First unveiled in September 1999, Porsche’s new 996-generation Turbo featured all-wheel drive and a new water-cooled 420 horsepower engine derived from the spectacular 911 GT1 race car. Both attributes were instrumental in the car achieving a 0 to 100 km/h time of just 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 305 km/h.
This magnificent early production version was originally ordered by former Porsche factory driver Paul-Ernst Strähle, whose illustrious racing career included an overall 2nd-place finish in the 1959 Targa Florio as well as class wins in the Mille Miglia, Nürburgring 1000 kms, and at the place of his great 1959 triumph, the Circuito delle Madonie. Finished in the eye-catching colour of Gelb Orange—similar to the 914/6 GT that Strähle had once raced—the car was specified with driver and passenger bucket seats, a race-specification roll-cage, electronic air conditioning, and with its rear seats omitted. Duly delivered to Herr Strähle’s eponymous Porsche dealership on 28 July 2000, he covered approximately 8,500 kilometres in the car before its sale later that year.
With its most recent service coming less than 2,000 kilometres ago—and offering a fascinating backstory with unique specification—chassis “681143” remains among the most distinctive of all 996 Turbos and undoubtedly warrants close inspection by any committed Porsche afficionado.