Porsche 996 GT3 Mk1
The ‘GT3’ nameplate was introduced in 1999 as part of the first generation of the Porsche 996 model range. It was produced to homologate the model for GT racing and the last to be hand built by Porsche Motorsport. As with Porsche’s previous 911 RS models, the 996 GT3 was focused on racing, and so was devoid of items that added unnecessary weight to the car.
The engine of the 996 GT3 set it apart from most of the other Porsche 996 models, although it shared the same basic design of the standard so-called ‘integrated dry sump’ flat-six engine. The engine is naturally aspirated and based on the unit used in the Porsche 962 and Porsche 911 GT1 race cars. That engine was known as the ‘Mezger’ engine, after its designer Hans Mezger.
To bring the vehicle’s track-prowess to the maximum level, Porsche endowed the GT3 with enlarged brakes, a lowered, re-tuned suspension system, lighter-weight wheels and a new front bumper with matched rear spoiler to help increase downforce, thereby increasing grip.
The car we sell
This first generation 996 GT3 can not be described in any other way than ‘as new’. It has covered a mere 635km since its delivery to the first owner in 2001, so the engine hasn’t even been broken in yet. It isn’t even low mileage, it’s practically no mileage… Originally delivered in Spain, it spent most of his life sitting in a collection in Mexico until it was sold to the current Belgian owner in 2016.
This is your chance to own a mint, rare and first of the breed GT3 in the same (if not better) condition than the day it left the factory. Only 1.868 units were ever built, and this is by miles the best I’ve seen so far.
5 good reasons to buy one of the first Porsche 996 GT3s by Elferspot:
1. The Porsche 996 GT3 is already a modern classic
The reactions of the industry to the fried egg headlights of the Porsche 996 are still echoing. Same goes for the cry of the die-hard air-cooled Porsche fans concerning the change to water-cooling. But the fact that the presentation of the first Porsche 911 GT3 took place more than 21 years ago seems somewhat surreal. Just to clarify: In 1999, you had to pay with the Deutsche Mark in Germany and Pesetas in Spain, Bill Clinton was president of the USA and Steffi Graf won the French Open. This is not to say that the GT3 genesis belongs to the old iron, but it’s already considered as a modern classic.
2. It still performs
Even in 2020, the performance of the Porsche 996 GT3 is quite remarkable. With Walter Röhrl at the wheel, the 996 GT3 was the first production car to complete a Nordschleife lap in less than eight minutes. It was also the first water-cooled 911 with a top speed of over 300 kph or 186 mph (302/306 kph).
Porsche’s GT3 homologation model is fired by a 3.6 liter Mezger engine, and accelerates from 0-62 mph in 4.8 seconds. Deceleration isn’t too bad either. With modern tires, it takes less than 36 meters to brake from 100 km/h to 0 km/h. Not at all bad for a car from the pre-flatscreen TV era… You can happily rev out a Porsche 996 GT3 without having to worry about losing your license already in second gear.
While it is true that a Porsche 992 Carrera S outperforms the 996 GT3 in every measurable way, but crucial difference between them is about how they deliver the power. We are talking about a proper, naturally aspirated engine of the olden days. Its basic construction goes back to the Porsche 962 and was a real tech-fest in its time. Thanks to titanium con-rods, the rev-limiter hits at 7,800 rpm for the 996.1 and 8,200 rpm for the 996.2. Staggering numbers for a 20th century road car.
Offering 'just' 360 or 381 hp respectively, the Porsche 996 GT3 is the only 911 GT3 that you can put through its paces even on public roads without having to worry too much about losing your license. That way you can enjoy the charismatic sound of the six-cylinder boxer engine at the rear to the max.
3. Its weight
Weight is the biggest killer in automotive engineering. More weight means worse acceleration, fuel-consumption, handling, etc. Hence, weight reduction is a hugely important objective for every engineer. However, this is opposed by wishes for better noise insulation, crash safety and, for example, emission regulations.
When the Porsche 996 GT3 was launched, gasoline particulate filters were not yet an issue. A traction control is just as much a vain search as back seats. Moreover, it was based on the narrow body of the Carrera 4, so that it looks quite dainty by today’s standards. Also inside it is reduced to the essentials. The result? No other Porsche 911 GT3 is as light as the 996 GT3. The driving experience can almost be described as telepathic. Everything happens immediately, without any delay. This is how a sports car must feel!
4. The Porsche 996 GT3 is the rarest 911 GT3
Porsche had originally expected to be able to sell 1,350 models of the 996.1 GT3. This number was clearly exceeded, but with 1,868 units, the Porsche 996.1 GT3 is still the rarest 911 GT3 to this day, apart from the RS models. Of the facelifted 996.2, 2,313 GT3 and 682 GT3 RS were sold. For comparison: In total, there are 9,500 991.2 GT3s out there!
Anyone who values exclusivity should therefore consider the first water-cooled homologation model from Stuttgart. At the same time, the narrow body is not particularly noticeable. The aerokit was also available for the Carrera. On the one hand, an exquisite club, on the other hand, always a bit under the radar…
5. Its price
As mentioned at the beginning, missed opportunities can keep you busy for a very long time. The Porsche 996 GT3 could be one of those opportunities, which could keep you awake at night, if you don’t take it now. Taking Porsche Motorsports own insecurity about the future of naturally aspirated engines into the equation should give you a hint of the Porsche 996 GT3’s potential in terms of its future value. Compared to other GT or even RS models, its running costs aren’t stratospherically high. Especially tires and brakes (if you can do without PCCB ceramics, though) are surprisingly affordable. Of course, that shouldn’t be the decisive factor, when it comes to buying a sports car of that caliber, but still, it’s reassuring to know.
So in case you’re in the market for an exclusive, quick and puristic sports car, you should hurry up!