1998 Porsche GT1 Wall Art by Alfred Newbury
What makes Porsche drivers and collectors drool over a Porsche like this?
Let's find out.
McLaren's dominant success at the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans may have had a greater long-term effect on Porsche, because it was only after the lauded McLaren F1 GTR finished in three of the top four places, including First Overall and 1-2-3 in class, that Porsche felt compelled to completely reinvest its energies in sports car competition.
With GT car racing returning to Le Mans in recent years, Porsche had sent factory 962 prototypes to the Dauer racing team for competition, though Zuffenhausen maintained technical control of the cars and supplied the drivers.
Despite the covert corporate initiative, these so-called Dauer 962 GT examples performed admirably, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994.
However, when pitted against the prodigious McLaren at the Sarthe race a year later, the thirteen-year-old 962 platform was obviously outclassed.
Six weeks after the defeat in 1995, Porsche management announced its intention to relaunch its factory-based GT racing program with the development of a brand new car that could directly compete with the McLaren F1.
Norbert Singer, a well-known Porsche engineer, was entrusted with designing the new car, which had to maintain simple 911 characteristics.
Singer began with the front end of a 993-based 911 and grafted it to the rear end of a 962, building a new tubular frame designed for mid/rear engine positioning and a rear transaxle in order to avoid the extensive process of crash testing that an all-new chassis would entail.
Singer packed a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter water-cooled flat-six engine with 600 horsepower into this frame.
The outer packaging was completed with a futuristic 911-inspired carbon fiber shell.
The resulting first-generation 911 GT1 race car made its debut at the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the two factory cars finished Second and Third Overall and First and Second in Class, respectively.
Following the 1996 season, the FIA noticed that GT racing was still alive and well, so it purchased the fledgling BPR Global Endurance Challenge and renamed it the FIA World GT Championship.
Porsche further prepared the GT1 for the 1997 season with aerodynamic tweaks to the bodywork and a suspension revision, despite the fact that it was only qualified for the series because it had customer car orders in hand and physical homologation had yet to take place.
The updated racer, now known as the 911 GT1 Evolution (Evo), featured the headlights that would characterize the 996-platform 911 and faced a formidable new rival in the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR.
While the GT1 Evo failed to win at the 1997 Le Mans, another season of improvement, which included the incorporation of a weight-reducing carbon fiber frame, resulted in a blistering success at Sarthe in 1998, with the revamped 911 GT1-98 taking a commanding one-two finish over McLaren, Toyota, and Panoz teams.
Though development of the 911 GT1 Evo continued during the 1997 season, Porsche began production of a small number of homologated customer cars in October, with the goal of producing no more than 30 cars.
These so-called street models, or Straßenversion, included minor improvements from the Evo race car, such as a higher ride height for greater ground clearance, a slightly weaker suspension, more practical road gear ratios, and a milder engine tuning.
The interior, which featured upholstered sport seats and carpeting as well as a trimmed dashboard borrowed from the 993-platform 911, was the most visible difference.
The Street edition GT1 was capable of 194 mph and 3.6-second 0–60 mph sprints when it was launched in early 1998, and it cost $912,000.
The 911 GT1 is a rally car tuned for road use, not vice versa, according to modern journalists.
The Porsche GT1 Street version was made in a limited number of just 25 units, much less than the McLaren F1 that inspired it. It sits between two of Porsche's greatest road cars, the 959 and the Carrera GT, and occupies a unique historic link in the marque's supercar lineage.
If you are in the market to buy one of these rolling works of art, you can expect to part with over $8.5 million before tax.
Instead of creating an extinction level event in your bank account when buying a 1998 Porsche GT1, you can instead, now for a limited time own this beautifully illustrated Porsche art print for next to nothing by comparison, and pass on spending your golden years working at the golden arches.
Offered at only 84.95 this museum grade velvet fine art print measures 13x19, has a thickness of 19 mil and has a g/m weight of 260!
This exceptional print is ideal for framing and comes numbered and hand signed by Alfred Newbury.
Now you can bring this beautiful 1998 Porsche Carrera GT1 home, and give yourself the thrill and triumph you know this masterpiece will give you every time you look at it.