Parisian car dealer Historic Cars is selling this wonderful, Motul-sponsored Porsche ‘art car’. Ordered from the factory in 1998 for the French GT Championship, it was painted by German pop-art artist Peter Klasen and is the only one in existence with this striking livery. We catch up with the car’s sellers, Guillaume Le Metayer and Gaël Regent.
What cars does Historic Cars specialise in?
We’re a Parisian based historic car dealer. Basically, we source, buy, sell and trade classic cars for our clients. We have a huge appetite for 1950s to late 70s era cars with a serious addiction for racing cars of that period. We love pre-war cars too, and recently 1990s race cars that seem to be a natural evolution of our work.
Tell us about the Porsche 993 GT Evo2 Klasen. Why’s that a significant car?
Our 993 GT Evo2 is one of the few (believed to be only 11 in total) cars ever produced by the factory. It has the ultimate racing specs available in period (3.8-litre engine and a bigger KKK turbo reaching 750hp). What makes it so special is also its striking Peter Klasen livery that makes it so unique.
What are its racing highlights?
This car was ordered in September 1998 by the Porsche factory to the Jean-Pierre Jarier/François Lafon duo, (after they crashed #02 at Le Mans) to secure their winning position in the 1998 French GT Championship. The team decided to have it painted by Peter Klasen, making in the process one of the most beautiful art cars ever produced. It was named the “Klasen 98 – Tarpaulin 2”. After the successful end of the ‘98 season the car was again entered by the same team in 1999, which resulted in another championship title with consecutive 1st or 2nds in every race meeting that year. After this, the car stayed untouched in Mr Lafon’s private collection until 2012.
Selling racing cars must be very different to being a regular car dealer. Explain what it’s like?
Selling racing cars means that you have to be passionate about history and research. That you are fascinated by drivers, engineers and iconic races. The thrill of driving at high speed. Getting to understand the technology that comes behind the performance. Collecting documentation, old pictures, testimonies, readings. It’s a never-ending task. And so exciting.
How is coronavirus affecting the racing car sales business?
Needless to say we are quite affected in the way we used to manage our business before this international chaos. Travelling, meeting, discovering is the essence of our chase of good cars. The classic cars event calendar has also been blown away until September. Major meetings, where we were meant to race, such as the Goodwood Members’ Meeting, Tour Auto and Le Mans Classic, got cancelled or postponed. The entire historic car circus got locked down within 10 days and we all miss meeting our friends, clients, teams and all the people that work in this industry. On the other hand, we took this specific time to work differently and move on long term deals on significant cars.
Where does your passion for racing cars come from?
Gaël: As a baby, when I couldn’t sleep, my grandfather would take me for an evening drive in his Citroën Ami 6. That was probably my first automotive experience, but my first real memory is not a happy one: I remember getting travel sickness on the way home from skiing holidays with my parents. For a long time I’ve been really passionate about Le Mans. Studying there, every evening I was going around the circuit to see cars on the track.
Guillaume: When I was three, trying to quickly jump in my dad’s Alfa Romeo Bertone, I had an accident and literally finished with blood all over my face and a few stiches for a couple of weeks. I think this is the day I got heavily infected by the Alfa Romeo virus and general passion for cars. I also remember the daily school run that turned into a kind of Grand Prix on open roads. We were always running late, and my dad was a sporty driver.
© Pictures: Remi Dargegen photography