Porsche 904 Carrera GTS Coupé (1963-1965)

Premiere: November 26, 1963 Solitude race track near Stuttgart

The 1964 904/8 (chassis 904-008) with 1965-style engine cover (large 'elephant ear' air intakes, upward bent rear end)© Porsche
904/4 Carrera GTS 904/8 Carrera GTS 904/6 Carrera GTS
Produced in 1963-1964 1964 1964-1965
Engine 2.0 flat-4, mid-mounted, type 587/3 2.0 flat-8, mid-mounted, type 771/0 2.0 flat-6, mid-mounted, type 901/20
Number of cylinders 4 8 6
Power ~132 kW 176-191 kW ~147 kW
Number of cars built 105 2 7
Chassis numbers 904-002...007, 904-010...108 904-008...009 904-001, 906-001...002, 906-005...006, 906-011...012
The table does not contain the five 904 Spyders (all 8-cylinder)

Following the 550 and the 718, the third Porsche model created for racing was the 904. The homologation rules stipulated a minimum of 100 units and Porsche thought there weren’t that many potential racing customers, so the solution was a street legal car. In 1962, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche had become the manager of the Porsche design studios and the designer of the 904.

F.A.Porsche in design office© Porsche
Father Ferdinand Anton Ernst 'Ferry' Porsche and son Ferdinand Alexander 'Butzi' Porsche, the designer of the 904 and also 901/911© Porsche
New technology: glass-fibre and resin injected into the mold of a 904 body panel. The use of plastic was a first for Porsche, hence in the construction they sought advice from aviation experts. Two bodyshells per day were laminated by hand at the Heinkel Flugzeug Bau GmbH in Speyer, Germany.© Porsche
The lightweight glass-fibre body is bonded to the ladder-type frame© Porsche
The 904 comes with coil springs and naturally has four disc brakes© Porsche
The gear ratio selection of the 5-speed transmission was almost infinite - the four standard sets of ratios offered a final drive between 3.362 and 4.605© Porsche
FIA-specified 110-liter fuel tank© Porsche

In August 1963, the first prototype was tested. Following the unveil of the 901 on September 12 at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, around 10 weeks later on November 26 the 904 was presented at the Solitude race track near Stuttgart. The 4-cylinder cars were shown - chassis 904-002, 003 and 004 (002 and 003 being the prototypes). The chassis 904-001, designer F.A. Porsche's personal 6-cylinder prototype, was not shown (it belonged to him until his death in 2012).

Prototype with early front design and without side air inlets© Porsche

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Article © James Herne / Stuttcars.com


Anniversaries
Jan, 30 – 66th death anniversary of Ferdinand Porsche (1951)
Feb, 03 – 33rd birthday of the 962 (1984)
Mar, 05 – 14th birthday of the Carrera GT (2003)
Mar, 06 – 5th birthday of the Boxster 981 (2012)
Mar, 12 – 48th birthday of the 917 (1969)