The final 993 Turbo Built Heads to Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale

Posted On: 25 09 2018

The final 993 Turbo Built Heads to Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale


Porsche Classic has manufactured the last 911 Turbo with an air-cooled engine – 20 years after the last one left the assembly line! The result of years of meticulous work and attention to the very smallest of details by the expert craftsmen at Porsche Classic, this car, the only one of its kind that will ever be completed, is offered at The Porsche 70th Anniversary Sale after having been unveiled to the public at the September 2018 Rennsport Reunion.

Project Gold is immediately recognizable as a Porsche of the 993 generation – a series vaunted by enthusiasts as the last of the traditional air-cooled 911s, ending its production run for 1998, of which the Turbo continues to be one of the most astonishingly fast, sophisticated, and downright desirable cars of its generation and indeed any Porsche to ever carry the legendary “Turbo” designation. Twin-turbos, all-wheel-drive, and over 400 hp led to blindingly fast sprints from 0–60 in under four seconds, the likes of which the automotive industry had never seen. This was, for all intents and purposes, the perfect Porsche to crown the last of the air-cooled series.

The aim of Project Gold was to further perfect an already outstanding motor car, showcasing the exceptional capabilities of Porsche Classic alongside the bespoke fittings of Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, from which the general aesthetic presentation was derived and, specifically, the current 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. The result is a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art classic built to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Porsche and showcase not only the company’s history, but the trajectory that it is charting for itself.

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With regard to its specifications, the body of Project Gold is a perfect, new-old-stock body shell from the factory in Zuffenhausen. Its life began on a straightening bench, where the body was mounted for in-depth checking and adjustment, using the original frames, tension gauges, and data sheets. Gap dimensions and functionality of the doors, engine lid, and front bonnet were all tested before the side air vents were inserted into the rear panels with meticulous attention, replicating a feature available on the 993 Turbo S.

Thereafter, the build of Project Gold, which lasted one-and-a-half years, relied on the over 50,000 parts available in Porsche Classic’s resources, of which there are 6,500 parts available for the 993 generation alone. Porsche Classic worked closely with Exclusive Manufaktur in presenting a car that was at once current and forward-thinking in its execution, as well as authentic to the heritage of the 993 Turbo.

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The 3.6-litre, six-cylinder bi-turbocharged boxer engine was built entirely from brand-new genuine parts and delivers 450 hp at 6,000 rpm – 42 hp more than the standard 993 Turbo. This power upgrade was achieved by implementing the “Werksleistungssteigerung II” (WLS II) power kit. With a constantly elevated boost pressure, the engine consistently delivers the maximum torque of 585 Nm, an increase of 45 Nm. The WLS II’s main features include larger turbos, an additional oil cooler, and a modified Motronic electronic control unit. Furthermore, ceramic port liners were inserted into the exhaust channels of the cylinders, which allow for a reduction in cylinder head temperature. The cooling fins in the cylinders are very thin, enabling the turbocharged engine to remain very stable in terms of temperature. All told, this power upgrade to 450 hp was applied to just 345 993 Turbo S in period. The gearbox is a six-speed unit built entirely with brand-new Porsche Classic genuine components.

In many instances where two decades of further engineering development were available, Project Gold benefitted from the latest technologies and paint application Porsche had to offer. At the Porsche AG paint facility in Zuffenhausen, Project Gold was treated to Cathodic Dip Coating (CDC) to apply its primer. The electrostatic charge means that the paint particles attach themselves to every last nook and cranny, thereby protecting areas that are difficult to reach as compared to utilizing a spray gun. Porsche Classic thereby has the privilege of channeling classic cars into the current production line, and Project Gold was no exception, benefiting from the latest in state-of-the-art Porsche paint application. The finish on the car, Golden Yellow Metallic, was applied in three stages, built up with two layers of clear lacquer. First is the lacquer base, applied by hand; second is the clear lacquer, gently refined with fine sanding; and third is the final clear coating. The result is a remarkable level of finish and presentation, the likes of which are most certainly a perfection of the 993’s already impressive level of fit and finish.


The interior of Project Gold included the finest black leathers and selectively chosen gold stitching as well as carbon fiber trims. Everything was designed and applied by hand, taking into consideration not only the original 993 Turbo interior, but also the detail work from the current 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. In fact, as one looks around the car, so much of Project Gold was equipped with a host of individually produced, custom-made components not available on any other production cars. For example, the Litronic headlights were entirely dismantled and afterwards equipped with custom-made black reflectors. The turn signals and backlight strip were opened to tint the diffusers in a darker grey color. And perhaps most extraordinary is the construction of the Turbo wheels. As opposed to simply spraying the wheels in black and pinstriping a gold line onto the perimeter, which would have opened up the process to natural imperfection, the builders of Project Gold took an altogether unique approach. First, the wheels were primed in Golden Yellow Metallic, before being painted over in high-gloss black. Finally, the wheels were subjected to a laser beam, carefully stripping out the top layer of black and revealing a golden pinstripe below.

Once completed, the 911 Turbo Classic Series “Project Gold” was subjected to a detailed and extensive functional and quality control process. The driving functions and driving dynamics were tested at the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach. The noise behavior of the car on different surfaces was checked, and the cornering and braking behavior was tested on the test track as well, all of which the car passed with flying colors.

After one-and-a-half years of work by numerous, highly experienced Porsche professionals, Project Gold’s offering is a truly unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Porsche has clearly stated it will never build another car like it, as indicated by its series designation “001/001.” Perhaps most importantly, proceeds from the car’s sale will go to benefit the Ferry Porsche Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to education, social issues, and youth development established earlier this year to mark the “70 years of Porsche sports cars” celebrations.

For further information about this exceptionally unique offering and its availability at auction, please contact an RM Sotheby’s representative. Interested bidders are encouraged to review the terms and conditions associated with purchase of this lot, for which the most pertinent details are listed below, and full details are enclosed in the back of this auction catalogue.

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Please note that the Porsche 911 Turbo Classic Series is offered on a Bill of Sale and is not street legal. Neither Porsche AG, Porsche Cars North America, nor RM Sotheby’s make any guarantees as to the ability of a successful buyer to road register the car anywhere around the world. The VIN, which was stamped by hand, naturally follows that of the last 993 Turbo, which was completed in 1998. Prior to sale, Project Gold is intended to be statically presented to Porsche employees and select journalists. Further, at the time of sale, the car will be located at Porsche AG’s facilities in Zuffenhausen, Germany, from which the successful buyer will have to collect the car at their own expense

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