The 904 Carrera GTS was born of the company's disappointments in Formula One during the early 1960s, and was one of Porsche's most captivating sports racers of all time. Porsche commenced work on a new coupé in late 1962, with Butzi Porsche designing a light-weight fibreglass body that was mounted to a box frame for a semi-monocoque structure. Porsche was keen to utilise their new flat-six, the forthcoming 901 engine, but the motor was still not tested enough for a car that was intended primarily as a customer-based racer, so the proven Type 547 Carrera four-cam flat-four was chosen instead.
The 904 first appeared in the spring of 1964, and it went on to dominate the unfolding season, with class wins at Sebring, Spa, Nürburgring, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
This car was built in 1965 and was first delivered to a Volkswagen dealership in Iceland. The car was built using a "second series" chassis. This meant the car featured a new central filling fuel tank, short doors with pull-up (as opposed to sliding) windows, a reinforced chassis, updated brakes, and a reshaped tail with a slight lip. It is believed that just four cars were produced by Porsche as a Series II from new. As these cars were "end of the line" much more time and effort was taken to complete them and the upgrades improved the cars hugely making them very sought after.
The car was originally fitted with a 4-cam, 4 cyliner motor. The dealership in Iceland sold the 904 to Autohaus Walter von Hoff in Germany. In October of 1967, the car was sold to Dr. Carl Armstrong in Toledo, Ohio. It was delivered to the New York area and Armstrong drove it back to Ohio. At that time, the car was equipped with motor s/n 99 088. Dr. Armstrong left little to chance when it came to his new purchase and exhaustively informed himself about the maintenance of these cars.
Dr. Armstrong raced the car in Central Division SCCA races in 1968 and 1969. At that time, it was painted light blue with a dark blue hood and stripe on the tail section. Dr. Armstrong performed much of the pre-race preparation himself. During his racing career with the car it suffered slight damage on the driver's side front fender and the transmission case was sufficiently damaged to require a replacement 911 transmission. In addition, Dr. Armstrong had some trouble with blown head gaskets, eventually solving the problem with gaskets made by his brothe. Also the flywheel came loose on one occasion (at Waterford) and he went home, repaired the problem overnight, and raced the following day.
The following of Dr. Armstrong's race results with 904-107 have been documented by Jerry Pantis with the help of Jim Perrin:
August 24, # 90, 1st A Production - Waterford SCCA;
September 14, # 90, 2nd A Production - Waterford SCCA;
September 28, # 90, 1st A Production - Waterford SCCA;
October 6, # 90, 1st A Production - Steel Cities SCCA;
October 13, # 90, 4th A Production- Mid-Ohio SCCA;
In 1969 Armstrong acquired 906-129 and offered this 904 for sale.
From Carl Armstrong the car was sold to Robert Fergus, a car distributor and dealer living in Columbus, Ohio. Fergus, a noted collector, also owned a Ferrari Testa Rossa, s/n 0748, for a time. He acquired the 904 only for use as a road car. He installed carpets and 914 seats. In addition, he had the car painted white. He kept it for only a short time, selling it in 1971 to George "Gerry" Reilly, who was living in Florence, Alabama at the time.
A well-known Porsche collector, Reilly had owned a very original 550 Spyder, a Carrera Speedster, an RSK, and a long-tail 908. He later repainted the 904 in its original silver and reinstalled a proper 904 transmission, along with the original seats. He eventually fitted a 911 motor but kept the 4-cam (s/n 99 088), that had been with the car when it was delivered to Carl Armstrong.
Reilly would move to Wheelwrite, in the Boston area, and the 904 became very active in the Northeast. After about thirty years of ownership, Reilly decided to put the car up for sale and, in 2001, it was offered for sale through Paul Russell. The car was then sold with the aid of Weldon Scrogham, to Calvin Turner in Nashville, Tennessee. It had travelled only 22,000 km by then. It was in very original condition at that time. The 4-cam motor was refitted, after sitting for many years but, unfortunately, seized in a race at Summit Point. The car was then refitted, again, with a six-cylinder motor. And Motor s/n 99 088 was sold to Lothar Hoess for 904-100, the car in which that motor was originally delivered.
In 2005, the car was refitted with the 911 motor and an early 904 gearbox and was sold to Europe. In 2007 the car was purchased by the current owner and came to DK Engineering where a thorough but very sympathetic restoration was carried out in order to preserve the cars originality. Since then the car has been stored and maintained by DK Engineering. It is presented in exceptionally original condition with a very well known and well documented history that benefits from the more reliable and versatile 6 cylinder engine making it the ideal car to enjoy on the road.
The car is UK registered and available to view immediately.
Credit: The Porsche 904,906 & 910 in the Americas by Jerry Pantis.