Vehicles | January 28, 2021 5:55 am

The Story Behind Porsche’s One and Only Bulletproof 911

Back in the ‘90s, the Germans dabbled in armored sports cars

Porsche sports car emblem
Did you know Porsche built a one-off bulletproof 911 in the '90s? We didn't either.
Porsche AG

In the automotive aftermarket, all bets are off. Ford Broncos can become VelociRaptors, Caprice Classics can become Batmobiles and Johnny Cash’s Rolls-Royce can become a Tesla. Expensive, eccentric and/or ludicrous builds are a dime a dozen.

What’s much more consequential, in terms of the automotive history books, is when a manufacturer takes one of their own cars and does one of these radical customizations in-house — factory built, in other words. Such is the case with a one-of-one Porsche 911 we had never heard of until this week; in a new video from the YouTube channel That Nine Eleven Guy, host Lee Sibley provides an exclusive look at a bulletproof Porsche 996 Carrera prototype. 

You read that right: bulletproof. The windows are 20mm thick reinforced glass, the bodywork incorporates the lightweight Dyneema material, rather than your standard bulletproof steel. Nonetheless, the car weighs about three tons, or around twice the weight of your standard 996. According to Sibley, Porsche tested out this defense to make sure it withstood 9mm handguns and .44 Magnum revolvers — it may not be enough for, say, James Bond, but it would serve your standard diplomat well on the weekends.

And that was the kind of clientele imagined for this car.

“Take your mind back to the end of the 1990s, around the start of the millennium period,” Sibley says in the video. “Mercedes-Benz … they were making a lot of bulletproof cars for diplomats and for royals and that sort of thing. Porsche kind of wanted to get in on that, not so much to kind of steal the bulletproof market if you like, but just kind of show what can be done with the icon that is the Porsche 911.”

They certainly showed what can be done, taking a 996 Carrera off the line in early 1997, customizing it like so and ending up with a slick finished product (in “Dragonfly Turquoise Metallic” paint, according to Sibley, a new Porsche color to us). 

But despite one customer reportedly expressing interest in the build, Porsche didn’t get enough demand in order to greenlight this offering. So this turquoise beast remains the only factory built bulletproof 911 in existence — one the marque will supposedly sometimes place on the floor of the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.

Since you can’t plan a visit just yet, in the meantime, go follow That Nine Eleven Guy to get your Porsche fix.