After Porsche’s success with its 924 at the 1980 Le Mans endurance race, the German manufacturer returned to Circuit de La Sarthe in 1981 with both a GTR version and also a bigger-engined (and more powerful) GTP variant of the car. That same year, 17 924 Carrera GTRs with slightly detuned engines were built for customers to race.
This is one them. And what a great car to start my 2022 Nostalgic 2days event coverage with.
After Nostalgic 2days was cancelled last year, I couldn’t wait to get along to the Pacifico Yokohama events center for its 2022 running. Japan’s ‘largest classic motor show’, an offshoot of Nostalgic Hero magazine, is always packed to the brim with amazing cars, and not all of them Japanese as you can see here.
This very special 924 – which is still boasting delivery mileage – is owned by Auto Roman. Moroi-san is the man behind this company which caters for everything classic motoring enthusiasts in Japan may require, from sourcing and selling cars to general maintenance and more.
Moroi-san also has an amazing personal collection of cars, one of them being the Vern Schuppan 962 he likes to occasionally drive on the street. I just can’t believe it was 10 years ago that I shot it!
I’ve caught a fleeting glimpse of the 924 a few times at Moroi-san’s large storage facility, but up until this point had never really had a chance to talk to him about it or look over it in detail.
While there were different race 924s built for various series, I find this early car especially imposing with its four louvered openings on the front bumper and that offset intake on the hood. The side-exit exhaust is pure drama too.
The body panels area mix of aluminum and fiberglass, which explains some of the varying shades of white.
The overfenders are boxy but curvy at the same time – something pretty unique for the era – and contain 16-inch BBS wheels wrapped in 290-section Dunlop slicks.
However, the classic mesh center-lock design is hidden by finned metal turbine covers to help extract air from 935-spec brakes.
I actually like how high the rear end sits, exposing the race fuel cell and the onboard air jacks at each side.
The rear hatch is fiberglass with a Perspex window, meaning it’s very light. A pair of old school rubber latches keep it secured.
The fuel cell can be filled from both sides of the car, but perhaps the most noticeable feature of the interior is the alloy roll cage.
The interior is pretty much the same as the works Le Mans racers that Porsche campaigned in 1980 and ’81, so totally stripped out save for the essential controls including a brake bias adjuster.
Last year, the only other never-raced 924 Carrera GTR in existence – a red example which has been owned by a couple of collectors in Japan – ended up selling at Amelia Island for just over US$400,000.
That, however, had been driven at a couple of Japanese race circuits by its previous owner, so this white car remains the only one to have not been tracked in any way, nor even used beyond its delivery miles. A pity, yes, but at the same time making it very special.
I’ve got a couple more spotlights from the show before we finish up with a large gallery of the best of the rest from the 2022 Nostalgic 2days event. Stay tuned for those coming very soon.
Dino Dalle Carbonare