You Can Buy This Porsche 904 GTS Next Week!
It'll be part of Bonhams' Scottsdale Auction, estimated to bring between 2 and 2.5 million dollars
I'm a sucker for a good 904. This has been my personal favorite Porsche design since I first laid eyes on one years and years ago. The design is about as pure as you can get, it's unfettered with fancy bodywork, it looks simply as a cloth pulled taut over a fuel cell, passenger compartment, double-wishbone suspension at all four corners, and twin-cam flat four cylinder engine, with a minimal kammtail ostensibly for aerodynamic effect. It was a design crafted by Butzi Porsche in a very short period of time and was in production the following year. The actual number is disputed, but something between 104 and 120 Porsche 904s were built for both road and race use. It was a dominant car in its day, winning dozens of races in the mid-1960s, and was successfully campaigned by privateers through the mid-1970s. In the annals of Porsche history, this car deserves to be remembered fondly.
The car featured for sale is a late production 904, and is believed to be the only one to have left the factory in "Light Ivory", though unfortunately it has been repainted in dark blue since. Aside from the paintwork, this car features a remarkably original presentation, as it is fitted with its original Type 587/3 Fuhrmann 4-cam engine and many other original-fitment parts. This car was sold originally to the United States through the famed Brumos dealership in Jacksonville, Florida. The original owner was one J. L. Brundage (possibly related to Hubert Brundage, founder of BRUndage MOtorS), who quickly sold the car to a local racer named Ted Tidwell. Tidwell then raced the car in various club races, placing second at an SCCA E-modified class race at Bainbridge, GA late in 1964, and shortly thereafter won the famed Chimney Rock Hillclimb outright. For the first half of 1965 Tidwell also raced 904-098, before switching to a different 6-cylinder powered 904 for the second half of 1965. By November of '65, Tidwell had offered the 904 for sale.
After Tidwell, the car was sold to Rip Ridley's Porsche dealer in Ithaca, NY, where the four-cam was separated from its chassis and sold to a buyer in Ohio. The chassis then moved on to GT Motorcars in Norwalk, CT where an earlier Type 547/4 engine (sourced from a 550 Spyder) was installed. The records are a little fuzzy, but it is believed that this is the time when the car received its current paintwork as well. A second owner was finally found for the car near the end of 1968 when it was purchased by Bruce Herrington of Virginia who road registered the car for the first time and kept the car as a companion for the next 20 years. In 1989, when Herrington sold the car, it was imported to Denmark by a collector based there. In 1992, the original engine (#99090) was sourced from another legendary Porsche collector, Warren Eads, where it was sitting in the back of his 718 RSK Spyder.
In all this time, the 904 has only accumulated a few thousand miles. The odometer currently reads 2,249 miles, but it has been reset once or twice over the years. Documentation leads Porsche historians to beleive that the real number is somewhere around 7,750 miles. The car has never been crashed, never needed extensive repairs, and has never been neglected. The fact that the car still features its original engine, original interior, and original bodywork makes it a rarity among 904s. Assuming you've got a few spare million to spend on a Porsche, you'd be lucky to end up with a car as nice as this 904. You can bet that this car would be welcome at most any vintage racing event, concours, or Porsche-specific events, so buy this in order to start preparing for Rennsport Reunion VI in a couple years. While the pre-auction estimate is currently set at between $2,000,000 and $2,500,000, I would not be at all surprised to see a mostly original car like this reach into the three-million range.
For more photographs and information, you can check out Bonhams' auction listing for the car, and it will be available for viewing as soon as next Tuesday at 9AM, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, Arizona. Happy bidding!