The inevitable result of a mid-'90s rules change for the 24 Hours of Le Mans switching from purpose-built prototypes to modified sports cars as the top class was the development of, well, purpose-built prototypes with license plates that were legal for the race. Porsche's 911 GT1 Evolution was the leading edge of this trend, quickly followed by the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR and others.
This 1997 example is one of those Porsches and a proud new owner just took it home from Sotheby's Monaco auction, where it sold for a whopping $3.1 million. As far as a racing pedigree, it boasts 13 wins from 31 starts, includign three straight Canadian GT championship victories between 1999 and 2001.
The ultra-rare racer carries the 911's name and a flat-six engine configuration, but otherwise bears no resemblance to Porsche's classic sports car.
Instead, this car is built on a carbon fiber composite and steel tube frame chassis in place of a normal production car's stamped steel unitized body construction.
Its twin-turbocharged 600-plus horsepower engine sits amidships, where a real 911's back seat is, rather than cantilevered awkwardly out behind the rear axle, Volkswagen Beetle style.
Porsche built 41 GT1s, 18 as race cars and 23 as street cars. This particular car was built from a new chassis from Porsche to replace one destroyed in a racing crash. It ran a career of 29 races in Canada before retiring from the track in 2002.
Following a thorough refurbishment, this example is now the only GT 1 race car to be licensed for street use. Sounds like whoever bought it is in for a hell of a good time.