A Never-Raced, 1-of-17 Porsche GTR Comes out of Hiding
Whisper the letters “GTR” in any automotive circle, and you’re bound to perk some ears. Over time, these three letters have been bestowed upon some of the world’s greatest performance supercars and race machines, including the vaunted McLaren F1 GTR, Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, and most famously the storied Nissan Skyline GT-Rs. But there’s another heavy-hitting “GTR” in that exclusive pack, this car—the 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR. Only 17 were ever built, and nine were campaigned by Porsche to net a win at Le Mans in the early ‘80s. Not this one though. Amazingly, this car has never been raced, in fact, it’s only covered 67 miles ever in its lifetime. It recently emerged from decades spent in storage and now the rarified Porsche is up for sale. The price? It’s expected to fetch upwards of $780,000 when it goes to auction next month.
According to Silverstone Auctions, which has listed the super-rare Porsche, the one-owner car was one of just two Porsche 924 Carrera GTRs to be imported to Japan in the early 1980s. Whereas one was raced competitively, this particular car was acquired by a businessman who kept it in impeccable shape. Though never raced, it saw light track exercise at Japan’s famous Suzuka and Fuji circuits, totaling just 67 miles in all over its first seven years of ownership.
After that, the owner hid the rarified Porsche away in his two-story garage, kept safe in the building’s attic space. Every year it was carefully retrieved, fully serviced, and brought back to its attic space for safe preservation. That careful stewardship appears to have worked wonders—the car still looks brand new.
But what makes these so special? Moreover, are they racy enough to wear the legendary “GTR” moniker? In short, yes. Yes they are.
To go racing in FIA Group 4 events, Porsche needed to build a certain number of road-going versions of its race car, in this instance its popular 924 lift back. A heady 406 Porsche 924 Carrera GT sports cars were first built and sold to the public, shedding unnecessary weight, adding a close-ratio five-speed gearbox, limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, and racy fender flares, a low-slung front splitter, and intercooler hood scoop. Under the hood, power from the 2.0-liter Porsche four-cylinder hit 210 horsepower.
A sharper Carrera GTS was also created, adding more power (245 hp), perspex headlamps, and an optional roll cage. 59 of those were built. Then came the ultimate Porsche 924, the Carrera GTR.
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These were veritable race cars, boasting a relocated intercooler, racing-spec roll cage, fully adjustable suspension, and the four-piston brakes from the big-winged Porsche 935. The engine? The 2.0-liter four-cylinder was tuned to punch out 375 horsepower, 299 lb.-ft. of torque, and dash to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.
These were seriously quick cars, and Porsche generally had good results with them at Le Mans. In 1980, Porsche 924 Carrera GTRs finished 6th, 12th, and 13th place overall at Le Mans. In 1981 and 1982 Carrera GTRs gave Porsche two class wins.
Looking to get behind the wheel of this one? Bring a bag of money. The 67-mile Porsche 924 Carrera GTR cross the auction block on July 28th in the UK.
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