Replicating 917 Wheels-Part 1: The history behind finding a wheel to measure!

In early Oct 2013, I was asked to go and manage a Ford build in Detroit. I know Motown quite well, having worked in Windsor across the border in Canada from 86 to 88. And then did another 4 month stint in Detroit itself in 2010.

So off I went, with a substantial amount of material to enable me to continue the 917 designs during the evenings. But forefront of my mind was that I needed to start design of the wheels, which John and I were agreed had to be a true replica of the original, so 1-piece centre spinner mag rims. I was confident that I could replicate the 917 wheels into CAD, but just needing to find one to measure......

One of my friends in Detroit (Phil Taylor) is secretary of the Michigan BMW club. And very interested in the 917 project, and asked me if I would do a presentation for the BMW Christmas dinner which I was happy to do. So suffering from minor nerves (as around 100 people) happy to say the presentation went very well.

And one of several people, who came to chat after (Jim Williams), is a member of the Michigan Porsche club. So when I went back to Detroit in January, Jim invited me along to a Saturday morning meet at Howard Gilson Motorsports. Howard specialises in 356's and 911's but works on any Porsche that comes through the doors.

And at this meet, a few of the guys were interested our 917 project. And then when I mentioned needing to find a 917 rim to measure, one of the guys Vic Reverr said "I have one as a coffee table stand". And then kindly invited me back to see his 356 & 911 collection, and allowed me to measure the rim!

So we moved all the family photos and glass top, and I spent an hour or more taking some basic measurements of the rim shown in the attached photos. By Sunday evening, I had my first basic model of the rim. But it took another 6 months to develop this first model into a feasible design for manufacture, and to supply the rim widths required to take both road legal, and track tyres.

Wheel Model Development

  • Wheel Model Development 001
  • Wheel Model Development 002
  • Wheel Model Development 003
  • Wheel Model Development 004
  • Wheel Model Development 005

917 Sub Sections

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From the Galleries

  • 150923-body on chassis 1
  • Rolling chassis with me for website
  • Rolling chassis 2

  • Rolling chassis 3
  • 150611-transparent body and chassis 3
  • White 9