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Spotted: a 1999 Porsche 911 GT3

July 14, 2023

The very first Porsche 911 GT3 entered the market in 1999. It was a homologation model for FIA’s GT3 class, hence the name. This made the GT3 a kind of racing Porsche for public roads. Luxuries such as soundproofing, a rear seat or rear speakers had been removed. Air conditioning and a radio were only available as options.

Porsche 911 GT3 with racing engine

In the back of the 911 GT3 was a six-cylinder boxer engine that was largely similar to the block also found in the 962 and 911 GT1, two thoroughbred race cars. In the 911 GT3, the block produced 265 kW (360 hp), making it a whopping 60 hp more powerful than the standard 911. The boxer engine was mated to a six-speed manual transmission, still from the air-cooled 911 era. With its more robust construction, this transmission was better suited to the GT3 than the standard transmission of the 911 996.

The Porsche 911 GT3 reached 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds and went on to just over 300 km/h. Furthermore, the Porsche 911 GT3 featured larger brakes, a lowered and newly tuned suspension, lightweight wheels, modified bumpers and a large rear spoiler for downforce.

Porsche 911 GT3 Clubsport

If you really wanted to do it professionally, you also ordered the Clubsport package. Then the standard power-adjustable and leather-covered seats were replaced with even lighter manually adjustable bucket seats with fire-resistant fabric. The package also included a half roll cage, a six-point belt for the driver (instead of side airbags), a fire extinguisher in the passenger footwell and preparation for a battery master switch.

GT3 RS and facelift

In 2003 Porsche came out with the 911 GT3 RS, an even more hardcore sports version, which included a stiffer suspension, polycarbonate rear window, more carbon fiber parts and standard ceramic-composite brakes. On paper, the GT3 RS was just as powerful as the “regular” GT3, but in practice its output approached 400 hp. Visually, the GT3 RS could be identified by model-specific rims and striping reminiscent of the 1970s 911 Carrera 2.7 RS.

For the 2004 model year, the 2002 facelift of the base model was also implemented on the Porsche 911 GT3. On a visual level, the new light units in particular stood out, but if you look closer, you can see that the GT3 henceforth used the bodywork of the 911 Carrera 4. Under the skin, the GT3 now had 280 kW (381 hp) and improved brakes (optional ceramic-composite). Performance also improved, with a 0-100 sprint in about 4.5 seconds.

The Porsche 911 GT3 remains

The 911 GT3 managed to find its way to buyers well. GT3 versions of all later model generations then reappeared. The most recent version hit the market in 2021 and we enjoyed that too. We also got to experience the Cup version released later that year very closely. At that event, Porsche had nicely lined up all the street versions. Which one is your favorite?

The spotted specimen

The other day, colleague Bart came across this early Porsche 911 GT3 in one of the parking lots at Schiphol Airport. It is one from 1999, a really early one from the very first year so. The Porsche has been in the Netherlands since 2006 and the current owner has owned it for about a year now. We wish him lots of driving fun!