Back in the Porsche 924mid-’70s, Volkswagen contracted Porsche to develop a car based on parts already available from Volkswagen. As the project came closer to completion, Volkswagen canceled it, blaming certain financial setbacks as the reason. Ultimately, Porsche bought the rights to the design and produced the car now known as the 924. Over the years, the 924 spawned a number of different variants, such as the 924 Carrera GT and the 924 GTS, but neither were as potent (or as rare) as the 924 GTR. Only 17 examples of the GTR were built, with more than half of them racing or qualifying at Le Mans. Other models were raced in Europe, the U.S., and Japan, but there was one example of the GTR that was practically unaccounted for on the race track, and that’s the example you see in the pictures here.
The 924 GTR was derived from Porsche’s factory development strategies and featured a number of enhancements over other 924 models. One of the first things Porsche did was enlarge the intercooler and move it to the front of the vehicle – leading to the need for a much taller front fascia with a huge air dam. Furthermore, there was a special suspension system, performance brake system, some serious engine modifications, and a roll cage to help keep the driver safe should it go belly up during an unfortunate incident on the track. We’ll talk more about that a little later, so keep reading to learn more.
HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
Meet the rarest, and probably most valuable, 924 GTR you’ll ever see. This car was one of only two delivered to Japan straight from the production line. It was taken to the track just a handful of times during its first seven years of life. It was used to cover just 68 miles in those seven years, after which it was placed in storage. Having just a single, caring owner, this 924 was removed from storage once a year to undergo regular service and maintenance. Furthermore, from 1981
to 2006, the car was serviced by Porsche specialist Tomei Car Service, then later by Porsche specialist Garage Tool Box. In between maintenance periods, the 924 was started and run regularly to keep everything in smooth operating condition.
It’s a 1981 model, chassis No. 10 with engine No. 36. It comes with a Japanese title, plus records of usage and maintenance. As an extremely rare and exquisitely maintained Porsche 924 GTR, it is – according to Silverstone Auctions – the “most original, untouched, and completely unmolested example” of any Porsche the auction house has ever put under the hammer.
On the outside, there are a number of enhancements that set the 924 GTR apart from its standard, road-going counterpart. Up front, the car has the same headlights and amber lights arranged side-by-side, but down below, the front fascia takes a more extreme form with a large air dam featuring a square inlet on each side. There’s a large hood scoop and HVAC-vent-looking air inlets on the nose. The pop-up headlights were replaced with recessed, sealed units with external lenses that sit flush with the front end.
To the sides, the 924 GTR features widened wheel arches to go with the body-colored side skirts
To the sides, the 924 GTR features widened wheel arches to go with the body-colored side skirts. The fuel filler cap is exposed, making it easier for filling in the pit, and the front doors have a revised window that includes a small vent in the rear. The side profile is rounded off with some odd-looking, somewhat flat-faced rims wrapped in exceptionally wide Dunlop tires.
To the rear, there isn’t a whole lot of change. The GTR uses the same square-shaped tail lamps that were common to the era, and the lip around the rear hatch is a little more pronounced, most likely adding even better downforce to the rear. A GTR emblem adorns the rear hatch, but it doesn’t appear as if there is any diffuser down below. As you can see from the images here, this particular 924 has been extremely well-kept, and while it hasn’t been specifically noted, looks to wear its original paint and is completely free of any restoration.
As expected, there’s a roll cage, that – I must point out – blocks driver access to the handbrake located left of the driver’s seat.
Inside, the 924 GTR is all about business. It’s equipped with a racing steering wheel from Momo, and features two racing seats with five-point harnesses. The dash has been dumbed down to a boring (but functional) piece that features just two HVAC vents, a few buttons, six gauges, and a few idiot lights to let the driver know something has gone wrong. The door panels are void of any aesthetically pleasing features, with a cheap-looking pull handle and a latch handle. The front windows clearly roll down, however, in the images provided, I see no evidence of a window crank. Carpeting is limited to your basic, industrial-like material, and the floor mats look more like something you would find in a work truck. The shifter handle is basic at best, with a tiny shift boot and round ball at top. As expected, there’s a roll cage, that – I must point out – blocks driver access to the handbrake located left of the driver’s seat.
The 924 GTR was designed to look, feel, and drive like a race car. You won’t get any of that fancy crap you see in today’s race cars. There’s no Alcantara, no fine leather, and no fancy technology to make the driver’s life easier. Looking at these images, I want you to take it in, because race cars these days come from the factory as heavily molested models that feature materials that are said to be rare or bespoke, yet are used in just about everything. Not here. In the 924 GTR, you get basic functionality at its best. Don’t pass the chance to see what race cars are supposed to be, because they don’t make them like this anymore.
Tipping the scales at just 2,050 pounds, 375 horsepower is enough to push the GTR to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 180 mph
Powering this track-bred beast is the same 2.0-liter engine found in other 924’s, but it comes largely modified, including the addition of dry-sump lubrication. Total output sits nicely at 375 horsepower and 299 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase of 165 horsepower over the Porsche 924 GT. Tipping the scales at just 2,050 pounds, 375 horsepower is enough to push the GTR to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 180 mph. Both figures actually improved on cars that
came with better aerodynamic enhancements, but we’ll save that conversation for another day.
Under the body, you’ll find a fully adjustable suspension system, which is perfect for customizing at any track you can think of. Stopping power is handled by four-piston, 935 calipers and 12.2-inch brake rotors. All told, the GTR is an excellent race car for its time, and I sure wish I had a chance to look at this model’s untouched engine in person. As far as this specific model goes, the car, engine, and transmission have just 68 miles on the clock – a figure that’s absolutely astounding.
Only 17 examples of the 924 GTR were produced, so as you can imagine, pricing information is hard to come by. Reports suggest that of the 17 examples created, at least a few were offered for sale to privateers – much like the one shown here – with pricing set at $75,000 before any options, taxes, delivery, or fees. The specific example featured here is expected to sell for anywhere between $696,540 and $843,180 at current exchange rates when it goes under the hammer by Silverstone Auctions.