Porsche had ambitions to return to Le Mans in 1980 and decided to base the new competition car on their successful 924. In order to withstand the rigours of 24 hours around Le Sarthe, the race cars would have to be substantially different from their road car siblings.
Earlier, in 1979, Porsche had explored possible designs for future road cars. One of these concepts involved a much more masculine and aggressive look applied to the 924. Well received this would later become a major influence for the new 944. In the meantime, it was decided to apply some aspects of this design to the existing 924 and the result was the 924 Carrera GT. As well as the more dramatic bodywork, all non-essential elements were removed in an effort to reduce weight. Porsche made 406 924 Carrera GTs. A step up from the GT was the GTS, of which 59 were made. These were more powerful than the standard Carrera GT, thanks largely to increased boost. The GTS models are distinguished by perspex headlamp covers replacing the pop-up headlights on the GT. The ultimate 924 in competition terms was undoubtedly the GTR. Porsche built just 17 examples, of which nine either raced in or qualified at Le Mans. Other examples of the 17 GTRs were raced in Europe, the US and Japan, with one notable exception, this particular car.
Silverstone Auctions will be offering this example at their upcoming Silverstone Classic Race Car auction on the 28th July, the estimated value is between £475,000 – £575,000. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos courtesy of Silverstone Auctions.