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*Please note that the consignor and any buyer will be required to comply with NHTSA and other applicable requirements and complete additional paperwork in order to effect transfer of ownership, including a show/display permit application.
From a Private Porsche Collection | Less Than 8,000 Kilometers From New | One of Only 20 Examples BuiltTobias Kemper, Germany (acquired new in 1998 via Porsche Zentrum Munich Olympiapark)Don Wallace, Tampa, Florida (acquired in 2003)Mark Wilson, Oldsmar, Florida (acquired from the above in 2009)Manfred Freisinger, Karlsruhe, Germany (acquired in 2012)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Established in 1994, the BPR Global GT Series revived international sports car racing following the demise of the World Sports Car Championship.
Unlike most racing series, BPR did not specify a minimum production number for homologation, as long as a car was certified for use on public roads. As a result, a remarkable variety of production GT cars were campaigned during the series’ first year, leading to thrilling races and fierce competition. BPR’s relative leniency also paved the way into racing for several limited-production supercars, though the series was initially dominated by Porsche’s venerable 911.
That all changed in 1995, when McLaren unveiled the F1 GTR, a racing version of the BMW-powered supercar. The new McLaren dominated the 1995 BPR season and even captured an overall win at that year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
At this point, Porsche began to seriously rethink the future of its GT program. With even the most powerful 911s lagging behind the F1 GTR in BPR’s GT1 class, Norbert Singer and Horst Reitter evaluated the rule book to find a workable solution.
Their conclusion was both radical and effective: build a mid-engine 911 based on the current 993-series road car and construct a limited run of street-legal production cars for homologation purposes.
Developed by Porsche Motorsport between July 1995 and January 1996, the 911 GT1 featured a robust tube-frame chassis, sophisticated double-wishbone suspension, massive Brembo brakes, center-lock BBS wheels, and a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter flat-six engine derived from the 961 racing program. This impressive package was clothed in spectacular aerodynamic bodywork, which was tested in the wind tunnel and constructed from the latest high-strength composite materials. Though it was still recognizable as a Porsche, the GT1 was, in essence, a pure prototype – more Group C racing machine than 911 road car.
The GT1’s debut at the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans did not disappoint. The two factory entries finished second and third overall, with the lead car winning the GT1 class. From there, the 911 GT1 successfully competed in BPR events, proving that the McLaren F1 GTR was not invincible.
After the 1996 season, Porsche further developed the GT1 for the 1997 Le Mans effort and the new FIA GT Championship. Dubbed the GT1 Evolution, the 1997 model was considerably improved and featured redesigned bodywork, with new teardrop headlamps from the 996 series.
While the GT1 Evolution did not score a win at Le Mans in 1997, Porsche returned the following year with the revised 911 GT1-98. This model featured a completely redesigned carbon fiber tub, making it the first Porsche to use this construction method. In the face of stiff competition, Porsche triumphed at the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans, with a resounding 1-2 finish.
While the 911 GT1 was racing at the highest levels of international competition, Porsche unveiled the highly anticipated Strassenversion – or “street version.” To introduce the exciting new model, Porsche produced a unique carbon fiber-backed brochure, which featured an outline of the project. The following is Porsche’s own description of the Strassenversion, written in Stuttgart’s inimitable style:
Developed as a roadgoing car. But intended as the basis for use in international long-distance races and GT championships. It is targeted at drivers who have very little time, but lots of enthusiasm, who are seeking a combination of state-of-the-art technology and emotional appeal, and at racing teams who want to optimize their chance of success.
Before commencing series production, we’re sending the racing version of the new 911 GT1 to our testing laboratory: 24 Hours of Le Mans. We are offering our customers this superlative sports car in roadgoing trim. It will be built in an exclusive series of only around 30 cars, by the experts at the Porsche motorsport department at Weissach.
Performance figures speak for themselves: from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.7 s, top speed 310 km/h (if you happen to have your own racetrack, that is). The flat-six engine develops 400 kW (544 HP) at 7,000 rpm, and 600 Nm at 4,250 rpm.
Very little separates the new 911 GT1 from the Le Mans entrant. It’s basically the same car. Minor changes apply to the interior, engine and suspension tuning, and fuel tank. All the key details which together deliver the indescribable driving dynamics of the out-and-out racing car are absolutely identical. Driving the 911 GT1 is an incomparable experience.
When developing this high-performance sports car we had one objective in mind: the winner’s podium at Le Mans. For that reason we avoided what we’d like you to be free from when driving the car, namely compromises.
In total, Porsche built only 20 examples of the Strassenversion, in addition to three 993-style road cars (chassis 001-003) and a one-off GT1-98 road car that has never left the factory collection. The Motorsport department hand built each Strassenversion with exceptional care and attention to detail – down to individually engraved serial numbers on the exotic chassis components and carbon fiber panels.
