After 20+ years of wanting, 5+ years of savings, 2+ years of searching, and 9 months of waiting, I am now officially a member of the Porsche GT club. My ticket in is a custom ordered 2022 718 GT4. While it is not really a club, getting your hands on a brand-new Porsche GT car is harder than getting into most country clubs. Here is why, and my journey to getting my dream car:
Porsche’s GT road car division is headed by Andy P, aka “Mr GT.” His job is to take Porsche sport cars and make them into street-legal race cars for the road. His partner in crime is Thomas L, who leads Porsche’s Motorsport division and is responsible for the race cars you see on TV. Think 24 Hours of LeMans, the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and the 12 Hours of Sebring. The two teams work together to create near identical cars for different purposes: one that is street legal and one that will be raced competitively. This required process works in harmony because FIA rules dictate that GT-class cars have to be built based upon road going cars with limited modifications. I was told by several manufacturers that building race cars and their road going counterparts is a loss leader. “Most people buying $100k+ cars don’t want to daily or even weekend a track car, because they are terribly uncomfortable.” But manufacturers have to do it. The most recent GT marriages include the 911 GT2 RS and GT2 Clubsport, the 911 GT3 and GT3 Cup Car, the 718 GT4 and GT4 Clubsport. Both the street legal and race ready GT cars are likely not very profitable for Porsche because they are low-volume vehicles, but they represent a marketing play to get people to pay attention to brand through motorsports. Race GT cars on Sunday, sell regular cars/SUVs on Monday. This means that for the rest of us gear heads, we can get an insanely great track cars directly from manufacturers at a seemingly bargain price. A seemingly bargain price because true Porsche factory race cars designed for the World Endurance Championship will cost you $300,000+. This motorsports pedigree combined with the fact that all Porsche GT cars are limited production vehicles (even if they are not numbered), means that Porsche GT cars are the most sought after models in the 718 and 911 line up.
My journey towards GT ownership started when I was in high school, drooling over a Porsche race car (996 GT3) in a magazine. However it was only in the past few years that I started really thinking about getting one. I was on my first Porsche, a super low miles 986 Boxster S with RUF upgrades, but I was craving something more. Something faster around the race track and autocross circuits. The GT4 is what my heart desired because I like the modern mid-engine layout and Motorsport pedigree. As a racing aficionado, it is super cool to know what you are driving won a championship. I intend to do amateur auto racing with my GT4, so the motorsports pedigree is extra special. The GT4 costs $60k less than the GT3, however they both (991 GT3/RS) share suspension, brakes, drivetrain components. So in my book, it is the best bang for the buck Porsche you can get… if you can get one!
My first stop on the road to ownership was the closest Porsche dealership to my office. There, the salesman told me that I needed to be a long term high value Porsche GT customer for them to accept a custom order on a new GT4. He offered to sell me a used car instead. My next stop was the Porsche dealer closest to my house. There the salesman told me that he would sell me a GT4, but I need to give the dealership a $30k premium. Both dealers made me feel like I wasn’t worth their time. I proceeded to contact two more nearby dealers with similar answers. I asked a couple friends with GT cars about how they got there cars: one paid $100k over sticker to get his GT2 RS and the other was forced to buy his GT3 used.
By this time, I was thinking that buying a brand-new custom-ordered GT4 just wasn’t in the cards for me. I was even considering alternatives as I didn’t want a used car nor be price gouged. However a friend who works for a different automotive manufacturer suggested that I contact Jamie from Porsche Naples. Jamie was eager to make my custom order GT4 dream come true. He was transparent about the process and enthusiastic to talk to me. To top off the incredible experience, Jamie is also a true car enthusiast, so the buying process was like working with a friend versus a sales guy. Porsche Naples is located only a few miles from my Dad’s house, but I would travel cross country to replicate the buying experience at Porsche Naples.
In July of 2021, I pulled the trigger and placed a deposit on a 718 GT4. The next step was to play the waiting game for an allocation. Dealers get a limited amount of GT cars every year, so an allocation is Porsche’s way of saying we reserved a car for you. Every dealer get a different allocation set based upon sales history.
Four and half months passed when in November of 2021, Jamie called with the good news: You are getting a 2022 model allocation! I was beyond excited to be getting the vehicle. I had a good idea of the spec I wanted, but Jamie also made valuable recommendations to enhance the car’s appearance. For instance he convinced me to get yellow seat belts to match the yellow door straps. Looking back, I am really glad I checked that option box! What I ordered is a bespoke car with wheels, seats, interior trim, stitching, and materials tailored to my tastes. And of course being a GT car, pretty much all of the performance options were standard equipment.
Shortly after getting my allocation notice, I received an email from Porsche with a link to track my build. The tracker detailed every step of my car’s journey, from building to delivery. The Porsche Tracker website and app made the order process more enjoyable because I could get semi-real time updates on my car. Whereas when ordering cars from other manufacturers, I had to bug the dealer to get updates. On the flip side, the Porsche Tracker made the wait seem longer because I was constantly thinking about the car. The app also estimates your delivery timeline, so you are just counting down the days.
In January of 2022, when my car was finally being built, I received photos of it moving along the assembly line. If you ever had a child, I equate these photos to the ultrasound images. You know the little guy is there, but you can’t quite hug him yet.
Fast forward to March, and my 2022 Porsche 718 GT4 finally arrived the dealer. It was on a Saturday, which meant that I had to wait until Monday for Porsche Naples to clean the car and do a final pre-delivery inspection. That Saturday and Sunday was like the night before Christmas; I couldn’t sleep in anticipation. When Monday, the delivery day, finally arrived, it was a surreal experience. I was almost shaking as I couldn’t believe my eyes. My very own, custom-ordered, Porsche 718 GT4 was ready to go home. Driving it off of the dealer lot was magical.
At the time of writing this story, I have owned the car for 5 days. It feels infinitely more special than I anticipated with its aggressive stance and rear wing. It is still being broken in, so I haven’t floored it, but I can tell that this GT4 is ready to roar. The 4.0L naturally aspirated flat-six engine sounds incredible putting around town, the dual-clutch transmission shifts in a blink of an eye, the steering is incredibly precise, and the car hugs corners like their is no tomorrow. I will be taking the car to its first track day in May at the famous Sebring Raceway, where it will really shine. After all, it was born to be a track car. I also plan on racing it in the Street Racing Made Safe Autocross Series Presented by Cosmo Tires at Homestead Miami Speedway.
What is odd is that I have tested multiple Porsche GT cars over the years as a journalist, including a GT3 RS on track, but this little GT4 beats all of them with excitement… maybe because it is mine 🙂
I want to send a big thank you to Jamie at Porsche Naples for helping me make my GT dream come true, as well as to Andy Preuninger (aka “Mr GT”) for developing such an enjoyable machine.
Note: I did not receive any compensation from Porsche Naples, Jamie, or Porsche North America for writing this article. I am simply a huge fan of their dealership after they helped me secure my dream car.