The Evex Porsche 910: How A Short-Lived Race Car From The ’60s Was Reborn In The ’80s
Photography by Robb Pritchard
No, my eyes weren’t deceiving me, it really was a Porsche 910 ambling down the village high street. But if it looks like a 910, sounds like a 910, and goes like a 910… it doesn’t necessarily mean it is a 910.
In a German village just over the French border is an impressive private collection of cars. Porsche is the predominant marque, and Felix’s air-cooled collection covers the whole span of the company from the venerable 356s, through a 924 Carrera GT, 964s, and 993s. But one stands out from the rest. For everything from looks, novelty, the emotions from driving, and just the pure thrill of ownership, the Evex 910 stands out.
Back in the late 1950s and into the ’60s, Egon Evertz, a wealthy industrial magnate and entrepreneur, was one of many gentlemen drivers in the popular touring and GT series of the time. Beginning in a 356, he competed at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, was known for racing 935s, bought a 917, and ran a small team with the Finn Leo Kinnunen as one of his drivers in a 964. Evertz also ran a 908/3 with Kinnunen in the 1976 Le Mans, and while they did not finish, Egon’s other entry as a team owner—a 911 RSR— took a creditable 9th overall.
Evertz was good, but he was certainly not the highest profile Porsche driver in the field, yet somehow in the late ‘80s—either through a friendly connection with the Porsche family, or a stuffed envelope placed in the correct pocket—he managed to acquire the production rights for a limited run of road-legal 910s.
Verifiable details are hard to come by, and the current, very proud owner, Felix, doesn’t know how the deal was arranged either. “Things were very different in the 1980s,” he shrugs. Certainly today it would be rather unlikely that anyone would get the CAD files and a nod from the Porsche family to knock out a few strassenwagen versions of the 919 from their garage. But that’s basically what Evertz did a few decades ago. He had dabbled with building cars, the most well-known being VW Beetle-based prototypes, but the 910 would be a much more ambitious project.
It should be noted that the Evex 910s are not exact replicas of Porsche’s 1966 and ’67 racer. With a slightly different concept of health and safety for a late-’80s road car than a 1960s racing one, the tube frame chassis was made with thicker gauge steel in the Evex version. But with the installation of a then-modern 400bhp 3.8 RSR flat-six mated to a 915 gearbox in a car weighing just 640kg (~1411lbs)—only 40kg (~88lbs) heavier than the factory race cars—performance was blistering. To cope with such power, the Evex 910 sported 930 suspension and 964 ABS brakes.
Other small differences to the original works racing car are that the Evex runs on 15-inch wheels, with the traditional five studs rather than the centerlock 13-inch wheels used on the race cars. Technically this would make the Evex 910 closer to the 906, as changing the wheels to F1 sizes with the quicker-to-change single retaining nut, is one of the main distinctions between them. But the evocative curves and lines of the Evex build, more often seen in grainy black and white fifty-year-old photos of Le Mans than idling through a German village early in the morning, are all 910. So is the humorously flimsy GRP bodywork.
But that’s not all. Near Cologne, nestled somewhere between Kremer Racing and DP Motorsport, (of Kremer K3 bodywork fame), was Manfred Dahm Racing, well known its for successful Formula 3 and Group C chassis. With the paperwork for the car’s road legality eventually sorted out with the TÜV, having such a highly respected workshop to assemble and develop the cars, the project had every recipe for being a great success… But only three (or four, depending on who you talk to) were made.
Of those rare beasts, this particular model seems to have a bit of a checkered history. Felix knows some of the story. “I have the papers from one of its early owners, who seems like a bit of a dodgy guy. He tried to claim the car was stolen to get the money for it, and then said it was exported to Ireland and the USA… but I am sure that it never left Europe.”
