This Secretly Restored Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Rally Car Was The Ultimate Birthday Present - story fullscreen Fullscreen

This Secretly Restored Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Rally Car Was The Ultimate Birthday Present

Porsche celebrated the 924 Carrera GTS and Walter Rohrl with an epic restoration

Porsche celebrated the 924 Carrera GTS and Walter Rohrl with an epic restoration

Porsche is very big on heritage and they do everything they can to preserve it. Their motorsports prowess has translated into their road cars, resulting in some of the best motoring experiences ever. Some will remember that Porsche also had a rather glorious rallying career, including cars like the 959 Dakar, Porsche 911 SC 3.0, Porsche 911 S 2.0, and the more recent Cayman GT4 Clubsport Rally. Another high point in Porsche rally history is the Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Rally, which was driven 40 years ago, by none other than Walter Rohrl. The good people at Porsche have decided to commemorate both the car and the driver in a very special way.

This Secretly Restored Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Rally Car Was The Ultimate Birthday Present Exterior
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"Monnet Cognac" inspired the gold and black livery

The Porsche 924 itself was not Porsche’s finest hour. It had an Audi engine that wasn’t particularly powerful and was a deviation from the traditional rear-engine layout. Regardless, there was the 924 Carrera GTS, which managed to redeem the 924 model. Only 59 Carrera GTS were built, 15 of which were race-prepped Clubsport versions. The only model above it was the 924 Carrera GTR.

Exactly 40 years ago – in 1981 – Walter Rohrl drove this very car at the international ADAC Mertz Rally. Despite some mechanical issues, Rohrl and the gold and black Porsche managed second place overall. To this day, it remains the only rally season in which Rohrl drove for Porsche. Because of this Porsche actually found, bought, and restored a Porsche 924 Carrera GTS.

Not only that, they actually gifted it to the legendary racing driver for his 74th birthday, which was on March 7th, 2021.
This Secretly Restored Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Rally Car Was The Ultimate Birthday Present Exterior
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One of Porsche’s high points in rallying was with this very car

The car chosen was a Porsche 924, originally built on December 12th, 1980. The engine had only 10,000 km (6,214 miles) on the clock. It’s the same car that competed in the 1981 rally without sustaining any damage. The extensive restoration was performed in Weissach Motorsport Department, where the car was originally built. The goal was to bring the car back to its original form.

Pirelli had supplied a set of tires with period-correct thread and a race-clutch was fitted. In addition, certain parts that reflected the car’s age were added, such as the red seatbelt harnesses, which were faded from exposure to the sun. The original handwriting of the team who initially built the car was kept to commemorate their efforts. Metal plates were fitted to the underbody and the engine got a fuel distributor straight off the 926 GTS’ V-8 engine. And let’s not forget those four rally headlights fitted on the front bumper.

This Secretly Restored Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Rally Car Was The Ultimate Birthday Present Drivetrain
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The car was restored to its original state in Porsche’s Weissach facility, where it was originally built
In case, you want the numbers, the Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Rally was powered by a 2.0-liter SOHC turbocharge inline-four, producing 256 horsepower (188 kilowatts) and 247 pound-feet (335 Nm).

Power was sent to the rear wheels, through a five-speed manual transaxle. This allowed the 2,535-pound (1,150 kg) Porsche to sprint from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in around 4.8 seconds.

Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Rally specifications
Engine 2.0-liter SOHC turbocharge inline-four
Power 256 HP
Torque 247 LB-FT
Transmission five-speed manual
Weight 2,535 lbs (1,150 kg)
0 to 60 mph 4.8 seconds
This Secretly Restored Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Rally Car Was The Ultimate Birthday Present Exterior
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The 2,535-pound (1,150 kg) Porsche hits 60 mph in around 4.8 seconds

As far as presents go, this has to be one of the most epic ones. The team admits that it was difficult to keep the restoration a secret because Walter Rohrl was so familiar with the Porsche facility. The restoration was executed down to every touch, including the “Monnet Cognac” livery – the original inspiration for the gold and black color scheme. “It was a huge surprise for me. I stepped out of the car 40 years ago and haven’t sat in it since. For me, it’s a journey back in time.” – Rohrl said.

Source: Porsche

Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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