15 by Chris Perkins
Porsche’s long history is littered with rare and special cars. Whether they were built as homologation specials for fire-breathing racers, development prototypes, or oddball experiments that were somehow sold to customers, these ten Porsches are some of the wildest cars to ever roll off the Stuttgart assembly line.
PORSCHE 356 CARRERA SPEEDSTER
© Gooding & Company/Brian Henniker
The Speedster and Carrera variants of the legendary Porsche 356 are among the most sought after by collectors. Combine the lithe bodywork of the former with the mighty quad-cam flat-four of the latter and you have a 356 that will make Porschephiles drown in their drool. Only 151 were built, but if you want one–and belive me, you do–you’re in luck: Jerry Seinfeld is selling his. Expect to pay at least $2 million.
PORSCHE 356B ABARTH CARRERA GTL
© Wikimedia Commons/Spurzem
Abarth is most closely associated with Fiat, but Carlo Abarth’s tuning firm worked with nearly everyone in the 1950s and 1960s. Porsche approached Abarth in 1959 to build a new lightweight body for the 356B Carrera because the German automaker was too busy with its fledgling Formula 1 effort. The result led to a class victory at the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans and one of the most achingly gorgeous Porsches ever built.
In 1967, Porsche designed a fiberglass-bodied 911 to be homologated for competition, but it was rejected by the FIA. Instead of building the 500 required for homologation, Porsche built just 23 examples of the 911R, which were 50-hp more powerful and 350 pounds lighter than the standard 911S. The 911R found success in rally, where homologation requirements were less stringent
The 928 may have been the first eight-cylinder Porsche production car, but it wasn’t the first time Porsche engineers stuffed eight pistons in a road car. Porsche built two 914/8s equipped with the 3.0-liter flat-eight from the 908 race car. The 914/8s, which were owned by Ferdinand Piech and Ferry Porsche, were more intended as development cars and were by some accounts, incredibly unrefined. The engine in Piech’s car (pictured) was mostly unchanged from the 908, making his 914/8 quite a handful on the street.
PORSCHE 911 S/T
© Flickr/David Merrett
If you didn’t know where Singer’s glorious “Reimagined” 911s draw their inspiration from, it’s this car, the 911 S/T. Somewhat of a precursor to the legendary 1973 Carrera RS, Porsche built 33 S/Ts in 1970 and 1971. The S/Ts received incredibly gorgeous fender flares and a twin-plug 2.5-liter flat-six.
PORSCHE 924 CARRERA GT
At first glance, you might think you’re looking at a 944, but you’d be mistaken. This is the 924 Carrera GT, a roadgoing version of the turbocharged 924 that Porsche took to Le Mans in the early 1980s. The 924 Carrera GT predates the 944 and you can see what Porsche had in mind when designing the latter. Only 426 were built, making it substantially rarer than the Carrera GT supercar of the mid 2000s.
PORSCHE 935 STREET
If you ever see this car, consider yourself incredibly lucky, as its the only road-going version of the incredible 935 race car ever built. Mansour Ojjeh–owner of the TAG Group, which owns a part of McLaren–approached Porsche Exclusive to build a street version of the 935 in the early 1980s. It wears the incredible bodywork of the 935 and uses a 3.3-liter turbocharged flat-six that makes 375-hp. Unlike the race car, the interior is quite luxurious. You’d be a hero to daily drive this.
PORSCHE 964 TURBO S FLACHBAU
The flat-nose, or Flachbau in German, was a 1980s icon, but it survived into the 1990s. This model was built as a limited edition celebration of the end of 964 production and featured the 385-hp 3.6-liter motor found in the 964 Turbo S. Only 93 were built, so seeing one on the road is highly unlikely.
PORSCHE 993 CARRERA RS
The 993 Carrera RS is the sort of car that can reduce a Porsche nut into an incoherent fool. Only 1,000 of these lightened 993s were built and each used a 3.8-liter flat-six that made 300-hp. It’s arguably the best naturally-aspirated, air-cooled 911 ever built, which to many, makes it the best 911 ever built.
PORSCHE 911 GT1 STRASSENVERSION
You could say this is the ultimate 911, but really the 911 GT1 Strassenversion is a 911 in name only. Built for the FIA’s GT1 class, the 911 GT1 Strassenversion uses a turbocharged flat-six mounted in the middle of a tubular space frame chassis. Only 25 were built, making both the 918 Spyder and Carrera GT seem like ordinarny 911s.
This article was published in the Road & Track