1964 Porsche 904
1964 Porsche 904
1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS
Model 904 Carrera GTS
Type Two-door, Two-Seat FIA GT Sports Car
Completed February 1964
Production Sequence No. 49 of 126 Examples Completed
Chassis No. 904-049
Original Engine No. P*99038* (Type 547/3)
Current Engine No. *6141730* (Installed by Porsche Factory During Restoration on January 24th, 1997)
Original Gearbox No. 904-050 (Type 904/0)
Current Gearbox No. 904-105 (Type 904/0)
Exterior Color Silver Metallic
Interior Color Blue/Grey
Ordering Dealer Porsche Sonauto Paris, France
Delivered New March 3rd, 1964
In Warranty Date March 3rd, 1964
End Warranty Date March 4th, 1964
Dunlop Racing Tires (165 x 15)
Special ordered new by Porsche Sonauto Paris, France
Sold to Jean-Claude Mosnier La Mulatiere, Lyon, France
Sold to Jacky Dechaumel Paris, France
Sold to Manfred Freisinger Karlsruhe, Germany
Sold to Dennis Haney Las Vegas, Nevada
Sold to Jose Manuel Segimon Zurich, Switzerland
Sold to Lucy Allani London, England
Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Background
After having retired from F1 & F2 competition at the end of the 1962 season, Porsche focused again on SportsCar racing. The 904 debuted late in 1963, for the 1964 racing season, as a successor to the 718, which had been introduced in 1957. Porsche designed the GTS variant to compete in theFIA-GT class at various international racing events. The street-legal version debuted in 1964 in order to comply with FIA's Group 3 homologation regulations requiring a certain number of road-going variants be sold by the factory. Porsche produced 106 (Some sources site 109 examples as there were several that were "recycled" in period and some rebuilt and issued same/old chassis numbers.)
For the US market the 904 had an initial list price of $7245 (FOB Stuttgart). Orders just exceeded the one hundred car requirement to satisfy homologation rules and more cars could readily have been sold, however Porsche had other plans and improvements in mind for the replacement 906 which was already on the drawing boards. The 904 marked the beginning of a series of sportscars that eventually culminated in the mighty all conquering 917K first introduced in 1969
The 904's mid-engine layout was inherited from the 718, also known as the RSK, the factory's leading race car up to that point. It was powered by the 1,966cc, Type 587/3, four-cam, air-cooled, flat four-cylinder engine producing 200bhp. The design of which is considered buy many to probably be the most complex four-cylinder engine ever designed and put into production. The 2.0-liter engine drove a five-speed transmission with a standard 4.428:1 final drive ratio, with optional available ratios of 4.605, 4.260, 3.636, and 3.362. The original engine design began as the Type 547, its development first taking shape in 1953, when the previous VW-based 1,100cc, flat-four, used in the contemporary 356 hit the limit of its potential. Porsche realized it needed something all-new and it came in the form of the brainchild of Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann, later Technical Director of Porsche Racing. He initially hoped to achieve an unheard of 70bhp out of a 1500cc engine. Relying on hemispherical combustion chambers and two 46 mm, 46IDA3 dual-choke Weber carburetors, the engine was actually able to produced 100 to 115bhp depending on application and choice of cam, engine timing and allowable rpm applications. The new 1.5-liter engine weighed in at only 310lbs (140kgs) and eventually was producing nearly 180bhp in its final 1500cc form. Then engine featured a complex design that proved very expensive and time consuming to build but very durable. It was such a success that over a very short period of time, it was used in 34 different models, including the well-known 550 Spyders, 356 Carreras, and even Porsches short lived F1 and F2 programs.
The 904 was the first Porsche to use a ladder chassis and fibreglass inner and outer body appearing more like specialist racing cars than the modified sports cars typical of the period. The fibreglass body was bonded to its steel chassis for extra rigidity, and achieved a drag coefficient of only 0.34cd. While many German race cars had used unpainted aluminium bodies since the famous "Silver Arrows" of the 1930s, most 904s were painted silver, the German National racing colors. Unusually for Porsche, the two-seater bodies were provided by outside contractors, which would later become standard practice amongst race car builders. The 904's fibreglass body was made by spraying chopped fibreglass into a mold, the amount sprayed often varied in thickness over the shape of the car and as a result the weight of the various cars was somewhat inconsistent; some were heavier than others. Race-prepared four-cylinder 904s weighed in at approximately 1,443lbs (655kgs) and the low weight gave the 904 the ability to accelerate to 62mph (100kmph) from a standstill in less than six seconds! They were also easily able to reach a top speed of 160mph (260kmph)
The Porsche 904 rode on coil springs (the first Porsche not to use trailing arm front and swingaxle rear suspension) with unequal-length A-arms in front. The wheelbase was 2,300mm and handling and with it's mid-enigne design unlike anything before and regarded for some time thereafter as an industry benchmark.
904-049 (Individual History)
This particular 904 Carrera GTS was production sequence number 46 of 126 total examples completed. It was a completely standard example ordered new by the renown, Paris, France Porsche Distributor, Sonauto on behalf of their client, Jean-Claude Mosnier of Lyon, France who registered the car on Paris, France plates "7610 RP 75." The ordered specified completion in time for an entry in the April, 1964 Le Mans testing sessions as well as follow on entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans later in June of that year. Wearing race number 70, Mosnier was paired up with veteran driver André de Cortanze. The two drove well and managed a 24th place finish but further testing resulted in an accident which required the car to be returned to the Porsche Factory for repairs. The car remained officially entered for the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year but repairs were delayed which ultimately saw the car being withdrawn from that year's race.
Upon completion of repairs, this Porsche was sold to Paris resident and racer, Jacky Dechaumel. Dechaumel would go on to race this 904 for five very successful season, finally retiring the car in 1969. (A complete listing of this 904's race results can be found below.)
The car's next owner was famous German Porsche Collector, Racer and Restorer, Manfred Freisinger of Karlsruhe, Germany. From there this Porsche joined the collection of Las Vegas resident, Dennis Haney. In 1990, the car was offered for sale at the Brooks, Monaco auction. The car then joined the collection of Jose Manuel Segimen of Zurich, Switzerland. Segimen later arranged for a comprehensive and complete restoration at Porsche Client Services. During the restoration, a 2.7-liter 911 derived, six-cylner engine was fitted by Porsche along with a correct 904 gearbox No. 904-105. The only other item replaced during the restoration was a newly fabricated dry-sump, oil tank to replace the original damaged one. After the completion of the restoration, the car was sold to the London resident, Lucy Allani. During a long stay in the UK, the car was regularly cared for and serviced at famed DK Engineering. In 2014, this Porsche was quietly sold, returning once again to the Unites States where it joined a very prominent and equally quiet and secluded Porsche collection where it has remained until its recent arrival at our faculty in San Diego, California.
This particular Porsche 904 has rarely ever been seen publicly since last raced nearly 50 years ago. Other than an appearance in 1990 at the Brooks Monaco Auction and several local private showings, this 904 has had very little public exposure. Despite this, it is one of the most original examples left in existence and an extremely well documented example. It further has the distinction of having an excellent early Sonauto delivery and excellent, well documented race history. Excellent documentation from new, including both pages of the original Porsche KARDEX, Porsche Factory Restoration Receipts and a new Certificate of Authenticity from the Porsche Factory further documents and confirms this rare machines condition and history going back to new.