In the mid-1990s, the most successful carmaker in the history of Le Mans was spurred by McLaren’s success to return to endurance racing.
Porsche’s weapon of choice debuted at the La Sarthe circuit in 1996. Although it was named 991, it was mid- and not rear-engined and the flat-six was water cooled and featured four valves per cylinder. In fact, the only thing borrowed from the (then current) 993 was the front structure, which was mated to the rear of Stuttgart’s previous all-conquering racer, the 956/962.
Homologation rules dictated that to be eligible for the series, “at least” 25 road-legal models had to be manufactured. Porsche obliged and created the Strassenversion.
It was effectively a racer with a slightly detuned engine (with 544 instead of 562 bhp) to comply with emissions regulations and offered some amenities like carpeting and a 993-sourced dashboard.
The car that is heading to the auction block is based on the racer’s second iteration, the GT1 Evo. Built in January 1998, it’s barely run-in as the odo reads only 7,180 km (4,461 miles).
The 911 GT1 is a thinly veiled racer that due to regulations, can also be driven on the streets. Besides, if you can afford it we guess you already have a garage full of modern supercars anyway.
There’s also one final thing that may interest you: RM Auctions says that this particular car, chassis number WP0ZZZ99ZWS396005, is the only one known to have been imported to the US of A.
Created by Porsche to fill the gap between the 394hp (400PS) 4S and 493hp (500PS) Turbo Panamera models, the GTS comes with a mildly tuned naturally-aspirated 4.8-liter V8 engine delivering 424hp (430PS) and upgraded chassis components and looks.
The German tuner’s engineers started off with the V8 engine that gains a software upgrade and a three-stage adjustable sports exhaust system that boost output to 501-horsepower (508PS).
A new electronic module allows the driver to drop the Panamera GTS’s height-adjustable suspension by an additional 30mm, while the car now rides on massive 22-inch alloys wrapped in 265/30-22 tires at the front axle and 295/25-22 at the rear.
The exterior is then dressed in a new body kit that includes a restyled front bumper with an apron, headlamp surrounds, side skirts, new rear bumper trim, a rear apron housing a diffuser and tail light décor.
For the final touch, Anderson Germany takes on the interior, which is redone in a combination of leather and Alcantara with white diamond stitching.
Other upgrades include the white carbon trim package, new entry sills on the doors, footwell lighting in the front and the back with a dimming function and a high-end sound system with amplifier, subwoofer and a number of speakers.
Porsche has completed a deal with the Martini brand, represented by Bacardi & Company Limited, to offer the racing livery on the production version of the 918 Spyder that goes on sale in September of 2013 at a starting price of €645,000 (about US$789,900 at today’s exchange rates), excluding taxes and country-specific charges.
The two companies have a long history together as in 1971, a Porsche 917 finished first in the legendary endurance race in Le Mans with the support of Martini, which eventually became the official partner of the Porsche factory racing team between 1973 and 1978.
The 918 Spyder features a mid-mounted 4.6-liter V8 internal combustion engine with electric drives at the rear and front axles, which produce a total system output of around 762hp (770PS).
Among other highlights are the car’s fully variable aerodynamics, adaptive rear axle steering and “top pipes” exhaust system which routes the pipes upwards.