The Concours of Elegance, Europe’s premier concours d’elegance event, is proud to announce that its 2024 edition will feature one of the most historically significant Porsches of all: the original 1973 911 Turbo ‘Prototype’. This special car represents the genesis of an icon; it was the first road-going 911 to wear the ‘Turbo’ badge.

The car that will be on show at Hampton Court Palace from 30th August to 1st September – chassis 9113300157 – was the very machine that starred on the Porsche stand at the 1973 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, putting the concept of a turbocharged 911 on the map, setting the template for an enduring performance car legend.

The Turbo concept was created by Porsche to give an indication of what a ‘super’ 911 would look like, combining supreme performance with grand touring luxury. Finished in a striking one-off silver, with hand-painted ‘Turbo’ script, this show car sold the dream of a 911 with unprecedented levels of turbocharged performance, previewing the production ‘930’ Turbo that would appear two years later. When introduced in 1975, the 930 would be the fastest production car available in Germany.

Taking a standard 911S as its base, the concept was built up in Porsche’s design studio Style Porsche, with the construction overseen by the firm’s chief engineer, Helmuth Bott. Ironically, when it made its debut on the glitzy Porsche stand in Frankfurt, the car didn’t actually feature the headline grabbing, turbo 2.7-litre flat-six motor; it wasn’t ready in time for the show. Porsche instead modified a conventional naturally aspirated motor, with additional components – including the Turbo itself – mocked up in wood and painted to look real.

Despite its imitation mechanicals, the concept was more than enough to convince and capture the imagination of the show’s crowds. It was a great hit, and a very significant car for the brand, setting out Porsche’s stall for the coming years.

The concept was in fact, three concepts in one; in addition to debuting the Turbo name, it featured styling elements that would go into the ‘G-Model’ 911, while also previewing the RSR racer and ultra-rare 3.0 RS road car. The concept showed a much more purposeful and aggressive 911 design language, featuring larger Fuchs wheels and pumped-up bodywork, with dramatically swollen arches and an outlandish ‘whale tail’ rear wing, the latter dramatically improving the cooling and aerodynamic capabilities.

After the seismic first appearance in Frankfurt, the concept toured the world, appearing at motor shows in Paris, Tokyo and Melbourne, before returning home to Stuttgart.

In 1975, Alan Hamilton – a racing driver and the Porsche importer for Australia – was on a visit to the Porsche factory, when he spotted the concept languishing in a corner. Following its show appearances, the car had been fitted with numerous pre-production RSR parts, acting as a testbed for the racer. To Hamilton, who was eager to get his hands on the first example of the racing special, the concept represented the fastest route into RSR ownership, so a deal was done and the car exported to Australia.

The piece of Porsche history subsequently made a handful of competitive outings in the hands of Hamilton, before being traded amongst the Australian Porsche cognoscenti over the coming decades. It was later exported to the United States in 2010, making a rare public appearance at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance later that year.

After a six-year sojourn in the states, the Turbo concept was purchased by the current owner, who brought it home to Europe. Now presenting in stunning original condition, looking just as it did under the motorshow lights back in Frankfurt in ’73 – only now with a genuine turbo motor – it is ready to delight audiences once again at Hampton Court Palace later this year.

This iconic 911 will star alongside 60 other concours cars, drawn from leading private collections the world over. Outside of the main Concours display there will be a number of special features, including the Levitt Concours – dedicated to the most passionate female owners – the 30UNDER30, which celebrates enthusiastic owners under 30 years of age and the Club Trophy, which gathers the very best examples of models from the nation’s best car clubs.

Away from the automotive displays, Concours of Elegance 2024 will again be an occasion of pure luxury, with champagne provided by Charles Heidsieck, picnics by Fortnum & Mason, and a collection of art, jewellery and fashion displays. Presenting Partner A. Lange & Söhne will once again showcase some of its most intricate timepieces.

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