1981 Porsche 924GTS Clubsport

Over the past few weeks, we’ve written up a few Low mileage 924s and even a rare to see 924 Turbo, but if it’s a rare site to see those cars come up for sale in good shape, it’s just downright rare to find their overachieving brothers for sale at all. Porsche took the already fairly potent for its day 924 Turbo and upped the ante to take it racing; but they did more than just add the already famous monkier “Carrera” to the name. The 924 Carrera GT sported big flares, bigger spoilers, bigger wheels, bigger brakes, and all to deal with the massive increase in power. It was available in three different trim levels; the standard GT got an impressive 210 horsepower; moving up to the “GTS” got you 245 horses. But if you were a real racer, you opted for the 924 Carrera GTS Clubsport – with 280 horsepower and set up to race with a cage and race seats, this was a race car you could road register:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Porsche 924GTS Clubsport at Jan B. Lühn


Year: 1981
Model: 924GTS Clubsport
Engine: 2.0 liter turbocharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 5,000 km (~ 3,106 mi)
Price: N/A

The rarest trans-axle Porsche model • 15 cars built • 5.000 kms from new • excellent, original condition • very well documented • fresh out of service
Model history:

Porsche developed the 924 into the Carrera GT, and thereafter into the GTS and its Clubsport variant. The development was done in order to have the car homologated in Group 4. The 938 (internal code for the Carrera GT) did cost 31.000 US $ when it was launched. Now the GTS (at a dollar German Mark exchange rate of 2.25) costed 35.555 $, whereas the Clubsport version a healthy 54.222 $. The top ranging 928 costed “only” 40.000 US $. So the GTS and its Clubsport version were by far the most expensive Porsche’s at the time.

The GTS was developed out of the Carrera GT but didn’t sell all that well, most probably because of the hefty price. Therefore not all GTS’s were sold and some 15 examples were taken back to the shop to be converted into the Clubsport version. These were the pinnacles of the “poor man’s Porsche” 924. The Carrera GT, GTS and Clubsport all had the basic Audi based 4 cylinder engine as a base. Porsche engineers tweaked the engine by Turbo chagrining it and giving it an intercooler. The GTS was announced as having 245 bhp, but most certainly the engines had more like 275 or even 300 bhp. Porsche lightened the cars to an extreme extend, thus giving them spectacular performance.

The Carrera GT and its following models received the lager wheel arches, incorporated in the front and kind of like bolted on in the rear. This was already a glance of what was to come with the 944 body. Now the Carrera GT had an prominent air scoop that ducted fresh air to the intercooler. The GTS also had the clear headlight lenses and thus the “heavy weight” popup headlights were replaced. Apart from the front screen all the glazing was made out of plexi glass.

The rear spoiler and the rear window was one part, differing form the lesser Carrera GT and 924 models. The doors were made out of polyester and had only an exterior skin. They were ultra light because they did not have to carry the rather heavy window and window frames. Indeed the plexi windows were fixed and only the rear part did slide open. These sliding windows were locked with some simple extremely nice looking billed aluminum knobs. The total weight of the Carrera GTS came down to 1.121 kg.

With this motorization and weight the car did extremely well in acceleration. It reached the 100 km/h mark at 5.7 sec and had a top speed of 250 km/h. It was not its tremendous power to weight ratio that made these cars so excellent, it was more down to the perfect weight distribution due to the transaxle power line of the 924. The engine being in the front and the gearbox driven by the transaxle in the back. This construction gave all 924, 944 and 968 an excellent road holding and a fabulous feel when driving on the limit. The Carrera GTS and Clubsport versions were of course no exception.

Later on Porsche developed the GTR (17 ex) out of the GTS as its, primarily, track car. Three of these cars were entered in Le Mans and numerous other entries followed thereafter enlisted by private teams. Also some rally versions were developed. The best known being the Gitanes car from Jacky Ickx and the golden Monnet car from Walter Röhrl. Although the Carrera GTS (50 ex) and its more extreme version the Clubsport (15 ex) were made in very limited series Porsche mad a special “Anhang zur Betriebsanleitung (WKD 470 310 500 from 2/81)”

Specific history of this car:
The marquee specialist Olaf Lang responded to a letter written in 1990 by David Morse of California. In this letter Morse requested some additional information about this particular car.

As Olaf Lang wrote the 50 Carrera GTS and the 15 Clubsport cars were not build in Neckarsulm (as were all the other 924) but in Stuttgart. Therefore he apologized to Mr. Morse as he couldn’t find the requested information very quickly. Finally all the production information on the car was found:

Engine number: 4710026
Engine type: M31/60
Transmission number: 5710015
Transmission type: G31/30
Color: guards red 027-9-2
Interior: black felt
Delivery dealer: direct factory sale
Tires: Pirelli P7

The production date was actually January/February 1981. The cars were not delivered September 1981 because Porsche had to line-up the 50 Carrera GTS cars in the parking lot for FISA homologation purposes.

According to the “Porsche Neuwagen-Auslieferung KA 10” with number 004436 the car was delivered via California Porsche Audi Inc in San Fransisco to Mr. James Tracy. The date of delivery, according to the document is 12/081982, it was signed by Linder at the factory in Zuffenhausen. Porsche also confirmed that this car was used by the sales department for demonstration purposes.

The car remained in the US, and recently turned up in a collection in Nebraska. Through a mutual friend Mr. E. Blais sold the car to the actual owner. Apart from being a very limited series, purpose build car, this car is rather unique in the sense that it only has done a little over 5.000 km. May be one of the lowest kilometer cars in the world. Some say that if this would have been a 911, build in such limited series and that purpose build with that few km’s it would be worth a fortune.

Not many of these Clubsport models were produced, and consequently they’re arguably the most sought after of the “transaxle” cars produced by Porsche. Truth be told, they’re not nearly as valuable as the full race 924 Carrera GTR, but they’re certainly on par with the 968 Turbo S, the 944 Turbo Cups and much more valuable than any of the 928s. Asking price on most of the GTS CS models that come up for sale is well in excess of $100,000; that puts you into quite rarefied air in classic German motoring, but then this is a very special car. The connections to an important time in Porsche race history, including the development of the 944, makes this car really important to the history of the company. Add some famous names that have owned or currently own these front engined wonders and you’re in a special company of ownership. This particular model – with very, very few miles on the clock, is probably one of the best examples in the world outside of a museum; while it’s likely also the most expensive model in the world, it’s certainly a treat to see.

-Carter

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2 Comments

  1. I love how they used a 928 fuel distributor (8cyl) to supply the 4 cyl here.. there is a Y connection that takes 2 lines down to one and then to the injector. Love it. I have bunch of detailed pics of another GTS CS and there is ton of trick Porsche race parts on those cars.. mega rare.

  2. Martin, agreed – thought it was also interesting it was the path Treser chose to go with his modifications.

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