We at Elferspot Magazine are always happy to talk to Porsche enthusiasts from all over the world about what sparked their passion for Porsche sports cars. After all, it is often precisely these stories that connect us enthusiasts and lead to many friendships over the years. This time I got together with Daniel Hausmann for the Elferspot Porsche Talk. Daniel is a trained car mechanic and has a soft spot for the wild days of motorsport. Together with his wife, he has built a Porsche 924 GTP Le Mans Replica, which is certainly unique.
Hello Richard, of course! I live in Switzerland and also grew up there. My family has always been car crazy. My father was a passionate car collector, so when I was a teenager I already had a few cars. Of course, I was already tinkering with them back then. But first I wanted to become a motorcycle mechanic. My passion at that time was motocross. During an internship, however, I found out that motorcycles would have been too small for me in the long run and that I preferred to work on larger equipment. So I also tried my hand at trucks. But those were too big for me and so I ended up in the golden middle with cars. In the meantime, I have been building and rebuilding cars for several years.
In fact, Porsche was not yet in focus at that time. My old man had lost his heart to VW Beetles and Karmann Ghia. The path to Porsche wasn’t really far, if you will, but I also started with VW. I was enthusiastically active in the tuning scene from an early age. In the process, I did some crazy conversions. A Golf Mk III with a turbo VR6 engine and almost 600 hp was my sweetheart back then. At Hockenheim, this car was known as a real weapon back then.
I came to Porsche more by chance than anything else. I used to build cars primarily for myself and, of course, burned a few euros in the process. This led to me wanting to do something more meaningful than just building cars that then sit around. With that in mind, I set out to do something that no one had done before. I’ve always been particularly fascinated by the race cars of the Group 4/5 era. They were production-based monsters that exuded immense presence simply by virtue of their width.
I have to elaborate a bit. Actually, I wanted a Ford Capri, but the search for a proper base for a conversion turned out to be difficult. By chance I then came across the Porsche 924 GTP Le Mans. I didn’t have it on my radar at all. But because of the family history around VW and the technical finesse of the transaxle, I quickly settled on the GTP. Its drivetrain layout is making a comeback in the GT segment not without reason. The car is well-balanced, easy to handle and, even by today’s standards, simply great to drive.
At the beginning of the project planning, I wasn’t even aware of the car’s significance for Porsche. The historical and technical features of the Porsche 924 GTP Le Mans only really became clear to me during the research. Just the story around the Le Mans entry in 1980 I found very impressive.Daniel Hausmann on the genesis of his Porsche 924 Carrera GTP project
Absolutely not! Just finding parts for a project like this takes a lot of time. Planning the build and gathering the parts took a year and a half. I also met wonderful people along the road. For example, while looking for a rear window made of Makrolon, I came across an ancient listing. The older gentleman with whom I then got into conversation no longer had a window, but was quite keen to build one again. I was then allowed to look over his shoulder. A great experience to watch a 73-year-old master of his trade! The procurement of the headlights with CNC-machined holders also connected me with a passionate vehicle engineer. By the way, these were almost the only plug & play parts of the entire rebuild!
I got the body kit in Germany, for example. The ad was twelve years old and I had no hope. But after a week I got the answer that the parts were still in the owner’s basement and I could have them. He had sourced the parts it in America in 1984/1985 and imported them. His problem was, that nobody was willing to install the parts on his car. Therefore, his project at the time died before it got started. Of course, the manufacturing quality for race car parts back then was nowhere near today’s level. The panel gaps themselves were adventurous!
After I had acquired all the parts, I looked for the right car. This went very quickly due to relationships from my time as a car dealer. Only then did the work really begin. Together with my wife Amanda, I completely disassembled the car down to the last screw. The body had to be extensively machined and in some places cut out for the body kit to fit. For us, the project was a kind of distraction after a severe family blow. The car has brought us closer together, so to speak, and has also done lasting good to our relationship. Amanda for example took care of the surface treatments and also sewed the trunk net.
In total, about 2,600 hours of work went into our Porsche 924 GTP Le Mans.Daniel Hausmann
I have also completely overhauled the engine. The cylinder head is planned, the cylinders honed and a correspondingly large turbocharger installed. With 2.3 to 2.5 bar boost pressure, up to 350 hp is possible. Most of the time, however, I’m driving with a more moderate 1.5 bar and about 260 hp. That’s more than enough with a curb weight of just over 900 kilograms. The biggest challenge I faced was the dashboard. It took me a several attempts to get the surface structure right. Finding the right sized gauges wasn’t easy either. That’s why I installed a GPS-based marine speedometer.
You don’t drive a car like this around in everyday life. It’s just too extreme for that. Of course, the gendarmes are also very interested in it. But so far the encounters have always ended well. The Porsche 924 GTP Le Mans is often on display at trade shows or in museums. I totally celebrate it myself when people drive their exclusive sports cars in an appropriate manner, but you have to be able to afford it. For me, the car is something very special. After all, I built it myself, together with my wife! Therefore, I then prefer to drive my Porsche 996 GT3.
I still have a few project ideas floating around in my head. If money were no object, it would probably be a replica of the Porsche 911 GT1 street version. But first, I’m going to rebuild a Porsche 996. I own an early 996 Carrera 3.4, which I would like to build in the style of an RSR. The engine I would rebuild with a displacement expansion. From the outside then just with a RSR body kit, but from the inside still with carpets and door panels. I would like to build the car as a really usable driver’s car.
© images: Stancekult