1963 Porsche 904/6 Carrera GTS Factory Works Protoype
$1,800,000 - $2,200,000
RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 17 - 18 AUGUST 2012 - Offered on Saturday
Please note should this vehicle remain in the United States, 2.5% duty on the hammer price is applicable.
200 bhp, 1,991 cc SOHC six-cylinder engine, dual Weber carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, front and rear independent suspension, and front and rear disc brakes. Wheelbase: 90.6"
Please note that this vehicle will be sold on a Bill of Sale only.
• One of five surviving six-cylinder Works Team 904s
• One of few 904/6 that still retains the 906 six-cylinder engine with which it was sold to its first owner
• Early factory testing and development work followed by successful privateer racing history
• Completely restored and meticulously maintained
• Fully documented from new
• Numerous spare parts and extensive records, including period correspondence
Chassis 906-002, the stunning Porsche offered here, is unquestionably one of the finest examples in existence. Little introduction is needed with regards to Porsche's impossibly beautiful and purposeful 904. After having retired from a not so successful F1 and F2 program at the end of the 1962 season, Porsche focused once again on what they did best: sports car racing. The 904 debuted late in 1963 and was a direct successor to the RS61, which can itself trace its roots back to the 718 "RSK" of 1957. The RSK, of course, was a further development of the original 550 and subsequent 550A.
Beginning with the 550 in 1954 and ending with the RS61, Porsche had utilized a "space-frame" design in the construction of each of these vehicles. This consisted of large main frame rails of steel, which were attached to the front and rear suspension, and the fitting of a separate alloy body, consisting of some stressed but mostly un-stressed panels. The main departure for the all new Carrera GTS would be the use of a central steel, "back-bone" chassis from which the mid-engine, gearbox rear, and front suspension would be mounted. Both an inner and outer, extremely rigid and fully bonded GRP "coupe" body would then be fastened for maximum rigidity with an extremely light overall weight.
Porsche designed the new Carrera GTS to compete in the FIA's GT class at all levels of various internationally sanctioned racing events. Client racing and street-legal versions debuted in 1964, in order to comply with FIA's Group 3 homologation regulations that required 100 examples be built.
The 550 through to the end of the RS61 represented Porsche's first generation foray into pure sports car racing. The 904 represents Porsche's first step in a whole new direction toward their determined all-out drive for an overall win in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans. This would eventually be achieved less than a decade later in June of 1970 with the 904’s descendant, the all-conquering 917K!
906-002 is the second of Porsche's 904/6 factory team cars. It was, and remains, one of only a handful of development and prototype examples built in 1963.
Porsche built a total of six similar 904/6 Works team cars with the following chassis number assignments: 906-001, 002, 005, 006, 011, and 012. All survive in varying states but for chassis 906-005, which was destroyed during testing and development in 1965.
906-002's primary function for the Porsche factory team was as a test and development car over a lengthy period of time, covering the remainder of 1963, all of 1964, and most of 1965. In December 1964, it underwent an extensive testing program in Italy at Monza, where several Solex carburetor tests were conducted with Herbert Linge, alongside sister 904/6, chassis number 906-001, which was fitted with various Weber carburetor set-ups in comparison. Multiple tire tests were also conducted in the same time frame on both chassis 906-001 and 002.
At the end of the 1965 season, the car was deemed surplus to the needs of the Porsche factory race department and offered for public sale. It was purchased by gentleman racer Michel Weber on May 10th, 1966. In his private hands, this six-cylinder engined Porsche 904 was aggressively raced in Germany, France, Italy, and Austria throughout that year's European Mountain (Hill Climb) Championship season. Weber scored multiple podium finishes throughout the season, including two first place finishes!
2nd at Eberbacher Bergpries
6th at Alpen-Bergpreis
2nd at Mont Ventoux
4th at Trento-Bondone
5th at Bergpreis Cesana-Sestriere
4th at Bergpreis Schauinsland
1st at Bergrennen Mitterndorf
2nd at Bergpreis Gaisberg
1st at Bergrennen Gargeuensteinbock
At the end of the 1966 season, Weber loaned the car to the Swiss driving team of Ruedi Jauslin and Peter Ditzler for use by their team, Scuderia Basilea. The two then entered several races with 906-002 in 1967 events but did not show up with the car until very late in the season. At the October 29th, 1967 running of the Three Hours of Hockenheim, the two finished Second in Class! Ditzler then drove by himself on December 10th, 1967 in the Hockenheim Finale Race scoring a Third Overall!
At the end of the 1967 season, Weber retired the car and put her up for sale. U.S. Air Force Major Berny Barns was 906-002’s next fortunate owner. A full chronological listing of each owner by date is as follows:
1963–1966 Porsche AG (Works Team Prototype)
1966–1968 Michel Weber Offenbach, Germany (10.5.1966)
1968–1970 Berny Barns, U.S. Air Force Major (Pirmasens, Germany)
1970–1979 Harro Schneider (Germany)
1979–1987 Löhr & Becker (Germany)
1987–1999 Dr. Friedhelm Tang (Germany)
1999–2002 Lara Resende (Brazil)
2002–2011 Frederic de la Noce (Brazil)
2011–Present (Mexico City)
Period documentation in the form of the Porsche factory records and individual correspondence and sales records at each moment of this Porsche's life are continuous and without omissions or gaps. The original "KARDEX" period documentation and respected Porsche racer and historian Jürgen Barth's own independent documentation confirm the intimate details, dates, and milestones achieved by this Porsche.
Today, 906-002 is not only extremely original and correct but one of the few 904s of any type and configuration to retain the six-cylinder 906 engine with which it was sold to its first private owner, Michael Weber, and documented as such by the original "KARDEX." An additional spare engine and gearbox, various brakes, and suspension components, along with other various spares, will accompany this Porsche, as does detailed factory and private records and correspondence going back to new.
Ownership of any 904 is something many Porsche collectors aspire to achieve, with few able to do so. The presence of one in a collection or on the track by a current owner is often a highlight for those who have been fortunate enough to acquire one. This fully sorted and race prepared factory team 904 represents an unprecedented opportunity at ownership of what many consider to be one of the finest and most important surviving 904s in existence. It is, as such, an impossibly perfect opportunity to acquire the very best of the best and should not be missed!
Special thanks to Wouter Melissen.