A tribute to the Cars movie character Sally Carrera isn’t the only one-off vehicle pursued by Porsche. Porsche Classic and the Porsche Club of America have just unveiled the Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe, a one-of-one restoration project that showcases the capabilities of the Sonderwunsch (Special Wish) program.
“We wanted to take a different route – to base this unique project on a car less obvious – a modern classic – that would appeal to a slightly different group of enthusiasts,” Porsche Club of America president Tom Gorsuch was quoted in the news release. “The fact that the finished Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe looks so cohesive, with the changes appearing so natural, is what’s really incredible about this challenging project.”
While based on a 1998 911 Carrera, the Classic Club Coupe’s chassis, brakes and 3.6-liter, 381-horsepower flat-6 engine are from the 996.2 911 GT3.
The donor car, found in a state of neglect in Virginia by PCA executive director Vu Nguyen, was sent to the Porsche Classic workshop in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausenfor for disassembly, and for strengthening of the body-in-white using original and newly developed parts.
“The Type 996 is unjustly overshadowed by the other 911 ranges. That’s why we were happy to choose it as the basis for demonstrating all the things we can do with Porsche Classic and the recently expanded Sonderwunsch program of Porsche AG,” Alexander Fabig, Porsche’s head of Individualization and Classic, is quoted.
“In 2009, the 911 Sport Classic, a limited series of 250, had already generated worldwide interest. However, this special model was not sold in the U.S. With this one-off, we’ve now managed to bring a similarly exciting vehicle concept to the U.S. as well.”
The finished Classic Club Coupe wears a ducktail spoiler reminiscent of the 1972 911 Carrera RS 2.7, a double-bubble roof, 18-inch forged aluminum Fuchs wheels, and paint like that of the Type 997 911 Sport Classic. Those looks are only part of the story.
According to the announcement by Porsche Cars North America, the Classic Club Coupe styling was done with input from the Porsche club in the US and Porsche Classic in Germany.
“Experts from Porsche Individualization, Porsche Classic, and Style Porsche drew up proposals and regularly discussed them with the PCA over the course of the project, which took a total of two and a half years to complete,” PCNA reported.
“The result was given a sneak preview at The Amelia in March. Sport Grey Metallic paint including stripes in light Sport Grey Metallic with Club Blue outlines run the length of the hood, roof and spoiler to reference the Type 997 911 Sport Classic. Accents in light Sport Grey along the sides of the car also feature ‘Classic Club Coupe’ script with an accent line in Club Blue.”
The double bubble-style roof is a homage to motorsports, tracing to the use of the design to accommodate taller drivers and their helmets, and has been used by Porsche in such concept vehicles as the 1989 911 Panamericana, Carrera GT and 911 Sport Classic. It also is offered in vehicles by Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur and on the 911 GT.
The car’s interior is upholstered in black leather with slate gray accents, with seat center and door panels showing woven black and gray leather in a twill Pepita pattern. “Club Blue” stitching is used for decorative accents. The headliner is perforated Alcantara.
The car also has the latest infotainment equipment.
Porsche adds that the car was restored to compliance with US vehicle regulations and that since it is a one-of-one project, a test vehicle was put through wind-tunnel testing as well as dynamic trials on tracks at Weissach, at Nardo in Italy and at Idiada in Spain.
“However,” PCNA reports, “once the verification program was completed, the test vehicle was dismantled – ensuring the final product is truly a one-off. The overall vehicle was approved after a road test by the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach.”
So what’s the future for the Porsche Classic Club Coupe? The PCA’s Nguyen told the Journal the car will be displayed at various club and other car events this year, “so people can see it,” and in 2023 it will go to auction to raise money to benefit the club and its regions.