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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  •   Adam Towler reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Weight Lifting / #Porsche-911-Carrera-RS / #Porsche-911-Carrera-RS-2.7 / #Porsche-911-2.7-Carrera-RS

    The #Porsche-911-2.7-Carrera-RS is perhaps the most coveted and iconic #Porsche-911 of all time. We didn’t need much of an excuse to bring one together with its Lightweight counterpart. Story: Simon Jackson Photography: Gus Gregory / #Porsche-911-Carrera

    For all the magnificent advances in technology, the tremendously fast, wonderfully efficient, proficient incarnations of the Porsche 911 to have emerged over the decades, there is one model that remains absolute ruler. Is it the quickest? No. Perhaps it’s the rarest? It is not. Might it be the dearest? Well, it might be, but that’s extraneous here… This Porsche has remained king of the 911s for over 40 years through sheer status, and it’ll probably continue that way for another 40 to come. It’s an automotive icon, and for many the very definition of the term ‘sports car’. The Porsche I’m talking about is the 2.7 Carrera RS. Reputations don’t come much greater, or Porsche driving machines a great deal purer, but exactly what makes these cars so revered, and are they really that outstanding?

    Like so many of Porsche’s iconic model variants, the 2.7 RS was born through racing. Its genesis can be traced back to the 911 R of 1967, Porsche’s first dabble with the concept of a lightweight 911 built expressly for racing. The R was derived from the 160hp 911 S of 1966, and made use of timeless automotive weight-saving devices such as fibreglass panels and thinner glass to tip the scales at a measly 830 kilos. The car was extensively modified, running a 2.0-litre flat-six engine from the Carrera 6 producing 210hp, a prototype #Teldix anti-lock braking system, and certain key aerodynamic alterations – the car fleetingly served to quench the appetites of those wishing to race Porsche’s popular coupé in suitable top-level competition, just 22 were built. Certainly short lived but not lacking in achievements, the 911 R chalked-up some eyeopening endurance racing results in a short time; amongst them a win on the Targa Florio.

    Ultimately, though, with the 911 R a point had been proven by #Porsche , and it would add ammunition to an already burning blaze raving between #Stuttgart and the #FIA , inherited by #Ernst-Fuhrmann when he rose to power at Porsche in #1972 . The motorsport’s governing body seemingly refused to grant the 911 #Touring-Car homologation eligibility, something Porsche so desperately wanted in order to support its efforts competing in the rather expensive business of #Can-Am racing with the #Porsche-917.

    At the time, Porsche could scarcely afford to race in such high-level motorsport, and the costly nature of the 917 wasn’t reaping direct sales rewards in the showrooms. The brand needed a more relatable racing car, and despite its scheduled upcoming obsolescence (the 928 and 924 were already at drawing board stage), the 911 was the car Porsche wished to wheel into position to plug the perceived PR gap.

    Fuhrmann’s predecessor, Rico Steinemann, had long been losing the battle with the FIA, but he and Fuhrmann figured there was nothing the French authority could do to prevent the homologation approval of a new car, which would become the 2.7 Carrera RS, as a Group 4 Special Grand Touring car. And they were right – finally the 911 could go GT racing. Under Norbert Singer, boss of motorsport at the time, Porsche devised a plan to create a series produced 911 built for racing, all that was left to do was determine exactly what form that car might take and to work out the logistics of building the required 500 road-going vehicles required under FIA homologation regulations. In October 1972 Porsche displayed its new car at the #Paris-Auto-Show . The 911 2.7 Carrera RS joined together a pair of nomenclatures not seen in unison before, Carrera and RS. ‘Carrera’ to commemorate Porsche’s exploits in the Carrera Panamericana, ‘RS’, or Rennsport, having only previously been deployed on full-bore Porsche racers like the 550 Spyder. You could argue that it was a brave move to attach such significant monikers to this new car, but as we now know, the 2.7 RS was more than worthy. Using what had been learnt through the 911 R project, the 2.7 RS was stripped down to its bare essentials. Anything superfluous, like sound deadening or undersealing material, was deleted as was the case with the R model before it, thin glass was employed and lightweight bucket seating fitted – the rear seat was removed altogether and the glovebox lid binned. Even the passenger sunvisor was removed! Fibreglass panels were also used (the engine cover and rear apron amongst them), even the existing metal panels were reduced in thickness by around 0.30mm. The strictly competition cars featured laminated safety glass in place of the traditional stuff. For the first time Bilstein shock absorbers were fitted, saving 3.5kg of weight.

