The Silverstone Classic Sale 2015

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1979 Porsche 911 Martini Turbo 330

Lot No.: 516

Registration: ETO 65T
Chassis Number: 9309700366
Engine Number: 6790389
Number of cylinders: 6
CC: 3300cc
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Sold for (£): 74,250

Remember the television adverts? ‘It's the right one, the bright one, it's Martini.' Well, that was the tagline for the now iconic drinks company that has sponsored motorsport since 1968, and supported Porsche's 917 racing team in the early 1970's. In the mid-1970's Porsche introduced the 911 Turbo. It was as much about looks as it was performance and its menacing wide body and massive rear spoiler made it essential poster material for schoolboys the world over.

As Philip Raby recalls in a 2004 911 & Porsche World article on the Martini Turbo, the driving experience is to be savoured too. "911 Turbos are not about being civilised. As soon as it's clear, I floor the throttle and wait, and wait, and wait. You need a calendar to measure the turbo lag in this car, [but] once the single KKK turbocharger finally kicks in the car flies urgently forward, propelled by the full might of the 300bhp engine behind my back'.

Delivered new in March 1979 by Gordon Ramsay Ltd of Newcastle upon Tyne, this 911 Turbo is presented in very good order throughout and encompasses everything Porsche intended back in 1976 when the Turbo was introduced. It's spooky how much a near 40 year old car can still give the impression it's moving quickly even when stood still. It must be those stripes...?

The service record for this car includes 11 stamps, most recently in July 2013 at Purely-9, independent Porsche specialists of Surrey for a standard service. Included in the history file are a number of past tax discs, and a full complement of MOT records from 1986 to date with only a period of four years between 1998 and 2002 missing when presumably the car was off the road. The most recent ownership history identifies three owners, one from 2006 to 2011, the next to 2014, and our vendor from then, though in current ownership the car has largely remained on a SORN amongst his collection and though regularly warmed to temperature, little exercised. That said, the car is kept in tip-top condition and sailed through its recent MOT with no advisories.

This Martini Turbo now shows a genuine 74,500 miles from new, and on a recent road test behaved impeccably. Yes, it's true that the braking capability of a car manufactured in 1979 could be bettered, but this only serves to keep you honest and road-legal. The engine shows signs of tweaking with performance improvement, particularly in light of the visible stainless steel enlarged dual tail pipes.  The seats could benefit from a leather feed, but they're not ripped, tatty or torn. The glove box has had to be recovered because a previous owner applied a plaque to it and in some lights the replacement covering can be noticed. In six months' time, with patination, this may level out, but these are minor points anyway. The important thing is that the overall condition, feel and experience of the car is incredible and we rate these Turbo 3.3s very highly indeed.

If Porsche had produced an actual limited-edition 911 Turbo with Martini Livery, there'd be a record of the number made, but because the Martini stripes were only an option (M42, for those in the know) then no one truly knows exactly how many cars were factory equipped with them. Research suggests that around 24 right hand drive Turbos were produced in 1979 and the car here today is believed to be one of them.