1997 Porsche 911 GT1 Evolution
Offered by Gooding & Company, Amelia Island, Florida, March 9, 2012
The Drendel Family Collection of Porsches that Gooding & Company are offering at Amelia Island this year is pretty amazing. The number of competition cars alone is staggering. But of all of them – yes, including the 917/30 we featured last week – this is the one that I want most, granted the street version (yes, they built a GT1 road car) would be even more incredible.
The McLaren F1 won overall at the 1995 24 Hours of LeMans. When Porsche saw this, they said, “Why not us?” Thus they built a prototype race car, seen here, and then added a few road car variants (supposedly 25) to make it legal as a GT1 car. In 1996 they won their class, finishing 2nd and 3rd overall.
1997 was even more competitive with new entries from Mercedes-Benz and Panoz. The 911 GT1 was slightly reworked and dubbed the GT1 Evolution. The car being offered here (chassis #993-GT1-004) was entered with drivers Bob Wolleck, Hans Stuck, and Thierry Bousten. A few hours past halfway, Wolleck spun and crashed and the car was out of the race. The sister car later retired with three hours to go. While this car never won an outright race during its competition history, it was still a serious competitor, placing 3rd at Laguna Seca in its final factory-backed race.
Underneath the rear body work sits a 3.2 liter twin-turbo Flat-6 making around 600 horsepower. On the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans it was capable of about 205 mph.
There were some great sports-prototype race cars campaigned in the late 1990s. This is one of them. And while I wait for a “Straßenversion” to come up for sale, I guess I will have to settle for this race version with a pre-sale estimate of $900,000-$1,200,000.
Update: Sold $1,265,000.