    Singer’s RS Lightweight was just that at 960kg, but it wasn’t the only version of this particular 911, there was also the Touring filled with a few more creature comforts, itself weighing just 1037kg. In order to meet homologation regulations, all RS models rolled from the production line in lithe Lightweight trim, and were later converted to Touring specification. What was the difference? Well, the Touring models came complete with an interior akin to that found in the 911 S; a fully trimmed cabin, steel bumpers, and a host of ‘optional’ extras, such as electric windows, sunroof, an aerial and speakers, and so on. Whichever version was purchased, the same 2.7-litre engine was fitted out back, derived from the 2.4-litre mill in the S, bored-out to 2687cc, an engine designed to be versatile providing Porsche with the option to further increase its capacity out to 2.8 or even 3.0-litres in future.

    It’s quite an achievement when you consider that this is the same engine which was first conceived as a 2.0-litre unit, its incredible expansion only plausible thanks to Mahle’s Nikasil-coating technology allowing Porsche to increase the block’s bore from 84mm to 90mm (the biggest used for a 911 at the time). When applied to the cylinder bores, the Nikasil-coating provided strength and reduced friction, a technique honed on Porsche’s 917 race cars. The engine featured the same compression ratio (8.5:1) as the 2.4-litre engine and the same 70.4mm stroke. Once more Bosch mechanical fuel injection was utilised, the valves and timing were cribbed across from the 911 S of 1972/3. All this equated to peak power of 210hp at 6300rpm, a 20hp gain on that of the 911 S. Likewise torque rose from 159lb ft to 188lb ft, and the whole lot was linked to a 915/008 five-speed gearbox.

    The body of the 2.7 Carrera RS was significant thanks in part to its increased width. The rear end of the car featured bulbous rear arches, designed to accommodate a wider rear track (up by nearly an inch) and Fuchs wheels (seven inches) providing this particular 911 with a very distinctive silhouette. Naturally it had a practical function too, allowing the 2.7 RS to record the highest lateral G-force during cornering than any other Porsche vehicle before it. Further aiding that ability were changes to the car’s aerodynamics package. Most notably amongst them was that iconic ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler, which dated back in some form to 1970 when its properties had been investigated during wind tunnel tests in Stuttgart. Numerous versions of the ducktail were tested in an attempt to reduce the standard car’s rear lift at speed, the final design was found to reduce the car’s drag coefficient to 0.40 – in turn reducing high speed oversteer through the increased downforce. As an added bonus the tail plane also directed more air into the engine’s intake, increasing performance, and keeping the rear light clusters cleaner! During a 1000-kilometre race at the A1 Ring, a prototype RS equipped with a ducktail spoiler managed to circulate at 2.5-seconds per lap faster than one without. All that was left to do then was to apply the car’s name to the body, and given the ban on any non-essential weight, graphics were decided upon instead of metal badges. After some consideration, the words ‘Carrera RS’ were splashed down the flanks of the car – a move that would become synonymous with an utterly iconic Porsche.

    Despite concerns in Porsche’s sales departments at #Zuffenhausen over the popularity of its new stripped-back racer, and an unforeseen hurdle when the bureaucrats at the West German National Motor Vehicle Authority refused to grant blanket type approval for the modifications made to the 911, especially that ducktail rear spoiler (which was deemed a potential hazard to pedestrians), Porsche discovered it need not have worried about meeting the 500 sales deemed necessary by the FIA for Group 5 racing. Skirting around the red tape, Porsche went to the extraordinary extent of having each RS individually type approved at its local office in Stuttgart. Some 51 RSs were already sold prior to the Paris Motor Show in 1973, and by the time the doors had closed and the show wrapped, all 500 were spoken for, and it wasn’t long before Porsche announced that a further 500 would be built, which would allow the 911 to achieve homologation certification for Group 3 racing, too. This second series of cars came without the ducktail spoiler as Porsche’s type approval loophole had now closed, but owners could purchase them for retrofitting at their dealers if they so desired. All told by summer 1973 1580 Carrera RS cars had been built, comprising 1308 Touring models and 200 in Lightweight form, some 55 cars were in RSR specification for racing (with a larger 2.8-litre 300hp engine) with 17 further homologation cars. Of those cars produced, colours were limited to non-metallics due to the use of fibreglass panels, except a few which were bespoke built entirely from metal. Grand Prix white was the most popular choice of paint, with contrasting blue, red or green graphics, some 62 black cars were built, and even fewer in Gulf orange (25). The suits at Porsche need not have worried; the Carrera RS was a roaring success, but hindsight’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

