking nearby paused for a second look. Was he appreciating the history or wondering about the rest of the story? Perhaps he was just a fan of the muscular flares of a 914/6 GT. More information and photos of the car is available on the website of the Revs Institute here.