Back in the early 1960’s, Porsche was not yet known in racing as it is today, or even in the sports car world, despite having had a presence in Formula One. Its time had not yet come. With the introduction of the 1963 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, Porsche offered its buyers the only dual purpose road and race-ready cars the company ever produced, and a fantastic car in every respect. Porsche produced 120 of these fiberglass-bodied cars; 90 were offered for sale and quickly snapped up, leaving Porsche 30 ‘free’ cars with which to race. It garnered many racing honors, including the famous Targa Florio, class wins at Le Mans and an excellent second-place showing at the Monte Carlo Rally.
The Porsche 904 Carrera GTS was incredibly fast, especially if you think to remember that this car was made in 1963. Not 2003 or 2013. 1963. Powered by a seemingly humble 2-liter, double overhead camshaft Boxer-type four-cylinder engine, it could reach a top speed of 160 miles per hour and accelerate 0-60 in a breath-taking 5.7 seconds. This is due in great part not only to the engine’s power, but also to the car’s reduced weight.
The Porsche 904 Carrera GTS was produced over 2 years, from 1963 to 1964, and has the distinction of being the ultimate predecessor of the mighty Porsche 917, which won Le Mans in 1970 and 1971.