    As soon as its wheels touched the ground the 2.7 RS began building a legacy that survives to this day. On track the racing incarnation battled with the likes of V8 Corvettes and 4.4-litre Ferraris, but despite its power deficit its deft nimbleness and handling proficiency made it a competitor able to punch well above its (rather feather) weight. The David versus Goliath Porsche regularly beat its opposition in period and it’s maintained that reputation into today’s historic racing circles.

    On the road the 2.7 RS was famed for its ability to eclipse previous 911s, most notably when exceeding 100mph thanks to that ducktail spoiler. It was this ability to exceed the sum of its parts that ensured the 2.7 RS stood out from its peers at the time, the 210hp offered little in the way of persuasion on paper. In the real world 62mph was clocked up in just 5.8-seconds, pushing on to top out at 150mph, but it was the way it used that power that charmed all who drove it. The flat-six engine had teeth, but it was progressive in its power delivery, not vicious or intimidating. And that remains true today. The RS was fabled for being loud, which it is, but it’s not ridiculous, and it was known for snap oversteer mid-corner, but like any 911 you’re probably driving it all wrong if you manage to get bitten by that character trait. Slow-in, fast-out achieves the best from the RS, allowing its incredibly tractable, if not mind-bendingly quick, engine to pull you out and onwards up through the rev range to the 7200rpm redline. In period road testers reported an eye-wateringly hard ride, but when compared with a contemporary sports car the RS is actually quite tame and flexible. The brakes are not servo-assisted, but they provide composure and (fade-free) poise to scrub any excess speed off as required.

    The view from inside is a familiar one for any classic 911 aficionado, despite the lack of complexities in the Carrera RS, something true of both the Touring and Lightweight versions. This car does not feel delicate in either guise though, rather it feels reassuringly competent, not the threatening old girl you might be expecting. Its petite dimensions make it thoroughly enjoyable to drive on the road too, whether that might be during a cruise or a charge. This is a racing car for the road which you could use everyday, and one which you wouldn’t hesitate to take away for the weekend – well, at least that was true back in period, today things are slightly different.

    The two examples you see here are both offered for sale with Specialist Cars of Malton, and while the Touring model demonstrates its historical relevance with a beautiful mix of period patina and evidence of unadulterated care and attention having been lavished on it over the years, it’s the history of the Lightweight alongside it which is more important in many ways. A matching numbers Touring is a car that will set you back in the region of £500,000 today, and its history will not differ dramatically from a more run-of-the-mill classic 911, a Lightweight however should really demonstrate a level of historical provenance from back in period. The left-hand drive car you see here is one such automobile, as Malton’s Sales Manager Mark Mullen explains: “For many people the 1973 2.7 RS Lightweight is the pinnacle of the iconic Porsche 911, a stripped out road legal racer whose heritage has founded a whole series of RS models,” Mark said. “This particular car has been used as it was intended, for rallying, throughout its life. Originally light yellow in colour the car was painted white at some point and now looks superb with its red graphics and wheels. Period spotlights show off the purpose of the car. An iconic 2.7 RS Lightweight with a competition history is a sought after collector's piece today.”

    The car was purchased in 1995 from a dealer in Munich by the owner of a Porsche garage in Portugal, the purchaser’s family had been involved with Porsches both in business and in motorsport for in excess of 40 years. A year later he sold the car to another Portuguese man, who in 1999 swapped the car with a further Portuguese collector. From 1999 to 2014 the Portuguese collector campaigned the car in historic race events, including the Volta Portugal, where it achieved a seventh, fifth and second overall during his tenure with the car and in 2004 the car placed fourth in the Rali ACP Veteranos.

