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Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in ou...
Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in our club fans and fans of the legendary series cars Porsche 911. All about 911-901, 930, 964, 993, 996 and new era 997 and 991-series.

If you're buying a used 911 as an investment, send me your address so that I can arrange a visit from the boys. Investors who never drive their 911s bring a word to mind. That word is 'pimp'. As 911 diehards, the boys don't like pimps, so when they arrive, make sure your engine is still warm, the exhaust system is making that tinkling noise and there is evidence in your tyres of some recently accomplished brisk cornering.

All 911s, from 1963 to this afternoon, share a characteristic 911 'feel', but that varies greatly in degree. Bog-standard used Coupes from the late 1970s or 1980s once delivered the goods for sensible money but they might demand some restoration work now.

Choosing a 911 is such a very personal matter. Just go for what you really want, get the best straight car you can find and look after it. Reliability is legendary but repairs can be costly.

My choice is currently the 993 Carrera 2 Coupe of 1993-98. Its predecessor, the 964, was respectable but dull. The 993's different, agile feel makes it terrific to drive and good ones go for less than £30,000 - this week, anyway.
It's the last air-cooled 911 model but so what? Later models lost nothing by being water-cooled. No, pick a 993 for its exhilarating agility, and its price.

A friend of mine paid £26,000 for a superb 1994 993 Carrera 2 in late 2013. He loves it, whether he's tootling about the shops or on a 300-mile blast through the remote Highlands of Scotland, where it truly excels. And that's no more than it deserves.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS
1973 // £500,000
The eternally great, ultimate development of the original 911 concept, it combines high performance and low weight with inch-perfect precision handling. Superb but the price of this model now, sir, is officially‘through the roof'. If you buy one, promise us you will use it.

On an autumn day in 1972 the salesman from Porsche GB came to visit our house. 'We're making a special car,' he told my father. 'Only 200 will be built, and we're offering them to our best clients first as demand is sure to be strong.' They built more than 1500 in the end, and demand was so great that, instead of management having to use them as company cars to use up unsold stock as expected, Porsche sold out the first batch of 500 immediately and had to build two more series.

Why the fuss? Because the RS is so much more than the sum of its parts. It was derived from the relatively humble 2.4S, but with flared rear arches and wider wheels (a 911 first), bored-out engine (at 2.7 litres Porsche's biggest road car motor to date), a rear spoiler (another first, and not just for Porsche, so initially illegal in some markets) and, last but not least, weight-loss that took the RS under the magic 1000kg in 'lightweight' trim.
The result: 150mph, 0-60mph in 5.0sec, handling to die for (and you would if you lifted off mid-comer) and a string of victories on every continent including rallies, Le Mans and the Targa Florio. Oh, and you can drive it to the shops.

Mine's been in the family for 42 years and has never once 'failed to proceed'. Beat that, Enzo...


Porsche 911 GT3 (997-series, generation II)
2009-12 // £80,000-120,000
The 997-series Generation II cars were terrific in their time and the naturally aspirated 997 GT3 was a hugely powerful, seriously fabulous machine, subtly better in fast corners than previous GT3 models.
A classic in waiting - bound to be a sound long-term investment.

Any brand new 911
2015 // From around £75,000
Admit it, they are absolutely brilliant. If you don’t want one, you should. Buy it, keep it, service it properly. One day, it will be a classic but, meanwhile, enjoy a few happy decades driving it. The best of all worlds.
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  •   Antonio Ghini reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    CALIFORNIA DREAMING / #Porsche-911-SC / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche / #Porsche-911-RS / #Porsche-911-SC-RS /

    John Esposito loves driving his SC RS-insired 911 on SoCal’s sun-kissed roads. When youʼre a long-term Porsche addict with four decades spent working on Stuttgartʼs most desirable metal under your belt, how do you make the drive home special? John Esposito reckons heʼs found the answer, and itʼs pretty hard to argue with… Words & Photos: Andy Tipping.

    Iʼm starting to envy John Esposito. Not only does he get to make a living working on some of the most desirable Porsches ever made, but heʼs used that experience to build possibly the ultimate motorsport replica for enjoying the miles of incredible driving roads on his doorstep. Half an hour winding through the Californian countryside under the glow of an autumn sunset, and itʼs a lifestyle I could get used to pretty quickly.

    A legend of Californiaʼs world-famous classic Porsche scene, Johnʼs carved out a reputation for meticulously executed restorations, backdating and modifying Stuttgart metal at his eponymous workshop.

    A bodyshop guy with 43 years of experience under his belt, heʼs developed an infectious enthusiasm for his work which is reflected by the contents of his garage. Heʼs had 12 356s since he bought his first ʼ1958 coupé in the late 1970s, and this is one of four 911s which make up his current fleet.

    To classify it as a simple ʻreplicaʼ would be ignoring most of what makes this so special, and so personal to John. Itʼs an interpretation of the road-going 911SC RS, built as a homologation special for the Rothmans-sponsored Group B rally cars of 1984 and 1985.

    Itʼs an homage to one of the rarest Porsches ever made, and a cherry-picked selection of parts heʼs become familiar with through four decades working with the brandʼs most desirable models. This might not be a car for the purists, but a short blast on one of Johnʼs favourite local routes has shown itʼs definitely a car for the road.