When new, these magnificent 911-based supercars were essentially unobtainable. All of the Strassenversions were pre-sold to Porsche VIP customers, and even with an asking price of $900,000, the factory reportedly lost money on every car sold.
The 911 GT1 Strassenversion presented here, chassis 005, is believed to be the second example built, as chassis numbers for the model range from 004 to 023. According to factory records, this GT1 was specified in Arctic Silver Metallic with black leather upholstery, optional air-conditioning, and special “comfort” seat cushions that can be stored in the rear compartment when not in use.
On May 29, 1998, chassis 005 was delivered through Porsche Zentrum Munich Olympiapark to its first owner, German collector Tobias Kemper. During Mr. Kemper’s ownership, the 911 GT1 was “not used for any form of motor sport” and accrued just 4,400 km.
In October 2003, the GT1 was sold to Don Wallace of Tampa, Florida, a pioneering supercar collector. In April 2004, this Strassenversion became the first example of its kind to be imported to the US under the NHTSA’s Show or Display exemption. When it arrived in the US, the Porsche was EPA certified by JK Technologies in Baltimore, Maryland, and delivered to Mr. Wallace’s climate-controlled facility, where it resided among other icons such as the McLaren F1 and Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.
During Mr. Wallace’s ownership, the GT1 was occasionally exhibited at local concours and driven sparingly. A letter on file from Scott Hoerr, Mr. Wallace’s shop manager, confirms the car’s limited use during its time in the collection. The GT1 remained in Mr. Wallace’s ownership until May 2009, when it was sold to Mark Wilson of Oldsmar, Florida. In fall 2012, Porsche collector and racer Manfred Freisinger acquired the Strassenversion and returned it to Germany. The consignor acquired the GT1 directly from Mr. Freisinger and, since 2015, it has resided in the US.
Since its return to the US, GT1 specialist DeMan Motorsport in Blauvelt, New York, performed a major service and, more recently, the car has since been meticulously detailed to concours standards. At the time of cataloguing, the odometer displayed approximately 7,900 km (4,900 miles). Consistent with its low mileage, the GT1 is reported by the consignor to be in excellent original condition, with the exception of minor paint touch-ups on lower sections of the bodywork.
Presented with chassis 005 is an original, custom leather folio containing the ultra-rare GT1 owner’s manual; an original carbon fiber-backed sales brochure; a correct tool kit and “comfort” seat cushions; a Certificate of Authenticity; reproductions of both factory workshop manuals; and recent service records, ownership and registration documents, and relevant importation paperwork. It should also be noted that the car is offered with an OEM parts kit containing fuel and oil hoses, produced by Porsche Historic Motorsport for GT1 owners.
Today, the 911 GT1 Strassenversion is regarded among the most desirable high-performance sports cars ever built and is uniquely collectible, as the only street-legal version of a Le Mans-winning Porsche. Despite the fact that the company has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans 18 times, more than any other manufacturer, the Strassenversion is the only factory-built model that offers enthusiasts the experience of piloting a Le Mans winner on public roads. The 911 GT1 is also noteworthy, as it is the only Porsche designed from the outset as a competition car, then homologated for road use.
Not only is the 911 GT1 a historically significant Porsche, it is also one of the most extraordinary supercars ever built. With a production run of just 20 examples, the Strassenversion is a holy grail for collectors. It is significantly more rare than any other Porsche or Ferrari supercar, and even more exclusive than the McLaren F1, which it was built to compete against.
Like the McLaren, the GT1 Strassenversion was designed and constructed without compromise. The incredible build quality, craftsmanship, and artistry that went into the manufacture of these cars becomes abundantly clear with familiarity, whether one is marveling at the elaborate carbon fiber rear diffuser or enjoying its performance on unrestricted sections of the Autobahn. In its combination of aesthetic and technical brilliance, the 911 GT1 is a true masterpiece of automotive art – a modern-day streamliner in the Teutonic tradition of the Silver Arrows.
In September 1998, Road & Track published Kim Reynolds’ review of the 911 GT1, which perfectly captured the appeal of the ultimate road-going Porsche:
“Soon, though, the stopwatches may cease recording the lap times of roadable race cars the likes of the mighty GT1. And that’s a shame, because the Porsche is a genuine throwback to the likes of Bugatti’s Type 35s and Ferrari’s GTOs. Machines that were amongst the world’s fastest racing cars – yet were not delicate pieces of racing china that needed to be placed carefully back on the shelf when the race was over.… With Le Mans relaxing its requirements that manufacturers build batches of roadworthy versions of its racing entrants, sadly, it’s a type we may not see again.”