By on November 13, 2019

TTAC’s own Sajeev Mehta gets the credit for discovering today’s Rare Ride. It’s the most special version of the Porsche 924, and it’s for sale in his hometown in the tiny republic of Texas.

Rare Rides featured one of Porsche’s 924s a couple of years ago, with the Martini Championship Edition (a steal at $7,000). This 924 is much more obscure — and much more expensive. Is this one-of-17 car worth the cool $925,000 asking price?

Porsche’s new 924 model entered production in 1976 as replacement for the outgoing (and unappreciated) entry-level 914. Produced through 1988, standard cars used 2.0- and 2.5-liter versions of Volkswagen’s inline-four engines, sourced from vehicles like the Vanagon. Four- and five-speed manual transmissions were available depending on trim — the 924 never offered an automatic. Keeping things simple with engines and equipment meant the 924 sported a low curb weight of around 2,400 pounds, which was suitable given the limited power on offer. But Porsche had some more lofty aspirations for its entry-level car. The first performance step was the Turbo version that debuted at dealers in 1979.

That same year, Porsche also debuted a 924 “concept” Turbo with hallowed Carrera badges at the Frankfurt Auto Show. A year later the 924 Carrera GT arrived, as Porsche let the world know it planned to race its entry level liftback. The new Carrera GT 924 boasted increased compression over the regular Turbo and added an intercooler. The revised internals produced a whopping 210 horsepower. 406 were built in order to meet homologation requirements for Group 4 racing. A followup GTS model was more limited in scope, and only 59 were built. The GTS was lighter and more powerful; they shed 130 pounds from the GT and upped horsepower to 245. Porsche wanted more.

Enter the Carrera GTR. The final development of the racing versions of the 924, the GTR pushed the limits of the 2.0-liter turbocharged VW engine. 375 horsepower and 299 lb-ft of torque were on offer in what was the lightest 924 version (2,050 pounds). GTRs benefitted from an integrated roll cage, adjustable suspension, and four-piston brake calipers. The GTR’s production was limited to 17 units, nine of which raced or qualified at Le Mans. Porsche placed 6th, 12th, and 13th overall with its Carrera GTRs. The 924 had evolved quite a long way from its original form in just five years.

Today’s Rare Ride was one of the few GTRs exempt from racing. It was one of two delivered from the factory to Japan, where it was imported by an eager dealer. Said dealer sat on it until 1983 before it was sold to a private collector in Japan. Since then it’s traveled just 109 kilometers, making it static art today. Yours if you’ve got $925,000 handy.

[Images: seller]

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12 Comments on “Rare Rides: The Very Rare 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR...”

  • avatar

    For $925,000, it better come with some 1981-era pharmaceuticals hidden somewhere in the car.

    That being said, remember when Porsches were fast and simple? (…sigh)

    • 0 avatar

      I do. The 911 of those days came with a pretty heavy dose of trailing throttle oversteer, and were not all that fast by today’s standards.

      I got to drive a late spec 911 GT3 at one of those supercar experiences last Saturday. I also drove a Ferrari 458 Italia. The Ferrari was impressive, but the 911 left me speechless, it is astoundingly good at what it does. I can’t wax nostalgic for the old days when their new product is that good.

  • avatar

    If whoever buys this does not take it to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, there should be civil penalties.

    And yes, the price is insane. Divide by three and we’ll talk (to the nearest bank teller while wearing a ski mask).

  • avatar

    I remember one of the basic 924s, in for some routine maintenance at a shop where I worked during one summer job, and having an “ah ha!” moment when I realized the obvious familial resemblance between the cylinder head on the water cooled Porsches, the 1970s water cooled VWs, and the OHC Volvo red block engines.

  • avatar

    Raise your hand if you’ve never spent a million dollars on a single vehicle. All of you? Okay.

    Now keep your hand raised if you haven’t spent a grand total of a million dollars on ALL of the cars you’ve purchased in your entire life. Still all of you? I thought so.

    One thing I’ve learned in my years is that folks like you and me don’t at all think like the folks who can spend a million dollars on a car and not blink an eye. People who can do that often buy things like this just because they CAN.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      But the million dollar Porsches have been rare Air Cooled variants or cars with a race pedigree. I don’t have to be a million dollar spender to follow the market and the fact is that the 924/944 IS in my price range. My quick searching found an 11,000 mile early 924 that went for like 70k. I couldn’t find any higher.

      Now granted, this is a rare, super low mile example, but I think it would fetch more were it actually a Le Mans car…the audience would be bigger. Still don’t see it at this price though. The 924 just isn’t there yet.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Wait, here you go…

        This exact car I believe sold at auction in 2016 for 495,000 Pounds. That is like 636,000 US Dollars, though maybe the exchange rate was higher in 2016. Has it appreciated nearly 400k in 3 years? Maybe but I doubt it.

  • avatar

    I’m not aware of any 924 that’s worth $900K. Maybe Jerry Seinfeld might want to fill out his collection, but even he probably has more sense than to buy it.

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