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Prototype Porsche 911 Turbo to boost Concours of Elegance roster

Words: Nathan Chadwick | Photography: Porsche

The original Porsche 911 Turbo concept that broke cover at the Frankfurt IAA Motor Show in 1973 is to play a starring role at this autumn’s Concours of Elegance, which takes place at London’s Hampton Court Palace on August 30-September 1, 2024. It’s the very first 911 to wear the ‘Turbo’ badge, and it set in motion a model line that continues to this day.

The 911 Turbo came about due to a change in racing regulations. Porsche’s 917 had been phenomenally successful in endurance racing, to the point that the FIA all but removed it from competition. The manufacturer saw these changes as a way of making its racing cars more directly recognisable variants of cars it actually sold. Porsche had been experimenting with turbocharging since the late 1960s, and it had phenomenal success with its Can-Am 917 car in the 1970s. The 911 Turbo was the natural progression of these ideas and, in January 1973, experiments with a turbocharged 2.7-litre engine began.

Porsche’s chief engineer Helmuth Bott got to work creating the Turbo at Style Porsche, plucking a 911 S from the production line and adorning it with a bodykit similar to that of the RSR 3.0-litre racing car. Under its swollen wheelarches lay 11in Fuchs alloy wheels, while up front there was an opening for an oil cooler in the apron. At the rear, Porsche’s very first ‘whale tail’ not only added downforce, but also improved cooling to the engine.

Green and black tartan trim, and exterior graphics, marked this out as something special indeed. The prototype was also about more than the Turbo; it featured styling elements that would go into the ‘G-Model’ 911, while also previewing the RSR racer and ultra-rare 3.0 RS road car. 

At the time, the prototype didn’t actually have a turbocharged engine – or any engine at all. For its show circuit tour, which took in the 1974 Geneva, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Melbourne motor shows, chassis 9113300157 used a wooden mock-up unit; the turbocharged 2.7-litre motor wasn’t ready.

Having successfully completed its world tour – and garnered a host of orders in the process – the car was sold to the Australian Porsche importer Alan Hamilton in 1975. Hamilton had actually wanted 3.0 RSR, but production had ceased, so Porsche converted the prototype to semi-RS specification, with an RSR engine. Hamilton would compete with the car for a brief period, taking wins at Hume Weir and Oran Park, before adding it to his personal collection. It was then converted to right-hand drive and sold to Graham Stockley, the chairman of the Victorian Porsche Club.

The Porsche would eventually end up in the US in the care of Murray Smith, who put it on display at the 2010 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, where it was also offered for sale. Six years later, its next owner brought the car back to Europe.

The Concours of Elegance 2024 will be the first time this Porsche, which is in original condition, has been seen in public for many years.

To find out more about the Concours of Elegance, head here.

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