When the Porsche 917 hit the track for the first time 50 years ago, there was something gravely amiss. The handling (or lack thereof) was a colossal problem for the first generation of the 917, and Porsche took time to get to the bottom of the problem.
Arguably, the development paths Porsche took throughout 1969 were a case of barking up the wrong tree; initially, the engineers surmised there was too much chassis flex, and the car couldn't cope with the weighty 4.5-litre flat-12 engine mounted in the back.
Although the frame was beefed up, the car's wayward and unpredictable behaviour continued to make it a handful. It wasn't until Porsche elected to tie up with sportscar guru John Wyer to run its works outfit for 1970 that the instability issues were solved.