The Porsche 904 once owned by renowned collector/museum curator/tycoon/lucky bastard Yoshibo Matsuda is currently among the cars for sale by German dealer Jan Lühn. Ordinarily the non-racing owner of a car doesn’t improve it’s provenance terribly, but Mr. Matsuda is no ordinary car collector. In the 1970s and 80s, Matsuda started pickup up exotic Porsches: the first Porsche to win outright at LeMans (a 917), a 910 Spyder, a 550 Spyder, an RSK Spyder, a 906, 908. The guy’s collection was no joke. So fantastic was it, that he opened a historic Porsche museum in Tokyo. After several years, Mr. Matsuda decided to shake things up and sold off the bulk of his collection and replaced them with historically significant Ferraris and hung a new sign on the door of his museum. I understand that he’s now sold off the Ferraris as well.
But getting back to Porsche 904-092. The car was originally delivered in 1964 to gentleman F1 driver, Count Carel de Beaufort. This 904 was his third—he also owned 904-019 (which he raced at Sebring), and 904-072 (which was crashed by his friend Gerard van Lennep).
The Count only owned 904-092 for a short time before selling it to England, where it was raced by Patrick Godfrey and Alain DeCadenet. After a short time in the states, Matsuda picked up the car in the late 70’s.
Such was Mr. Matsuda’s love for the 904, that he wrote an absolutely marvelous book on the history, development, and current whereabouts of the remaining 904s. I spent several years trying to track down a copy of “Porsche 904 GTS Great Cars of Great Collections Volume 3”, with little luck. I finally tracked down a copy at online bookseller T.E. Warth Autobooks, but $180 seemed a bit steep. Ultimately I was able to order a copy from the publisher at cover price. Go order a copy right now, it’s an amazing book – and the price is fantastic when compared to the odd prices it’s fetching in the secondary market.
Mr. Matsuda sold the car at RM’s Monterrey Auction in 2000—for the now astonishingly low price of $264,000. (Is it wrong for me to hope that the current financial market causes classic car prices to tank and once again become attainable?). After that sale, however, the story becomes even more interesting. The Floridian buyer repainted the car to its original Silver color and shortly thereafter sold the car to a man in Germany. Incredibly, the German tracked down the car’s original twin-cam 4 cylinder Koenigswellen engine, which had been spending some time as a decorative piece in a retired Porsche engineer’s home. Now that is an art piece I’d love to have in my living room.
So now, impeccably maintained and newly reunited with her original engine after 25 years apart, Porsche 904-092 is available. Jan Lühn doesn’t list a price, but I’m sure they’ll be receptive to an offer of the $264,000 that this car fetched in 2000.
Sure they will.