    The 2.7 RS story is an epic one you never tire of hearing. This car’s legacy created one of the most important lines of Porsche product for the past 40 years, and delivered to us some of the greatest driver’s sports cars ever conceived. The 2.7 Carrera RS may have been born out of necessity to take the fight to the likes of Ferrari, Corvette and Pantera on the track, but these original road cars spawned as a result remain part of the building blocks of modern Porsche culture as we now know it.

    Today these 911s are trading hands for huge sums of cash, but of all the Porsche vehicles created over the brand’s history, it’s the rare 2.7 RS that deserves to be valued so highly without quarrel. Perhaps the only point of contention here is that as these cars have become so precious, they have led owners to becoming too afraid to use them as they were initially intended, with purchasers preferring to wrap them in cotton wool inside secure collections, never to turn a wheel in anger again. That’s a sorry state of affairs if that notion continues to propagate. We can think of at least three important Porsche men who would take umbrage at that concept; Fuhrmann, Steinemann and Singer.

    It feels reassuringly competent, not the threatening old girl you might be expecting.

    It’s an automotive icon, and for many the very definition of the term ‘sports car’

    The 2.7 Carrera RS is a special 911, even in road trim.

    Lightweight’s cabin is track ready and tells a story of har fought battles won.

    Thanks: Specialist Cars of Malton ///
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    We take a look at the recently-restored Per Eklund #Porsche-911-SCRS rally car. Swedish rally star Per Eklund ran this factory-built 911 as a privateer in the WRC in 1978 and #1981 , and now it’s been totally restored. We caught it in action on the rally stage at 2014’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Words: Johnny Tipler. Photos: Antony Fraser (statics), Johan Dirickx (archive), Johnny Tipler (action).

    I duck instinctively. A cloud of dust, stones flying everywhere as the white 911 sweeps sideways round the final bend on Goodwood’s Festival of Speed rally stage, barrelling angrily along the final run between the bales to the finish line. It’s Johan Dirickx, Belgian Porschephile extraordinaire, resolutely helming his latest acquisition, the ex-Per Eklund SC.

    Whilst snappers are liberally showered with shingle, there’s no particular danger of an off as Johan is familiar with the course, having run his Bastos SCRS here on previous occasions. He has a penchant for 911s with provenance, and bought the Eklund car in 2013, its illustrious rally star owner having abandoned the restoration that he’d implemented a full 15 years earlier. In the past year, under Johan’s tenure, the car has been comprehensively rebuilt from the bare shell – including a repaint and replicating the original Happy People livery – at Johan’s 911Motorsport workshops in Kontich, Belgium. All mechanical work, including a comprehensive engine and transmission rebuild, has been expertly carried out inhouse by Mike van Dingenen.

    A passionate collector, Johan makes an acute assessment of the Eklund 911: ‘There were two factory cars – the East African Safari cars – and then there were three cars built to most of the Safari specs, and one of those is this one, the Per Eklund car. I think two of the three client cars still survive. So this car was pretty much built up like the Safari cars, and that’s why it is a little bit higher, and if you look at the rear wheel arches you’ll note that they are much wider than SC wheel arches, more like STs. There are signs that this is an experimental engine; you’ve got the high butterflies and single-plug ignition, which is strange because most of those engines ran on twin sparks. The engine sounds pretty similar to the SCRS; it’s a deep boom. I absolutely love it.

    ‘Also the suspension is different to what you would expect, and it could indicate it was a prototype, because the car is much higher. Those were some of the little things that #Porsche did at the time when it was built into a race car; all those little things that only Porsche did that no individual would ever have done.’

    The car has an intriguing provenance. Chassis number #911 410 2989, it only competed in a couple of WRC events, though Per Eklund campaigned it in a number of less important rallies, the car ending up with 935 style front bodywork doing autocross, a discipline (if that’s the right word) that Eklund excels in. A works Saab rally driver from #1970 to 1979, he scored a fair number of podiums at the wheel of a 96 V4, and like several of his countrymen he is up there with the gods of the WRC. He was Swedish Rally Champion in 1978, and Swedish Rallycross Champion as recently as 2004.

