Porsche celebrated the 924 Carrera GTS and Walter Rohrl with an epic restorationby Dim Angelov, on
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Engine||2.0-liter SOHC turbocharge inline-four|
|Weight||2,535 lbs (1,150 kg)|
|0 to 60 mph||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.