After being stored for about ten years, this car came into the hands of a well known local Porsche collector who, over a four-year period, had it meticulously restored. And one day Felix came across it strapped to a trailer outside his local garage. With two fellow Porsche collectors talking about such a rare model, a friendship quickly formed from that conversation and Felix was invited round to take a few photos for himself, where over a cup of hot chocolate it was offered for sale.
At first Felix declined as he didn’t have such reserves of cash to add another car to his collection, but because of his declining health, the owner was more interested in his Evex going to a good home than making a profit on it. So, as Felix drove home later that day, he thought about which of his other Porsches were going to be sold to make room for the Evex. “A few years ago I sold an unregistered 911 Speedster with just 1100km on the clock for good money. But a year later they were selling for crazy money, so I had a good look at the market and sold only the cars I didn’t expect to shoot up in value so much. It’s always sad to see cars you love go to someone else, but with the Evex taking their place, I have never regretted the decision!”
When he was younger and working as a brick layer for his father’s business, Felix bought his first Porsche—a 1984 911 G-body—and his father was outraged. Not for the usual reason of your son coming home in a sports car, but because he thought the local clients would think they were paying far too much for their work, and so the car had to be parked a long way from the house or any clients. Years later, the Evex doesn’t have to be kept a secret, and is well known around the surrounding villages in the outskirts of Aachen. Especially by the police. “It’s a very unhealthy car to drive for your driving license,” Felix laughs, “It just looks fast. And because it’s also so loud the police just assume you’re breaking the speed limit when they see you.” Fortunately, in his five years of ownership, the only reason officers have pulled him over is to sate their curiosity and get a better look.
“It’s an amazing car to drive. The position you sit in, the handling, the suspension so stiff it knocks the breath out of you over bumps, the sound of the engine right behind, separated only with a thin strip of aluminum… all of it is pure joy. Every single time I turn the key. If I am not having a wonderful day, I don’t need yoga or meditation to cheer me up, all I have to do is simply stand next to this amazing car and everything feels better.”
For driving, that is restricted to 5AM Sunday sprints around the local back roads. “This is not a car for sitting in traffic, so after an enjoyable couple of hours blasting around the countryside, as soon as the roads start getting busy I come back home,” Felix tells me with a laugh.
Despite being a bit heavier than the original 910, but with the much increased horse and stopping power, the Evex is arguably an improvement on the original 2000cc car in a pure performance sense, but Felix modestly claims that he is not the man to ask about that. “I went with it for a track day at Spa, but I am no racing driver so I never took it to its limits. I don’t have the skills to get to even 50% of what it is actually capable of. I know that it’s seriously fast though, and even when I drive on the road, I keep my life insurance certificate under the seat…” The car was so fast and powerful that Felix had the RSR engine swapped for a more sedate 3.2 Carrera with PMO carburetors, which provides the car with a more sane 283bhp. “Less power doesn’t take anything away from the driving experience, though,” he tells me, and the 3.8 RSR block is safe in storage if he ever changes his mind.
While it is not the most significant competition car Porsche has made, the 910 was a development of the successful 906—designated by the factory as the 906/10—and is part of the chain of Porsche prototypes in the 1960s that eventually led to the 917 by the decade’s end. And although it had a very short career as a factory racer before the introduction of the 907 in the middle of 1967, the 910 achieved a very impressive 1-2-3 finish at the World Sportscar Championship’s stop at the Nürburgring for the 1000km race. This was a race Porsche had wanted to win for the better part of a decade, and the 910 was the car that finally delivered. And in open-top form, the 910 also claimed the 1967 and ’68 European Hillclimb Championships in the hands of Gerhard Mitter.
But even after half a century, the story of the 910 isn’t quite over. Evex’s rights to the 910 were acquired by an Austrian electric company a few years back, and the resultant Kreisel-Evex 910e is powered by a Lithium-ion battery pack and two-rear-mounted electric motors which are enough to scoot it from 0-60 in less than three seconds. For a car that led one of the shorter careers of Porsche’s racing projects, the 910 has proved to have plenty of staying power.