The Porsche 917 was designed to rip down the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans . A true sports prototype, it was not designed for regular road use. But, if you own a 917 in Monaco, you can make your car street-legal thanks to a truly absurd loophole.
As Porsche tells us in , two 917s were registered for road use in the early 1970s. One, , was registered by Italian nobleman Count Rossi, the CEO of the Martini and Rossi Vermouth company. Rossi was the man behind Martini's sponsorship of Porsche's race team, who bought his 917 in 1975. Rossi —apparently under the condition that it never come to the state—and the Porsche story says simply that the car has remained road legal ever since, thanks to "a highly suspect loophole."
But what does any of this have to do with Monaco? Claudio Roddaro, a Monaco resident, bought Porsche 917 chassis #037 in 2016, and in order to get it registered in the principality, he had to prove his car was identical to Rossi's. Why was this the case? That's even more unclear, though in Monaco, a foreign registration certificate . It's possible that the Rossi 917 was at one point registered in Monaco thanks to this, but we're not entirely sure.
In any case, the continued road legality of 917-030 made registering 917-037 a possibility, so long as Roddaro could prove his car was identical to Rossi's. That was somewhat difficult, as 917-037 was never actually finished in period. German coachbuilder Baur bought the unfinished chassis in the 1970s, and some time in the late 1990s or early 2000s, the car was finished by Porsche specialist Gunnar Racing in California.
But because 917-037 was never raced, and therefore never crashed in period, it was highly original. Porsche says 95 percent of its parts were original, and that helped Roddaro prove that his car was like Rossi's. It took two months, but in the end, 917-037 was given a pair of Monaco license plates.
Now Roaddaro can drive his car—which, reminder, is a 600-hp, flame-spitting, 220-mph monster—around the streets of Monte Carlo and the mountain passes above the city, making all the other super and hypercars in the area look pedestrian.