Porsche enjoys one of the most dedicated enthusiast followings around the globe, and Japan is no exception. To demonstrate the possibilities of the company’s Exclusive Manufaktur program for creating factory customs, Porsche japan has created a one-off 718 Cayman GT4 with a 55-year-old racing livery. It commemorates the Porsche 906 that won the 1967 Japanese Grand Prix at the hands of Tetsu Ikuzawa.
Officially called the “Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Tribute to 906,” it uses Exclusive Manufaktur’s paint-to-sample system to get the correct shade of off-white for the body. Like the original 906, the Cayman sports a yellow hood and rear panel, with Ikuzawa’s No.8 in a white roundel and the lower side section painted silver.
A few liberties are taken as well. The 906 had silver mirrors and an integrated spoiler in the same hue as the rest of the body, but the Cayman adapts the same contrasting yellow for its mirrors, wing and vent covers. Ikuzawa’s car used red racing buckets, but the Cayman opts for black seats with red stitching and an outline of Fuji Speedway’s old layout sewn into the headrests. Porsche boasts that customers can select from over 100 samples of leather in the Exclusive Manufaktur program.
Additional details include an outline of Fuji Speedway on the door sills. A badge in the window shows a profile of the 906 with the inscription 906-145, the chassis number of Ikuzawa’s race winner.
The 906 was part of a fierce rivalry between Porsche and Nissan. A Porsche 904 bested the Prince Skyline GT sedan, predecessor to the Nissan Skyline GT-R before the Prince-Nissan merger of 1966, at the 1964 Japan Grand Prix. That prompted Prince to enter a purpose-built race car in the 1966 race (the Grand Prix was canceled in 1965) in the form of the mid-engined R380, which won that year. Ikuzawa himself raced for Prince, but defected to Porsche in 1967 with the 906 before Prince/Nissan reclaimed the to podium spot in 1968 and 1969. The back and forth helped popularize the Porsche brand in Japan.
While there is not much in common between the 718 and 906, aside from both being mid-engined Porsches, the tribute car is a looker. Sadly, it’s a one-off and not for sale, but the point is that you could recreate it in Exclusive Manufaktur if you wanted to. The car will be displayed at the Porsche Experience Center in Tokyo from August 23 to August 31.