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904 Carrera GTS

Make: Porsche
Model: 904 Carrera GTS
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Exterior: Signal Red
Price: P.O.A.

Key Facts:


In 1961, Porsche was struggling with their F1 program. Ferry Porsche decided to scrap the F1 program and focus on what they did best: sportscar racing and hillclimbs. For that, they needed to develop a completely new car, but there was a problem: the FIA GT class required 100 examples to be built for homologation. Porsche didn’t think there would be enough demand for a race car, so they came up with a solution: they built their racecar in such a way that it would qualify as a road car as well. And surely enough, they sold 100 cars, actually, more than that. And so, the 904 was born, just in time for the 1964 season. Well 904 was how the car was designated internally, officially it was marketed as the Carrera GTS, because Peugeot owned the rights to name road cars with a 0 in the middle. The 904 was priced at 7245 usd or roughly 29,700 dm.

Porsche intended on fitting their newest race car with a flat-6 engine, the same engine that would power the newly presented 901, which we know today as the 911. But the engine was delayed, and so Porsche had to look for a replacement. The 4-cylinder 587/2 Fuhrmann engine was the obvious solution. With the help of Hans Mezger, the engine was massaged and turned into the 587/3, which delivered 185hp. It was considered by many as the most complex 4-cylinder engine ever made at the time. Ferry’s son, Ferdinand Alexander Porsche aka Butzi, was responsible for the design department. He drew the sketches that would give the 904 its special looks, and when asked, he said the 904 was his favourite project, because he was able to design it all by himself, without any negotiations and demands for changes.

Back in the 60’s, Porsche wasn’t the large powerful company we all know today, and building 100 cars just for racing wasn’t an easy task. To keep the costs low but still develop a great race car, the body was made of fiberglass, and was tied to a steel ladder chassis, Producing a feather lightweight construction, while making it much simpler, and therefore the costs much lower. Thanks to bonding the body to the chassis, the rigidity was also increased. A race-prepared 904 would weigh at 655kg (roughly 1,440 pounds). 

The 904’s steering and pedals were adjustable, while the seat was fixed. The 110L fuel tank was mounted at the front, for better weight distribution. One of the FIA homologation rules mandated that the car should have a trunk. And so, Porsche engineered a trunk in the rear clamshell. One of the many funny quirks of the Carrera GTS. The 904 raced in the GT category, thanks to its 1.966cc engine, and was on the track next to cars such as the 250 GTO and Shelby Cobra. It was very successful, and won several races, notably taking first and second at the Targa Florio in 1964. Depending on who you ask, production numbers of the 904 differ, but Porsche say they built around 106 examples.

Our Carrera GTS

One of those examples, chassis 904-057, is now part of our collection. It was delivered in 1964 to Spanish racing driver Juan Fernandez. Mr Fernandez was born in 1930 in Sabadell, Spain. His father, Ramiro Fernández, owned a successful textile factory and was a great fan of motor racing. He used to take Juan to motor racing events as a kid in the 40s and 50s, when drivers of the likes of Jover, Apezteguia, and Godia would battle with the likes of Fangio and Villoresi. Juan was captivated by racing. With the success of his own business, he was able to get involved in sports clubs, where he developed as a sportsman and athlete. At the age of 18, his father bought him a Montesa motorcycle, marking the beginning of a remarkable career in motor sports that would span over 40 years. Juan showed incredible agility on the motorcycle. He placed 3rd in his international debut and went on to capture numerous wins. Fernández got his first taste of car racing in 1954, when he served as the co-pilot for Salvador Fábregas in several long-distance rallies. The following year, Fernández was introduced to Porsche when he co-piloted a 356 Coupe with Antonio Farrás. In 1957, Juan Fernández started to race on his own with a Renault Dauphine. His skills advanced very quickly and he soon became a front-runner. His next car was a BMW 700 Coupe, which he campaigned in 34 races between 1961 and 1963, achieving 14 overall victories and several 2nd and 3rd place finishes. In 1963, Juan began to consider replacing his BMW and paid a visit to the local Porsche service center in Sabadell, owned by Austrians Carlos and Luis Kotnik. There, Fernández was informed of a rare competition model that had become available – a two-liter 356 Carrera GT with four-wheel disc brakes and lightweight alloy panels. The acquisition of the four-cam 356 marked the beginning of a successful career racing Porsches. Between 1963 and 1986, Juan Fernández raced an astonishing variety of Porsches. After a season with the 356 Carrera, he went on to race a 904, 906, 911 S, and a 911 R in leading Spanish events. In 1969, Fernández began to campaign a 908/2 and by 1972 he was driving his own 908/3 at international venues, including Daytona, Buenos Aires, and Le Mans. In 1974, he returned to GT racing with a 911 RSR before moving on to a 934. In his last major race, at the 1986 24 Hours of Le Mans, Fernández drove a privately entered 956 to 4th overall.