    Ironically, the original SC RS was just as much of a ʻparts-binʼ car. Porsche had needed a stop-gap competitor for its Group B rally efforts while the four-wheel drive 959 was under development, so it turned to Prodrive in the UK to construct a homologation special for the #1984 season, bankrolled by main sponsor Rothmans. The 3.0-litre SC had just been replaced, but Porsche opted to base its new rally car on the outgoing car instead of the newer 3.2- litre Carrera, in turn meaning only a handful of road cars had to be built. Exterior panels and mechanical parts were based on 1970s racers, such as the 3.0 RSR, while the bodywork was a stripped, stiffened and weight-deprived version of the 930 Turbo. Only 21 were ever built.


    This car started with a helping of good luck: ʻThe idea came from a client,ʼ says John. ʻHe approached me to build him an SC RS replica, but he changed his mind at the last minute and opted for an ST in the Toad Hall livery instead, suggesting I should build an SC RS for myself.ʼ

    Delighted with his ST, that same client even donated the rolling bodyshell to get Johnʼs project moving: the rust-bitten remains of a 1975 coupé with most of the interior and all of the drivetrain missing. It was the perfect starting point.

    ʻThe ʼshell was a lucky find, but it needed extensive metalwork before it was solid enough to begin building into an SC RS replica,ʼ he recalls. ʻThere was plenty of rust and some damage from storage, so I wasnʼt starting with an immaculate, original car. We even changed the roof panel to one without a sunroof while we were restoring it.ʼ With the coupéʼs skeletal structure free from rot and strengthened ready for its extra power, John was able to seek out all of the parts needed to take it beyond its original proportions. Potentially a headache on low-volume homologation cars, the SC RS proved easier than most. The wider arches are identical to those of the 930 Turbo, a relatively easy find for someone so well connected, while the glassfibre bumpers turned up on-line.

    Chassis parts were no more of a challenge. Prodrive had used the 930 Turbo as the basis for the chassis setup on the roadgoing SC RS cars, which meant the brakes, suspension and torsion tube could be pulled from crashed donors. John even managed to find a genuine set of 930-spec Fuchs, repainting the centres white as on the original SC RS.

    A donor Turbo was also able to donate its entire black leather interior. With no roll cage to avoid when getting in and out, itʼs perhaps the most obvious sign that Johnʼs put his own stamp on the Group B rally car.

    ʻItʼs inspired by the SC RS – itʼs not an exact replica,ʼ he explains. ʻI decided early on that I wanted to be able to use it every day, which meant I could keep the audio and fit airconditioning. Itʼs built to be driven on the road.ʼ John lifts the decklid, and more signs of his own take on Prodriveʼs work live beneath. Tony Gerace of nearby Porsche specialist TLG Auto rebuilt the 964- sourced 3.6-litre engine to fast-road spec, which means this produces 290bhp.


    Thatʼs more than any cars running under the Rothmans livery, and a significant uplift on the 255bhp of the roadgoing versions – and plenty to offset the weight of the immaculate leather interior.


    Unsurprisingly, it doesnʼt spend much time sat still: ʻI donʼt think Iʼd change anything on it,ʼ says John as the flatsix barks into life for the drive back to the workshop. ʻI drive it every day – itʼs a blast. Itʼs really fast, the handling is incredible, and I know exactly what itʼs going to do.ʼ


    That bare ʼshell, which could so easily have followed the fashion for backdated early 911 projects, took an unusual twist in Johnʼs hands. Instead of a retro homage, heʼs taken the ingredients of one of the rarest motorsport Porsches ever built and modified the recipe to suit the driving heaven in his back yard.

    Fast, impeccably built and used every day, itʼs a truly enviable product of a life well lived.


    Out on the open road, at first glance itʼs hard to tell this from an original SC RS – even the licence plate will make you think again…

    Engine is 3.6-litre 964 unit built to fast-road spec by Tony Gerace at TLG Auto. It produces a cool 290bhp, more than enough to put a smile on John Espositoʼs face every time he gets behind the wheel.

    “IMPECCABLY BUILT AND USED EVERY DAY…”

    Full black leather interior was pulled from a donor Turbo – the car was designed to be a daily driver rather than a true SC RS replica, hence the desire for home comforts, such as air-con and a radio!

    Itʼs hard to imagine a better driving environment than the mountains of southern California. For Esposito, itʼs his every day driving route…

    “WIDER ARCHES ARE IDENTICAL TO THOSE OF THE 930 TURBO…”
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  •   Darren Tompkins reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Porsche 911 SC RS The Bastos-liveried 911 had a stellar rallying season in 1984. We take it for a drive in its native Belgium – and quickly find out why it left so many rivals trailing in its wake. In 1984 Porsches were really smoking them off – specifically, the tobaccosponsored #Porsche-911SC RS rally cars. Johnny Tipler tells the tale of this short-run competition car and samples the real thing on its Belgian home turf Photography Antony Fraser. Archive pics courtesy Johan Dirickx.

    Let there be light. I flick the dashboard switch and the battery of Cibies bursts into life, illuminating the Belgian countryside. I’ve come to Kontich, home to 911 Motorsport, to drive the #Porsche-911SC-RS , a short-run hybrid competition car that stalked the stages in the European Rally Championship in the mid-Eighties. The car basks in the livery of Bastos, a Belgian cigarette brand, from an epoch when fags and motor sport worked hand in glove.

