Rare Rides: The Very Rare 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
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rare rides the very rare 1981 porsche 924 carrera gtr

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]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.

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5 of 12 comments
  • Eggsalad Eggsalad on Nov 13, 2019

    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.

  • Snakebit Snakebit on Nov 13, 2019

    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.

    • RHD RHD on Nov 14, 2019

      If you pay the asking price, will you also get the original Porsche steering wheel, or will you be stuck with the aftermarket one?

  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.