From the inception of the marque, Porsche’s success was largely influenced by their conquests in competition from both privateers and factory entries. Special variants of their production cars were tailored to Porsche’s clients who wished for a sports car that could be driven regularly on the road and would perform at a very high level at road races. With the rapidly growing popularity of motorsports in the 1950s, the number of high-performance production 356 variants constructed with the racetrack in mind grew to meet that demand.
Beginning in 1955, the 356 Carrera with Ernst Fuhrmann’s potent four-cam engine set the bar for performance in the model lineup. 356 Carrera models account for over 1,000 examples from the total 356 productions making them rare and sought after by collectors and connoisseurs, but one version of the 356 is much rarer and few ever come to market: the 356B Super 90 GT.
Only 14 examples of the 356 Super 90 were ordered and produced with the lightweight GT package for racing- just five examples in 1960 and nine in 1961. All 14 examples were constructed as Carrera GTs and were prepared to receive the 1600cc four-cam engines but given the tremendous expense to develop and produce the complex engines, Porsches supply was low and the decision was made to install the powerful and torquey pushrod Super 90 engines into the cars, only as Porsche was set to deliver and fulfill the ordered Super 90 GTs. Additionally, the pushrod 1600cc Super engine was easier to service and was often more reliable.
The Super 90 GTs featured the same construction as the Carrera GTs- lightweight aluminum body panels with the louvered rear engine lid, a factory roll bar, an 80-liter fuel tank, a heated windshield, plexiglass windows, leather-strap window lifts, RSK-type brakes, Speedster seats, and minimal soundproofing and undercoating. Additionally, the Carrera coil switches and holes for “Carrera plumbing” were left unused. The weight saving measures paid off and in the end the Super 90 GT weighed 200 pounds less than a standard coupe, and 150 pounds lighter than the four-cam equipped Carrera GT. Despite being cheaper and easier to service than its Carrera GT counterparts, it was offered with a hefty base price of $5,551.
This example, chassis #110856 was specially ordered in Condor Yellow by the famous Dutch Porsche dealer and racer Ben Pon. Of the 14 produced, it is the only Super 90 GT that was delivered in this special color. Ben Pon campaigned the car in a handful of events in 1960, claiming first and second place in class victories at each.
While in the ownership of Bill Perrone, it was kept in good overall condition as a race car and was painted silver. It was restored in the late 1980s into the early 1990s for Charlie Hunter by Weldon Scrogham with tremendous attention to detail and correctness. Following its restoration, it was featured on the cover of Porsche restoration expert Cole Scrogham’s book titled Porsche 356 Carrera- The Four-Cam Production Cars, as well as being displayed at the Porsche Parade Concours with Charlie Hunter.
It was repainted its original color of Condor Yellow and was reassembled with the correct and original trim, including small rivet horn vents, Plexiglas windows with the logo engraved, the correct Reutter badge behind the passenger side fender, European lighting, and headlight stone guards. The numbers matching aluminum engine hood with cold air boxes and the front bonnet were retained and evidenced by the three digits vin stamps. The interior is one of the most correct that we have seen. It was restored using new old stock black leatherette upholstery with corduroy seat inserts and the correct piping, crushed vinyl flooring, the switch and light for the heated windshield, and a new old stock headliner.
The engine and transmission were built by Jack Staggs and Tony Smetona, both legends in 356 circles, who were responsible for building the driveline for chassis #110856. Super 90 Engine number 800465 (seven digits away from the original engine #800472) was built with 86mm big bore Nikasil cylinders and pistons for more torque and power across the entire RPM range. The attention to detail extends to the engine compartment, with all of the correct hardware and lines- down to the rare and correct air cleaner bolts and hardware for the Super 90 heads that are drilled for safety wire. The transaxle was built will taller 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears to take advantage of the increase in power and torque.
356B Super 90 GT chassis #110856 is an incredible example of one of the rarest 356 models ever produced, made even more special with its special order Condor Yellow paintwork, race history, and correctness. It was brought up to FIA regulations in 2017 by Tuthill Porsche in the UK, making it eligible for vintage racing events if its new owner and caretaker wishes to experience all of this unique Super 90 GT’s on-track agility and performance.
1960 season race history with Ben Pon
June 4-5, 1960 St Eugene 2nd overall and class
July 9, 1960 Green Acres 2nd in class
July 23, 1960 Harewood Acres 1st in class
August 27, 1960 Green Acres 2nd overall and class
One of 14 examples produced between 1960 and 1961
Ordered by famous Porsche dealer and Dutch racer Ben Pon
Ordered in Special Color Condor Yellow (only T5 GT painted in Condor Yellow)
Numbers-Matching aluminum opening panels (stamped with last three digits of the VIN #856)
Headlight stone guards
80 Liter GT fuel tank
Correct GT roll bar
Correct GT interior
Correct date stamped wheels
Correct hardware and finishes
Owners manual, cover, Super 90 supplement, tool kit
Big-Bore engine and transmission with taller gears built by Jack Staggs and Tony Smetona
Originally delivered with Super 90 engine #800472 and now has Super 90 engine #800465 (seven away from the original engine)
Featured on the cover of Cole Scrogham’s book titled Porsche 356 Carrera- The Four-Cam Production Cars
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