This Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe is a very special 911. It is also unique, fitting the definition of the word, as the model is a true one-to-one construction.
If you have lived the entire 997 generation of Porsche 911 in Europe, you may know the model called ‘911 Sport Classic’. It was an extremely rare Euro-only version of the 911 that featured retro styling and an exorbitant asking price. The 911 Classic Club Coupe you see here is a restoration project by Porsche Classic and the Porsche Club of America that bears a deep resemblance to the 911 Sport Classic. Don’t confuse it with a replica of that car though, as it’s a completely different beast underneath.
The 911 Classic Club Coupe began life as an unloved and unkempt 1998 Porsche 911 Carrera from Columbia, Virginia. Think of it as a donor body because just about everything else in this 996 generation 911 is different than when it was new.
After Porsche completely disassembled the donor car, the body was reinforced with both original and new parts, making this 996 theoretically a combination of new and old technology. The vitals that make this 911 are as cool as they can be for a 996. Porsche assembled the engine, chassis and brakes from a 996.2 911 GT3 to the Classic Club Coupe. That means it now drives around with a 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 381 horsepower. In addition, it fully complies with all American regulations – Porsche has made sure of that.
There was even a test and validation phase in the project. Porsche made a test vehicle and subjected it to test drives in Weissach in Germany, Nardo in Italy and Idiada in Spain. It underwent top speed tests, wind tunnel tests and met all Porsche standards. However, after the tests were completed, Porsche disassembled the test car to make sure that the single Classic Club Coupe is really the only one in existence.
If we go beyond the background of this project, there is plenty to discuss about the design of the car. Starting with the exterior, the Classic Club Coupe features a hand-built ducktail spoiler that is reminiscent of the 1972 911 Carrera RS 2.7. It has a double bell roof, 18-inch forged aluminum Fuchs wheels and the body is finished in Sport Gray Metallic. This is accentuated by stripes in a lighter shade of Sport Gray Metallic and accents in Club Blue. All these colors are intended to recall the 997 911 Sport Classic.
Inside, the Classic Club Coupe features black leather, slate gray trim and an Alcantara headlining. Those black leather seats have a twill “Pepita” pattern, and Club Blue stitching covers the steering wheel and headrests. A Porsche Classic infotainment system is equipped for modern convenience, enabling both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration as well as Sirius XM. Porsche even programmed the screen to display “Classic Club Coupe” on startup. However, Porsche says the biggest challenge has been to fit all of its new materials into the geometry of the 996 interior, which was never made to house them.
There is no dollar amount to this recovery process, but rest assured the cost would be absurd. From start to finish, Porsche Classic took 2½ years. It’s an example of what Porsche’s Sonderwunsch program is capable of, and it’s hard not to be impressed by the attention to detail. If you were at the Amelia Concours d’Elegance earlier this month, you also got a taste of this real-life car, as Porsche had been surreptitiously displaying it on its booth.