The Unsung Hero: 924 GTS Clubsport

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It might not typically be the first model that comes to mind when it comes to Porsche’s motorsport lineage, but the 924 proved to be a serious competitor in multiple classes once engineers were tasked with massaging Porsche’s first front-engined, water-cooled offering to be ready for competition. The 924 homologation examples were particularly exciting, although often overlooked. 

When it came time for Porsche to plan its racing program for the 1981 season, it was faced with an unusual dilemma. The 936 was outdated and deemed obsolete, and the 911 based 935 was still being raced extensively by privateers, especially in IMSA. The 924 became the motorsports division’s next project, and with little delay, the Carrera GT was homologated to compete in F.I.A. Group 4 competition. The Carrera GTS was produced as an evolution model of the 924 Carrera GT within Group 4 regulations and intended strictly for competition. The FIA only required 50 new examples, and according to historian and racer Jurgen Barth, Porsche stopped production at 59 GTS examples with a price tag of $55,900 in 1981- nearly double the price of the earlier 924 Carrera GTs.

The GTS Clubsport was the ultimate evolution of the 924 GTSs. The trimmed every bit of excess weight that could be found through the use of plastic door windows with sliding panels, thinner and lighter front windshield, and a molded clear Plexiglas rear hatch. A functional air intake duct on the hood was incorporated into the fiberglass hood, and conventional latches gave way to racing hold-down pins. The suspension was upgraded from torsion bars and steel shocks to Bilstein coil-overs at all four corners, the stock steel rear semi-trailing arms replaced with cast light-alloy, and the ventilated and cross-drilled disc brakes came from the 930 Turbo parts bin. The uprated GTR five-speed transaxle with a 40 percent limited-slip was cooled with an additional radiator. Inside, the interior features a Matter-fabricated alloy roll cage, 935 racing seats with full harnesses, and a suede-wrapped steering wheel. Finally, the bore was increased slightly to 2,093 cc and a larger intercooler helped to produce 280 horsepower. It was capable of 0-60 in 5.2 seconds and reached a top speed of 160mph, making it the fastest production car that Porsche had ever built at the time. 

In this video, Tim Kuhn delves into the history and evolution of the 924 into the venerable 924 GTS Clubsport.

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