Made easy

Uncompromisingly everything that has a few more horsepower and wants to underline its sportiness is called inflationary in this day and age. In the case of the 909 Bergspyder, the word exceptionally applies. Although, actually, it's an understatement here.

Text: Jack Weil Photo: Helge Jepsen 22.02.2019 1 min

Nowadays there are motorcycles that are heavier than this Porsche; the Honda Goldwing (min. 379 kilograms), for example. A Formula 1 racer and driver must weigh a minimum of 733 kilograms on the track at all times. Never before and never after has Porsche implemented the subject of lightweight construction so consistently and uncompromisingly as in the case of the Porsche 909 Bergspyder of 1968. This Porsche is said to have weighed in at just 375 kilograms of dry weight. The exact number was kept under lock and key by Ferdinand Piëch, the head of development at the time. It was powered by a V8 engine, with two liters capacity and 275 hp, air cooled, of course. Because, weight-wise, air was the engineer's favourite. Basically, air was the "ideal material". There is a rumour that Ferdinand Piëch, the head of development at the time, ran around the car with a magnet and instructed his engineers to find a lighter material wherever his magnet stuck. This partly resulted in groundbreaking solutions, partly also in a few bizarre ones:

  • an aluminium spaceframe chassis
  • Titanium suspension (front)
  • Brake discs made of beryllium (very expensive, therefore only fitted to one of the two vehicles)
  • A titanium pressure reservoir for 15 litres of petrol, in which a rubber bladder is put under 10 bar pressure in order to save fuel tank and fuel pump.
  • The resistors for the ignition system were mounted on light balsa wood