Fitti-Porsche

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    Martin
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    Jacarapagua, April 1968 – Photo: Agencia O Globo

    In 1967 when Emerson Fittipaldi was still racing in Brazil prior to his international career, he and his brother Wilson (Wilsinho) were running a VW tuning and modifying company. Branching into car building they constructed the Fittipaldi-Porsche sports racer, usually known as the Fitti-Porsche and their second project after their Fitti-Ve Formula Vee cars. Powered by a Carrera 2 engine and using the chassis (likely to have been #0143) of one of the 550RS’s used by Brazilian Christian Heins, it utilised the standard front suspension but the rear was of an original design. The car looked rather like a 906/910 at first glance, beginning with a roofless cockpit and then acquiring gullwing doors. It even had those Porsche-type winglets on the front corners, but while it proved to be fast it was unreliable and after racing the car from late 1967 and through 1968 Emerson and his brother soon graduated to more important things.

    The Fitti-Porsche and Fitti-Ve are seen on this advertisement for the Fittipaldi business, who were also agents for the British Les Leston tuning parts and accessory company

    Subsequently the car had the chequered career so common to old or unsuccessful racing cars, becoming VW-engined for 1969, passing to the Bardahl Racing Drivers School and ending its time on the tracks 1975 in the hands of Brazilian lady driver Tereza Guaraciaba, the wife of racer Paulo. After this it went through various hands, many of whom left their marks upon it without ever returning it to running condition and it was sold by its last documented owner to a buyer whose identity remains –almost inevitably in stories like this- forgotten by the seller.

    The Fitti-Porsche made the front cover of Autoesporte magazine in February 1968, which is still published in Brazil

    Its fate is still the source of some speculation today and there are many in Brazil who wish to find the car. However, as it may still have a 550 chassis the question of restoring it or recreating its (much more valuable) parent 550 would inevitably arise were it to resurface.

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