Being now an established Porchista, Juan Fernandez was contacted by the factory’s Rennsport department in Stuttgart and offered a brand-new model to replace his Carrera 2 GT. The car in question was the new 904, an innovative fiberglass bodied race car with a five-speed transaxle, four-wheel disc brakes, fully independent suspension, and the Type 587/3 four-cam as the central piece. It didnt take more to convince Juan Fernandez and he immediately put an order on the car. Our Carrera GTS, chassis 904-057, was delivered to Juan in February 1964, and was finished in Signal Red with a blue upholstery, as it appears to this day. From the factory, the car was equipped with a talbot side mirror, and the Nürburgring gearbox ratio. Needless to say, Juan decimated the competition with his new Porsche. Some of his racing results with the 904 included: 1st at the 1964 Carrera Cuesta Mayolan, which according to Jurgen Barth, was the first race win for a 904. then, 2nd overall and 1st in GT class at Rallye Basco Navarro, 1st in GT class at the Rallye R.A.C.E., and Overall win at Carrera Cuesta De Montserrat, and a record setting win at the Hillclimb Montseny, both of which counted towards the European championship. And the list goes on. Amazingly, Fernández never suffered any serious accident, major mechanical issues, or disqualifications while driving the Porsche. All told, Fernández’s success with the 904 launched his career in international motor sports and earned him the nick-name, “El Rey de Las Montañas” (King of the Mountains).

Following Fernández’s ownership, the 904 returned to the factory and was reportedly sold to German industrialist Alfried Krupp. A connection to Krupp is recorded in other registries and, although it cannot be confirmed, it can be assumed that he purchased the car from Porsche after Fernández returned it in 1965. In late 1967, 904-057 was sold to Daniel P. Boyd, PhD, a chemical engineer living in Virginia, and exported to the US. As recorded in Dr. Boyd’s automotive journal , the Porsche arrived on September 2, 1967, with approximately 5,650 km on the odometer. During his ownership, Dr. Boyd refinished the 904 in Bahama Yellow and enjoyed the four-cam sports car on the road, but never in competition. On February 10, 1971, US Navy pilot and Porsche enthusiast Jonathan Wort purchased the 10,000-km 904 from Dr. Boyd. Soon after taking delivery, he refinished the bodywork in silver, with a Navy-themed dark blue hood and yellow stripe. In 1977, Mr. Wort had the original engine sent to the renowned four-cam specialist Jim Wellington of Rennsport Werke for a complete rebuild. As Mr. Wort was transferred from base to base for training, he trailered the 904 and a pair of motorcycles with him through four states. While stationed in Kingsville, Texas, he entered the 904 in local autocross events and “smothered” the local competition. The modified Healeys, Jaguars, Speedsters, and 911s were no match for the 10-year-old 904. Although Mr. Wort intended to keep the 904 forever and aspired to race it in historic events, he sold the Porsche in 1982 to purchase his first home. The sale was brokered through Stephen Yanoshik’s Hopewell Motor Imports, Inc. in New Jersey. From there, 904-057 was sold to Robert J. Smith of St. Louis, Missouri. A pioneering Porsche collector, Mr. Smith owned two other four-cams, the ex-Rodriguez brothers 550 Spyder, and an RS 60. Under his ownership, the 904 was sympathetically restored. In a recent conversation, Mr. Smith recalled that 904-057 was a low-mileage example, very original but needing a light freshening. In 1988, the engine was sent once again to four-cam specialist Jim Wellington for a tune-up; and a Rennsport Werke service sticker dating from 1988 remains on the engine shroud to this day. The 904 remained in Mr. Smith’s stable of important four-cam sports racers until 1989 or 1990, when it was sold through Daniel Schmitt to a collector in Texas. According to Porsche historian Jürgen Barth, 904-057 returned to Europe in the 1990s and was kept in a private collection near Wiesbaden, Germany. From there, the 904 was sold to the respected Blackhawk Collection and later made a public appearance at the Blackhawk exhibition at Pebble Beach. Through Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach sale in 2013, the car found a new home outside of the USA, and came back to its natal Spain, where it was delivered new and raced very successfully. Its caretaker for almost nine years, the last owner used the car in historic events in Spain and Europe, including the famous Le Mans Classic in 2014, Montjuich Revival, Chronodriver Hillclimb Revivals, Espiritu del Jarama, and Rally Catalunya Històric. Being put to use sparsely but consistently meant the car had to be kept in running condition and wasn’t just sitting around in a garage. The previous owner used a Capricorn engine in the car whenever possible and kept the original masterpiece that is the 587/3 in storage as the engines have appreciated to become extremely valuable.

