Having axed its expensive Formula 1 programme at the end of 1962, Porsche turned once more to sports car racing as a means of improving and marketing its road car range. The Type 356-based Abarth-Carreras had flown the Porsche flag in international GT racing during the early 1960s, but an entirely new design was now deemed necessary to meet the strengthening opposition.
A minimum of 100 road cars had to be made to meet the FIA's homologation, a stipulation that made a complex spaceframe design like the Type 718 RSK a non-starter. Therefore, Porsche's Technical Director, Dr. Hans Tomala, started with a clean sheet. Colin Chapman's revolutionary Lotus Elite, with its fibreglass body/chassis, had demonstrated the potential of composite materials for structural use in cars, and this technology was embraced in the design of Porsche's new mid-engined GT racer, the Type 904.
The 904 GTS seen here was ordered by well-known enthusiast and racing driver, Steve Earle, who went on to successfully race it throughout ‘64 and ‘65. The car was then sold to celebrated actor and producer, Robert Redford. Redford kept the 904 GTS in California, and had it in his possession for almost a decade.
Bonhams will be offering this special 1964 Porsche 904 GTS at their upcoming Scottsdale Auction on the 17th January. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos courtesy of Bonhams.