Porsche 924 and armchair critics

I don’t count myself among the critics of the Porsche 924, especially not those of the armchair variant. You know the types; always ready with an “amusing anecdote” about van engines and what does and does not constitute a “proper Porsche”.

 

When you make enquiries about what paragon of automotive excellence serves as their own transport and, by extension, grants them the authority for the lofty platform from which they are distributing their apparent superior car judgement skills, usually two things happen. The first thing is a quick “Gordon Brown” on that obnoxious smile they were sporting earlier and the second is a hesitant confession to a mundane four wheeled shitbox followed without pause by its justification:

 

“A Peugeot 4007, I really need the full glass roof you know…”

“A Zafira, one of the most underrated driver’s cars I might add…”

“My V70 can really be a surprising little monster on my favourite B-road…”

“TDI is where it’s at dontcha know: no sports car can get away from me at the traffic light”

 

This is about the time I do my “Won’t you look at the time” face and make my way to the party/barbeque/birthday host to give him a hard time about the type of audience his soirees attract. What with not liking Porsche transaxles and all…. . No, really ….

 

This brings me neatly back to the Porsche 924 and more specifically it’s more exotic variants.

 

In 1980 Porsche was looking to homologate a model for participation in the 24 hours of Le Mans race. This resulted the following year in the small scale homologation production run of around 400 Porsche 924 Carrera GT’s. It’s weight savings, blueprinted engine and reliability made it a good starting point for motorsports. My own mechanic owns and runs a pristine black example of one of these and it is a pleasure to behold. Truly something special.

 

Just under 60 more of these special cars were produced as 924 Carrera GTS’s. Some further weight saving and engine tuning pushed this model even more in the direction of a hardcore track car. Some of these were shipped with fully stripped out interiors and full roll cage. More than enough to justify a CarQuiz (No 38) entry I would think.

 

Less than 20 actual race cars were built as Porsche 924 Carrera GTR’s and participated in Le Mans.

 

The looks of these 924 variants were generally well received and some aspects, most notably the arch extensions, later made it to the 924’s successor the 944.

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