Cars have lost their charm. They’re sterile, wind-tunnel tested, über-safe cocoons that stir the soul like a washer/dryer combo. On the other hand, yesterday’s cars were packed with passion, but they drive like shit. That’s why companies like Texas-based Gullwing America recreate retro rides based on modern tech. And this, their P/904 Carrera based on a Porsche Boxter, may just be the ultimate retro reboot.
Gullwing America makes a meticulous tribute to the famed Mercedes 300SL called the Panamericana. The car is built on a steel tube chassis with aluminum bodywork—just like the real thing. It rocks a 400-horsepower Mercedes-based V8 (or a 320-horsepower V6 for the faint of heart) and many modern Mercedes parts. It is exquisitely crafted to standards that any German engineer would approve of.
The P/904 Carrera is being built with the same precision on a 987 Porsche Boxster (2005 – 2011) chassis. Power will be provided by a 3.4-liter boxer engine with 295 horsepower. The body will be made from composite materials.
Cost for the conversion will be somewhere around $100,000. It’s not clear if that price includes the donor Boxter.
That may seem steep, but the original 904 makes hen’s teeth seem common. It was designed in the early ’60s as a pure racer by Ferdinand Alexander “Butzi” Porsche. It was the first Porsche to use an all-plastic body and weighed 1,200 pounds wet. Only 100 road-going 904s were made for homologation.
So when it comes to the 904, your choices are limited. The Beck 904 is the most famous replica offers a proper old-school experience. It’s a precise featherweight reproduction with brutish manners and stellar performance.
The P/904 Carrera is on the other end of the spectrum, offering a more civilized ride with many creature comforts like air conditioning and power windows.
The P/904 is under development now, but Gullwing America expects to have a production version ready soon.