    Fire up the engine and the stripped-out cabin is a very noisy place. My forward view from the left-hand driver’s seat scouts beyond the rounded wings and the 911 headlamps, but I’ve also got the four semi-circular humps of the spotlamps in front of me. I’m strapped tightly into the low Recaro race seat by a five-point harness, and I’ve got the dished Sparco steering wheel pointing back at me. I’m surrounded by the roll cage, beneath a bare white roof graffiti’d with signatures, including that of original owner Jean- Pierre Gaban. The tachometer redlines at a little less than 8000rpm. The transmission whine and engine noise are deafening. The gearbox is difficult to engage when cold and the racing clutch is ferocious. My feet pass one another on the pedals and all hell breaks loose. It’s as if a bucking bronco has been released into the rodeo ring and I’m the cowboy struggling to hold on to the reins. Acceleration is immediate and the shift of the 915 transmission is surprisingly compliant rather than the wrestling match I’d anticipated. The roar of the flat-six, the howl of the transmission and the bonk of the suspension on the Belgian pave are raw and immediate sensations. Bystanders hear its approach a long way off, backfiring and popping on the overrun. The set of the steering wheel is off-centre and there’s a prevailing tendency towards understeer as I rush into bends.

    Next thing I’m fighting oversteer too. It’s sensory overload and a rush of bewildering impressions at first – because it’s not much like any regular 911 that I’ve driven.

    Then I begin to get used to the idiosyncrasies of this Porsche’s rally car nature. It’s not like a race car – it seems less sophisticated than that, tauter and more hardcore and it sits higher on its pins than a low-slung racer. I force myself to relax into it and take a calm overview. The further I go, the more I understand its foibles; once I get the hang of it, the monster is not so monstrous after all.


    CHASSIS 010’S 1984 SEASON

    BELGIAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
    Snyers/Colenbunders 1st overall
    Boucles de Spa (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 3rd
    Circuit des Ardennes (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    TAC Rally (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    Rallye de Wallonie (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    Ypres 24-Hours (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 2nd
    Circuit de Flandres (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
    Snyers/Colenbunders 3rd overall
    Ypres 24-Hours (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 2nd
    Madeira Rally (Portugal), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    Rally du Vin (Switzerland), Snyers/Colenbunders 6th

    Relatively unknown today, the SC RS was a rallying force to be reckoned with 30 years ago.

    With the exhaust flaming and popping, you hear the SC RS coming long before you see it.

    ‘Suddenly all hell breaks loose – it’s as if a bucking bronco has been released into the rodeo ring and I’m the cowboy struggling to hold on to the reins’

    The Prodrive-built 911 feels unruly at first.

    300kph (186mph) speedometer is from the 911 3.0 RS.

    ‘Good to see you again’ – the 911 with a reproduction of Jean-Pierre Gaban’s period Ford Granada support car.
    In-period action with Patrick Snyers and Dany Colenbunders.

    I form two conflicting views about how to drive this car – either with brute force and ignorance, or as smoothly as possible. The answer lies between the two, because it does react to being bossed and also responds to a smooth hand. It much depends on the scenario; doubtless a firm grip is needed on a timed rally stage, but it’s nice to know it can be placid on the transit sections.

    We’re familiar with the #Porsche-911 SC in production form, but what’s this RS version? Here’s the background – in 1983 Porsche was in the ascendant with the Group C 956 and 962 sports racing prototypes, but it was also in the throes of launching four-wheeldrive projects including the 961 Le Mans car and the 959 supercar.


    Fearsome Group B cars such as the Ford RS200, Audi Sport quattro and Lancia Delta S4 dominated theWorld Rally Championship. Porsche couldn’t compete against them even with the 3.3-litre 930 Turbo because in Group B spec the Turbo would have incurred a severe weight penalty. So Porsche’sWeissach competition department sought a more down-to-earth machine that could use existing components to give both factory and customers a realistic chance of international rally success.

    Weissach guru Jürgen Barth had driven the 1982 Monte Carlo Rally in the Alméras brothers’ 911 SC, coming ninth overall and second in Group B. By coincidence Rothmans, sponsors of Porsche’s works Group C team, had just asked the factory to produce a rally car for the 1984 season, so Barth and workmate Roland Kussmaul got the go-ahead to build a rally-spec 911. A loophole in the FIA homologation rules allowed 20 cars to be produced provided they were based on a redundant model, and since the standard 911 SC had just been superseded by the 3.2 Carrera that was the ideal starting point. Accordingly, the SC RS was constructed at Weissach from 1983 and was competitive until 1987. Five cars went to David Richards’ Prodrive-run Rothmans WRC squad, 15 were delivered to private customers, and a single car was created retrospectively at Weissach from leftover components, making 21 SC RSs in total.

    Of the privateers, Belgian tobacco companies Belga and Bastos bought two and one respectively. The Bastos car was chassis number 10 and is the car featured here. It was originally bought by Porsche racer Jean-Pierre Gaban for Patrick Snyers and Dany Colenbunders to contest the 1984 Belgian National Rally Championship, which they won. One of the Belga cars, chassis 12, of Robert Droogmans and Ronny Joosten, was runner-up that year. Then Pascal Gaban, Jean-Pierre’s son, won the Belgian National Rally Championship with the Bastos car in 1986.

