Story and images by Jorge A. Guasso.
The Carrera GT is widely regarded as the best car Porsche has ever produced — after the legendary 959. Over the last few years, the Carrera GT has achieved ‘holy grail’ status, not only for its beautiful looks, but because famous drivers from around the globe and car enthusiasts alike have called it the world’s last true driver’s car.
Launched in 2004, and with a production run that lasted until late 2006, the Carrera GT was Porsche’s answer to the Ferrari Enzo. While the Stuttgart-based company initially wanted to build 1,500 examples, a total of 1,270 units were made before production ceased due to forthcoming changes in air-bag regulations in the US.
The Carrera GT is powered by a 5.7L DOHC four-valve-per-cylinder V10 producing 605 horsepower that can launch the car from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds and help it achieve a top speed of 205 miles per hour. A curious note about the development of the engine is that it was originally made for Formula 1 and LMP car racing, however none of those endeavors worked out for Porsche and the company instead decided to use it as the base for its upcoming supercar.
The Carrera GT’s engine, gearbox, and differential are mated to a carbon fiber subframe that bolts behind the seats. The chassis is made up of about 1,000 pieces of carbon fiber cloth cured under extreme temperatures and was made by the same company that made the chassis for the Ferrari Enzo. The car’s body panels are composed entirely of carbon fiber, as is the tub. The wheels are made of forged magnesium and weigh a third less than standard aluminum wheels. The front crush structure is made of aluminum and parts of the suspension are made of titanium. The beech wood shift knob (an homage to the 917 race car) sits slightly higher than traditional shift knobs as Porsche felt that a shifter closer to the steering wheel would enhance the driving experience.
With an initial launch price of about $450,000, the Carrera GT was slow to move out of dealers, especially when you could drive out with a fully loaded 911 for about $150,000. After production stopped, the price of the car dipped a little before hitting rock bottom during the 2008 recession. At that time, many buyers were able to acquire this future classic for between $200,000 and $300,000 – a far cry from today’s prices.
The stratospheric rise in prices for not only the Carrera GT, but for any ‘analog’ supercar of the 1990s and 2000s, can be mainly attributed to the fact that virtually all supercars and hypercars rolling out of assembly lines today are either paddle-shifted or have hybrid powertrains.
Collectors and enthusiasts can see the writing on the wall that the day of the ‘analog’ car is over, and if you want a driving experience that makes you feel as though you are one with the car you’ll have to look into the past and not the future.
This particular Carrera GT is one of the lowest mileage examples in the world, if not the lowest, with 27 miles on the clock. The wonderfully appointed Terracotta leather interior is accented by carbon fiber panels throughout and is wrapped by a gorgeous GT Silver Metallic body. It is number 0154 of 1,270 produced and is as perfect as the day it rolled out of the assembly line – a true museum piece with a proud heritage and racing lineage that only Porsche can deliver.