2022 Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe No. 001/001

                In just two and a half years, a used 1998 911 Carrera (Type 996) was transformed into the Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe


                Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe, a one-of-one restoration project completed by Porsche Classic in collaboration with the Porsche Club of America (PCA). That this is a unique car will not surprise anyone who sees it, but a “No. 001/001” badge on the dashboard underscores its scarcity. A ducktail spoiler reminiscent of the 1972 911 Carrera RS 2.7, a double-bubble roof, 18-inch forged aluminum Fuchs wheels and unique paint combine to create a striking resemblance to the Type 997 911 Sport Classic. Those looks are only part of the story.

                The idea for this unique factory car arose during a meeting between representatives of the Porsche Club of America and Alexander Fabig, now Head of Individualisation and Classic at Porsche, and designer Grant Larson of Style Porsche. To keep it secret, the vehicle was known internally as "Project Grey," a nickname reminiscent of "Project Gold," the 911 Turbo (Type 993) with an air-cooled engine that Porsche Classic built in 2018 from original parts. However, the main source of inspiration for the 911 Classic Club Coupe was the 911 Sport Classic (Type 997) presented in 2009. With Sport Classic Grey paintwork, a double-dome roof, ducktail and exclusive interior details, this limited series quickly gained cult status and has long been a sought-after collector's item.



                Based on a 1998 911 Carrera, the chassis, brakes and engine in this sports car are both taken from the 996.2 911 GT3, the first such model homologated for sale in the U.S. Accordingly, the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter flat-six generates 381 horsepower.  The donor car, which PCA Executive Director Vu Nguyen found in a state of neglect in Colombia, Virginia, traveled to the Porsche Classic workshop near the main plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen where it was originally built. There, it went through a complete restoration including total disassembly, and strengthening of the body-in-white using both original and newly developed parts.

                The vehicle's special features include its Sport Grey Metallic paintwork, double-dome roof, Fuchs rims and fixed rear spoiler in the ducktail style of the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 from 1972. Many of the exterior and interior details are customised with PCA's signature Club Blue. The centre sections of the sports seats, like the door panels, are made of intricate woven leather in a Pepita houndstooth pattern. Technically - and to some extent visually - the vehicle has also been converted to a second-generation 911 GT3 including the 3.6-litre engine from that model generating 280 kW / 381 PS. The chassis and brakes also come from the GT3 of that generation.


Exterior


                Styling and design plans were finalized in parallel with the restoration process to keep the project on schedule. Input from the PCA and Porsche Classic in both Germany and the United States gave direction to the final car. 

                The double-dome roof is also a detail with a motorsport connection. Tall racing drivers used to bulge the roofs to make enough headroom for wearing a helmet - the modern roof design alludes to this. The Style Porsche design concept 911 Panamericana from 1989, the Carrera GT and the 911 Sport Classic also had a roof shaped like this. Today, the double-dome roof is a classic design feature of many limited series from Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur and the 911 GT models.

                The fixed rear spoiler made of glass-fibre-reinforced plastic takes the shape of the legendary "ducktail" of the 911 RS 2.7 from 1972. The third brake light is built into it. The model designation "Classic Club Coupe" appears in the middle between the tail lights.

                Experts from Porsche Individualization, Porsche Classic, and Style Porsche drew up proposals and regularly discussed them with the PCA over the course of the project, which took a total of two and a half years to complete.


Interior


                It might seem difficult to find a more extensive example of what is possible through the Sonderwunsch program until viewing the Classic Club Coupe interior. 

                The interior is sporty and sophisticated, and above all highly individual. This becomes clear as soon as you open the doors and see the "Classic Club Coupe" logo on the stainless steel door sill trims. Black leather dominates the interior in combination with slate grey, partially perforated Alcantara on the roof lining and pillars. The fact that the car is an absolute one-off is underlined by the "911 Classic Club Coupe No. 001/001" dashboard badge, mentioned earlier.

                The centre panels of the sports seats, like the door panels, bear a Pepita houndstooth pattern woven from black and slate grey leather. Porsche first used intricately woven leather in the 911 Sport Classic (Type 997). What's new here is that the Pepita look has been woven in a twill, which means that the fabric runs diagonally. Club Blue decorative stitching softens the classic look of the seats. "911 Classic Club Coupe" is embroidered in this contrasting colour in the headrests.

       


         The standard three-spoke steering wheel that was fitted in the 996 has been upgraded in the same way, with Club Blue thread and leather used for the decorative stitching on the rim and the 12 o'clock mark.

                The round instruments are customised in a similar way to the 911 Sport Classic. The rev counter, for example, has two grey stripes with lines on the sides in Club Blue and the "911 Classic Club Coupe" logo. The Porsche Classic Communication Management Plus (Sirius XM-ready) infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Google® Android Auto is also on board. By special request, the start screen on the seven-inch display was changed to show the vehicle designation "Classic Club Coupe".

                Bringing such an extensive project to life also required support from many parts of the company. The most intensive adaptation work took place on the special features of the 911 Classic Club Coupe: the double-bubble roof and the fixed rear spoiler. This meant the part of the body between the rear window and ducktail had to be handmade. The biggest challenge in the interior, on the other hand, was to match new materials with the geometry of the Type 996 interior.


How a used car was given a new lease of life



                The base vehicle is a black 911 Carrera, built in 1998. Neglected and in poor condition, it was parked at a dealership in Columbia, Virginia, where PCA executive director Vu Nguyen found it. The start of its second life began with a flight across the Atlantic. The 996 was transported to its home country and taken to the Porsche Classic workshop near the main plant in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen. As with a full restoration, the experts completely disassembled the vehicle. Inspired by the GT3, the bodyshell was rebuilt and strengthened using new original parts as well as newly developed components. For the chassis, as well as the brakes and powertrain, in other words the engine and manual transmission, the experts opted for second-generation components that were also available in the US.

                The design was carried out simultaneously to the restoration of the vehicle. The experts from Porsche Individualisation and Classic and from Style Porsche drew up proposals and regularly discussed them with the PCA.

                Naturally, the most intensive adaptation work took place on the special features of the 911 Classic Club Coupe: the double-dome roof and the fixed rear spoiler. This meant the part of the body between the rear window and ducktail had to be handmade. The biggest challenge in the interior, on the other hand, was to harmonise the strengths of the new material with the geometry of the surfaces in the 996's interior. This was where the many years of expertise of a saddler proved their worth.

                Standing in for the valuable one-off, a test vehicle went through extensive trial runs at test sites including Weissach in Germany, Nardò in Italy and Idiada in Spain. These included endurance runs at top speed. However, the test vehicle was dismantled, ensuring the final product is truly a one-off.

                The technical modifications to the 911 Classic Club Coupe were evaluated by a team of experts from Porsche Individualisation and Classic, Porsche Cars North America and the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach. The aerodynamics were tuned in the wind tunnel. The overall vehicle was approved after a road test by the Porsche Development Centre in Weissach.


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2022 Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe No. 001/001 2022 Porsche 911 Classic Club Coupe No. 001/001 Reviewed by Dang Nhan on March 22, 2022 Rating: 5

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