Coming up for auction early next month at the Amelia Island weekend is this 1968 Porsche 911 S Coupe. Once the FIA relegated the 911 R to Group 6 Prototype classification, Porsche decided to offer many of the parts from that project as after-sales add-ons in a 60-page Sports Purpose Handbook. This allowed customer racers to add factory racing parts to their street 911s and head to the track for a winning time. That’s exactly what happened with this 911, an Ossi Blue over black leatherette 911 S was ordered originally to Canada, where this one spent its entire racing life. During the ordering process, this car got the rare option codes 9541 and 9542 which deleted interior sound deadening and chassis undercoating for lightweight! After the fact original owner Claude Humbert specified a single Recaro sport seat, thicker front sway bar, long-range fuel tank, limited slip differential, talbot aero mirror, Dunlop sport tires, and a five-speed transmission. Humbert used the car for endurance racing in Canada, himself sitting in for over 35,000 miles of seat time across 1968, 1969, and 1970.
For the 1971 season Humbert sold the car for $3,000 to seasoned racer Jacques Bienvenue, who continued to race the car through 1981. In his time with the car Bienvenue won the 1977 FASQ Regional Championship, as well as the CASC National Championship for D-Production class. In 1980 Bienvenue was a runner-up in the regional GT-2 class. At the close of that year he decided he’d had his fun with the 911 S and sold it off to Andre Thibault (hopefully for more than the $3,000 he paid a decade earlier). While it never saw success as it had in the hands of Bienvenue, new owner Thibault ran the car in endurance racing for four seasons and it just kept chugging along. This car had lived a hard life, and it was beginning to show its age. In 1989 the car was shifted yet again to racer Jaques Rivard, who spent four years restoring the car to its original as-raced condition with input from original owner Humbert.
The car carries a period-correct twin-plug magnesium case 901/02 engine that has been upgraded to 911R specifications. The magnesium Minilite racing wheels are correct for how the car was raced under Humbert, though the livery of the car is owed to Bienvenue’s 1977 look. Across the last twenty years the car has been in Los Angeles receiving care from the experts at Callas Rennsport, including an engine rebuild in 2020. The car has not seen nearly as many miles in recent years, and has not been on the race track since its mechanical restoration.
This could be an excellent car to join the vintage racing circuit, and there’s hardly a car that would look more handsome in the process. This is a damn fine automobile, and if you’re in the market for a sports purpose long-hood 911, I’d venture to say you should bid on this one at RM Sotheby’s. The auction house has not released a pre-auction estimate, but you can bet this one will be deep into the six-figures when the gavel falls. If any early 911 is worth it, I’d say it’s this one.