What if they started building retro-inspired special edition Porsche 911 models back in the 1990s? Well, the fine craftsmen working with Porsche’s corporate restoration division have taken an original 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera and completely overhauled it in the image of the famed 997 Porsche 911 Sport Classic special edition from a few years ago. The result is a one-of-one sports car featuring the greatest hits of the Porsche design, and it went through a hell of a lot of trouble to build it.
Today’s new 996 Sport Classic gets the chassis, brakes and 3.6-liter engine(making 381 horsepower) from a 996 GT3, the first Porsche GT3 to be sold stateside. However, the body itself comes from a “neglected” example Porsche sourced from Colombia, Virginia, and it was shipped off to the Porsche Classic located workshop near the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen manufacturing plant, where the car was originally built.
“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,” says Alexander Fabig, Head of Individualization and Classic. “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 US With this one-off, we’ve now managed to bring a similarly exciting vehicle concept to the US as well.”
The previous Sport Classic that inspired this new one-off was sold in a limited run of just 250 cars back in 2009, based on the 997.2 generation of the 911. Back then, they took a stock Carrera S that was new at the time and adorned it with every special package and option they could throw at it, with bespoke paintwork and a retro spoiler and set of wheels.
Sadly there will only ever be just one Type 996 Sport Classic ever officially released by Porsche, for just one lucky customer who ordered the car through Porsche’s new Sonderwunsch restoration program.
Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe
The new Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe is painted in the same Sport Gray Metallic paint as the previous Sport Classic, with Club Blue outlines running the length of the hood, roof and spoiler. A lighter Sport gray paint finish is used for the accents along the side of the car that spell out its name, and the car rides on 18-inch forged aluminum Fuchs wheels that echo Porsche’s retro models.
An all-new, bespoke fixed rear “ducktail” spoiler and third brake light was made for the project out of fiberglass, which references the design heritage of the iconic 1972 Porsche 911 RS 2.7. The “double-dome” roof is designed to mimic the function of racing cars that have protrusions to fit a tall driver with a racing helmet, without raising the entire roof panel.
Inside, the seats are upholstered in black leather with gray accents in a twill Pepita pattern with Club Blue contrast stitching and perforated Alcantara headliner. Since we’re living in the future, Porsche also threw in modern infotainment features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto pairing and Sirius XM radio.
Testing For One
While the new 911 Classic Club Coupe is promised to be a genuine one-off, there was a second built initially for development testing. Porsche says that “a test vehicle went through extensive trial runs at test sites including Weissach in Germany, Nardò in Italy and Idiada in Spain,” in the development of this one-off. The testing involved endurance runs at top speed and wind tunnel testing, probably because Porsche had never put a ducktail on a 996 RS before and had to make sure it wouldn’t cause any problems at speed.
Porsche says the car’s mods “were evaluated by a team of experts from Porsche Individualization and Classic, Porsche Cars North America and the Porsche Development Center in Weissach to make sure the vehicle remained in compliance with applicable US regulations,” so the owner has nothing to worry about driving this on public roads.
The automaker wears it has since destroyed the development vehicle once the final product was ready for its own testing, which was done at Porsche’s Weissack development center. How sad! If Porsche has to build it, they should get to keep it. Here’s hoping the one that still exists actually gets driven, and is not just a nice garage ornament.