Porsche may have built its last air-cooled 911 back in 1998, but now the team at Porsche Classic have been brewing up one more – and it’s set to be auctioned off for charity.
Named ‘Project Gold’, the 1998 model year 993 Turbo has been 18 months in the making and is Porsche Classic’s first ever in-house ‘restomod’ project. The only original part is the bodyshell, with everything else coming from the retro division’s 6500-strong inventory of brand new yet original 993 parts.
The craze for restomods, or classics restored with modern parts and technology in other words, has really gathered pace in recent years. The practice has increasingly moved to the spotless workshops of marque specialists like Eagle and Singer Vehicle Design. Manufacturers like Aston Martin and Jaguar have got themselves in on the act, too, and now so has Porsche.
This one is a bit different to what we’ve seen before. Restomods are usually based on older 1960s and 1970s models, so the decision to concentrate on a 1998 car is somewhat unusual. What’s more, only slight changes have been made to the car’s original spec rather than wholesale changes. Yes, the Golden Yellow paint is from the current 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series range and the wheels and interior have been refinished to match the black and gold theme, but otherwise it’s all period stuff.
Where any further changes have been made, they are upgrades that could be found on the contemporary and very rare Porsche 911 Turbo S 993, of which just 345 units were made. This car is still classified as a regular 911 993 Turbo, but it has the Turbo S side-intakes (which were an option for the stock Turbo, anyway), and crucially, the more powerful Turbo S engine. Developing 450bhp rather than 402, the twin-turbo flat six was built from the ground up mated to a period-correct six-speed manual.
The car will make its debut at the Porsche Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca on September 27 and may well become the world’s most expensive Porsche 993 a month later when it’s auctioned off during RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th anniversary event, held at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta on October 27. Proceeds will go to the Ferry Porsche Foundation, recently founded by Porsche as a charitable organisation aimed at tackling social issues while improving education and youth development.
But there’s one rather large elephant in the room. Unlike other restomods, this ‘Project Gold’ car is considered a brand new vehicle, having been assigned a brand new chassis number one digit higher than the final 911 993 Turbo model that rolled off the Porsche production line in 1998. However, that means that this 20-year-old car is subject to modern certification standards. So, just like Aston Martin’s Bond DB5 continuation series that we featured last week, ‘Project Gold’ is not road legal. Will that stop it beating the current 993 world record of almost 1.35 million Euros? Time will tell, but we doubt it…