This Porsche is most decidedly precious metal.
From the very first teaser showing us sketches and flashes of a Porsche 993 shell, we had high hopes this special 911 project from Porsche Classic would be truly special. Now we have full disclosure on this creation and frankly, there’s no other way to say it: We love gold.
We do need to have a moment of honesty and say there’s some disappointment this build wasn’t a bit more bespoke. Over the course of the last few weeks, Porsche was filling our heads with all kinds of ideas that pointed to some unique bodywork. We knew the starting point was a 993-era 911 – the last of the air-cooled Porsches – but we had our hopes up on seeing some creative factory fabrication to make this old car something all its own. Instead, Porsche Classic basically restored a 993 from the ground up, creating a “new” 911 Turbo S. The company even assigned it a chassis number that slots immediately after the last production-spec 993 Turbo that came off the line in 1998.
That being said, we so don’t care because look at it. Porsche Classic took the 993 down to its bare components and embarked on an 18-month restoration project that included full corrosion protection and painting process used on modern Porsches. In fact, the striking finish is the same Golden Yellow Metallic used on the new 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series – the only modern touch observable on this reborn classic. That shade is incorporated throughout the interior in the stitching on the seats, steering wheel, and dash, and it’s also a subtle enhancement to Project Gold’s black alloy wheels. We’re also quite partial to the gold Classic Series badges and markings scattered around the car, inside and out.
As we were shown in previous teasers, the engine is a period-correct 3.6-litre flat six, gloriously air-cooled and generating 450 horsepower courtesy of two turbochargers. Porsche says it’s a brand new engine, and the whole thing – from suspension components to the all-wheel-drive system, interior components and engine tuning – was done in-house at Porsche Classic. In other words Porsche wants you to know it has everything you need to breathe new life into your classic 993.
There’s another aspect about this build that we very much like. Often times, manufacturers move on to the next great technological leap while trying to ignore the past. It’s extraordinarily refreshing to see Porsche pay homage to the air-cooled legacy that built the company by literally building a brand new 993 Turbo. Unfortunately for enthusiasts, this car isn’t listed as being street legal, and there aren’t plans to build more.
That doesn’t mean you can’t own this car, however. The company will be selling Project Gold at RM Sotheby’s Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale auction in Atlanta, Georgia on October 27. With the fiercely loyal following the 993 already enjoys – not to mention the extreme rarity of the original 993 Turbo S – we expect this car to fetch some serious coin.
Gallery: Porsche Project Gold
Project Gold: An Icon Reborn
Porsche Classic demonstrates full range of capability
Atlanta, Georgia. In an ultimate demonstration of restoration expertise, Porsche Classic created something unique: a 911 Turbo with an air-cooled engine, 20 years after the end of production of the 993 generation. The show car is based on an original body shell, and has an appearance as unique as its history. Painted in Golden Yellow Metallic, it is the same color as the 2018 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. The black wheels are highlighted by Golden Yellow design accents, while the seats and interior trim also are finished in black with Golden Yellow details. The body shell features the characteristic side air intakes of the 993 Turbo S that were also available as an option for the regular 911 Turbo in 1998.
Developing 450 horsepower, this project celebrates its world premiere at Porsche Rennsport Reunion VI at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on September 27, 2018. Project Gold, which is not lawful for registration or street usage and is limited to driving on private tracks, will then be auctioned in a global event to be held by RM Sotheby’s at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta on October 27, 2018.
The RM Sotheby’s “Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale” is an exclusive, single-marque auction that will feature upwards of 70 Porsche sports cars – each of them showing a part of Porsche history, from the open road to rally and race tracks. Proceeds from the sale of “Project Gold” will be donated in Germany to the Ferry Porsche Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to education, social issues, and youth development established earlier this year to mark the “70 years of Porsche sports cars” celebrations.
“Project Gold” showcases the comprehensive skill of Porsche Classic in fascinating fashion,” says Detlev von Platen, Member of the Executive Board of Porsche AG responsible for Sales and Marketing. “This project clearly demonstrates our strategic approach. Although we are starting a new chapter in our sports car history with the Porsche Taycan, the story of how the company evolved is no less significant. On the contrary, this Golden Yellow show car based on the 993 shows how incredibly passionate we are about the tradition of our brand.”
“Project Gold” represents Porsche Classic’s spectacular contribution to the “70 years of Porsche sports cars” celebrations. With this anniversary in mind, as well as the forthcoming market launch of the Taycan as the first purely electric Porsche sports car, the experts at Porsche Classic came up with the concept of building a show car based on an existing genuine type 993 body shell to showcase both tradition and innovation. The experts were able to rely on a selection of over 6,500 genuine parts that Porsche Classic offers exclusively for 993-generation Porsche 911 models. Overall, the Classic division currently stocks some 52,000 parts, which customers can source via Porsche Classic Partners and Porsche Centers around the globe to repair and restore classic Porsche cars.
Construction of the unique vehicle took approximately one and a half years. The body shell first went through the corrosion protection and painting process applied to today’s series-production vehicles. It then was assembled and tuned by Porsche Classic specialists at the Porsche Classic restoration workshop near Stuttgart. A brand new 3.6-liter twin-turbo flat-six engine developing 450 hp was installed, delivering performance similar to that which a 993-generation Turbo S vehicle would have had when it was in production. The manual transmission and all-wheel drive components were also sourced from the Porsche Classic range of genuine parts. The hand-stamped chassis number follows that of the last series-production street-legal 993 Turbo, which rolled off the production line in 1998.
The exterior and interior elements were coordinated with the workshop’s dedicated Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur experts who were responsible for creating the 2018 911 Turbo S Exclusive series. To complement these elements, the designers at Style Porsche worked on the color gradients and positioning of badges as well as other interior details.
The 993 remains a sought-after collector’s item to this day, and is considered a particularly sophisticated vehicle. It was the first 911 to feature an aluminum multilink rear suspension, giving it exceptional agility for its time. The 911 Turbo version of the 993 was also the first to have a twin-turbo engine. The front section is lower-slung than on the earlier 911 models, thanks to a switch from round to poly ellipsoidal headlights. Hollow-spoke aluminum wheels, a first for any car with aluminum wheels, were another innovation of the all-wheel drive 911 Turbo version. Only 345 units of the 911 Turbo S with its 450-hp performance-enhanced engine were built.