Lot 130

Miami 2024

1968 Porsche 911 T/R

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$450,000 - $600,000 USD 

United States Flag | Coral Gables, Florida

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Chassis No.
11820807
Documents
German Fahrzeugbrief
To be offered on Friday, 1 March 2024
  • One of approximately 35 examples built
  • Period racing pedigree, including 22nd-place classification at the 1969 24 Hours of Le Mans
  • First owned by renowned French sports car driver Claude Ballot-Léna
  • Campaigned by Ballot-Léna with Ecurie Sonauto, the racing arm of the official marque importer Sonauto
  • Restored to period racing configuration in 2014
  • Upgraded with correct Type 901/20 Carrera 6 engine
  • Handsomely presented example of Porsche’s first 911-based homologation special

With the FIA’s reclassification of rules for 1968, Porsche decided to build a new customer racing version of the 911 T for Group 3 GT-class competition. Weighing 118 pounds less than the 911 S, the T was the perfect starting-point for what was to become Stuttgart’s first 911-based homologation special.

The resulting 911 T/R featured further weight reduction measures, such as the removal of all sound deadeners and carpeting, and was available in two engine configurations, with either the base-level Type 901/02 2-liter 911 engine, or the high-performance twin-ignition Type 901/20 engine from the 906 Carrera 6 racecar. Standard-equipped performance components included a limited-slip differential, a lighter flywheel, strengthened clutch, and a separate oil-cooler in the front-right wheel well, while optional equipment included a special exhaust, roll bar, enlarged 100-liter fuel tank, wider Fuchs wheels, 911R paint stripes, and a Type 901 five-speed gearbox.

According to various sources, between 28 and 35 911 T/R examples were built, and many of these cars were successfully campaigned in period. As the rare progenitors of a now-legendary tradition of 911 homologation specials, these cars have evolved into unique collector’s pieces that are ideal for both presentation and event use—a must-have for the Porsche purist.

911 T/R CHASSIS 11820807

This rare 911 T/R claims a period racing record in the hands of one of France’s better-known sports car drivers, and continues to benefit from a well-maintained 2014 restoration. According to the research of the consignor, which includes a Porsche Kardex, a Porsche build record, and an inspection report by Jochen Bader, chassis number 11820807 was specified with a Type 901/02 911 2-liter engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox with optional Nürburgring ratios, and it was fitted with a package of rally equipment (Rallye Ausrüstung) and a footrest.

Finished in Hellelfenbein (Light Ivory) paint over a black interior, the 911 T/R was delivered new in April 1968 through the French importer Sonauto to privateer racing driver Claude Ballot-Léna. Monsieur Ballot-Léna was a regular Le Mans entrant, appearing in the legendary endurance race 24 times in 25 years from 1965 through 1989, with highlights including four class wins, and a 3rd-overall finish in 1977.

While Ballot-Léna raced both Ferraris and Jaguars for brief periods, his predominant marque of choice was Porsche, and he was fortunate enough to campaign some very special models, including the 908/2 Spyder, the 911 Carrera RSR, and the 956. But his association with Stuttgart began with a 911 T/R in 1968 when he joined the Ecurie Sonauto, the official racing team of the French marque importer. Sonauto ordered two racing 911s that were delivered together in April 1968, and Ballot-Léna apparently used them somewhat interchangeably during the season.

This 911 T/R made its competition debut in late April 1968 at the Coupes de Vitesse race at Montlhéry, finishing 4th while driven by Ballot-Léna on behalf of the Ecurie Sonauto. A week later the car was run at the Rallye Sud-Ouest in Aquitaine.

After the season’s conclusion the 911 was sold to Parisian resident Pierre Mauroy, and he teamed up with Rene Mazzia at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 1969. This was notably the very last Le Mans to begin with the famous footrace to waiting racecars, a tradition that was cancelled in the name of safety. Entered as race #63, the T/R qualified for 44th-place on the starting grid, and after one hour it had dramatically risen nine positions to 35th place. The team continued to gradually ascend the field, climbing as high as 21st-place after the 14th hour. But a gearbox failure during the 16th hour spelled the end of the race for the 911, which by then had covered 174 laps. The T/R was officially classified as 22nd place, a respectable conclusion considering that only 14 cars actually completed the race.

Four months later, at the Paris 1000 KM, the Porsche recorded the best qualifying time among the GT Class, and eventually finished the race 15th. The 911 went on to run one more race for Mauroy early in the 1970 season, finishing 10th at the Coupes de l’ACIF at Montlhéry. Later in 1970, chassis number 11820807 was sold to another Paris resident, Rolland Tozzi, and from him it passed to at least eight additional owners over the following 44 years.

Acquired by a German collector in 2014, the Porsche was treated to a comprehensive restoration by Franco Lembo Automobilia in Reims. As the original 2-liter engine had apparently been lost during racing, it was replaced with a 906 Carrera 6-specification Type 901/20 engine (which was the uprated T/R power option in period).

This 911 T/R is eligible to participate in the major vintage events, including the Le Mans Classic and the Tour Auto. For the Porsche collector or Le Mans completist searching for an historically rich competition 911 that was campaigned in period, this T/R would make an ideal acquisition, as a stellar example of the 911 homologation special that started it all.