    So how come the #Porsche-911 ? In 1978 Per was looking for a suitable rally car for the #1978 WRC season, and was introduced by his pal, Prodrive engineer David Lapworth, to the exalted short run of rally 911s that Porsche was building in Weissach at the time.

    This batch consisted of just five cars, two of which were retained by the factory, one ordered by Alméras Frères (winners of the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally with Jean- Pierre Nicolas), and one by Prodrive, in the pipeline for Henri Toivonen to contest the 1984 European Rally Championship, while the fifth went to Eklund Motorsport.

    Rather than being the very latest kit to come out of Weissach, the specification actually dates from four years earlier, 1974, when Porsche homologated the 911 to FIA regulation 3062. The competition department didn’t actuate the homologation until 1978 when they decided to build up the SC as a competition car to Safari spec, based on FIA 3062. The factory finally decided to go for the East African Safari Rally and nail the win, according to Jürgen Barth, who was, predictably, involved with the project at Weissach, along with Roland Kussmaul.

    Working backwards, in 1974 Porsche created what they called the ST kit, which seems to have been an adjunct to the pre-existing ST race car spec that came into being as a factory-derived competition car in 1970. Although not well documented, it’s likely that 15 examples of the original 2.3-litre #Porsche-911ST were built in race and rally format, with a further 23 units of the 2.5-litre 911ST documented as race cars. In The Porsche Book, Jürgen Barth lists the chassis numbers of 15 special 911S race and rally cars from 1970 and 1971, with 23 race cars from #1972 . The ST designation was an in-house amalgam of the #Porsche-911S engine and the lighter #Porsche-911T chassis.

    Eight years on, it enabled Porsche to build this small run of rally 911s to comply with the #FIA papers based on the 1974 car. Porsche judged the 1974 car to be the lightest base-model of the range, and so that was the starting point for the 1978 project. While a number of key privateers like Kremer and GELO Racing acquired STs and SC packages in the early ’70s, these later kits were so rally specific that only Alméras, Prodrive and Eklund Motorsport got them.

    The Alméras SC was also a narrow-body Group 3 lookalike, and they had a second 911 which was the Group 4 car, built up as a wide body Tarmac specification car, on account of the fundamentally Tarmac requirement of French rallies, whereas Prodrive and Per Eklund stayed with the narrow bodied 911, given the gravel-strewn surfaces of the rallies they would be entering.

    These two cars were built at the same time, but with significant collaboration between Per Eklund and David Lapworth. As such, the cars resemble each other very closely, and were equally similar in specification to the two 1978 works Safari cars (see sidebar).

    The comprehensive ST kit installed in the lightweight car comprises the 300bhp 3.0-litre flat-six built by Porsche Motorsport (with butterfly injection instead of the slider injection that was prone to jam due to dust on rally stages), a close-ratio gearbox with oil pump and cooler on top of the ’box (like the RSR), a 10,000rpm rev counter, competition clutch, competition exhaust manifolds and system, and a front-mounted #Porsche-935 oil tank.

    The uprated suspension components include front springs and struts with coil-over rear shocks, wrapped alloy trailing arms, and uprated brakes based on the 935’s at the front. There’s a front-mounted engine oil cooler, bias-adjustable pedal box, rear ducktail engine-lid spoiler, rear wing extensions in metal, and front alloy crossmember. The shell is reinforced in strategic places, including the engine bay and suspension mounts, with double-skinned front wheelarches and alloy roll cage. A battery of four Bosch spotlamps on the front lid completes the image.

    According to Per Eklund, the kit did not include the additional rally equipment of sump guards, seat, spotlights and steering wheel, and hydraulic handbrake, which he didn’t like. At the time, seats and steering wheel were left to driver choice, and sump guards were fitted according to the nature of the stages the cars were rallied on. The fuel tank was original so the spare wheel could be carried. Fuchs wheels were fitted at the front, and Fuchs or ATS Cookie Cutters on the back, depending on the nature of the stages. Per Eklund confirms that he received the complete ST kit from Jürgen Barth as one of the three selected teams, and indeed Jürgen refers to the batch as ‘STs with Porsche Motorsport’.

