Amelia Island | Lot 140
1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR
$406,500 USD | Sold
| Amelia Island, Florida
22 May 2021
- A very rare customer racer; one of 17 factory-built examples
- One of only a few 924 Carrera GTRs reportedly never raced in-period
- Delivered new to Japan and scarcely driven
- Said to have been properly maintained from new
- Presented in original, unmodified condition
Ferociously quick, the 924 Carrera GTR was the strongest and fastest—barring only the GTR Le Mans and GTP—of Porsche’s first-generation water-cooled racing cars.
In 1979, Porsche began developing its 924 Turbo as a Group 4 GT entry for the 1980 24 Hours of Le Mans. The new coupe was fitted with a full alloy roll cage and an additional cross-brace beneath the hood. Body panels included aluminum, lightweight urethane and fiberglass. Disc brakes and axles came from the 935 parts bin; a larger intercooler was fitted in the nose; an uprated dog-leg five-speed transmission with limited-slip and its own cooler mounted at the rear gave the chassis exceptional balance. The suspension was fully adjustable, with titanium springs and Bilstein coil-overs front and rear. The dry-sump 2.0-liter inline four developed a startling 375 horsepower with almost 300 pound-feet of torque, giving the 2,050-pound GTR brilliant a 180-mph top speed.
After a trio of 924s made a successful debut in 1980, Porsche came back to Le Mans in 1981 with a single GTR and one 924 GTP powered by a new turbocharged 2.5 engine. Both finished well. Simultaneously, Porsche built 17 customer GTRs with slightly less-powerful engines.
The 924 GTR’s large fender flares covered wide 16-inch center-lock BBS alloy wheels fitted with internally-finned turbine covers to enhance brake cooling. The windshield was of thinner glass, while the lightweight door shells held only a latch mechanism and frames for sliding plastic panels. The interior was all business, virtually identical to the factory racers save for the second bucket seat and harness for a passenger; there was also a fire-suppression system and additional instrumentation.
The customer cars found homes with privateers, and nine of them would add Le Mans appearances to their resumes. Two reportedly went to Japan, including this example, said to have been stored by the importer for two years before acquisition by a Japanese businessman. That individual is believed to have driven it a few times at Suzuka and Fuji; though, there is no record of this car ever having been raced. Otherwise, it was carefully parked at his home for many years, emerging annually for maintenance by Porsche specialists.
Other than a fuel line that has been replaced, this stunning machine is described as exceedingly original and has never been damaged or modified. Eventually offered for sale in the UK, it was subsequently imported to the United States.
Either as the centerpiece of a collection of notable Porsches or to enjoy at club events, this rare 924 GTR presents a unique opportunity not to be missed.