The 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring. Otherwise known as the car that crushed every 911R speculators hopes and dreams. This was no mistake either. 911 boss August Achleitner came out and said that the GT3 Touring Package was created partially in response of secondary market 911R prices going insane the second they were announced. Of course there are some differences between the R and the Touring because Porsche didn’t want to anger all 991R owners to complete madness. The R has a magnesium roof along with carbon fiber fenders and hood to save weight while the Touring has the normal metal. The Touring also has a 9,000 rpm redline, slightly up from 8,600 in the R. The rest? Pretty much the same. Production numbers weren’t limited on the Touring and the number still isn’t final since they are just wrapping up final production on the GT and Speedster 991 chassis before going full swing in 992 production. What I would like to know is what has happened to the 911R market now that these cars are out in the wild and what about the market the GT3 Touring themselves? Well, lets just say people have entirely too much money.
In 1976, Porsche won the World Sportscar Championship for makes with successful runs in both the 935 and prototype 936 chassis. The 936 was triumphant at Le Mans in the already famous Martini livery, while a series of 935/76s carried the colors in Group 5 FIA sports car racing. It was there that Porsche introduced the ‘slant nose’ aerodynamic bodywork that became the hot mod on 911s in the 1980s; however, in the 1970s you could get a very nice slantnose Porsche – replete with Martini Racing colors – for a lot less than a 911 Turbo.
To commemorate the success of the 1976 season, in 1977 Porsche released a limited run of Martini-colored 924s. Option M426 was the Martini World Championship Edition, and it cost $450. Add in a removable roof like this one for about $350, and the sticker price of this car just passed $10,000. For that sum, Porsche gave you quite a lot of visual enhancement; bathed only in pure white, the 924’s 8-spoke alloy wheels were color-matched to the body. Martini stripes ran the length of the sides, their design mimicking the wedge shape of the 924. Inside, a special two-tone interior of scarlet corduroy and black leatherette was offset with Martini stripes stitched into the upper portion of the seats and blue piping ran throughtout. A commemorative plaque was added to the back of the center console, too, reminding you that the car you were driving was from the house of a champion. You held a real leather steering wheel, and helping execute your commands was achieved by Porsche adding sway bars to the suspension both front and rear. It was a series of small changes that resulted in a neat package, and one that is sought by collectors of the transaxle design today:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 924 Martini Championship Edition on Hemmings
Last month I wrote an article for The Truth About Cars where I covered the special models of the Porsche 924. Recounting the various special editions drew into sharp focus the general lack of any performance gains with those models. Sure, some had sway bars and fog lights – two of the best known performance upgrades in the 1980s. But generally speaking, most of the Porsche 924 limited models were just a special color stripes and/or special interior. The 1976 and 1977 World Championship Edition 924 is probably the best example of that, but before it’s completely dismissed as a mega-poser, it’s worth a look if for no other reason than it’s quite the looker:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Porsche 924 Martini World Championship Edition on eBay
Martini’s sponsorship is fairly well known in racing circles and the connection to Porsche has been solidified for decades. Naturally, Martini cosmetic packages have been around nearly as long. While mostly used by racers who desired a more bonafide appearance for their track cars, the graphics packages available from Porsche found their way to street cars as well. We’ve seen them on the 911SC and the 924. In some cases, if you had a chance to step inside one of those machines you might come across something truly special: a Martini package that included an interior treatment. These are wild and certainly not for the faint of heart. The most sought after of all were the packages applied to the 930. How many were there? The numbers don’t seem certain as I’ve seen suggestions ranging from three total all the way up to eight! As you can tell, regardless of the numbers there were very few of these genuine 930 Martini packages produced. The car we see here, a 1978 Porsche 930, purports to be one of those few. Whether it is can be hard to know for sure and we aren’t offered a lot here to validate those claims other than the reputation of a dealer that tends to traffic in some very high caliber vehicles. If it is the real deal, then this 930 not only should make for a wonderful edition to any Porsche collection, but it will also be quite valuable.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Porsche 930 Martini Championship Editionat Hexagon Classics
On my last visit home to Philadelphia, I happened to stop by and peruse the lot at Porsche of Bucks County in Warrington, Pennsylvania. For those familiar with the area, you may remember this dealer as Holbert’s Porsche-Audi-VW. Bob Holbert, a native of Warrington and Porsche race car driver in the 1950s and 1960s, founded this dealership in 1954. This would be one of the first Porsche dealers in the United States. Much like importer Max Hoffman, Holbert had a large role in shaping Porsche’s direction and success in the US market. His son Al also raced Porsches, winning Sebring in 1976 and 1981. He also ran the dealership for a time and was President of Porsche Motorsports North America. Sadly, Al met his fate in a plane crash in 1988, with his brother Larry taking over management of the dealership until being bought out in 2010 by a larger conglomerate of dealers.
In addition to a few of Holbert’s racing cars hanging around the showroom, the family also had a hand in a bit of tuning. Born out of a need to fit wider tires on race dedicated vehicles, a fiberglass kit was devised to provide the 924 Turbo a bit more wiggle room for larger rubber and in the process, giving it a bit more of an aggressive stance. Brian, a long-time contributor of ours, came across this 1981 Porsche 924 Turbo for sale in the Philadelphia area wears that very kit devised by Holbert. While not concours quality, this is a driver that wears a very nice patina and has a bit of that Martini Racing livery we all know and love.