911's 50th a couple of years back. Which also means if you have one of the four models and have noticed prices creeping up recently, it's surely worth keeping hold of the car for a little longer!
The 40th anniversary was launched last week at Silverstone, with arguably the most exciting project of them all: a restoration of the 924 Carrera GT Le Mans car. Yes, 35 years after it last competed and 33 years after it was put into the Porsche Museum, the #2 924 is to be 'sympathetically restored' by four Porsche Classic Partner Centres. They've allocated six months for the restoration...
As is often the way with racing cars, this 924 has a fascinating history. For the 1980 Le Mans 24-Hour, Porsche AG ran three 924s in the national liveries of Britain, Germany and America. It was in fact the initiative of Michael Cotton, UK PR man at the time, to convince Porsche that it was worth entering cars that wouldn't really have a chance of winning outright against the prototypes.
The two remaining drivers were at Silverstone last week to see the car again and share their stories of the race. Rouse took the first stint and was using the tree tops to see where the track was going because the rain was that torrential (!). Dron describes it as a "very underrated car" with "superb" handling, so hopefully we can see him back behind the wheel with the work complete.
The restoration is being shared between the Official Porsche Centres at Glasgow, Hatfield, Leeds and Swindon. The biggest task that appears to face them at present is working out what was done to the car between the end of Le Mans in 1980 and its arrival at the Porsche Museum two years later. It currently has no fuel tank, incorrect wheels and a completely reworked intake system. The drivers will tell you that damage certainly wasn't them either!
Moreover, there's another restoration competition between the dealers, as there was for the 911 plus the Turbo and Targa models. There are 19 of the 35 dealers signed up, with everything from 924s to 928s with 968 Club Sports, 944 Turbos and plenty more in between. Expect regular updates on their progress as the anniversary year progresses. There's surely plenty of pride at stake...
Though the transaxle cars are unlikely to ever match the 911's heady heights of covetability, this anniversary should serve as a good opportunity to remind ourselves just how good those cars were. Now where can we borrow a 968 CS from?