Rare Rides: The Very Rare 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GTR

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
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]

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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?

  • SCE to AUX Probably couldn't afford it - happens all the time.
  • MaintenanceCosts An ugly-a$s Challenger with poor equipment choices and an ugly Dealership Default color combination, not even a manual to redeem it, still no sale.
  • Cha65689852 To drive a car, you need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.Unfortunately, these days even human brains are turning into mush thanks to addiction to smartphones and social media.
  • Mike1041 A nasty uncomfortable little car. Test drove in 2019 in a search for a single car that would appease two drivers. The compromise was not much better but at least it had decent rear vision and cargo capacity. The 2019 Honda HRV simply was too unforgiving and we ditched after 4 years. Enter the 23 HRV and we have a comfy size.
  • SCE to AUX I wonder who really cares about this. "Slave labor" is a useful term for the agendas of both right and left."UAW Wants Auto Industry to Stop Using Slave Labor"... but what will the UAW actually do if nothing changes?With unrelenting downward pressure on costs in every industry - coupled with labor shortages - expect to see more of this.Perhaps it's my fault when I choose the $259 cell phone over the $299 model, or the cheaper parts at RockAuto, or the lower-priced jacket at the store.Do I care about an ethical supply chain? Not really, I just want the product to work - and that's how most consumers are. We'd rather not know.Perhaps the 1990s notion of conflict-free, blood-free, ethically-sourced diamonds will find its way into the auto industry. That would be a good thing.