Sally Carrera and the 911 Sally Special

A one-off Porsche modelled on Sally Carrera from the 2006 Disney movie Cars has raised $3.6 million US dollars at a charity auction.

The 911 Sally Special represents a unique collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios, Style Porsche, Porsche’s Sonderwunsch team and Porsche Cars North America. Like Sally Carrera, the 911 Sally Special is one of a kind. There will only be one and it is the first time that Pixar has supported such a project.

The car was auctioned by RM Sotheby’s as part of Monterey Car Week in California, with the proceeds equivalent to $5.2 million Aussie dollars going to two charities. A portion of the proceeds will benefit young women through a donation to Girls Inc. The second portion will go to USA for UNHCR, an organisation that supports refugees from Ukraine.

The project began in November 2021 and united members of the original Cars team that brought both the film character and life-size Sally Carrera to life more than 20 years ago. The team included Jay Ward, Creative Director of Franchise at Pixar Animation Studios, and Bob Pauley, the Production Designer who first drew Sally Carrera for the Cars film. They were assisted by members of the Sonderwunsch team at Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur in Stuttgart and designers from Style Porsche in Weissach. The team worked together for ten months – the result is a unique factory one-off.

“Vehicles need a face and a story. And the animated Pixar’s film ‘Cars’ has impressively transferred done just that: brought cars to life on the big screen,” Porsche’s Dr Sebastian Rudolph, said. “The story conveys values such as friendship, love and mutual support – and in the middle of it all is a Porsche: ‘Sally Carrera’. Together with Pixar we have brought the spirit of Sally to life in a new way, not on the screen, but off the screen.

“With this one-off street legal 911, the ‘Sally Special’, which we are auctioning for charity, we want to help people who urgently need support, quite in keeping with the spirit of the film character.”

Pixar’s Jay Ward said they had great fun creating 911 Sally Special, adding it was the first time they had worked on a project of this kind. “We decided early on that we wanted to create a completely drivable 911 – inspired by Sally Carrera, but just not an exact copy. Sally Carrera loves to drive – that was our inspiration. We asked ourselves: if Sally were built today as a road-approved model, what would she look like?”

The 911 Sally Special is based on the fastest and most agile variant of the 911 Carrera model line — the 911 Carrera GTS. The car is equipped with a manual gearbox, tapping into Sally Carrera’s passion for driving. Customisation is detailed and extensive. One example is the Sally Blue Metallic paintwork, a custom paint that was hand-applied specifically for this project.

Sally’s tattoo also posed a challenge. Sally Carrera’s Turbo-look rims were reinterpreted by Porsche designers in Weissach and manufactured especially for the 911 Sally Special. The ‘five-arm design’ rim was adapted to the 20/21-inch dimensions of the current 911 generation and creates a visual link to the 911 Type 996 on which Sally Carrera is based. The team worked with Pixar to design the new blue colour as well as the vehicle’s interior.

The special Sally Blue Metallic is used in the interior as well, where it creates both obvious highlights and subtle details. A special Pepita houndstooth fabric upholstery was applied in three colours, combined with chalk-coloured leather and stitching in Speed Blue.

In addition to the car itself, the auction also included other highlights. Most notable was a unique chronograph by Porsche Design, also created in collaboration with Pixar. Like the car itself, the coloured ring is painted in Sally Blue Metallic. The chalk-coloured leather strap with Speed Blue stitching underscores the sporty design of the unique timepiece.

The strap can be quickly and easily swapped out for a second strap in Speed Blue with chalk-coloured stitching, without the need for any tools.

Like the vehicle, the chronograph has a limited edition marking on the back of the case. The one-of-a-kind piece is powered by a COSC-certified Porsche Design WERK 01.100 movement. The 911 Sally Special Chronograph was precision engineered and manufactured at Porsche’s own watchmaking facility in Solothurn, Switzerland.

The car was also accompanied by a  second set of wheels for track events plus an array of smaller, items created during the development of the 911 Sally Special. These include a bespoke indoor cover made by Porsche Tequipment, original color moulds used to finalise the paint for the car, show plates for the car, a special book charting the design and development with images of its construction and original sketches by Porsche designer Shuichi Yamashita, and Pixar’s Cars Production Designer Bob Pauley.


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About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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