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Coachwork by Heinkel
Formerly the Property of Juan Fernández
Juan Fernández Juan Fernández was born on December 11, 1930, in Sabadell, Spain. His father, Ramiro Fernández, owned a successful textile factory and was a great fan of motor racing. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Ramiro travelled with his sons to sports car races throughout Europe, where Spanish drivers such as Jover, Apezteguia, and Godia would do battle with the likes of Fangio and Villoresi. Juan was immediately captivated by racing and vowed to become a driver himself.
With the success of his business, Ramiro Fernández became involved in several ventures, including casinos and sports clubs. This allowed Juan to develop as an athlete and he excelled in soccer, hockey, and skiing. These early achievements instilled in him a competitive spirit that would carry over to the racetrack.
At the age of 18, his father bought him a Montesa motorcycle, marking the beginning of a remarkable career in motor sports that would span over 40 years. Juan showed an incredible agility on the motorcycle. He placed 3rd in his international debut and went on to capture numerous wins.
Fernández got his first taste of car racing in 1954, when he served as the co-pilot for Salvador Fábregas in several long-distance rallies. The following year, Fernández was introduced to the Porsche marque when he co-piloted a 356 Coupe with Antonio Farrás.
In 1957, Juan Fernández started to race on his own with a Renault Dauphine. His skills advanced very quickly and he soon became a front-runner. His next car was a BMW 700 Coupe, which he campaigned in 34 races between 1961 and 1963, achieving 14 overall victories and several 2nd and 3rd place finishes.
In 1963, Juan began to consider replacing his BMW and paid a visit to the local Porsche service center in Sabadell, owned by Austrians Carlos and Luis Kotnik. There, Fernández was informed of a rare competition model that had become available – a two-liter 356 Carrera GT with four-wheel disc brakes and lightweight alloy panels. The acquisition of the four-cam 356 marked the beginning of a successful career racing Porsches.
Between 1963 and 1986, Juan Fernández raced an astonishing variety of Porsches. After a season with the 356 Carrera, he went on to race a 904, 906, 911 S, and a 911 R in leading Spanish events. In 1969, Fernández began to campaign a 908/2 and by 1972 he was driving his own 908/3 at international venues, including Daytona, Buenos Aires, and Le Mans. In 1974, he returned to GT racing with a 911 RSR before moving on to a 934. In his last major race, at the 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans, Fernández drove a privately entered 956 to 4th overall.
The Porsche presented here, 904-057, was Juan Fernández’s first serious racing car and the one that put him on the map as an internationally acclaimed driver.
This Car In early 1964, Juan Fernández, now an established “Porschista,” was contacted by the factory’s race department in Stuttgart and offered a brand-new model to replace his Carrera 2 GT. The car he was offered was Porsche’s 904 Carrera GTS, an innovative sports car that featured a centrally mounted Type 587/3 four-cam, five-speed transaxle, four-wheel disc brakes, fully independent suspension, and a lightweight fiberglass body. Recognizing the potential of the new Porsche, Fernández immediately placed an order for a 904 and put his Carrera 2 up for sale.
Completed in February 1964, 904-057 was originally delivered to Fernández in Signal Red with blue upholstery and equipped with Sebring exhaust, crest hubcaps, and the standard, Nürburgring-ratio 904/0 gearbox.
Juan Fernández wasted no time in putting his new 904 to good use. Throughout the 1964 season, he campaigned the red 904 in a variety of Spanish events, including rallies, circuit races, and hill climbs. By any standard, he decimated the opposition, regularly finishing 1st in Class or winning the race outright.
On March 1, 1964, the Porsche was entered in the Carrera Cuesta Mayolan and driven to 1st overal l. According to several sources, including Jürgen Barth’s Porsche 904, this result was the first-ever win for the model. Later that month, he placed 2nd overall and 1st in GT at the Rallye Basco Navarrais.
Racing three of the four weekends in April, Fernández captured a 1st in GT at Rallye R.A.C.E., an overall win at Carrera Cuesta de Montserrat, and set a new record during his class-winning run at Bergpreis Montseny. Significantly, both the Rallye R.A.C.E. and the Bergpreis Montseny counted toward the European Championship.
In May, 904-057 finished 2nd overall at Rallye R.A.C.E. Vuelta España and scored an outright victory at Carrera Cuesta a Vallvidrera. The season was rounded out with class wins at Rallye Vuelta a Catalunya and the Grand Prix of Madrid, along with outright victories at Carrera Cuesta Sant Cugat Tibidabo and Carrera Cuesta Sant Feliu de Codines.
Throughout the abbreviated 1965 season, Fernández remained competitive with 904- 057. In March, he won the GT class at Rallye Vasco Navarro and took 1st overall at Bergpreis Montseny. In April, Fernández and the 904 captured another win at the Rallye R.A.C.E. and the following month he finished 2nd overall at the Grand Prix of Vallelunga.
Fernández is thought to have raced the 904 in many other events throughout 1964 and 1965. In fact, his biography records 39 separate circuit races, rallies, and hill climbs campaigned with 904-057. Amazingly, Fernández never suffered any serious accident, major mechanical issues, or disqualifications while driving the Porsche. All told, Fernández’s success with the 904 launched his career in international motor sports and earned him the nick-name, “El Rey de Las Montañas” (King of the Mountains).
Following Fernández’s ownership, the 904 returned to the factory and was reportedly sold to German industrialist Alfried Krupp. A connection to Krupp is recorded in other registries and, although it cannot be confirmed, it can be assumed that he purchased the car from Porsche after Fernández returned it in 1965.
