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Rare, powerful, and ferociously quick, Porsche’s stunning mid-engine Carrera GT was introduced at the 2003 Geneva Auto Show to immediate acclaim. Developed out of the canceled LMP1-98 prototype program, the Carrera GT, known internally as project code 980, was Porsche’s first supercar since the 911 GT1, and in all respects it was a showcase for the Stuttgart firm’s engineering prowess.
Each Carrera GT possessed an advanced carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and subframe, motorsport derived pushrod-actuated suspension, carbon ceramic cross-drilled ventilated disc brakes, and a spectacular, normally aspirated 5.7-liter V-10 engine that had its genesis in Porsche’s Footwork-Arrows Formula 1 program of the early 1990s. This four-valve-per-cylinder, dry-sump, fuel-injected power plant produced 612 bhp at 8,000 rpm, and 435 lbs./ft. of torque at 5,750 rpm, all delivered through a small-diameter, twin-plate ceramic clutch to a six-speed manual transaxle. Center-lock forged magnesium alloy wheels – with a diameter of 19" in front and 20" in the rear – reduced unsprung weight and included a tire-pressure monitoring system. Using its electronic traction control, the Carrera GT accelerated to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.5 seconds and reached a top speed in excess of 200 mph.
In true Porsche fashion, the Carrera GT was designed to be a comfortable and reliable, real-world automobile – equally at home on road or track. For instance, two removable roof panels can be stored under the front trunk lid, turning the Carrera GT into a delightful open-air sports car. Air buffeting was all but eliminated with a glass panel that fits between the supportive bucket seats. The luxurious and highly functional interior included all the usual Porsche amenities, including soft leather upholstery, a Bose sound system, and air-conditioning.
While 1,500 examples were originally planned, Porsche only built 1,270 Carrera GTs between 2004 and 2007. The Carrera GT’s visceral performance, analog character, and motorsport quality construction stand in stark contrast to the latest crop of hybrid supercars, including Porsche’s own turbocharged, four-wheel drive, paddle-shift 918 Spyder.
The appeal of these extraordinary cars is more palpable than ever. Serious collectors have come to recognize the Carrera GT as one of the last great expressions of the traditional, high-performance mid-engine sports car.
The Carrera GT presented here is, without question, one of the most unique examples of this celebrated Porsche supercar.
The special character of this car is a testament to the vision of its original owner – a prominent collector, who, impressed by a Carrera GT displayed by Porsche at the New York Auto Show, was determined to build a car that would match his comprehensive collection of Ferrari supercars. With that goal in mind, he ordered one of the most sensational – and expensive – Carrera GTs ever built.
According to factory records, this car, numbered 1081, was completed on October 12, 2005, and is, by all accounts, the only Carrera GT ever finished in paint-to-sample Rosso Scuderia. This brilliant red finish, developed by Ferrari to enhance the color of their Formula 1 cars on camera, is one of the most famous and distinctive liveries of the era, synonymous with Scuderia Ferrari’s streak of constructor and driver championships.
Not only was this US-specification car finished in the attractive, one-off color scheme of Rosso Scuderia with Dark Grey leather, it was generously optioned with XT bucket seats, air-conditioning, luggage, and Online Pro CD Radio as well as Porsche Custom Tailoring. Under the auspices of the Exclusive Department, this Carrera GT received a special carbon-fiber steering wheel and gear knob, the loudspeakers were covered with an aluminum finish, the brake calipers were painted silver, and the wheels were finished in Rosso Scuderia to match the bodywork. In total, this Porsche was specified with $34,000 in optional features, pushing the MSRP to $482,510 and making this one of, if not the most expensive Carrera GTs ordered new.
Collector-owned and minimally driven over the past decade, the Rosso Scuderia Carrera GT is, in essence, a new car today, with less than 450 original miles on the odometer. The consignor, a knowledgeable collector of important contemporary Porsches, notes that the car was serviced in 2015 with new tires installed, and reports that the car is otherwise “100% factory original.” In keeping with its outstanding overall condition, the Carrera GT is offered with its complete seven-piece dark gray leather luggage set, factory car covers, battery tender, tools, keys, and handbooks, as well as a Certificate of Authenticity, CARFAX report, copy of the Porsche build sheet, and recent service records.
In all, the car presented here is one of approximately 35 paint-to-sample Carrera GTs, of which about half were delivered new to the US. Not only is this the only Carrera GT finished in Rosso Scuderia, it is likely the only Porsche of the era finished in this dramatic and instantly recognizable period color. One of the most distinctive Carrera GTs ever built, with a long list of rare Exclusive Department options, this exceptionally low-mileage and complete example is a must for the collector searching for the finest specimen of this landmark Porsche supercar.