Stolen Porsche 917 Motors Recovered!!!

Discussion in 'Porsche' started by Wayne 962, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. Wayne 962

    Wayne 962 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 27, 2003
    Some of you may or may not be aware of the story. It's long, and I won't go into all of the details here (dinner is coming soon), but I am pleased to say that the engines have been recovered, and I played an important part in getting them back!

    History: Vasek Polak was one of Porsche Motorsports best customers / friend of the factory. He owned several dealerships here in SoCal. Around 1999 or so, he was running a 911 Turbo on the Autobahn when he possibly had a stroke, and crashed the car. He died about a month or so after, while being transported back to the states.

    His collection of racecars (see link here: and racing parts were sold at auction. A few items were left behind, including 4 NOS 917 engines, an NOS 908 3.0L engine, a NOS 907 hillclimb engine, a 3.4L 911 high performance engine, and a few other odds and ends. These were all stolen in or around 1999/2000 (the exact date escapes me).

    I was brought in as an expert witness to help with the valuations of these engines. I spent a long time pondering and figuring out what they were worth (more details on this later).

    Fast forward about five years. I have purposely kept the story of the stolen 917 motors somewhat quiet, as I didn't really want to spook anyone who had them. I was watching and hoping that they would turn up sometime. Sure enough, someone posted a classified ad on the Pelican BBS recently stating that they had 4 917 engines for sale, along with a 907 hillclimb engine.

    Working with the private investigator for the insurance company, we arranged a "sting operation" where I set up a meeting to look at the engines for a "prospective buyer" I had waiting in the wings. We arrived with squad cars, and sure enough, the engines were there. The person who had the engines (who will remain nameless at this time), was unware of the fact that they were "running hot", and was more than happy to let us have the stolen goods. We immediately hired a trucking company, and the engines were transported to the Pelican warehouse in El Segundo.

    These engines are NOS 917 engines, manufactured from spare parts at the Vasek Polak Racing facility in Torrance, CA. Three of them are brand new and have never been run in a car. A few of them are missing one or two parts (alternator, MFI pump, front oil pumps, etc.), and one appears to be 100% complete. We will be inventorying all of the parts and pieces on the motors, and they will all be offered for sale in the very near future.

    There is also a Type 771 907 Hillclimb engine that was recovered as well. The 771 motor is arguably more rare than the 917 engines. It's basically an eight-cylinder version of the four cam motor that was installed in the 550 (a rare motor in itself).

    Anyone interested in purchasing one of these engines should contact myself, Wayne R. Dempsey at 310-640-1245x227.

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  3. Wayne 962

    Wayne 962 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 27, 2003
  4. J.P.Sarti

    J.P.Sarti Guest

    May 23, 2005

    How much are they worth and who gets the proceeds?
  5. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    wow wayne, that is am amazing story. i looked at the pics from your site and can not imagine what that must be like to have all that unobtainium in your shop!!!!!!

    fantasy junction needs one of those motors for the 917 replica they have.

    how much is one of those motors worth?
  6. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    jeff...figures you and i are all over this post! much as we love ferraris, you and i are car guys and still lust after the ultimate...917k!!!!
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  8. Wayne 962

    Wayne 962 Formula Junior
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 27, 2003
    It's very open to debate on how much they are worth. The cars currently trade in the $1m for a plain vanilla one, or up to $3M for the Sebring or LeMans winner. I spent many hours trying to answer the valuation quesiton for the insurance company. The true value of them will be determined in the future when we start accepting offers / bids...

  9. ferraripete

    ferraripete F1 World Champ

    even at $1mm, the 917k's must be the most undervalued race car on the planet! has there ever been a more sexy and daunting maching on 4 wheels?

  10. Testacojones

    Testacojones F1 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2003
    I'm interested in one of those motors and might be in need for one in the near future, but I guess I will be outbid by the guys who own the real thing and what to own backups.
  11. David_S

    David_S F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2003
    Mountains of WNC...
    Full Name:
    David S.
    Those pictures of the 4 engines in their crates are some of the coolest photos I've ever seen. Amazing (and great news!) that they were recovered.
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