PROJECT GOLD: THE TRUE STORY

It’s a fascinating venture which has stirred up sizeable interest, partly because we never thought this could happen: we’re in the year 2018 and Porsche has just built an air-cooled 911, some two decades after its last. Incredibly, the car has just sold at auction for a whopping $3.1million too, so it might well be the ultimate collector’s Porsche 911. But what do we really know about it? 

Okay, so it’s a remake of the 993 Turbo rather than a brand-new model, Porsche giving Project Gold, as it’s been dubbed, a chassis number following directly on from the last 993 Turbo rolling off the production line in 1998. Finished in Golden metallic, the car is modelled as an air-cooled version of the 991 Turbo S Exclusive Edition, this 993 built by Porsche Classic using its enviable itinerary of some 52,000 genuine Porsche Classic parts.

There is an air of cynicism surrounding this project, though. Porsche says the car was built from the last remaining 993 Turbo shell it had ‘laying around’; emissions regulations mean it can’t be registered and thus driven on public roads, and those same reasons are precisely why the car won’t be present at its own auction lot at RM Sotheby’s Porsche sale at PEC Atlanta – in fact, it won’t be in the US at all. Then there’s the spec: Porsche states the Turbo’s flat six produces 450hp, which means it comes with the coveted Powerkit, standard on the Exclusive-built 993 Turbo S. The optional side air intakes are Turbo S-spec, as is the carbon dashboard.

In fact, Project Gold is a set of yellow calipers away from being a fully loaded 993 Turbo S rather than a mere Turbo. However, Porsche has opted against branding it as such, likely because that would have left the 345 owners worldwide of the 993 Turbo S extremely upset that their investment-grade collectible had lost a modicum of rarity. It certainly smacks of marketing fanfare, but is this fair? Uwe Makrutzki, manager at Porsche AG’s Classic factory restoration team, and Philipp Salm, sales and marketing manager at Porsche Classic, have joined us at Rennsport Reunion to dispel the myths.

We ask first about that lone spare shell. “It’s not unusual to have spare parts when you change from one generation to another. In the case of the 993 to 996 we had a spare 993 Turbo shell – only one – which was stored in an outdoor hall in a town called Möglingen,” Uwe tells us matter-of-factly. “We’d known about the shell for years but didn’t have the desire to do anything with it. Then we were asked to do something for the 70 years of Porsche celebrations.

For the full exposé on Project Gold, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 172, in shops now or available for direct delivery to your door. You can also download the issue, which features bonus image galleries, to any Apple or Android device. 

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