    When Johan Dirickx discovered the car in France a few years ago it was in poor condition, so the engine, gearbox and chassis were rebuilt and overhauled at his 911 Motorsport workshop at Kontich, incorporating new-old-stock components personally supplied by Jürgen Barth out of Weissach, while the original Bastos exterior livery was faithfully reproduced at the same time.

    The 911 SC RS was no ordinary 911. Aluminium front wings and welded-on aluminium extensions, and bulging steel rear wings with welded-on steel extensions covered Fuchs 944 Turbo wheels fitted with 225/50ZR 16s on the front and 245/45ZR 16s on the back, and a polyurethane whale-tail spoiler from an early 930 Turbo. The spec was different enough to warrant its own factory type number, 954. There was no turbocharger – the SC RS’s flat-six was a 3.0-litre 930/18 SC, fitted with the preceding Kugelfischer injection and special fuel pump instead of the standard SC’s K-Jetronic system, plus air pump for more efficient exhausting. Compression ratio rose from 9.8:1 to 10.3:1, with reprofiled forged pistons, high-lift camshafts and valve timing adjusted accordingly.

    Ratios in the 915 gearbox were shorter than standard, so acceleration was brisker at the expense of top speed. A dedicated oil cooler was housed within the rear wing mounting on the engine lid, a safer location for its rallying objectives. The road car’s final drive ratio was 8:3.1, with shorter 8:35 and 7:37 competition versions available, together with a 40 per cent limited-slip differential.

    Brake discs and calipers were gleaned from the #Porsche-930 , and although coil springs would have been ideal they were not homologated until 1985, so the SC RS ran with larger-diameter torsion bars, 22mm front and 27.5mm rear, replacing 19mm and 26mm items respectively. A simple but effective modification involved holes adjacent to the damper turrets through which the suspension was harnessed by cables to preclude the wheel cambers from going mega-positive as the car took off on the jumps. Archive photos of it poised in mid-air show the wheels hanging vertically, instead of tucked in at the bottom.

    With no turbocharger the SC RS achieved its performance largely through weight reduction. It has lightweight body panels, and all the sound deadening and rear seats were stripped out. There’s no heater and the window glass is thinner than standard. The front wing extensions are welded-on aluminium flares and the rears are steel, welded on to the narrow SC bodyshell. The crossmember rearward of the engine was reinforced and filleted to save weight, and the bodyshell seam-welded with extra reinforcement around the damper towers. The glassfibre front and rear bumper panels and valances were unique, though the rear one was very similar to the 3.0 RS. The SC RS weighed 980kg compared to a standard SC’s 1160kg, which – given a 280bhp power output at 7000rpm coupled with short gearing – makes for rapid acceleration. At 5.0sec dead, it’s 0.2sec quicker to 100kph than the 3.3-litre Turbo, running out of steam at 244kph (152mph), while the 930 speeds on to 260kph (162mph).


    Cabins varied in detail across the 21 cars, but a bolted-in, crossbraced roll cage, competition seats, period steering wheel and fly-off handbrake were ubiquitous. Thinner carpet covers the floor, while door panels are slim cards with thong-pulls to open, with wind-up windows. The tachometer winds to 10,000rpm.

    The zenith of the SC RS’s career was the #1984 European Rally Championship. Rothmans/Prodrive engaged Henri Toivonen for the task, even though Lancia also booked him to do theWorld Rally Championship in the 037, so the Finn campaigned both cars. With SC RS victories in the Ypres 24 Hours, Milles Pistes, Costa Smerelda and Madeira rallies, Toivonen had a commanding lead in the European Championship until he was forced to pull out after an accident in a WRC Lancia 037, ending up second in the final European standings despite missing some rounds.

    The car here contested the Belgian National Rally series, vying with main rivals Robert Droogmans and Ronny Joosten in the Ring Auto Service-run Belga-sponsored SC RS. Patrick Snyers and Dani Colenbunders emerged victorious in the Bastos car, after placing third in the Boucles de Spa, first in the Circuit des Ardennes, first in the TAC Rally, and first in the Rallye deWallonie. In the Ypres 24 Hours, which counted towards the European title, they finished second behind Toivonen’s Prodrive SC RS, helping them towards third overall in the Euro series. Droogmans and Joosten in the Belga SC RS were runners up in the Belgian championship.


    The 911 SC RS may be relatively unknown now, but 30 years ago it was a force to be reckoned with on the provincial rally stage. And it’s great that Johan Dirickx’s enthusiasm is ensuring it’s not forgotten today. Though he’s unlikely to put the Bastos car at risk on Goodwood’s arduous Forest stage, he will probably take his other SC RS, Belga chassis number 12. If so, watch out for another Turbo-look rally car in red-and-white livery. One thing’s for sure – you’ll hear it coming first.


