The Story and Relationship between Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA) and Andial

In the early 90’s Porsche instituted a very successful racing series in Europe called the Porsche Carrera Cup. The Carrera Cup at the time was a racing series featuring specially factory modified 911 Carrera 2’s running as a support race during Formula 1 race weekends.

In 1992 Porsche Cars North America (PCNA), hoping to emulate the success of the International Race of Champions (IROC) races of the early 1970’s, sought to develop a Carrera Cup series in the USA. The plan was that teams would pay around $60,000 for a car specially prepared for a USA Carrera Cup racing series that would support professional races here in the states. As in Europe, no further modifications to the cars were to be allowed except for wheel alignment, wheel weighting and sway bar adjustment. The engines were to be sealed so that no internal modifications were possible. All teams were to use Toyo tires. The Motronic engine management brains for each race were to be handed out to the teams by the organizers before each race and then collected after each race. Now all that was needed for this plan to work were racing cars and teams that would buy the cars and race them.

Production of a suitable racing car for the series turned out to be a little tricky. The simple solution would have been for Porsche to build a run of Carrera Cup cars for the series and import them as was done with the IROC Carrera RS 3.0 based series cars in the 1970’s. It has been rumored that this was not feasible in 1992 because of some trouble Porsche found itself in during the 1980’s with the US Federal Government after Al Holbert, then director of Porsche motorsport activities in the USA, imported some European Porsche 959 cars as “racing cars”. When the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation decided that the 959’s were more likely to end up on the street than on a racing track they were impounded and sent back to Germany. Porsche was put on notice that any “racing car” that “looked like” a street-type car had to meet every EPA and DOT laws, or the cars would once again be sent back to Porsche.


At the time the 1992 964 Carrera RS served as the basis car for the European Carrera Cup. Therefore, for the proposed USA Carrera Cup, PCNA asked PMNA (Porsche Motorsport North America) to coordinate with Porsche AG to produce a  limited production run of USA legal cars similar to the European Carrera RS. Andial would then be contracted to convert these road legal cars to Carrera Cup race cars for the pending racing series. Forty-five “Carrera Cup USA Edition” cars were specially produced by the factory and sent to the PCNA port in Charleston, South Carolina.

Twenty-nine of these 45 cars were then shipped from Charleston to Andial in Santa Anna, California.  Of these, 25 were converted to the full Carrera Cup racing specification and 4 cars had their engines sealed, checked on the dynamometer and their clutch plate changed to the racing unit. These 4 cars were to be used as parts cars and were otherwise unchanged from the way they were imported. These 29 cars were then shipped to Reno, Nevada for storage at Porsche Cars North America.

Through the process, the actual cost of producing a full blown Carrera Cup Series race car grew considerably more than previous thought by pending race teams. The initial price of around $60,000 nearly doubled to a final price of over $100,000, which PCNA  then tried to pass on the additional cost to the racing teams.  But, finding enough suitable buyers who were willing to dish out the extra cost for their new race car proved nearly impossible.  In addition, the weak American economy in 1992 reduced the hopes for sponsorship support and the series was cancelled by PCNA before it began.

After the Carrera Cup USA series cancellation, the 29 racing and modified cars were returned to Andial and reconverted back to their original street legal specification as originally imported. The only remaining elements of the  25 conversion cars were the 2 tubes left from the roll cage on each side of the engine compartment, remnants of the roll cage weld pads inside the car and the stiffer steering coupler links were also left in the cars. The cars were then shipped from Andial back to the Porsche port in Charleston, South Carolina for final carpeting and paintwork before shipment to dealers.

Sixteen of the original 45 cars were never shipped from South Carolina to Andial in the first place and were sold as they were imported.

It’s assumed that PCNA was sensitive about the cancellation of the racing series, as there was no national advertising program about the cars availability other than a letter to Porsche dealers. All 45 cars were sold quietly through the regular dealer network, to high sales performing dealers as a model officially called the “Carrera Cup Edition”.


 

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The Carrera Cup Edition

The Carrera Cup USA Edition was the rarest

of the street-legal 964 derivatives. There were forty four cars that came from Porsche finished in a Grand Prix white and 1 was painted in“Guards Red” (aka the Pace Car), all having a black partial leather interior and powered bya six-cylinder 3600cc, air-cooled engine thatproduces 260+ horsepower. They were equipped

with hydraulically ventilated disc brakes on all

four tires, and complied with a EPA and DOT

requirements.

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