• Jun 12, 2010
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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      My first thought was a simple one. What would car be worth at an auction? It would have been worth a mint just as the prototype Turbo. But then in the rest of its history including racing history and you can only imagine what it would go for.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It is for sale apparently:

      http://tinyurl.com/35k82ak

      $650,000.00
      • 4 Years Ago
      It is also for sale: http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&csDlId=&csDgId=&listingId=35755726&listingRecNum=0&criteria=sf1Dir%3DDESC%26mkId%3D20081%26stkTyp%3DU%26rd%3D100000%26crSrtFlds%3DstkTypId-feedSegId-mkId%26zc%3D60045%26rn%3D0%26PMmt%3D1-0-0%26stkTypId%3D28881%26sf2Dir%3DASC%26sf1Nm%3Dprice%26sf2Nm%3Dmiles%26alMkId%3D20081%26rpp%3D50%26feedSegId%3D28705&aff=national

      1973 Porsche 911 - $650,000

      Seller's Notes: As described in magazines and books, this is the prototype 911 Turbo which appeared at a number of international auto shows. After completing the show circuit, it was converted to full race RSR specifications at the factory in period by request of Australian Porsche Importer Alan Hamilton. RHD. CAMS logbooks included with car. Please contact our Sports and Specialist Cars showroom at 609-466-5305 or email to sales@princetonlotus.com. Located at 49 East Broad Street, Hopewell, NJ 08525. All of our certified Honda's are hand picked by our used car manager, and all our non Honda products must be in great condition if we plan on selling them here. Each vehicle has a Carfax history report available and we only keep the nicest and cleanest vehicles here at Honda Of Princeton.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Crap, Dominant.Effect posted that first... =/
      • 4 Years Ago
      Awesome!!! I was there and I got some really nice shots of this car, I didnt even realize that it was the first one!
      also me and my friend are in the first picture! just to the left of the BMW M3
      Sweeeet!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I like everything about it. It looks classic, and it's probably very fast even by today's standards. Well...it was tested on in '73...so probably not as fast, but very quick I imagine.

      Looks ace!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Have driven this car when it lived in Melbourne Australia. Belonged to a friend of mine. At the Porsche 50th Anniversary Rally it did a flat 11 sec 1/4 mile run. We were only beaten by two 993 Turbo 'S' 's on the day. It was fast and loud. For the rally we ran staight pipes with megaphones. We were told at one check point they had been expecting us for 10 minutes. They heard us coming at well over legal speed. Blame my navigating for needing to make up time and the owner needed no excuse to use the top end of the rev range in all 5 gears. This car is simply awesome. The history just makes it better. You just try to put that bit to the back of your mind when driving it hard. But it is a porsche and was built to be driven.
      • 4 Years Ago
      $$$$=sweet
      • 4 Years Ago
      Still sexy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      But at a tailgate party, that souped up VW would be just great! Already has an
      horsd'ouevre tray glued on the back!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Let me clear up some some commonly-held misconceptions about this car. in 1974 I was working at Scuderia Veloce Motors in Sydney, then Sydney's only Porsche dealer. We had this car in the showroom for a while after it had done the Australian Motor Show circuit. In its Motor Show spec it did not have a turbocharged engine. It had the 2.4 engine's crankcase, pistons, barrels & heads etc. The induction system was mocked up in wood for the Motor Shows, and painted to make it presentable. The engine obviously didn't run, and when the car left the showroom, I sat in it & steered it onto the truck, while some other guys pushed. The car returned to Stuttgart and was largely forgotten by the Factory as production of the 930 got under way, and this car languished for a while. Alan Hamilton, then the Australian Porsche distributor, went to the Factory looking for new racer, saw this car, made an offer, and the car returned to Australia. It was fitted with a 3 litre RSR spec engine and raced successfully for a few years. It then became a road car and passed between a few owners' hands. It was at a dealer in North Sydney in Jan 2007 where I took these pics. And many more. http://www.madwhips.com/1974-paris-motor-show-porsche-turbo-prototype/ It was looking a bit sad & sorry by this time, it was a pity to see such a significant car in need of so much TLC. The interior in particular was quite shabby. When new the car had the word "Carrera" engraved across the top of the windscreen in the usual Porsche Carrera script. I guess the screen was broken many years ago. The car spent most of its life in Australia, and to the best of my knowledge has never had a turbocharged engine.
      • 4 Years Ago
      When I first heard about the 911 Turbo, I was about 14, so it was about 1975. There was a movie, I think it was Gumball Rally, where there was a 911 Turbo, and they said it had a top speed of 150 mph. Wow, I thought, I couldn't believe you could drive a car that fast on the road. Now just about every V6 family sedan will do 150 if you take off the electronic governor. Of course, the 6.6 liter Trans Am of the mid 1970s barely made it 0-60 in 10 seconds, roughly the same as the Toyota Prius.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm being very pedantic here, but the 911 in the "Gumball Rally" is an early model, little bumper 911 targa. It had a whale tail, but it shouldn't have.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As a kid, I had a massive Porsche book. I still likely have it somewhere in my old house. I recognized this car right away, as the book had an overhead shot of it in it.

      It boggles my mind how absent minded some people are.. just to read a card.

      I remember I went to an autoshow in Toronto, and there was this strange Pininfarina logo'd car there, looking almost like a late 50's sports tourer with rear wheel covers. Because I read the card at the show, I was the only one to find out, and spend time talking with the owner, to see that it was in fact a Ferrari SuperAmerica.

      You just need to spend time absorbing things in this automotive world I reckon.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Where is the rest of the show rundown?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Coming later today or tomorrow. Metric pantload of images to go through and gallerize.
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