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Stars and their cars: Glenn TiptonBack

A 1980s supercar that inspired Judas Priest lead guitarist Glenn Tipton to write platinum-selling album Turbo, and best-selling single Turbo Lover, is to be auctioned later this month.

The Porsche 911 Turbo SE was collected by Tipton from the Porsche factory while on tour in Europe in 1985.

It was specially designed with a chiffon white colour scheme, and came with the special SE enhancements of vented rear wheel arches, sill extensions and soft leather interior trim.

With a 300 bhp turbocharged air-cooled 3.3 litre engine and stunning looks, the 911 was Tipton’s pride and joy for over three decades, but a demanding music career meant that he seldom had time to drive it, and as a result it has covered only 14,100 miles.

“We had a tour of the factory at Stuttgart and I was so impressed with the engineering and how meticulous they were when building cars, and I just had to have one,” says Tipton of his 1985 tour. “But I live out in the sticks, and it has to be nice weather to take the Porsche out, so I hardly ever use it. It’s time for it to go to someone who will get some use of it, but it’s going to be very hard to let it go.”

Speaking about the Porsche’s influence on the band in 2012, singer Rob Halford told Classic Rock magazine: “When you look back at the ’80s, living through that decade, it was incredibly decadent. There was a lot of money flying around [and] it was a real pig-out in many ways, everything was larger than life.”

The Turbo album marked a shift away from the band’s heavy metal roots and a plunge into pop-metal and 80s technology, wielding guitar synths. It became one of the first digitally recorded albums in history but the entire thing divided longtime fans.

Turbo was originally planned as a double album – provisionally named Twin Turbos after Tipton and fellow guitarist K.K. Downing both purchased Porsche 911 Turbos. But the two-record concept was eventually abandoned, with the session’s heavier recordings – including tunes like “Hard as Iron,” “Love You to Death,” “Monster of Rock” and “Ram It Down” – shelved until the late 80s.

The songs were later refinished for the band’s 1988 abum Ram It Down. Several other tracks — including “Prisoner of Your Eyes,” “Red, White & Blue” and “All Fired Up” — emerged as bonus tracks on Priest’s CD catalog reissues years later.

The 911 is said to have been meticulously maintained by Tipton, and in preparation for the sale, the 911 was sent to specialists Two Plus Two for a full service, new injectors and a fresh MOT in June.

“We feel very privileged to offer this important car for sale for the very first time in its history,” adds Nick Whale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions. “Cars with this unique history, single ownership, and known provenance, rarely come to market and this special car is a real opportunity for the enthusiast and collector alike.”

The 911 Turbo SE will be offered for auction on October 21 with an estimate of £180,000 – £220,000.

It will be sold at Silverstone Auctions’ Porsche Sale. To find out more about the car or auction, visit


Posted by Beth Rose on 02/10/2017