But seriously, why crush cars? Well, in the case of those Vipers, they were pre-production models that can never be sold. Why not? Because if they ever somehow “get loose” and are involved in a road crash, the manufacturer is hosed—just ask your nearest lawyer, any lawyer. Fact is, it makes great economic sense for automakers to destroy certain cars. They would hurt themselves, shareholders, and future crash victims if they didn’t make sure certain cars were good and dead. Even cars you really like.
But what about special cars? Or even really special cars? Like, say, the 2018 Porsche 991-series 911 GT2 RS Weissach Edition that set the production car lap record in July 2018 on the big track at Willow Springs International Raceway? The very car driven by our own Randy Pobst and the same one we featured in a Jethro Bovingdon-hosted episode of Ignition?
Well, that British Racing Green beauty is a pre-production car, meaning it can never be registered, never be sold, and with 691 hp on tap, is one hell of a fast-moving liability. So to The Crusher it was headed. That is, until Andy Preuninger, the affable, heavy metal-listening boss of Porsche’s GT division and the man behind masterpieces such as the GT2 RS, got involved.
The story relayed to me goes like this: Preuninger hears about what is going on, calls up Porsche Cars North America public relations, and says something to the effect of, “They’re going to crush my baby!”
Now, the actual story may be that one of Preuninger’s employees was trying to figure out a way to save some cars, and, as this car was one of the North American PR fleet’s cars, inquired as to what’s so special about it. Either way, after some “this aggression will not stand!” dialogue, someone pointed out that not only did Pobst set a record lap in the car (a screaming 1:21.08!), but he also signed the underside of the carbon-fiber hood sometime later at a Rare Shades event in Atlanta, where he lives and where Porsche North America is headquartered. (Rare Shades is a cars and coffee-style get-together that features Porsches with paint-to-sample hues, or are at least coated with rare colors.)
Good thing Porsche had him sign it. As it turns out, this was the key to saving this 911 GT2 RS and getting it placed in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. After all, setting a lap record on one track is a pretty good reason to get a car into a museum, but having the driver’s signature under its hood? Roll out the red carpet.
And that is exactly what happened. Now, the modern-day Widow-Maker is free to live out its days in the peace and history-soaked serenity of Porsche’s fantastic Zuffenhausen spread, thanks to lighting up a track not too far from Los Angeles. And hey, I’m 60-75 percent sure I sent the email that got this GT2 RS out to Willow Springs in the first place, so I’ll take a little bit of credit. The most important and satisfying thing is that for once we saved an awesome car from The Crusher.