    TECH DATA PORSCHE 911 SC RS

    Engine: Rear-mounted 3.0 flat-six, aluminium block, aluminium ’heads ex-935
    Fuelling: Bosch #Kugelfischer injection
    Power and torque: 280bhp @ 7000rpm; 184lb ft @ 6400rpm
    Bodyshell Seam-welded, lightweight aluminium wings, doors, front and rear lids and roll cage; glassfibre front and rear panels, valances
    Suspension Front: wishbones, MacPherson struts, torsion bars, gas dampers. Rear: semi-trailing arms, torsion bars, gas dampers, anti-roll bar
    Performance Top speed: 152mph; 0-60mph: 5.0sec
    Weight 980kg (2160lb)
    Chassis number WPO ZZZ 91Z ES 110 010
    Engine number 63E9 003
    Gearbox number 73E9 00002

    911SC RS offers understeer and oversteer at will.

    ‘There’s a tendency towards understeer as I rush into bends. Next thing I’m fighting oversteer too. It’s a sensory overload and a rush of bewildering impressions’

    Signatures above writer Johnny Tipler include original owner Jean-Pierre Gaban’s.

    ‘With no turbocharger, it achieved its performance through weight reduction... At 5.0sec dead, it was 0.2sec quicker to 100kph than the 3.3-litre Turbo’

    Cabins of the 21 SC RSs differed, but navigators all got a map light and some had Halda trip meters.
    Wheels hang vertical in mid-air thanks to cables preventing the cambers going mega-positive.
    3.0-litre flat-six is ‘basically a 935 engine without the turbos’, says owner Johan Dirickx.

    The 911 got Jürgen Barth-supplied NOS components when it was restored a few years ago.

    DRIFT AWAY

    Belgian #Porsche aficionado and 911 RS expert Johan Dirickx loves nothing more than drifting his cars on track days, and has raced them at Laguna Seca’s Monterey Classics and Le Mans Classic as well as Goodwood’s exacting Festival of Speed rally course with the Bastos SC RS.

    He has owned this car for six years and is compiling a history of all 21 SC RSs. ‘They took 20 SCs off the line and built them into turbo-look cars,’ he explains. ‘Basically the chassis is like a 930 turbo, with bigger brakes, and the engine is something different because it’s really a 935 engine without the turbos and an ’85 rally exhaust. It’s amazing how they brought things together from different cars and made it into something new. That’s unique at Porsche, especially if you go into the race cars. It makes sense because you’re not going to start a production line for 20 cars.’

    ‘They were pretty fast machines, faster than a turbo at the time because they were light. You have the lollipop seats that are typical for the 935s plus the complete aluminium roll cage, which isn’t allowed any more. ‘Apart from that it’s actually a sweet drive with a little understeer, and you go on the throttle, doing four-wheel slides. You need the power on to do it, and with a little bit higher revs it starts to go a bit. There’s nearly 300 horsepower, so it is bloody quick.’
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  • WINNING RECIPE

    Paul Davies recounts the story of the first customer turbo race car, the #Porsche-934 . The Porsche 934 blended the RSR Carreras of the early seventies with pressurised induction to cook up the first customer turbocharged racer.

    Can you have a fusion automobile as well as fusion cooking? Take a well-proven chassis, and engine, mix with all you’ve learnt about turbocharging from sports car racing in the United States with the 917, and serve up as one of the most successful customer competition cars to come from Porsche. Only 31 examples of the Porsche 934, officially known as the Carrera RSR Turbo (or simply Turbo RSR), were manufactured ready for the 1976 season, but they dominated their category way into the following decade.

    There’s always been a Porsche policy of encouraging the customer to go racing, or rallying if comes to it. Competition improves the breed, and it’s often a fast-track means to develop a new model. More importantly, however, was the Stuttgart family ethos that if a customer went racing, successfully, they became a loyal customer. Give the guy the right tools, help him a bit along the way – and he’ll come back time and time again.

    Back in the days of the four-cylinder 356, Spyders and the 904, and later with the Carrera 6, it was private entrants around the world who snaffled most of the silverware and helped create the Porsche legend. A goodly number of the 43 Porsche 917s manufactured ended up with driver-owners, or private teams, receiving varying amounts of factory support; both of the 917 Le Mans wins of 1970 and ’71 went to ‘private’ concerns.

    There’s also been a further thread running through Porsche’s motor sport involvement, one that continues to the present day. Except at the very top level, the customer competition car should be based upon a production model. Which excludes the 917 and also the most successful of all competition Porsches, the 956/962 of the 1980s, but think of the hordes who raced and rallied the 356 in all its forms and the many #911 variants of the sixties. By the early 1970s they were looking for a new car to run.

    The answer came in 1973 with the introduction of the Carrera RS. A total of 1580 of the 2.7-litre (2687cc) #Porsche-911 coupé were manufactured in both lightweight Sport (M471 option) and plush Touring (M472) versions, and a large number ended up in motor sport of one sort or another. After all, straight from the factory it had most of the right bits that in those days made a club, or national status, race or rally winner. It was the flag-waving 911 that got people queuing for the more ‘basic’ 2.4-litre model of the day.

    But Porsche knew their production racer would not be quite good enough for the serious private entrant. Of that production run, just 49 cars (preceded by eight prototypes) were selected for extra-special treatment before they left the factory. With a further lightened and wider bodyshell, a capacity increase to 2806cc with twin-plug ignition, the addition of 917 brakes, uprated suspension with coil springs supplementing torsion bars, and a stripped-out interior with a roll cage, the Carrera 2.8 RSR (M491) was the car for the serious customer racer.


