The Porsche 924 S ‘Le Mans’ edition of 1988 (not to be confused with the earlier 1980 version, which had just cosmetic additions) is a very special and rare model of Porsche’s ‘junior’ transaxle sports car, built to celebrate Porsche’s 12th outright win at Le Mans.
Coined the 924S SE in the US and ‘Le Mans’ for other markets, these were effectively ‘Club Sport’ editions aimed at real Porsche enthusiasts to celebrate the culmination of the 924-production run. Fittingly, arguably the best 924 model, the 924S, was the version on which the Le Mans limited-edition model was based; importantly, Porsche utilised the more powerful and smooth 165bhp 2.5-litre M44 alloy inline-four engine from the ‘big brother’ 944.
The Le Mans edition, as a final 924S ‘run-out’ model, in RHD for the UK-market totalled just 74 examples (37 in Alpine White and 37 in Black paintwork) with ‘Le Mans’ logos and stripes on their flanks. Officially known at Porsche as the ‘Sportliches Sondermodell’ (loosely translated as Sporting Special Model) their options package code in the UK is M755. The 74 UK-market M755 cars came with the 165bhp engine (the ‘proper’ full power 944 engine) married to a 5-speed gearbox, plus an electric tilt/removable sunroof fitted as standard. Also specified with M030 sport suspension, which has stiffer springs and lowered the standard car by 10mm, uprated anti-roll bars, ‘Teledial’ cast alloy wheels (6J x 15s at the front and 7J x 15s at the rear) which feature special colour detailing, colour-coded side protection strips and rear mud guards. Inside, all the cars featured cloth-upholstered ‘Turbo’ sports seats, with the cloth door panels also colour-coded, plus a 360mm sport steering wheel. The Alpine White cars came with Black Leatherette interior finish, Ochre Flannel seats and black carpet.
Unsurprisingly, Porsche guru Peter Morgan’s 924 buyers’ guide says that the limited edition ‘Le Mans’ car is “the 924 S to have.”
The car presented here is a C16/M755 1988 Porsche 924 S ‘Le Mans’ in Alpine White (P1P1), and is one of those 37 rarefied examples. Not only this, but it has also been the subject of a Porsche AG restoration.
Porsche GB runs an annual, national Classic Restoration Competition open to its Official Centres and their esteemed automotive partners. Porsche Centre Swindon entered the 2016 competition celebrating 40 years of front-engined cars and chose this car. Sourcing the right car was obviously important, and this 924 S Le Mans came with an impeccable history (its original Porsche service booklet shows 18 service stamps, many of which with Porsche Centres, right back to its supplying dealership, Lancaster Porsche Colchester), including many invoices, old MOT Certificates and just two previous owners.
Like any car that is almost 30 years old, when Porsche Swindon fully examined this 924, it was obvious there were some areas in need of a thorough renewal. The car was completed stripped back to the bare shell, where the inner and outer sills were professionally restored and the whole structure meticulously readied for a full repaint (specialist technician Stefan Walecki carried out this work). Likewise, the running gear was fully refurbished, wherever possible trying to retain original parts. Some suspension and brake components had to be replaced, new brake and fuel lines installed, plus new bushes and new Pirelli tyres fitted. The interior was all cleaned and ready for refitting and a repair made to the dashboard (a new dashboard was not available, even to Porsche!). The engine had a new cam, balance belts with associated tension rollers and pulleys fitted. A complete rebuild was followed by a comprehensive renewal service.
The team used all their in-house mechanical know-how and outsourced other work to numerous approved partners, including the bodywork to ‘Dick Lovett Spraymaster’, who, together with Porsche, invested hundreds of hours of highly skilled time into the car, fitting hundreds of new parts.
This painstakingly restored 924 S Le Mans is the result, and it was featured in special commemorative brochure produced by Porsche Swindon showing all the work they carried out. It is also accompanied by all its previous history, and a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. The car was purchased by our vendor, a real marque enthusiast, from Porsche Centre Swindon in June 2020 and he has fully enjoyed the car as part of his carefully chosen collection, but sadly must now part ways with it.
This is now a remarkable car, all mechanically renewed and finished by its maker – a real one-off and not to be missed!
(N.B. the registration number of E6 RPR will not come with the car, it will revert to WDZ 2662)