One owner and just 2,900km from new 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo Chassis no. WPOZZZ99Z8S781587
Given how prevalent in the automotive industry it now is, turbocharging has had a longer and more protracted history than you might imagine. Swiss engineer Alfred J Buchi invented the concept of an exhaust driven turbine and an induction-side compressor linked by a shared shaft back in 1905.
It wasn't an instant success, and although used on some aeroplanes during the First World War and ships during the 1920s, automotive applications were still a way off. The first turbodiesel lorry the Swiss Machine Works Saurer appeared in 1938 and the first turbocharged car, the Oldsmobile Cutlass Jetfire, in 1962. Reliability issues meant few were sold.
It was during the Seventies that turbocharging really caught on, making it to the pinnacle of motorsport, Formula One, in 1977. But Porsche was already there both in motorsport with the American 917/30 Can-Am car and on the road, too.
It was Porsche that first saw the real performance benefits of the turbo and crucially made it work properly by fitting a wastegate to allow excess pressure to escape. The production 911 Turbo was launched at the 1974 Paris Motor Show in the teeth of the oil crisis that had helped impose a 60mph blanket speed limit across Germany, which included Porsche's own test track!
Known as the 930 Turbo, the car was the brainchild of Porsche boss Ernst Fuhrmann, who stuck to his belief that the car should be a fully-loaded flagship, rather than a stripped-out racer. Producing 260bhp from a 3.0-litre engine and distinguished by a 'whale tail' spoiler, it was nevertheless a fearsome car to drive, famous for its considerable turbo lag and tricky handling balance especially if the turbo started to blow on the exit of a corner, sending a spike of power to the rear wheels.
The arrival of four-wheel drive and twin turbos (with the 993 generation in 1993), plus further technological developments since has enabled the 911 Turbo to become perhaps the world's most complete supercar. Easy to manage, hugely secure and stable, yet capable of delivering phenomenal cross-country speed and agility. Jeremy Clarkson, writing in The Sunday Times in July 2006 commented: "In the real world nothing could hang on to the tail of a Turbo. Nothing.... Because this car doesn't accelerate. It teleports. Bang, and you're in the next space and time continuum."
Retaining the 996-generation's 3.6-litre capacity, the 997 employed VTG (Variable Turbine Geometry) to achieve outputs of 473bhp and 457lb ft of torque at only 1,850rpm. Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, independent tests have achieved 0-60mph in 3.6 sec. To manage the power, Porsche adopted a version of the Cayenne's four-wheel drive system which accurately apportions torque between front and rear axles to keep the handling as neutral as possible.
Acquired new by Peter Baumberger and first registered on 19th February 2008, and featuring the slick manual transmission rather than the alternative Tiptronic automatic, this must be the finest example available anywhere. It is liveried in bright red with beige leather upholstery and matching carpets, and has covered just 2,900km from new. Its appearance is, unsurprisingly, factory fresh.
By means of comparison, the current base price of a new 997 Turbo in Switzerland, excluding options, is CHF 226.338,00.
Inside you'll find all the features you could want, and a cabin that delivers good all round visibility, genuine space and practicality, bulletproof build quality and a driving position that's both comfortable for cruising and supportive when you want to press on. Compact dimensions and sure-footed accuracy allow it to be placed on the road to the nearest inch and you can never over-estimate just how much traction and grip are on offer.
The Turbo has grown up over the last 35 years, it's no longer a whiz-bang, clench-your-teeth-and-cling-on ride, but has refined itself into a broader role, that of a do anything, any time, any place, any weather supercar. There's nothing quite like it and nothing to match it.
The Baumberger Collection 997 Turbo is offered with Swiss registration (cancelled) and owners handbooks in their leather wallet.