Now, 58 years after leaving the factory in Stuttgart, this very car is believed to be one of the most original 904‘s with racing pedigree in existence. It retains its matching numbers gearbox, original 110l-fuel tank, original chassis and VIN-plate, original window trim, and most incredibly, its original bodywork. Something that is incredibly rare and hard to find on a 904, given the nature of their body’s material and their extensive use in racing. The body panel numbers are still very much where they were labeled by the factory some 60 years ago. The blue velour seats together with the period REPA harnesses and rare catch mat are some of the long list of desirable items this 904 is equipped with.

The previous owners and our internal research team went to great lengths to put the history of the car together. Through an incredible collection of period racing pictures in Spain, newspapers from the 60’s, pictures from the car’s time in the USA under different ownerships, restoration pictures, correspondence letters with previous owners, and much more, it would take the next caretakers not hours, but probably days to go through the history and life of this 904 Carrera GTS. Armed with documentation, racing pedigree, and originality like no second 904, we are proud and pleased to offer this piece of Porsche history on the market in the hope that it joins a worthy collection.

The racing pedigree of the car differs depending on the sources, but thanks to countless period photographs of the car and newspapers from 1964 and 1965, our team has been able to put together what is probably the most complete race history of chassis 904-057:

Racing history


Carrera Cuesta Montserrat

12.04.1964        1st Overall/1st in GT-class              Start Nr. 106

I Cuesta al Montseny

20.04.1964        1st overall/record                         Start Nr. 80

XII Rallye Internacional R.A.C.E Vuelta Rapafia

03.05.1964        2nd overall                                    Start Nr. 2

Carrera Cuesta a Vallvidrera

24.05.1964        1st overall/1st in GT-class              Start Nr. 108

Rallye Vuelta a Cataluna

06.06.1964        2nd overall/1st in GT-class

Carrera Cuesta San Cugat Tibidabo

21.06.1964        1st overall/1st in GT-class

Carrera Cuesta San Felui de Codinas

06.09.1964        1st overall/1st in GT-class

Rallye Internacional II Cataluna Perpignan

24.10.1964        1st in GT-class

El V Rallye de las Dos Catalunas

1964                           DNF

Rallye Cataluna Montseny

1964                           1st/record                                     Start Nr. 76

Trofeo Viladomat Andorra la Massana

1964                           1st overall

R.A.C.C. Clasica Prueba                                         

1964                           2nd overall                                    Start Nr. 11

Coll Formich Rallye 1964 (VIII Rallye Cataluna)

1964                           2nd                                                Start Nr. 75

Coll de la Botella Andorra

1964                           1st                                                  Start Nr. 43


R.A.C.E c. De Europa

1965                           1st                                                  Start Nr. 51

Trofeo Juan Jover Montjuich

1965                           2nd overall                                    Start Nr. 83

XIII Rallye Nacional del R.A.C.E

1965                           1st                                                  Start Nr. 51

Subida del Coll Formich

1965                           1st                                                  Start Nr. 51

Subida de Montserrat

1965                           1st                                                  Start Nr. 51

Circuito de la Casa de Campo

1965                           1st                                                  Start Nr. 51

Circuito de Venta Cabrera

1965                           1st                                                  Start Nr. 51

Vuelta a Espana – (Campeonato de Europa – Circuito de Montjuich)

1965                            1st                                                 Start Nr. 51

Current gearbox ratios:

  • 1st gear: 34/12
  • 2nd gear: 34/17
  • 3rd gear: 31/21
  • 4th gear: 28/23
  • 5th gear: 26/25

Accompanying the vehicle are following items:

– Full documentation of the car’s history including books with period photographs and racing results

– FIA-pass valid from 2014 to 2019

– Spare parts including air box and two rims

– Wheel caps with Porsche emblem

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