    The Porsche 911 was considered a special grand touring car, and back in 1973 you had to make 500 in a year to qualify for entry into the Group 4 category. Further modifications could be made as an ‘evolution’ of the original car. In 1973 the Brumos team RSR ran as a prototype with a full 3.0-litre engine at the Daytona 24 Hours and it won; later in the year a similar Martini Racing car was outright winner of the Targa Florio, and took fourth overall at Le Mans.

    In fact the 2.8-litre engine was a bit of an oddball. The capacity, achieved by increasing the bore of the production Carrera 2.7 RS unit from 90mm to 92mm, was right on the physical edge, and proving unreliable. At that capacity it was also way short of the 3.0-litre international class limit. The obvious double solution was to move to a full three litres (2993cc) utilising an aluminium (instead of magnesium) crankcase, and the same 95mm bore that would later form the basis of the upcoming 930 Turbo road car.

    By 1974 the Carrera 3.0 RS had become a ‘production’ customer race car. A grand total of 109 were produced, of which about half were built as RSR versions to very much the same competition specification as the previous 2.8-litre. In addition 15 special cars (outwardly RS but with 3.0 RSR engines) were supplied to compete in the International Race of Champions (IROC) series in the USA.


    Both 1974 and 1975 were years for customer cars. In these two seasons private teams dominated on both sides of the Atlantic, with Peter Gregg winning both the Trans Am and IMSA GT series in the USA two years running, and the Kremer and Loos teams sharing John Fitzpatrick’s European GT Championship.

    Whilst customers worldwide were winning with the 3.0 RSR, Porsche was otherwise occupied, particularly with trying to win the East African Safari Rally (they came second) and also working to bring a new customer car to the starting grid. That car would be the Carrera RSR Turbo of 1976, the Porsche Type 934. The ‘93’ number signified the car was based on the production 911 (930) Turbo – first shown in 1973 but not to go on sale until 1975 – and the final digit that it was homologated into Group 4.

    Only, the recipe for the new car required a certain amount of tasting before it was ready for the table. Following success racing in the Can-Am series in the USA, Porsche had got the turbo bug big. At the peak of development the twinturbo engine of the 917/30 was giving in excess of 1000bhp, and it was logical the company should apply the same technology to both mainstream production (the 911 Turbo) and competition. The introduction of the (short-lived) BMW 2002 Turbo to the European market was an additional incentive to match their big rivals.

    Several prototype 911 Turbo road cars were produced (first with a 2.7-litre engine) and to test the configuration to the limit Porsche built four prototype race cars based on the Carrera 3.0 RSR but with a turbocharger. International regulations demanded pressurised induction engines should have a coefficient of 1.4, so to duck under the three-litre class limit the capacity was 2142cc. Even so, with single KKK blower, mechanical injection, twin plugs per cylinder, and an air-to-air intercooler between the turbo and the plenum chamber, the output was upwards of 500bhp.

    The rest of the specification was similar to the Carrera RSR, but with lightweight and wider body, and the addition of a large rear spoiler. The torsion bar suspension was deleted entirely in favour of coil springs at both front and rear. Factory Turbo RSRs raced in Martini colours during 1974 and proved relatively reliable, although they could not match the speed of the Matras and Mirages of the time. Second places at Watkins Glen and Le Mans were the highlights.

    At the end of the season, Porsche was happy with these ‘turbo-trials’ and announced it would take a break in 1975 and leave things to the Carrera 3.0 RSR privateers. Meanwhile, they readied the 934.

    Whereas the small-capacity Turbo RSR was, and looked, very much an out and out racer, the limits of Group 4 (500 of the base 911 Turbo had to be produced to qualify, but no problem there) demanded the 934 be a degree or two more sober. Visually, the 50mm plastic wheel arch extensions were the giveaway, along with the deeper front apron that held a big central oil cooler and twin water radiators – more on these later.

    Structurally the body was very much like the stock 911 Turbo, complete with impact front bumpers. Obviously there was a roll cage (alloy in-period, but not permissible now) and all the usual motor sport essentials. The interior was devoid of passenger seating and carpets, but it was not necessary for Porsche to resort to lightweight panels and thin glass to achieve the category minimum weight of 1120kg. In fact, the electric operation of the driver and passenger door windows was retained!

    Running gear generally followed previous RSR models, with the torsion bars retained but coil spring-over damper/strut units added to do most of the work. A major change at the rear was the use of short, cast aluminium, trailing arms pivoting on extended fabricated mounts on the rear crossmember, designed to reduce camber change. Solid bushes (nylon or uni-ball) replaced rubber where possible. The wheels were centre-lock, split-rim, 16in diameter BBS alloys of 10.5ins front and 12.5ins rear widths.

    The brakes were what tend to be, when used on the 911 Turbo, referred to as ‘917’ but that is somewhat of an understatement. Yes, they were as developed for Porsche’s Le Mans winner of 1970 and 1971, but the vented and crossdrilled discs of the 934 were 304mm diameter at the front and 309mm at the rear, and the alloy four-piston calipers heavily finned to improve cooling and extra-wide to allow endurance pads that were some 25mm thick. There was also a balance bar to allow adjustment of braking distribution front to rear.

