Up, up and away, and a Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport…

As a result of my recent encounter with a white, Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport (two weeks ago at Cars&Coffee/Irvine), and after researching the history of these cars, I  have a renewed appreciation for just how rare these cars are and have become since their introduction back in 1981.

Looking back, my first encounter with a 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport occurred back in August 1982, at the Monterey Historics event hosted at Laguna Seca Raceway. We had made the trip up to Monterey for the weekend, to experience and celebrate Porsche being the featured manufacturer for 1982.  Little did I know at the time how few of these cars existed, or the impact that this particular model would have on my memory of that weekend.

It was by sheer accident that my dad and I came across this pair of red Porsche 924’s parked side by side in the infield. We had been walking through the infield to access a different section of the race track when we spied these two cars, and quickly realized they were not your average Porsche 924.  A close up inspection revealed one to be a 924 Carrera GT, and the second, the race inspired GTS Club Sport model.

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GT & GTS Club Sport_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

I was immediately drawn to the GTS, given its stripped down, race derived look and feel. I have always been a die-hard Porsche 911 fan, but this was a car I admired for its purpose-built intent and aesthetic. It didn’t hurt that its Fuchs alloy wheels and brakes were taken from the 911, or that its trailing arms were cast aluminum instead of the standard steel units, to shave weight yet still retain strength. Its suspension was also altered by the removal of the standard torsion bar setup, and replaced with a more performance derived coil over shock setup. For the interior, a pair of racing seats sourced from the Porsche 935 parts bins were used, along with a full roll cage designed and crafted to meet the rigors of competition and conform to the Group 4 homologation requirements. Ironically, the aforementioned parts when combined with a higher output motor (275 hp vs. 245), and applied to a base Carrera GTS model, created what came to be known as the 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport.

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_rear view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_3/4 rear view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_3/4 rear view2_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_3/4 front view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

I never realized what constituted the difference between a base 924 GTS and the Club Sport model, until I decided to research the car after encountering and photographing the white GTS Club Sport recently at Cars&Coffee / Irvine. Even with the internet, it’s hard to beat the old school method of fact-finding through the use of books. And my books of choice for studying and researching all things Porsche, have been the three-volume set written by Karl Ludvigsen; Excellence was Expected. These book have proven invaluable for providing me with information, in addition to establishing a perspective and context regarding the history and significance to many of the Porsches I have been fortunate enough to see in person and photograph.

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GT_rear view&TFA toys_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

The second 924 to this pairing (as seen above), was a Carrera GT, complete with a trunk full of stuffed cars, and that possessed an interesting story. The owner of the car turned out to be none other than Southern California-based race driver Margie Smith-Haas, and who was also the owner /designer behind the company TFA (Toys for Adults). Their speciality was the design and manufacturing of the stuffed cars as seen in the 924’s trunk. For this event, she was showcasing a variety of her firms Porsche offerings, but they also produced other makes of cars and various race cars of the day, all in a variety of different sizes and color. Shortly after, our household became the owners of  two of Margie’s creations; one a stuffed, yellow Porsche 911, and a bit later for my son, a Rothmans Porsche 956.

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GT_Margie Smith Haas detailing_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

The owner, Margie Smith Haas, taking a moment to detail her car…

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GT & GTS Club Sport_aerial view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_front view_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

Red Porsche 924 Carrera GTS Club Sport_3/4 front view w/ balloon_Monterey Historics _Laguna Seca_Aug 82

So I now have another Porsche to add to my vehicle spotting list,  along with the running tally of my ongoing Porsche GT3 RS4.0 sightings. Given the much smaller number of 924 Carrera GTS Club Sports built versus the GT3 RS4.0 (15 vs. 600), I feel very fortunate to have seen two 924 GTS Club Sport models in person so far. Now only 13, GTS Club Sports to go, compared to my 591 remaining GT3 RS4.0’s…

(All photos by the author)

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