"We recently stumbled upon the trailer for the forthcoming documentary on the making of Steve McQueen's 1970 passion project Le Mans. If you're reading this you probably know a fair bit about the story. It was a madly complex production shot "
911 Sportomatic Barn Find
We check out a rare piece of 911 investment potential
When we heard there was a rare 911 barn find hidden in the Hertfordshire countryside, we rushed down there to get it on film in all its patinated glory.
Dealer Ludovic Parayre will likely put it up for auction in early September and expects a lot of interest in the car which, with its ‘Sportomatic’ transmission, is the precursor to the later Tiptronic Porsches.
Back in 1968 Porsche wanted to create something which would live up to its GT status and be practical in traffic whilst retaining the sporty ethos of the manual box. This is what they came up with. A car with a manual transmission and no clutch pedal.
The car was loved by some. 911 racing veteran Vic Elford had a 911 S Sportomatic “company car” which he also used to tow his caravan whilst on the racing circuit. Vic has only fond memories, telling us:
“The Sportomatic meant no clutch problems…I towed comfortably on the autoroutes, autobahns, autostradas in France, Germany, Italy at 75/80 mph! and virtually always won the Traffic Light Grand Prix wherever we were!”
It was hated by others though, as this 1970 ‘Car and Driver’ review makes clear:
“… we don’t like it. We understand the reasons for it, but we disagree and we don’t like it.”
As a result many of the innovative dry vacuum clutches were ripped out in the 1980s and replaced with a regular clutch and manual transmission.
So to find a right hand drive model this early with its original box is very rare.
Historic Porsche prices are at an all time high right now – especially 911s – so this vehicle is a serious piece of long-term investment gold (probably better than gold actually).
So if you’re into appreciating metal then check out our short film of this rare piece of 911 history that after 205,000 miles still has all its own teeth!
For purchase info contact Ludovic A. Parayre at www.lap63.co.uk
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