The Porsche 996 was an all-new design made by Harm Lagaay – the first new 911 that didn’t carry over a significant component from a previous variant. All the bodywork, interior and drive-train were new, including the first water-cooled engine in a 911. The first 996s were available as a coupé or cabriolet, initially with rear wheel, or later, with four-wheel drive, and a 3.4 litre normally aspirated engine producing 296bhp. Porsche Carrera owners complained loudly about the “lower priced car that looked just like theirs did”, hence the headlight change for 2002.
The engine of the GT3 sets it apart from most of the other 996 models, although it shares the same basic 3.6 litre displacement of the standard 996 type. Along with those of the GT2 and Turbo, it is based on the original air-cooled 911’s versatile, true dry-sump crankcase, with an external oil tank. The original version of the GT3 had 360bhp, compared to 300bhp for the regular 996. In GT3 configuration, this so-called “split” crankcase (meaning the parting line of crankcase is on the crankshaft centreline) uses, instead of a fan and finned cylinders, separate water jackets added onto each side of the crankcase to cool banks of three cylinders, with water pumped though a radiator. Thus, the GT3 engine is very similar to the completely water-cooled 962 racing car’s engine, which is based on the same crankcase. The 962 differs, however, by using six individual cylinder heads, while the GT1/GT3, like the air and water-cooled Porsche 959, uses two cylinder heads, each covering a bank of three cylinders. The GT3 engine could therefore also be thought of as similar to a 959 engine, but with the water-cooled cylinders.
Registered new in 2004 to Porsche JCT600 in Leeds, this late Generation 2 Comfort model is finished in Guards Red, with a black leather interior extended to the dashboard and door cards. Further options fitted include crested Porsche logo sports seats, an aluminium handbrake and gearknob, climate control, silver dials and xenon lights.
Cosseted by its current owner, this stunning GT3 has recently enjoyed much maintenance work. A major service was completed in July 2013 by Porsche specialist RPR 626, with new spark plugs, coil packs, drive belt, engine and brake fluids, filters, battery, alternator and air conditioning condenser. More Recently in 2015 , new brake disks and pads were fitted, and new front tyres fitted along with a full service by Specialist Tony Greatorex.
Showing a mere 27,000 miles from new, and with just two former keepers, this fabulous GT3 is HPI clear, and is offered with all books and manuals, along with two sets of keys.
996 GT3s are rapidly establishing themselves as a must-buy Porsche for the future, whilst offering blistering pace and performance. This very well sorted example must surely rank as one of the best available anywhere.