Fascinating Period Italian Group B Rally History
€350,000 EUR | Asking
| TBD, Norway
- Fascinating period Italian Group B rally history
- One of only 15 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport homologation specials
- Factory-delivered with the superior Club Sport package
- Recent mechanical refurbishment; returned to its 1983 Rally Città di Modena livery
- Offered directly from twenty-four years of single ownership
Despite being born as a project by Volkswagen/Audi to develop an entry-level car for the Porsche Brand, the 924 Carrera GT, stripped out and highly modified for use in Group 4 racing, was especially built to compete at the top end of endurance racing. With 406 examples built to meet homologation requirements, a bump in power to 210 bhp was a marked increase from the production models. This performance did not come cheap, with the 924 Carrera GT listing at 60,000 DM, roughly equivalent to that of a Ferrari 308 GTB, a car the Porsche matched in top speed but was outpaced in terms of outright acceleration.
However, Porsche had more up their sleeves in the form of the 924 Carrera GTS. Power was raised again to 245 bhp and weight was reduced from 1,180 kg for the Carrera GT to 1,121 kg for the Carrera GTS. A revised drive train, brakes borrowed from the 911 Turbo, and seats from the 935 helped to bring cost to 110,000 DM. Production was extremely limited to just fifty examples. Nevertheless, Porsche was not done yet.
At the tip of the spear was the 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport. Of the fifty 924 Carrera GTS built, only fifteen examples were built to Club Sport specification. Thanks to an increased bore bringing displacement to 2,093 cubic centimetres and a larger air-to-air intercooler, the car produced a whopping 270 horsepower at 1.1 Bar with weight further reduced to 1,060 kg, making it a fearsome competitor on track. This was said to be the fastest production car Porsche had ever built at the time of its unveiling, with a list price of 124,000 DM. For comparison, a 911 SC cost 53,000 DM. All fifteen of these cars were handbuilt in Weissach (with the remainder of production occurring in Zuffenhausen), with nine being sold to the US leaving six for the rest of the world.
This particular example found its niche in a rather unexpected place: Italian Group B rallying. Chassis number 710021 was built to Club Sport specifications with an internal roll cage in 1981 by Porsche Kundensport Dienst under the supervision of Gerd Schmeid, head of Kudensport Dienst and was sold directly to to Carlos Noce in Sassuolo, Italy. These cars had a list price of approximately 160,000 DM from Porsche, but Noce was given a special discounted price of 130,000 DM for the 924. Upon the car’s arrival in Italy, Porsche and Noce’s racing team, Sportwagen, organised a promotional event which featured this car on display, photographs of which can be seen in the car’s history file.
Under Noce's ownership, the car was entered in a handful of rallies in his native Italy from 1982 to 1983. Employing Teggi Graziano to prepare the car, Luigi Mazzoni as driver, and Adriano Castagnara as co-driver, it is known that the car competed in three events across the 1982 season, starting with the Rally Appennino Reggiano. Looking through the entry lists present in the car’s history file makes for some fascinating reading, as most cars entered in these events were Italian, with the 924 GTS Club Sport being a notable, weapons-grade, German outlier! Wearing race number 16, the 924 set out on the event which consisted of 338 km of driving with twelve special stages. The pair finished 11th overall in addition to finishing first in class for the over 2.0-litre category in Group B.
September of 1982 saw Mazzoni and Castagnara compete in two events: the Rally Alto Appennino Bolognese – Rally Petroniano and the Rally del Carso e Dei Colli Orientali. While the results remain unknown for the car’s participation in Rally Alto Appennino Bolognese – Rally Petroniano, the event program for the Rally del Carso showed that Mazzoni and Castagnara were entered under Scudiera Rennsport with race number 18, starting their first stage at 6:10 p.m. on the 24th of September. On the St. Leonardo special stage, the 924 finished in a four-way tie for 20th place, followed by finishing 28th at the Molino Vehhio stage, 29th at the Rucchin special stage. Despite these competitive results, the car failed to finish at the Podvarschis special stage, which lead to its retirement from the event.
The only known event where the car competed in 1983 was in April’s Rally Città di Modena. Wearing race number 15 and entered under the banner of Livorno Corse. Six special stages and 371 km of rallying awaited cars, drivers, navigators, and rally fans alike. One hundred and eighty-four participants started with 163 finishers classified, and the team of Mazzoni and Castagnara had a highly impressive performance, finishing 10th overall.
Following the 924’s retirement from racing, it was purchased by Luigi Mazzoni and used for a short period on the road by Luigi Mazzoni before it was sold. Remaining in Italy for a number of years, according to the curent owner, he acquired it from the personal collection of Gabriele Candrini in Modena in February of 2000, who had previously acquired the car from the well-known Porsche racing driver Piero Caronni. Subsequently imported to Norway, where it remains registered today, the car was used in a handful of track days from 2000-2002. Upon encountering engine issues on a track day in 2002, the car was parked in the owner’s warehouse for the following 21 years, before it was decided to perform a sympathetic recommissioning in January of last year. Seeking to preserve the car’s rally patina yet return it to top condition mechanically, careful attention was paid to present the car at its very best. The livery from its last recorded event, the 1983 Rally Nazionale 12 Coppa Citta di Modena, has been replicated and reapplied to the car. It is important to note that the car’s engine was reconfigured to wet-sump specification; the block fitted is an earlier unit of the correct type and is thought that this was replaced during its competition career. Importantly, the car is accompanied by a number of spares, including the original steering wheel, the car’s original VHF radio for rally use (in addition to a second radio and Peltor headset), tool kit, original lightweight aluminium jack, and spare wheel.
With only fifteen 924 Carrera GTS Club Sports built coupled with the understanding that approximately four GTSs competed in Group B rallies in period, this is a standout car. For the next owner, a raft of amazing opportunities awaits, including display at Porsche events or participation in a wide variety of shows and events worldwide.