1964 Porsche 904 GTS Coupe

If you want to do any serious competition, you’ll need a 2-liter, 4-cam four, and that’s a $100,000 project

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Having axed its expensive Formula One program at the end of 1962, Porsche turned once more to sports car racing as a means of improving and marketing its road cars.

The Type 356-based Abarth-Carreras had flown the Porsche flag in international racing during the early 1960s, but an entirely new design was now deemed necessary to meet the strengthening opposition. A minimum of 100 road-usable cars had to be made to meet the FIA’s homologation requirements, a stipulation that made a complex spaceframe design like the Type 718 RSK a non-starter, so Porsche’s Technical Director, Dr. Hans Tomala, started with a clean sheet. In creating the legendary 904, Tomala opted for a chassis comprising a pair of steel, cross-braced, box sections, to which the fiberglass body shell was bonded.

Designed by Ferry Porsche’s eldest son “Butzi,” the body was manufactured by the Heinkel aircraft company and is widely recognized as one of Porsche’s most elegant, while the Zuffenhausen firm’s recent Formula One experience was reflected in the 904’s state-of-the-art suspension, which featured double wishbones all around.

Delivered new in February 1964 to Robert Buchet, well-known privateer racer and French Porsche distributor in the 1960s, chassis number 021 participated in period in the 1964 Tour de Corse, 1965 Le Mans, 1965 Reims 12 Hours, 1965 Routes du Nord, and 1965 Coupe des Alpes, where the car was damaged by Buchet. Chassis number 021 was immediately returned to Porsche for repair, where at the same time it was deemed wise to “upgrade” the car to later Series Two 904/6 specification, with central fuel filler, higher door sills, and different engine mountings to the chassis. Subsequently, the 904 GTS Coupe participated in numerous other French rallies with success and in style until it was sold in 1968.

It should be noted that this 904 has continuous history from new and is fitted since the 1970s with a later 6-cylinder, 2.8-liter RSR block with a Kugelfischer injection pump and twin ignition producing an estimated 300 hp. This combination is obviously a guaranteed recipe for exhilarating performance. Bernard Consten has owned the 904 GTS Coupe since 1994. It has completed less than 3,000 km since a completely documented restoration and is today still in concours condition and on the button, ready to participate in the most prestigious track or lawn events.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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