    The Per Eklund 911SC (or is it ‘ST’?…) began life as a standard car, converted with Porsche support in his Swedish workshop and remained in his ownership until Johan bought it. Bedecked in its jolly Happy People livery, its moment of glory was Finland’s FIA 1000 Lakes Rally of 1978, where Per and co-pilot Björn Cederberg finished 4th – having been 3rd on the road but docked a place for speeding on a transit section and receiving a time penalty.

    The 1000 Lakes was also nicknamed the Thousand Jumps on account of the notorious ’yumping’ over countless blind crests. A photo in Motor Sport’s October 1978 edition shows the Happy People car chucking up mud while spectators on a sunny hillside shelter under brollies. Amazingly, this was the very first time that Porsche scored points on gravel in the World Rally Championship.

    And the sponsor? According to Johan, ‘Happy People was a non profit organisation, and it seems that it still exists.’ But whether any funds changed hands, or Per just liked the logo is a moot point. As Johan says, ‘Per did not have any sponsorship and therefore volunteered to carry “Happy People” on the car, and even if that isn’t 100 per cent true, it is a nice story.’ The Eklund SC was then used at National Championship level with a good degree of success in rallies like the Hunsrück in 1979, and in the #1981 Swedish Rally where, notwithstanding its age, Per finished 9th overall, sponsored by Publimmo, with co-driver Ragnar Spjuth. This pair contested the 1981 Rally of 1000 Lakes, but failed to finish because of mechanical problems. Resplendent in white Clarion livery, Per then went rallycrossing with it, funking it up with 935 style droop-soot nose, front lid and polyester bumpers, all parts supplied by Porsche. These period parts have been kept with the car, including the original Swedish number plate, HOH 276. The car was then retired and placed in the local motor museum at Arvik, Karlstad, Sweden, part of which is dedicated to Per and his WRC successes, including his formidable Metro 6R4 from 1986.

    Back in the late ’90s Per decided to restore the car with the idea that he would enter the European Historic Rally Championship, so he extracted it from the museum. In 1999 the original Porsche Motorsport engine and gearbox were dispatched to Francis Tuthill for overhaul, though they remain under wraps and have never been reinstalled in the car. The projected restoration was never finished: Per was pulled from the project to run an X-Games (X = Extreme sports) team in the States, so in #2013 ownership of the car passed to Johan Dirickx.

    Perfectionist that he is, Johan instantly embarked on a full restoration, from bare metal repaint and application of the red-nosed clown and Happy People identification, based on a multitude of period archive images, to a comprehensive rebuild of the drivetrain and running gear. Happy People? A genial identity for such a fierce bolide. Still, it makes everyone smile.

    Which brings us to the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Rally stage. I asked Johan’s friend, Alan Benjamin from Denver, for his impression of hurling it around the Goodwood rally course. ‘Absolutely fantastic, and a huge grin every run,’ enthuses the laconic Colorado man. ‘I am one of the few American rallyists here; we don’t really do rallying in the USA that much. Except for Pike’s Peak, which is now all paved. But Johan, my best Porsche buddy in Belgium, allows me to do this, and then he comes over to the US and races some of my Porsches at Laguna Seca, so we have a good international alliance.

    ‘But the Goodwood rally track is narrow, it’s pot-holed and the edges of the track, as we would say in the US, are trees, so when you’re driving someone else’s expensive car you try and leave a little bit out there and let the car owner and the pros really go for it. But it’s absolutely fantastic and the car is getting better every day.’

    What about the particular methodology of driving a loose, off-road rally stage? ‘The skill sets are completely different. There are way bigger slip angles, and if you had that much slip angle on pavement you would be dramatic but overall you would be slower, a lot more power and oversteer, less four-wheel drifting, but either way, it’s a blast!’ From last year’s 3m 24s in the Bastos car, Johan managed 3m 11s in the Eklund car. ‘We could have done better if the gearbox and final drive were more adapted to the terrain,’ mused Johan. ‘If this had been the case, 3m 05s would have been possible.’

    The Happy People SC remained in Per’s ownership for 35 years, and that’s a testimony in itself, even though it got neglected latterly. But now it’s in Johan’s tenure, benefiting from a nut-and-bolt rebuild, and knowing of his penchant for letting his beast off the leash, we’ll be seeing lots more of the car in historic rallies. Happy days!
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