In late 1967, 904-057 was sold to Daniel P. Boyd, PhD, a chemical engineer living in Virginia, and exported to the US. As recorded in Dr. Boyd’s automotive journal , the Porsche arrived on September 2, 1967, with approximately 5,650 km on the odometer. During his ownership, Dr. Boyd refinished the 904 in Bahama Yellow and enjoyed the four-cam sports car on the road, but never in competition.
On February 10, 1971, US Navy pilot and Porsche enthusiast Jonathan Wort purchased the 10,000-km 904 from Dr. Boyd. Soon after taking delivery, he refinished the bodywork in silver, with a Navy-themed dark blue hood and yellow stripe. In 1977, Mr. Wort had the original engine sent to the renowned four-cam specialist Jim Wellington of Rennsport Werke for a complete rebuild. As Mr. Wort was transferred from base to base for training, he trailered the 904 and a pair of motorcycles with him through four states. While stationed in Kingsville, Texas, he entered the 904 in local autocross events and “smothered” the local competition. The modified Healeys, Jaguars, Speedsters, and 911s were no match for the 10-year-old 904.
Although Mr. Wort intended to keep the 904 forever and aspired to race it in historic events, he sold the Porsche in 1982 to purchase his first home. The sale was brokered through Stephen Yanoshik’s Hopewell Motor Imports, Inc. in New Jersey.
From there, 904-057 was sold to Robert J. Smith of St. Louis, Missouri. A pioneering Porsche collector, Mr. Smith owned two other four-cams, the ex-Rodriguez brothers 550 Spyder, and an RS 60. Under his ownership, the 904 was sympathetically restored. In a recent conversation, Mr. Smith recalled that 904-057 was a low-mileage example, very original but needing a light freshening. In 1988, the engine was sent once again to four-cam specialist Jim Wellington for a tune-up; and a Rennsport Werke service sticker dating from 1988 remains on the engine shroud to this day.
The 904 remained in Mr. Smith’s stable of important four-cam sports racers until 1989 or 1990, when it was sold through Daniel Schmitt to a collector in Texas. According to Porsche historian Jürgen Barth, 904-057 returned to Europe in the 1990s and was kept in a private collection near Wiesbaden, Germany. From there, the 904 was sold to the respected Blackhawk Collection and later made a public appearance at the Blackhawk exhibition at Pebble Beach.
The consignor, a private collector, has since returned the car to its original racing livery. Noted restorer Jeff’s Resurrections of Taylor, Texas, was entrusted with the project and, while stripping the bodywork, discovered sections of original Signal Red paint. With an accurate sample in hand, the color was matched exactly and 904-057 was brought back to its factorydelivered appearance. Additionally, the 904 has been tuned and serviced in preparation for sale and is reported to be a strong and responsive driver. Today, the 904 looks just as it did when raced by Juan Fernández in 1964, down to the correct hubcaps, German tourist plate, and Spanish Royal Automobile Club insignia on the front quarter panel.
In addition to undertaking this important restorative work, the current owner has carefully researched the history of 904-057, interviewing previous owners and amassing a remarkable selection of period photos and documentation. Today, 904-057 shows 21,904 km (about 13,600 miles) and remains exceptionally original in all respects. Not only does 904-057 retain its original chassis, bodywork, engine, and gearbox, it is complete with rare features, such as the proper 904 air box, date-coded wheels, factory velour seat material, period Repa harnesses, an extremely rare catch mat, the original 110-liter fuel tank, and the correct 904-specific rear Porsche script.
The consignor has also gone to great lengths to source a remarkable collection of original accessories, important documents, and period literature. Accompanying the sale of 904-057 is an original 904 owner’s manual, a Porsche tool kit, and a framed showroom poster. In addition to these important items, the car’s research file includes a copy of Paul Gimeno and Enrique Perez’s 248-page biography on Juan Fernández, correspondences with prior owners, copies of Daniel Boyd’s journal, Robert Smith’s 1988 restoration photos, period road tests, archival photographs, newspaper clippings, and restoration invoices.
In total, Porsche built just 116 examples of the groundbreaking 904 Carrera GTS. In their day, these extraordinary sports cars found success in nearly every category of motor sports, from the most important international endurance events to punishing rallies and hill climbs. Not only were they robust, reliable racing cars that could outrun and outlast the competition, the 904s were the last of the great dual-purpose four-cam sports cars, as well as the first Porsche racing cars belonging to a completely new design philosophy.
Due to their competitiveness in period, the vast majority of these beautiful sports racers were campaigned, wrecked, modified, and reconstructed to varying degrees. As a result, few of the surviving 904s remain with their original chassis and fiberglass bodies intact, let alone their complex four-cam engines.
Despite racing with tremendous success for two seasons, 904-057 retains its original engine, transmission, and, perhaps most impressively, almost all its original bodywork. Beyond its inherent quality, this 904 possesses a well-documented provenance, with owners who have treasured its originality and sought to preserve it.
In the eyes of many Porsche experts, 904-057 is among the very best examples in existence. Its history is well documented in leading registries, and its originality is unquestioned. Considering the legendary status and mystique maintained by Porsche’s last four-cam sports car, the appearance of this 904 at auction represents an exciting opportunity to acquire one of the greatest sporting automobiles of the 1960s. For the collector who demands only the very best, this 904 begs no excuse.