1966 Porsche 904
Year of manufacture1966
Porsche’s Type 904, officially called the Carrera GTS, succeeded the RSK Type 718 as the last sports-racing iteration of the 356 series. Developed after Porsche left Formula One in 1962, the 904 (as it soon became popularly known) was also the last full-competition Porsche that could be readily driven on the street. The 904 was designed by Ferdinand Alexander 'Butzi' Porsche III at age 28 and had to be functional and sustainable, as FIA rules mandated 100 examples to be built. A chassis of steel pressings embraced the well-proven, four-cam flat-four Carrera engine, which was now mid-mounted. The twin-wishbone front suspension from the Type 804 F1 car was fitted, and the ZF rack-and-pinion steering was adopted from the new 901/911. Zero to 60 mph could be accomplished in as little as 5.5 seconds, and the 904 could be geared for 160 mph, with four-wheel ATE disc brakes quickly bringing the car to a stop. To save weight, the sleek body shell was made of fibreglass. The twin bucket seats were fixed in place, but the beautiful cast alloy pedals were adjustable, and Porsche made several seat sizes available to suit varied driver heights. In 1965, several examples were fitted with Type 901 six-cylinder engines (904/6), and even a few eight-cylinder, Type 771, 225-brake horsepower, 2.0-litre cars (904/8) were built. Competing in Sicily’s twisty 1964 Targa Florio, a pair of 904s finished ahead of the bigger-engine Ferraris and Shelby Cobras; it would not be the first time Porsche’s “giant killers” accomplished that feat. Fifty cars were required for official homologation in FIA-GT Group 3; although, it is believed that more than 100 examples of the 904, in various configurations, were actually built.
This bespoke 904/6 GTS recreation has been finished to a staggering degree of detail. The fastidious owner, himself a skilled Porsche enthusiast, went to incredible lengths to ensure the build was as true and accurate to the original cars as possible. Completed over the course of four years from 2009-2013, this left-hand drive 904/6 GTS was a collaboration between the vendor and Martin & Walker, the country's leading Porsche 904 GTS experts. In the words of the experts, this car is: "an exacting reproduction of the legendary Porsche 904/6, considered by many to be the most beautiful car ever built by Porsche... In developing the Technic 904 we set out to reproduce not only the aesthetics of this wonderful car but also the performance and feel, to this end we only build cars to take Porsche engines and use Porsche mechanical components throughout." As a small company making hand-built cars, Martin & Walker only produce a handful a year, each built to individual order and to the customer's exacting specification.
The vendor's specification was to create: "a car that looked like one of the original 4-cam models that had been converted to a 6-cyliner engine," as many were in period. The bodywork is original specification glass fibre with moulds having been taken from an original 904, the chassis is an accurate copy of the original box section pressed steel perimeter chassis. The engine is a 2.5 litre short-stroke twin plug engine, based on a 2.7 911 crankcase with 2.2 crank and 10:5:1 JE pistons producing 220bhp @ 7800rpm. It is equipped with a pair of triple-choke Weber 40IDA's and has a lightened flywheel along the lines of the factory 911R/906 and alloy clutch pressure plate. In addition the gearbox is a close ratio 5-speed 914 transmission with 904 mainshaft and there are two choices of exhaust, either open megaphones or a slightly quieter street exhaust (copied from an original). In essence, there is very little on this car that differs from 1 of the 120 original examples. Even the interior is a work of art with correct switchgear/instrument layout and correct Les Leston wooden steering wheel. Total weight comes to a correct 700 kilograms.
Anyone who either owns an original 904/6 GTS or simply aspires to, is urged to take a closer look at this car. Registered in the UK and dated as a 1966 Porsche, it is both the owner's and our belief that with minor changes, specifically the rear brakes to solid discs and smaller callipers, along with an original-spec 2.0 litre engine, it should be possible to obtain HTP papers allowing the car to be used in historic events. Accompanying the history file is a large number of pictures detailing the build, bills for parts, a current MoT certificate and a copy of a 904 GTS driver's manual. Very rarely does a recreation come up for sale that is indistinguishable from the original car in both looks and mechanical experience. This fantastic 904-6 does just that without the buyer having to spend over 1 million pounds for a real one.