The Ex-Scuderia Filipinetti, Herbie Muller, Andre Knorr 1964 Porsche 904 GTS Endurance Racing Coupe Registration no. DHJ 556B Chassis no. 904 079 Engine no. 99071 / 99019
No medium-capacity Grand Touring car design better embodies the spirit of private-owner endurance racing in the mid-1960s than the pert and legendarily 'user-friendly' flat-4 cylinder air-cooled Porsche 904 GTS. Here we are delighted to offer a particularly well-presented and well prepared example with the most wonderful provenance and well-documented competition history.
This is the Porsche 904 GTS chassis '079' which was bought brand-new from the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen factory in April 1964 by Swiss entrepreneur and racing team patron Georges Filipinetti. It was to be finished in his Scuderia Filipinetti team's bright-red racing livery and campaigned for the organization by promising young Swiss drivers Jo Siffert, Herbert Muller, Dieter Spoerry and Claude Sage.
We understand that '079'made its racing debut in the ADAC 1,000 Kilometres race at the Nurburgring, West Germany, on April 31, 1964. Co-driven by Herbie Muller and Andre Knorr it clamoured home impressively, sixth overall and 2nd in class. Just consider for one moment the only five cars to finish ahead of it. They were the outright-winning 3.3-litre V12-engined works Ferrari 275P of Scarfiotti/Vaccarella, the works' Ferrari 250GTO/64 of Parkes/Guichet, Ben Pon's sister Porsche 904 co-driven by Gerhard Koch, the Ecurie Francorchamps Ferrari 250GTO/64 of Lucien Bianchi/Gerald Langlois van Ophem and the Porsche works team's 904/8-cylinder shared by Formula 1 drivers Joakim Bonnier and Richie Ginther. Here we really are presenting a competition Coupe of truly International stature...
The Scuderia Filipinetti then ran their Chateau Grandson-prepared '079' in the tortuous World and European Championship hill-climb at Rossfeld on June 6, where Andre Knorr set 9th fastest time with it.
Third outing for '079' was then nothing less than the 1964 Le Mans 24-Hours in which Muller co-drove this claret-liveried Coupe with Claude Sage. They completed the full distance, finishing fourth in class and 11th overall, having completed 309 laps of the awe-inspiring Sarthe circuit.
From the wide-open expanse of Le Mans it was then back to the mountains for Scuderia Filipinetti as they ran '079' in the deceptively demanding European Mountain Championship hill-climb at the Gaisberg on June 28, where Andre Knorr placed 3rd in class before another classic endurance racing date came rushing upon the team...
This was the Reims 12-Hours, starting at midnight and finishing at mid-day on the Champagne circuit in northern France. The car was co-driven there by Muller and Knorr, finishing yet again as endurance racing habitués had come to expect this time 12th overall, and 5th within their class. Two weeks later, at Zolder in Belgium, Knorr added another 3rd in class result and a week later still on the home mountain climb at Cesana-Sestriere Knorr placed 5th overall and 2nd in class. The major Freiburg-Schauinsland 'climbposed another mountain challenge Knorr 4th in class, 8th overall and at Sierre-Montana 3rd in class, 7th overall brought more silverware to the Scuderia's trophy cabinets in Geneva.
Into 1965 the Scuderia journeyed with high hopes to the Monza 1,000Kms classic outside Milan, but after their leading driver Tommy Spychiger had crashed fatally in Filipinetti's Ferrari 365P their other entries were withdrawn from the race, '079' included. Its drivers on that sad day were the brothers Jacques and Robert Calderari, the former having apparently adopted ownership of the car although it continued to be prepared and entered by the Swiss Scuderia.
Thereafter, road rallying became '079's forte. It was sold to Jean-Marc Massoneri/Petetin this car won the 1965 Rallye de la Baule in France and placed 5th with the same pair in command in the Rallye Mont Blanc. Jacques Calderari was listed in this car for the 1965 Ollon-Villars mountain climb but does not seem to have competed there.
The car then lay fallow until March 1966 when, crewed by new owner Dumousseau and navigator Roques it won the Rallye de Lorraine in France, and the same crew subsequently repeated this success by winning the AGACI Rally that October. They continued to campaign the ageing Porsche into 1967, but failed to finish in both the major Rallye des Routes du Nord and the Criterium Neigeet Glace.
By 1968 the car had been acquired by Tourol Racing and in order to remain competitive '079's original 180bhp 4-cam engine had been replaced by a 6-cylinder Typ906 power unit. New owner Tourol raced the car at Magny-Cours and co-drove it with Pagani in the 1969 Tour de France Automobile. As late as July 1971 this widely campaigned old warhorse remained in harness placing 7th overall in the AGACI 3000 event at Montlhery, south of Paris, France.
German enthusiast Manfred Freisinger owned the car through the early 1970s, before it was acquired by Herbert Kuke in 1979. He commissioned former Scuderia Ferrari chief mechanic Franco Sbarro to restore the car at Chateau Grandson (Switzerland) while the engine and gearbox were overhauled and re-prepared by the Porsche factory. Upon completion of this work carried out to extremely high standard, of course the car was then entrusted to the Porsche Museum where it was preserved on display from 1982-2002.
It was eventually returned to competitive use in the 1982 Erding aerodrome race meeting, where rally star Walter Rohrl won in it. On the 1986 Targa Florio event in Sicily Rohrl and Dieter Glemser another factory legend placed 2nd overall and Walter Rohrl demonstrated the car at the opening of the Neue Nurburgring Formula 1 circuit in 1986. Maintained in sparkling form, '079' was deployed by the Porsche Museum for a series of film and photo calls and in 1989 at the Nurburgring Oldtimer Grand Prix it was driven by Manfred Jantke, to finish 3rd in its race.
The car then remained on show within the Porsche Museum until 2009 when Manfred Freisinger sold it to leading British collector John Ruston. He had the car thoroughly prepared for Historic racing use, and '079' returned to the Sarthe circuit in the Le Mans Classic event of 2010. It competed in the Gstaad Rally and was then sold to its present UK vendor. It reappeared in the 2012 Le Mans Classic and has been maintained ever since in race-ready condition.
As offered here it is equipped with a 2-litre 6-cylinder engine, rebuilt by specialists Maxted-Page &Prill in 2011 and is accompanied by one of the rare and intensely desirable Porsche Typ 587/3 4-cam flat-4 engines rebuilt by specialist Karl Hloch in 2009 and unraced since. Two FIA Historic Technical Passports accompany '079' as offered here, enabling the car to be campaigned Internationally with either 6- or 4-cylinder engine installed. Adding even greater lustre to this extraordinarily highy-specified Porsche 904 GTS is the fact that it is currently UK road-registered and that all EU taxes are paid.
And there is still more this Lot includes a selection of spares, older parts and an early rear body section. Bonhams has seldom been able to offer any significant Porsche with such a comprehensive and continuous racing history, which has starred for so many, many years within the factory's own Porsche Museum, and which is accompanied by so many extras not least the two alternative engines as a true enthusiast collector/user's bonus. We recommend it most highly.