Porsche restores 924 Carrera GTS for Rohrl

Porsche restores 924 Carrera GTS for Rohrl

05/27/2021

Porsche has fastidiously rebuilt its 40-year-old rally star, with spectacular results; Rohrl's still got it, too

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, May 26, 2021 / Loading comments

There are certain 40th anniversaries we’d all rather not celebrate, but plenty more that do warrant special attention. 2021 marks four decades since Porsche introduced the 924 Carrera GTS, an extremely rare competition car that followed the 924 Carrera GT of 1980 and further proved Porsche’s desire to race its front-engined cars. Lighter and more powerful than the GT, the GTS was the ultimate 924 and the most expensive Porsche in the range – until the GTR…

Anyway, back in 1981, Porsche wanted the maximum potential extracted from its new rally car. Back then, there was only one person to call on: Walter Rohrl. It was the beginning of Rohrl’s relationship with Porsche, making the GTS a significant car for both driver and manufacturer. Now, 40 years after they first were brought together, the 924 and Walter Rohrl have been reunited.

Not, however, before the old car has received some major work, having been sat in Porsche’s museum for a good many years. Which is what the majority of this video covers, in fact. If short on thrills the restoration is very interesting – the lengths gone to for its recommissioning are little short of extraordinary. Listen out, too, for the engineer who worked on the project at the time, describing how Rohrl and the turbocharged 924 were the perfect match for each other.

But, of course, it’s the man and the car back together that we really want to see. Perhaps the driving is more sedate than we’ve become used to from Rohrl, though his joy at being back behind the wheel of the gold Porsche is clear to see. “You feel 40 years younger straight away” he says on once more sitting in the Recaro bucket seats. With so much work having gone into this 924 GTS – the fifth of nine pre-series prototypes – it would be great to see it back out and driven some more four decades after its debut. But if nothing else, there’s one man delighted by its revival.


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