In 1961, when capacity was restricted to 1.5 litres for Formula 1 racing, this change in the rules helped Porsche to enter the Grand Prix arena. The new ruling did not differ significantly from the previous Formula 2 where, since 1958, Porsche had established itself with a high-speed four-cylinder single-seater. They almost managed it in the premiere year in 1961: Porsche driver Dan Gurney was second in Reims as well as at the Italian and US Grand Prix, but the first Grand Prix win remained elusive. In 1962 Porsche sent an eight-cylinder Grand-Prix racing car into the fray. With regard to design and chassis, the Type 804 corresponded with modern mid-engine racing cars. It featured an interesting disc brake design and a fan positioned horizontally on the air-cooled eight-cylinder engine.
In July 1962 they were ready: After a succès de estime in Monaco, Dan Gurney won the French Grand Prix in Rouen a lap ahead of the South African Tony Maggs for Cooper. A week later Gurney won again in front of 300,000 enthusiastic spectators at the Stuttgart Solitude ahead of the Lotus driven by Jim Clark. Towards the end of 1962, Porsche concluded its excursion into Formula 1. Formula 1 technology, which could only be transferred to the production car to a limited extent, required a high level of financial investment. As Porsche always regarded motorsport as the starting point for new developments and improvements for the production sports car, it therefore returned its attentions predominantly to the GT cars and long-distance sport - Porsche's true domain.
|Engine:||Eight-cylinder twin-valve induction engine (Boxer), air-cooled, four overhead camshafts with vertical shaft drive|
|Power:||180 HP at 9.200 RPM|
|Fuel system:||Four dual-barrel downdraft carburettors|
|Transmission:||Six-speed gearbox, locking differential|
|Chassis:||Steel tubular space frame, independent wheel suspension, torsion bar suspension, Porsche disc brakes, tyres: front 5.00 x 15 R, rear 6.50 x 15 R|
|Dimensions and weight:||Wheel base 2.300 mm
length 3.600 mm
weight 452 kg
|Performance:||Top speed 270 km/h|
|Chassis No. of the museum car:||804 04|