words by pablo deferrari

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image: wikipedia
the Spanish are an intense lot; they have a way of making eye contact without flinching...looking into yours as if trying to examine the character of your soul in nanoseconds as they walk by. food, wine, art, and conversations are all very deep, nothing superificial. I’ve schlepped around Europe enough to make these sorts of gross observations.
so when it comes to Porsches, Catalans and Gitanos alike want to be spared the fluff and bullshit that’s normally built into the package of oil and steel on four wheels…that’s why they got the 924 Spirit.

they made nine less than the legendary Ferrari GTO. in fact, I'm not sure that many Porschephiles know that this little car exists...but ask a Spanish Porsche geek, and he'll tell you all about it. 
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the Spirit in Alpine White
in 1988, as the life of the 924 was coming to an end, Porsche produced a very special batch of 924s exclusively for the Spanish market. Porsche Spain decided on calling the special allotment “Spirit” as this little 924 represented the true essence of the marque’s roots of producing small, lightweight cars putting out impressively high performance from small displacement.

exactly 30 were made with the M755 option (same as UK/ROW), 15 wearing black, and 15 in alpine white…but there was something very special about these cars that gently nudges my nose past the UK’s Le Mans edition and our own Special Edition version. it’s the “Spirit” script in place of the “924S” and doing away with the silly “Le Mans” tag on the doors of its UK cousin that reeks of wannabe-boy-racer.

those lacking savvy would immediately think it’s some kind of cheesy, generic appliqué found in a dollar store that the owner decided to tack on the back of his Porsche to confuse the masses. but those who instinctively salivate at the sight of anything that has a gram of Porsche DNA will recognize that font as purely the work of Zuffenhausen’s artists.

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and in Black. (image: wikipedia)
you just know there’s something very special about this version that you don’t get from the “Le Mans” or the SE of the same vintage; and there is…

now the “Spirit,” like the UK/ROW “Le Mans” and SE, has the same lusted-after  M030 suspension made up of Koni dampers and stiffer springs which dropped her a bit (10mm in the front and 15mm in the rear to be precise), and 23mm front and 20mm rear sway bars.

the options fitted were a bit different than the other versions, however. unique to the “Spirit” were the Turbo-style seats in lightweight gray flannel with ochre pinstripes like the “Le Mans” with ochre piping and accents on the white car and gray flannel with turquoise pinstripes, piping, and accents on the black one; the gray flannel fabric was also carried out on the inside door panels. it had the 360mm four-spoke steering wheel, manual steering, a removable sunroof, air-conditioning (yep, Spain can get HOT), power windows, power flag-style outer mirrors, alarm, and a beefier battery.

you also got the 15” phone dial wheels painted white with an ochre lip on the white car and black with a turquoise lip and the black guy. and lastly, on the decorative end, it had option M498 (vehicle without lettering on rear end) so that the “Spirit” logo could be affixed, and you received the special medallion to underscore its pedigree.

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a black Spirit tastefully modified with Design 90 wheels...aside from the 937, this is one of the most beautiful 924s I've seen done. (images:www.flickr.com/photos/39157121@N06/8310326203/in/photostream)
under the hood was engine Typ M44/09, the same lump used in that year’s 944 that would’ve normally put out 160bhp giving it a tested top speed of 137mph, naught to sixty in 7.4 seconds, and 0-100mph in 20.1 seconds, nearly 1 second faster than the 944…but there was a twist, and this twist is that “very special” element I spoke of before;

the Spanish version didn’t have a catalytic converter.

you see in España, there was a chance you couldn’t get high octane unleaded gas in your travels until 1989 when they began offering “95 Lead” and “98 Unleaded;” and if you ran poor fuel or lead with a cat and 10.2:1 high compression, you were asking for problems. so that’s it? that’s the special element he was talking about you may ask? no, you git, the kicker was that because of the probability of poor gas, this Spaniard produced and often exceeded…wait for it; 170bhp! by removing the cat on this baby, she was able to pick up an additional 10bhp over all of the 924Ss made in the world.

the Spanish have a hot little number to match the hot blood, and with so few made and probably even less remaining, you really can’t afford to pass one up should you see one offered. we’ll be keeping a close eye on the Mediterranean market.


highball!

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the medallion given with each Spirit.
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the next few inmages of the interior are from a UK Le Mans M755 option, but it looked the same on the Spirit.
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wheel detail with ochre edging
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the above two are a bit poor in quality, but it gives you another vantage point on a super-rare Porsche.
 


Comments

Roger Curtis
09/19/2014 06:07

Wow! Who knew?! Given a choice I'd opt for the Spirit package in any search for another 924s. Not that that's a likely option but, hey, a guy can dream, right? :)

Always enjoy your articles, Pablo.

Roger

Reply
pablo deferrari
09/19/2014 21:47

thanks Roger! you just made my morning!

Reply
George Mavraganis
05/27/2016 10:23

A great article and pics of an ultra rare 924S . By the way , I wonder if anyone has a pic where this medallion was placed in the car .....

Reply
01/02/2017 15:15

I have a had one arrive in stock. Black Manual done 58,000 Miles LHD. Anyone interested check out our website soon. Thanks Philip.
www.seymourpope.com

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