Presented by RM Sotheby's.
Offered Without Reserve From The Tenebaum Collection
The title of “last great analog supercar” is hotly contested, but the Porsche Carrera GT sits at the top of the list for countless enthusiasts. Advanced in its design and in its use of cutting-edge materials, the Carrera GT nevertheless offers a purist driving experience unlike anything built by major automakers today. At its heart is a naturally aspirated V-10 paired with a specially developed six-speed manual transmission, the sole gearbox offered. A lack of intrusive electronic driving aids made the Carrera GT a challenging, but immensely rewarding, car to master.
Add its stunning exterior and interior design to the equation, and it is no wonder that each of the 1,270 Carrera GTs built—of which only 644, this example among them, were delivered new to the United States—is treasured today.
Fittingly for a Porsche, the Carrera GT’s origin is grounded in motorsport. After Porsche’s thrilling triumph at the 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which the purpose-developed 911 GT1 secured a dominating 1-2 finish, much discussion mounted about the potential build of a commemorative racing model. At the Paris Salon two years later, Stuttgart unveiled a new concept car, though the model’s development had essentially tailed off after corporate priorities were refocused on building the company’s first SUV, the Cayenne.
Customer interest was undeniable, though, so Porsche resuscitated the project as a top-shelf boutique supercar that eventually became the Carrera GT. Available for deliveries in 2004, the Carrera GT was clearly predicated on the race car principles of low weight and extreme power, starting with a 220-pound tub of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The lightweight material also composed the engine subframe and was generously used throughout the breathtaking coachwork, which sprung from the pen of Grant Larson—responsible for the popular Boxster.
Originally developed as a Le Mans prototype engine, the jewellike 5.7-liter aluminum V-10 utilized an unusual V angle of 68 degrees and employed aluminum pistons and an aluminum intake manifold, titanium connecting rods, and a forged crankshaft to maintain a low weight of 452 pounds. Dry-sump lubrication allowed for the rear-placed motor to lie very low within its subframe, and a carbon ceramic clutch and low-mass flywheel contributed to free-revving low-inertia performance encapsulated by a redline of 8,400 rpm. Developing 605 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 435 pound-feet of torque, the V-10 was mated to a six-speed manual transaxle.
The end result of such impressive technology was earth-shattering performance, with the Carrera GT reaching 60 mph from standstill in just 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph. Cross-drilled ceramic-composite disc brakes with huge 14.96-inch rotors anchored lightweight magnesium wheels, and an ingenious suspension system derived from the 911 GT1 ensured superior cornering and balance.
Larson’s exterior design was just as beguiling as the mechanical wonders that lay underneath, clearly influenced by the marque’s classic racing spyders of the 1950s. The Carrera GT was equipped with a removable lightweight hardtop that lent the car a breathtaking fastback appearance, though whether it was fixed in place or removed, the occupants’ roll-over hoops and arching meshed cam covers contributed to voluptuous curves throughout the design. Despite the model’s quasi-race-car brief, the Carrera GT was available with a host of comfort amenities such as air-conditioning, power windows, a Bose premium sound system, and fitted luggage. In tandem with leather-upholstered sport seats built around CFRP and Kevlar shells, the interior belied a car of such capable performance.
Though driven very sparingly from new, this Carrera GT has benefitted from a high level of care by its dedicated owners. The accompanying maintenance history file notes an August 2015 service at Rusnak/Westlake Porsche of Thousand Oaks, California that included a safety inspection, clutch inspection, an oil change, and belt and spark plug replacement. A regular service by Porsche North Scottsdale of Scottsdale, Arizona followed in January 2019, which included an oil change and clutch measurement (which found the clutch to be at 30 millimeters). Invoice copies on file indicate that the odometer displayed 5,037 miles at this time.
In August 2019 the car was serviced by Porsche of Woodland Hills, California, including the fitment of four new Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, alignment, new spark plugs and coils, oil service, and new TPMS sensors. At the time, mileage was recorded at 5,262, and the car has seen only limited use since. Most recently, that same facility replaced the battery and conducted a vehicle inspection in June 2020.
Offered from the Tenenbaum Collection, this stunning GT Silver example presently records under 5,500 miles from new and is in spectacular original condition. In addition to service invoices, it is accompanied by the optional matching seven-piece luggage set, including garment bag, shoulder bag, briefcase, duffle bag, console bag, and two small leather pouches that fit neatly into the ends of the doors.
Automotive critics hailed the Carrera GT as one of the greatest supercars of all time when it was introduced, marveling over its incredible performance in a lightweight, race-ready package with exotically beautiful styling; it is the rare modern masterpiece that is equally suitable for concours exhibition and driving enjoyment. Considering this example’s low mileage and wonderfully maintained condition, this US-specification Carrera GT it is an opportunity not to be missed.
RM Sotheby’s is set to kick off the collector car auction calendar once again by returning to the stunning grounds of the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix on 27 January for its 23rd annual Arizona sale. View all lots and register to bid online at RMSothebys.com.