Although we do occasionally pick up an exotic, the majority of the cars in this section are of the more everyday kind. Today we dive all the way to the other end of the spectrum, for the ‘facelift’ of the hyper-exclusive Porsche 911 GT1 ‘Straßenversion’
Apart from its name and the handful of parts that we particularly hope to talk about today, the 911 GT1 bar has little to do with a regular 911. This top Porsche was a racer in the GT1 subclass of the FIA GT Champion chip. , which started in 1997. As such, the 911 GT1 also entered the world famous Le Mans 24 Hours.
The GT1 class was the pinnacle of sports car racing. A frequently chosen route was therefore the conversion of what we would now call a hypercar to GT1 specifications. A well-known example of this is the McLaren F1. However, Porsche took a different path. In fact, instead of converting a 911 for the GT class, an all-new car was developed with some of the 911 exterior features.
That meant that a street version of this racer also had to be made, because such a street version was a requirement for this racing class. Just like Mercedes, which had a similar extremist on offer with the extreme CLK GTR, Porsche was thus forced to make the 911 GT1 street legal. The differences were kept quite minimal. Of course the Straßenversion (street version) of the 911 GT1 was put a bit higher on the legs and provided with a slightly less spartan interior. At the same time, almost all spoilers, the extreme performance and even the roll cage were allowed to remain. Apart from the lack of the sponsor stickers, the biggest external difference with the Le Mans racer is the slightly more rounded, fully painted rear wing.
How little the GT1 has to do with a 911, becomes clear after a look at the specifications. There is a six-cylinder boxer engine on board, but it is not behind, but in front of the rear axle. The extremely boosted engine still delivered 544 hp in the racer 600 and in the street version, good for a 0-100 time of less than four seconds.
However, the front part of the chassis was indeed shared with a 911. The GT1 was unveiled in 1996, so the 911 in question was a copy of the 993 generation. Indeed: the last air-cooled ‘Elfer’ was used as the ‘base’ here. This can also be seen, because the GT1 initially got headlights, dashboard and rear lights from the 993. However, the coupled rear light was fitted with some extra grids between the light clusters and the center reflector, in order to somewhat fill the enormously wide butt of the GT1.
This problem came to an end after no more than two street GT1s were produced. After the first set of street GT1s – one for test work, one for a collector in Bahrain – it was already time for the ‘facelift’ which is all about. It was now 1997, so it was time to put the new, rather polarizing 996 generation of the 911 in the limelight.
The Evo version of the GT1 got its questionable headlights and borrowed the rear lights from the 996 from ’97 onwards. For enthusiasts: these were the smaller, flatter copies of the rear-wheel drive 996. Meanwhile, the rest of the nose was also designed. in the style of the 996, including a differently shaped air intake and the disappearance of the loose turn indicators in the front bumper. Something similar happened at the rear. The dashboard of the 993, or what was left of it, was allowed to stay.
The GT1 with 996 light units is slightly less hyper-rare than its predecessor: 20 copies of this car were built.
In 1998 a new version of the 911 GT1 appeared, simply called 911 GT1-98. This car also got 996 headlights, but is completely different from the earlier GT1. A street version appeared again, but this time it remained with a single copy (photo 17).