    The engine was (as it had to be) based on the 911 Turbo, and the famed #Porsche-930 aluminium crankcase that would remain in use in competition Porsches in one form or another right through to the Carrera GT3 RS of 2012. Unlike the Turbo RSR prototype of 1974, the capacity stayed at 2993cc, meaning that when the FIA co-efficient of 1.4 was applied the turbo engine had a calculated swept volume of 4190cc.

    In detail the engine was in fact a fusion (again!) of the previous 3.0 RSR, the production 911 Turbo, and the small capacity unit of the RSR Turbo. The cooling fan was horizontal and centrally placed on top of the engine, driven by a belt and shaft just like later versions of the earlier race car – if you see what I mean. Valve sizes (two per combustion chamber) were the same as the naturallyaspirated RSR, but the porting was enlarged. There was one plug per chamber, as the road car, whilst compression was a lowly 6.5:1 to allow for the considerable ratio hike with pressurised induction.

    The innovation for the customer racer was the addition of the single exhaust-driven #KKK compressor. Like the 2.14-litre RSR, this was mounted centrally low within the rear body panel – unlike the 911 Turbo which had its turbo unit positioned bottom-left. The other new move was the introduction of water to cool the air between the turbo and the inlet manifold. With the earlier racer Porsche had demonstrated that passing the forced air through an intercooler before it mixed with fuel in the inlet greatly increased horsepower. With the new car the company sought the most efficient means.

    The intercooler of the RSR Turbo was a simple air-to-air radiator positioned above the engine in the rear bodywork, but for the 934 Porsche mounted two small radiators within the front bumper corners (where you’d find the oil cooler on most production 911) and circulated water, by means of a pump driven by belt off the front of the right-hand camshaft, from them to a pair of alloy intercoolers positioned above each cylinder bank. The system proved effective, and the extra weight was lost within the generous minimum weight inflicted by the regulations – just like the electric windows.

    In a further nod towards the production 911 Turbo on which the 934 was based, Porsche fitted Bosch K-Jetronic injection and not the purely mechanical system used on previous racing engines. The transmission was an uprated version of the four-speed Type 915 gearbox of the 911 Turbo, with the addition of a small oil cooler mounted in the rear spoiler.

    The result of all this was a tough and powerful race car (albeit, by all accounts, somewhat of a handful to drive on account of massive turbo-lag) that looked little different from the 911 Turbo sitting in the showroom. Early race engines developed 485bhp, but this soon grew to in excess of 500bhp.

    The 934 ruled Group 4 from 1976 until the early 1980s. In the USA major teams such as Brumos, Vasek Polak and Dick Barbour dominated with drivers of the calibre of Al Holbert, Hurley Haywood, George Follmer and Peter Gregg. In Europe it was Kremer, Max Moritz and Loos, with Bob Wollek, Tim Schenken, Rolf Stommelen and Toine Hezemens who continually took honours. Go to the excellent Racing Sports Cars site (see contacts) for a most comprehensive list! In the USA, the IMSA organisation announced it would not allow turbochargers in its Camel GT series, so Vasek Polak took his cars to the rival SCCA’s Trans-Am competition. Follmer won this in 1976 and Haywood was runner up. Then IMSA did a mind-change and allowed the cars to run in Camel GT. Porsche responded by producing an extra 10 cars – popularly known as 934.5 – with wider rear bodywork for 15in-wide wheels and an enlarged rear wing for 1977, but IMSA banned it before the first race!

    Back in the Trans Am series (this is complicated) the 943.5 won six out of eight races, but failed to take the title because of a protest from a (regular) 934 driver! Actually that’s not the end of things. As in all things Porsche there has to be a footnote. The Carrera RSR Turbo was a Group 4 car, and so to compete in Group 5 with a chance of outright victory on major events #Porsche produced the #Porsche-935 , which by #1979 was to win Le Mans outright. However, that’s another recipe for later.

    The 934.5 was built to give Porsche the advantage in the USA, being a Group 4 934 with big rear wing and larger rear wheels. Peter Gregg is seen here at Watkins Glen, 1977.

    2.1-litre Turbo RSR was built to test the concept of the pressurised 911 racer, and run in Martini colours in 1974. Here is Gjis van Lennep at the Nürburgring The turbo 934 was, in effect, a development of the normally-aspirated 3.0 Carrera RSR which won the 1973 Targa Florio (below).

    CONTACTS:
    Prill Porsche Classics:
    01787 476338
    Racing Sports Cars:
    www.racingsportscars.com
    Jens Torner: Porsche
    Museum
    Nick Faure: Le Mans driver

    PORSCHE 934 CARRERA RSR TURBO CHASSIS NUMBER 930 670 0153

    Our featured car was the 17th of the run of 31 #Porsche-934 s manufactured early in 1976, and sold to Belgian driver and team owner Jean Blaton – who raced under the pseudonym ‘Beurlys’. After race preparation by Kremer (including a repaint from yellow to white) it was delivered to the Le Mans 24 Hours to be driven by Nick Faure (GB), John Goss (AUS) and ‘Beurlys’.The car was retired due to a number of turbo failures, but restarted to finish the race, although it was officially ‘not classified’. Turbo technology was new, and it is likely the drivers were unaware the engine had to be idled to reduce turbo temperature whenever it came into the pits.

