2005 Porsche Carrera GT NO RESERVE at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction January 2023

The Carrera GT: Second-To-None Performance Credentials

Throughout its rich history dating back to 1948, the Porsche marque has graced the motoring world with a succession of racing homologation specials engineered and built to meet international competition requirements while remaining perfectly legal for road use. The limited-production Carrera GT of 2004-06 is an electrifying case in point, rooted in a development program that commenced in 1999 and yielded a prototype shown at the Paris Motor Show in 2000. Conjuring stunning images of the shark-like 904 Carrera of the mid-1960s, the new Carrera GT was initially intended as the planned successor to the mighty and successful Le Mans-winning 911 GT1 race car of the late 1990s.

While FIA rule changes frustrated its endurance-racing plans for the new car, Porsche forged ahead with the Carrera GT road car, repurposed as a range-topping, elite supercar representing the culmination of all the lessons Porsche learned on the track. The initial show car generated a firestorm of interest among Porsche’s top clients, and was first shown in production-ready form at the March 2003 Geneva International Motor Show. The Carrera GT pushed the technical limits of the era’s supercars to new heights, and demand for the car exceeded even the wildest expectations of Porsche’s traditionally conservative product planners and sales organization.

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Beginning with an only slightly civilized derivation of Porsche’s V10 race engine intended for FIA events, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the “street” Carrera GT power plant paid nominal observance to worldwide emissions and noise regulations. Factory-rated at 603 horsepower, the mid-mounted 5.7-liter Carrera GT V10 engine was, and firmly remains, a ferocious performer. Technical specifications of the Carrera GT remain stunning today, beginning with a competition-style, carbon-fiber monocoque tub and subframe structures produced by Italy’s ATR Composites Group. Race-worthy underpinnings included inboard rocker arms with upper and lower wishbones at all four corners. Both the Carrera GT’s clutch and brake components employ strong yet lightweight ceramic composite materials. Even its massive 19- and 20-inch staggered wheels are made from ultra-lightweight forged magnesium for minimal unsprung weight and a razor-sharp response to driver inputs.

The design of the Carrera GT body was completed by a team of stylists under the famed Dutch automobile designer Harm Lagaay. Similar to other contemporary Porsche models, the Carrera GT employs an automated rear wing that deploys at speeds above 120 km/h (75 mph) or by the driver’s election at any speed, providing additional downforce and stability. In fact, not one body feature of the incredibly aggressive Carrera GT is not functional — everything serves a role in elevating the driving experience. Huge air intakes on both sides blast cool, dense air to the Carrera GT’s three radiators, providing five times the engine-cooling area of that on Porsche’s contemporary 911 Turbo. The carbon-fiber underbody of the Carrera GT is a study in cutting-edge aerodynamic efficiency, working in concert with the rear diffuser to maintain the car’s remarkable stability even at shockingly high speeds. While designed and developed for extreme all-around performance, the Carrera GT’s interior is an example of purposeful luxury and safety features, including front and side-impact airbags, plus safe stopping afforded by ABS brakes.

Performance credentials for the Carrera GT are nothing short of superlative by any era’s standards. According to Porsche AG, acceleration from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) is achieved in just 3.9 seconds, with the 200 km/h (124 mph) mark obliterated in 9.9 seconds and the car hitting a top speed of a supercar-worthy 330 km/h (205 mph). While never intended for the drag strip, the Carrera GT can also deliver a wicked 11.4-second elapsed time over the quarter-mile — normally the preserve of bare-bones drag cars. Mated to the race-bred V10 engine is a 6-speed manual gearbox and transaxle, controlled with a simple yet elegant beechwood gearshift knob that pays homage to the wild V12 Le Mans-conquering Porsche 917s of 1969-71.

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While Porsche was frustrated in its quest to take the Carrera GT to racing, the car was nonetheless an unqualified success as a thinly disguised racing car for the road, satisfying Porsche’s most ardent and well-heeled clients. Demanding equal measures of respect and skill to master, the Carrera GT still stands as one of the most thrilling high-performance sports cars ever produced — bar none. Proof of this came in July 2004, when factory test driver and famed racing driver Walter Röhrl tore through the Nürburgring’s notoriously challenging Nordschleife circuit in just 7 minutes, 28 seconds — a world record that stood for more than the next five years. According to Porsche AG, approximately 1,270 examples of the highly anticipated Carrera GT were ultimately built at Porsche’s newly built production facility in Leipzig, Germany. Of these, just 644 were destined for America’s hungry, elite supercar market of the mid-2000s.

Critical praise in the motoring press for the Carrera GT was universal. According to the U.K.’s CAR magazine road test, “there’s no denying how significant a mark the Carrera GT makes on the supercar map. Mind-numbingly quick, beautifully balanced and phenomenally engineered, it’s the kind of car that will deliver the goods all day, every day, for the rest of its lifetime without hiccup or complaint.” As the U.S. magazine Car and Driver reported, “It’s loud … the kind that prickles your body hair.” Perhaps “MotorWeek” host John Davis summed it up best, saying, “The Carrera GT is the best motivation to get rich that we’ve ever driven,” and it firmly remains on the wish list of today’s hardest-core Porsche enthusiasts worldwide.

Stunning in its rare Atomic Red finish over Dark Gray leather upholstery, this almost otherworldly 2005 Porsche Carrera GT is one of the 644 examples sold to the U.S. during the entire production run spanning from 2004-06. Body-color brake calipers provide an ideal accent, and this awesome Carrera GT includes both keys and the full complement of fitted luggage that still remains inside its original packing material. At the time of writing, 3,307 miles are indicated on the odometer. Sure to electrify all who experience it, this amazing 2005 Porsche Carrera GT is but one of the early headline consignments for the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction at WestWorld, January 21-29, 2023. Register to bid today for your chance to experience all the action and bring home this piece of automotive history.

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