Watch: Driving a Porsche 917 to Dinner in Kansas

There’s something about a race car with a license plate that’s unexpected and fun in the same way as seeing someone in a tuxedo wearing a Mickey Mouse watch. It undercuts the seriousness of the subject in a very charming way, and that might explain why watching this 917 drive around Wichita, Kansas is so much fun.

Well, actually it’s a Kraftwerk recreation 917. That means that it wasn’t really built by Porsche, but some adenoidal Aussies with access to the original blueprints instead. It also has a flat 6 making around 350 hp rather than the Le Mans spec flat 12 making 600-ish.

But you shouldn’t simply discount it. We’re becoming more and more familiar with the idea of recreations these days thanks to the likes of Jaguar, Aston Martin, and now Bentley who make new versions of classics that are virtually identical to the originals. This Kraftwerk car is similarly made to be as identical to its reference material that it’s virtually indistinguishable.

And although it has the wrong engine and wasn’t made by Porsche, it’s a true enough recreation that when Porsche sends out its real 917 for events, it puts one of these in its place at the Porsche museum.

Although it’s exceedingly uncommon, seeing a 917 on the road isn’t exactly unheard of. You may recall that last spring we ran a story about 917K chassis 037, which is licensed for the road in Monaco thanks to a legal loophole that traded on the apparent lack of sense and litigation that defined the early ‘70s.

But be honest, if you saw this Kraftwerk version next to you on your way to the Sedgwick Country Zoo, you wouldn’t really care about the exact degree to which it was original. And neither do we.