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