1973 Porsche 911 Turbo factory prototype

Some people attending the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance last weekend walked past this Porsche 911 Turbo, giving it nary a glance. After all, it was tucked a little out of the way, and even with its tweaked bodywork and decals, if you've seen one 911 Turbo, you've seen them all, right? Well, no. Anyone who paused long enough to read the info card owner Murray Smith placed front of the car learned that, in fact, this Turbo is more special than others. You see, it was the prototype - the first factory-turbocharged Porsche 911 road car, period.

As the story goes, it began life as a regular '73 911S company car driven by Porsche chief engineer Helmuth Bott. From there, it won the Porsche genetics lottery when it was sucked into the automaker's experimental program to serve as the basis for the Turbo. As such, it became the first roadgoing Porsche 911 to get the turbo engine, along with the now-famous widebody treatment and whaletail.

Once its developmental role was complete, it became the 911 Turbo display car for the Paris, Frankfurt, and Tokyo motor shows, but the story doesn't end there. Following a subsequent factory RSR conversion, this 911 Turbo was raced by Aussie Porsche importer Alan Hamilton during the mid-1970s. The icing on the cake for us came at the day's conclusion, when we got to hear the car fire up and get in line for the procession past the podium. It sounded like God on speakerphone. For a 911 with this provenance, that seemed entirely appropriate.

Photos by Alex Núñez / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

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