Since the inauguration of Gumball 3000 in 1999, Porsche has remained a staple on the start gird through to now.
You would struggle to find a Gumball start grid that did not contain a handful of Porsches ranging from your entry level Carreras to the extreme and hardcore RS models.
In more recent years Porsche has been battling it out in the Hypercar Arena with the likes of its Carrera GT, launched in 2003 sporting Porsche's first ever V10, originally developed for a a Formula 1 car to the 918 Spyder – Another first for Porsche with its incorporation of Hybrid Technology.
However, in recent weeks it is not the cars with the most hyper of natures that have been grabbing the headlines but rather those with the ‘old hat’ technology of using air to cool themselves down! Yes, air-cool Porsches.
The last air-cooled Porsche rolled off the production line at the end of 1997 in the form of a 993 911 Turbo. Since then Porsche were forced to adopt a water-cooled system as engine performance began to outgrow this primitive method of cooling.
At RM Southebys last week, a small collection of Stuttgart’s finest, limited edition air-cooled 911s were auctioned off and what followed was quite a shock to the automotive world… Amongst the six homologated, low mileage cars auctioned off, two went on to smash auction records for Porsches, most notably a 1995, 993 911 GT2 which reached £1,848,000 GBP trumping the earlier sold 1993 964 911 Turbo S 1 of 86 at mere £974,400 GBP.
In light of this most interesting of developments in the Porsche market we thought it only right to take a look back at some of the stunning and rare examples that have littered the Gumball girds since 1999…
This ‘well used’ example of a 1970 Porsche 911 participated in the 2005 Rally – London to Monaco. If it were not for Peugeot having the exclusive rights to, get this, ‘’all car names formed by three numbers with a zero in the middle’’ this most iconic of Porsches would of in fact been a 901… not a 911! Could you imagine a world with no 911s?
The following year saw the extremely sought after Carrera RS 2.7 take part from London to Los Angeles. Completely prepared for the 3000-mile journey ahead with its roof-rack carrying a spare tire and additional fuel supplies.
This particular car was driven by Fashion Designers Mark Eley & Yorgo Tloupas.
Concourse examples are currently valued at the thick end of £600,000
In 1989 Porsche decided they needed a car that would be less hardcore than the RS but more driver focused that the Carrera 2, and this was the product of that brief.
The Widebody Clubsport Speedster.
A stripped back, no frills open-top sports car (the roof was merely for inclement weather). Only 936 of these cars were ever made making it an extremely desirable car for any Porsche collector in todays market. A well looked after Speedster can cost anything north of £200,00 GBP.
In 2003 we were graced with the presence of a RUF Turbo R as we took on the Coast to Coast Rally, departing San Francisco and heading to Miami.
The RUF Turbo R was based on the underpinnings of the Porsche 993 911 Turbo.
Churning out over 400hp the 993 Turbo was hardly underpowered, however, RUF have always liked to ‘maximize potential’ and in doing so, boosted the flat-six turbocharged engine up to a whopping 490 horsepower whilst producing over 500 lb-ft of torque!!
Near all cars tested displayed over 500 hp approximately 15hp above the stated 490.
2005 was a strong year for Porsches on the Gumball grid. Including the before mentioned 911 classic, we played host to two, yes two Carrera GTs.
Porsches first real run at the Hypercar sector since the GT1 saw this truly unique, manual V10 beast head down to Monaco from London, not before exploring most of Eastern Europe.
When new, to obtain one of these magnificent machines would have set you back around £330,000 GBP. Just a few years after production finished the price of the Carrera GT had decreased to less than half of this… Wonder how many owners had the foresight to predict they would now set you back anywhere from £500,000 to £1,000,000 for an unregistered example?!
No we have not forgotten this years show-stopping RUF CTR3! However, we cannot mention this in the same breath as the Carrera GT.
Based on the GT it may be… but a GT it is not…