2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR
000 Magazine Issue 002 “cover car”
The only Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR painted any color other than white, personally approved by head of Porsche Motorsport Frank Walliser
One of only 60 factory Manthey Racing cars produced
207 miles since new (333 kilometers)
All Manthey Racing options installed at the factory
While some manufacturers might introduce a special edition car as a final hurrah for their cars, Porsche decided that their swan song for the 987 Cayman would be this: the Cayman GT4 Clubsport Manthey Racing, or MR for short. Created to make the ultimate racing car that was accessible to many of Porsche’s customers, the MR was the answer for racers looking for an extremely competitive machine that didn’t require a hedge fund to drive and maintain. Fitted with carbon fiber body panels, upgraded mechanicals and slightly different aero, this transformed the ordinary Clubsport into a surgical scalpel on the track that was capable of taking down cars far more expensive than itself.
The story of this Guards Red Clubsport MR does not begin with just waiting for an open build slot, but a passionate racing team owner and racer who wanted it for reasons more than just wanting to race it. In his current collection of vintage Porsches was a pristine 3,000-kilometer Porsche 924 GTS Clubsport in Guards Red, a limited run of turbocharged 924s, which he absolutely loved. He thought of the perfect scenario that he could have two matching Clubsports next to each other, both limited in production with each one special in their own right. The only issue was that Porsche was not accepting orders for custom-painted Cayman GT4 Clubsports and offering only white. This wasn’t acceptable for him and for months persisted with the head of Porsche Motorsport North America, Jens Walther. Walther said that he would work and push the request to Porsche AG in Germany, but couldn’t offer any guarantees. Then, while visiting LeMans in 2016, he received some excellent news: Porsche approved his Guards Red Clubsport MR.
The decision wasn’t as simple as a yes or no answer. Due to the nature of assembly and then Manthey Racing installing their own parts, removing a car from assembly to paint it a different color is quite the undertaking. While Porsche did not want to approve the decision, it was then revealed that the Clubsport team in Germany rallied for the car, with the final approval coming from none other than head of Porsche Motorsport Frank Walliser. Once approved, this Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR became known as the only car painted any color other than white. With an invoice of around $267,000 along with extra Motec data logging equipment installed that pushed the cost to $277,000, it is most likely one of the most expensive Clubsport MRs ever made.
After the car received its Guards Red paintwork, the car was assembled by Manthey Racing and received every upgrade they had to offer for the race car. This included the 100-liter fuel cell, an air jack system, a FEV fire extinguisher, 2-way adjustable KW coilover suspension, adjustable brake bias, a carbon fiber hood and doors, polycarbonate windshield and side windows, a Recaro racing seat, a lightweight battery, a polycarbonate front bumper and a larger MR rear wing. Shedding 88 pounds from the car, the car was now down to only 2,843 pounds, a true no-nonsense turn-key racecar.
After taking delivery of the car, the ecstatic owner parked the racecar next to his 924 GTS Clubsport and hung up the key. Upon inspection, he saw that the tag attached to the new key said “924” which confused him, wondering if the tag was meant for the 924 GTS. In what might be the greatest stroke of luck for the VIN lottery, the last three digits on the Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR’s VIN was 924. Walther swore that it was unplanned as VINs are assigned randomly, and what was an almost-impossible scenario now had the Guards Red Clubsport matching the 924 next to it.
The Cayman’s maiden visit to the track came as a cover feature for 000 Magazine’s Issue 002, a Porsche-specific coffee table magazine, at the Thermal Club racetrack. Accompanied by the owner along with Porsche factory driver Patrick Long, the two took turns putting the GT4 through its paces around track. With Long noting the car’s incredible handling and rigidity while being “very fun” to drive, the car was without fault to the two racecar drivers and was the perfect addition to the driver’s 924 GTS Clubsport in his collection. The car would eventually participate in one race with Jeff Ward at the helm, a 7-time motocross champion who transitioned into off-road truck racing then into rallycross racing. Ward took this Guards Red Clubsport MR to the 2018 Long Beach Grand Prix in the Pirelli World Challenge, coming in 2nd place.
As with many projects that begin with the best intentions, the owner decided that the GT4 Clubsport MR was a car that he was ready to part with. Citing the his future of collecting and culling his collection of vintage Porsche cars, the as-new GT4 MR was admittedly somewhat of an outlier amongst the group of air-cooled cars. When the car arrived at Canepa, it was immediately evident that the car had seen very little race duty with just 4 hours of race time. The paint was in flawless condition having been protected by clear bra, and the rest of the car presented as though Manthey Racing had just completed the car.
The ability for someone to persist despite what others might say is a trait that often rewards the adamant with things that are normally off limits or nonexistent. In this case, the owner was able to convince an international company to create a true one-off racecar, complete with its own unique story and ultimately perhaps be the finest example to ever leave Porsche’s factory doors. With this 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR, this as-new and unique racecar is one of those cars that will have its story follow it as long as it exists; creating lust in those unlucky owners dreaming of what their racecar could have been but will never know.
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