    After Le Mans, Blaton sold the car to Jean-Pierre Gabon and it contested the following two Le Mans but failed to finish on either occasion. Results included wins in the 1978 Grand Prix of Zolder and the Spa 600kms (Willy Braillard). The car was sold in 1982 to the Vermuelen brothers, who subsequently sold it to long-time owner Walter Pauwels. It was repainted to its original yellow prior to sale by auctioneers Coys in 2014 and is now in the custody of specialist Andy Prill for the new owner.

    “The innovation for the customer race car was the addition of a single KKK compressor…”


    The KKK turbo is mounted low and central behind the rear bumper panel, oil catch tank is to the right. The engine had to be idled for one minute before switch off to stop the bearings overheating.

    Rear suspension has coilover damper on screw platform and torsion bar with adjustable spring plate. Adjustable anti-roll bar uses uni-ball joint and nylon bushing.

    A small gearbox oil cooler is fixed behind the grille in the rear spoiler. Engine oil and twin intercooler water coolers are mounted within the front bumper.

    Horizontal cooling fan (as 917 and Turbo RSR of 1974) is more efficient than stock 930 Turbo vertical configuration. Small tank (top RH) is header for turbo intercooler water. Watercooled alloy intercooler is mounted above each cylinder bank and helped to reduce induction temperature from 150 deg C to 50 deg C.

    Turbo wastegate hides lower left. Normal boost pressure was 1.3 bar (18.5psi) which gave 485bhp, but greater pressure could deliver figures up to 580bhp.

    NICK FAURE REMEMBERS HIS 1976 LE MANS WITH ‘0153’:

    ‘It was brand-new from the factory when the Belgian team turned up with it at the #1976 Le Mans. These cars were a completely unknown quantity on the track and it was early development days for turbos in racing. The car arrived at the race in bare white from Kremer and I painted on the team colours in the pits.

    We had to race the car in production weight with electric windows and a lead weight bolted to the passenger floor. Crazy! What neither Porsche, or Kremer, realised at the time was that when the car came into the pits the turbo was still turning at colossal speed and without being allowed to cool down it blew apart.

    When it got to changing the fifth new turbo during the race, Jean said that he’d had enough. So he parked it up until the final laps and then just drove it slowly to the finish to complete the race, albeit many laps down.

    In the middle of the night when we were changing something like the third turbo a ‘tired and emotional’ Duncan Hamilton turned up in our pit with his Aussie friend Jumbo Goddard, offering his advice. He explained that Jumbo had a turbocharged XK120 so he might be able to give us some help!

    Of course in those early days it was a single large turbo with huge lag, but at La Sarthe that did not matter so much as it was a very flowing circuit with only two slow corners at Mulsanne and Arnage. I was offered the car for £10,000 after the race but sadly that was more money than I could have raised.’ Nick Faure.

    Well braced front compartment includes a 120-litre fuel tank and a 22-litre oil tank, both with fillers accessed through flaps in the lid.

    Bilstein front strut has coil spring, but Group 4 regulations demand stock torsion bar is retained. The brakes are 917 ‘endurance’ specification, with superthick pads.

    Standard wheel fitment for the Group 4 car was the split-rim #BBS alloy with centre-lock fastening. Note the rear wheels have the tyres bolted to the rims to prevent movement.

    The 934 proved to be a popular – and successful – entrant in sports car racing long after its intended lifespan. How many can you count in this photo!

    “Structurally, the body was very much like the stock #Porsche-911-Turbo-930 , complete with impact bumpers…”

    CARRERA RS/RSR ENGINE DEVELOPMENT

    Engine Bore/Stroke Capacity Induction Power (bhp) Torque (lb ft)
    The #Porsche-934-2.7-RS 90mm x 70.4mm 2687cc Mechanical inj 210 @ 6300rpm 188 @ 5100rpm
    The #Porsche-934-2.8-RSR * 92mm x 70.4mm 2806cc Mechanical inj 300 @ 8000rpm 217 @ 6500rpm
    The #Porsche-934-3.0-RS 95mm x 70.4mm 2993cc Mechanical inj 230 @ 6200rpm 202 @ 5000rpm
    The #Porsche-934-3.0-RSR * 95mm x 70.4mm 2993cc #Bosch Mechanical inj 330 @ 8000rpm 230 @ 6500rpm
    The #Porsche-934-Turbo-RSR * 83mm x 66.0mm 2142cc Turbo/mech inj 480 @ 7600rpm 340 @ 5400rpm
    The #Porsche-934-Carrera-RSR 95mm x 70.4mm 2993cc Turbo/ #Bosch-Jetronic inj 500 @ 7000rpm 430 @ 5400rpm
    (* twin spark ignition)

    RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE

    The two works 911s entered for the #1978 East African Safari Rally were billed as SCs and presented in red, white and blue Martini colours. The car (14) crewed by locals Vic Preston Jnr and John Lyall finished 2nd overall, with Bjorn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius (5) placing 4th. Painted in white and red Esso Eminence livery, the Alméras SC saw action at international level in the #1982 Tour de Corse, while the Prodrive cars emerged as Rothmans SCRSs for Henry Toivonen to take five wins in the #1984 European Rally Championship.
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