Featured: After A 20-Year Break, Porsche Built A Brand New Air-Cooled 911 Turbo

After A 20-Year Break, Porsche Built A Brand New Air-Cooled 911 Turbo

By Alex Sobran
August 24, 2018

Images courtesy of Porsche

When Porsche Classic started teasing the details of Project Gold earlier this year the speculation train left the station at full tilt before the doors were closed. The rumor with the most traction was some variant of “They’re going to do something Singer-y,” but of course they haven’t gone and copied somebody’s homework—why would the professor need to do that? What they’ve done instead is build a brand-but-better-than-new 993 Turbo S two decades after the last series production one left the factory (which was car #345 of what is now technically 346 examples of the air-cooled twin-turbo).

It looks like this Turbo will be a one-off, but the “Classic Series” markings on it hint that it might not be the only car in said series. Porsche has been restoring road and race models for their in-house collection for a while now, but Project Gold could signal a customer-focused restoration program to come in the future, so perhaps the Singer comparisons will be justified later on. Right now though, we don’t know anything beyond what they’ve told us about this particular Porsche.

The one and a half year-long build process began with an unstamped shell; in other words, at square one proper (the manufacturer states that Project Gold will have to be a track-only car as a result, likely because it wouldn’t meet 2018 safety and emissions regulations and would need to be registered as a new car seeing as it would have no prior registration from the period it belonged to).

They didn’t just pull parts from their 993 catalog at Porsche Classic to build it in 2018 as they would have in 1998 though—which, at 6,500 distinct pieces available for just the 993 alone makes me wonder if they’re counting individual screws separately in that sum. The first thing they did to the shell was put it through the same corrosion and painting process that’s used for their contemporary production cars (which starts with a cathodic bath before the paint’s sprayed), and after receiving its laser-painted hollow-spoke aluminum wheels and other bits and bobs, it went to the the restoration workshop in Stuttgart to receive it’s newly-built 3.6L twin-turbo flat-six. It was good for 450hp in the Turbo S in 1998, and though they built it with all new parts they didn’t push it beyond its original output.

The black and gold theme (which is mirrored on their limited 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series for those wondering about the provenance—or lack thereof—of the odd palette they’ve gone with here), continues in the interior, and there are a bevy of little touches like the wheel accents and stitching that separate the look just enough from the Turbo S in period. Personally I would ditch the MTV Cribs color-matched wheel stripes and paint them fully silver, but the gold base is certainly striking and a welcome deviation from the ranks of Guards Red 993s running around.

There are some cell phone-quality shots of the car floating around from Monterey already, but Porsche says its official premiere will be at Rennsport Reunion VI at the end of September. Afterwards, it will be auctioned by RM Sotheby’s on October 27th at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, with the sale proceeds to be donated to the Ferry Porsche Foundation, a non-profit that was established this year, Porsche’s 70th anniversary of sports car production.

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Alexandre Goncalves
Alexandre Goncalves
5 years ago

I wonder if this will start a trend (in the auto industtry) of “going backwards” to move forward…

Still, I prefer a 993 to any Porsche from their current line-up

5 years ago

I see these pictures from inside the Porsche works and try to imagine what the culture of the work place is like. It would amazing to be a fly on the wall! What’s the management style, what do workers get paid, is there an apprentice or mentorship program, what’s the moral and level of pride? I hope there isn’t the heavy handed, top down, domineering management style that lead to VWs dieselgate (as described by Bob Lutz).

_Por n Alfa
_Por n Alfa
5 years ago

I hate this colour

4 years ago
Reply to  _Por n Alfa

I love this color.

Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka
5 years ago

So where’s the video promised thats floating around the EU ? Sill being blocked to North American viewers perhaps ?

Also for what its worth , accurate or not it is being reported among Porsche insiders and pundits in the EU that the car is destined for production albeit under some interesting loopholes .

Hmmm . This one’s becoming more curious by the moment . Blocked ( NA ) access to videos . Conflicting reports versus ‘ official ‘ statements . Odd little known loopholes etc . Spy games befitting a 007 script perhaps ? Oh well . Who cares . Any way you look at it its damn entertaining and a mighty fine car to boot regardless of what the end game may be

PS; Alex . I find your MTV Crib analogy in regards to the color scheme to be completely irrelevant and inappropriate .