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992’S TICKET TO ENTRY
PORSCHE reveals base #Porsche-911-Carrera-992 / #Porsche-911-992 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-992 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche / #Porsche-992 / #2020-Porsche-911-Carrera-992 / #2020
It’s very fast
While the eighth generation Porsche 911 Carrera S has been public knowledge for some time, details on the base Carrera and Cabriolet remained guarded secrets... until now.
Porsche has finally revealed how much its base 911s will cost, how fast they’ll go and what they look like, gifting the sportscar world a new benchmark to measure itself against. The 911 Carrera Coupe starts from $229,500 in Australia, with the Cabriolet costing an extra chunk for $251,000. Or a $3050 and $3500 increase, respectively, on the previous generation’s PDK-equipped base models.
For that, customers get plenty as standard, including lane change assist, 14-way heated seats, a BOSE sound system, and metallic paint. Mechanically it is very similar to both its predecessor and the more powerful Carrera S that’s already been revealed, powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six producing 283kW and 450Nm.
That’s 48kW/80Nm less than the Carrera S but 11kW more than the previous base Carrera. Acceleration from 0-100km/h is claimed to take 4.2sec for the Coupe, or 4.0sec when optioned with Sport Chrono, while top speed is 293km/h.
Braking is provided by 330mm discs and four-piston calipers at both ends, while the wheels are an inch smaller than on the S, measuring 19s on the front and 20s at the rear wrapped in 235/40 and 295/35 tyres respectively. An eight-speed dual-clutch is currently the only available transmission, but we’d expect a seven-speed manual to appear at a later date.
Like its more powerful sibling, the 992 Carrera uses the widebody shell which allows for expanded tracks and a larger footprint on the road. Despite its extra size an increase in the amount of aluminium and high-strength steel makes the body lighter than its predecessor, though weight has crept up to 1505kg when empty.
The biggest alterations have taken place inside, where the base Carrera apes the S by adopting a brand new interior design with substantially upgraded connectivity, a 10.9-inch touchscreen display and a pair of digital displays that flank the iconic central analogue tachometer.
The new 911 Carrera is available to order locally now, with deliveries expected to commence in Q4 this year.
BELOW Drop-top takes two tenths longer in the (0-62mph) 0-100km/h stakes
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- Post is under moderationOwner: Lee Sibley Poole, UK
Model: #Porsche-911-Carrera-996.1 / #1998-Porsche-911-Carrera-996.1 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-996 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-996 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche
Acquired JAN 2019
After the 996’s roadbased European adventures I was keen to get a track day under my belt for 2019. With tyres and brakes recently renewed all-round, I figured now was the best time to indulge.
I opted for a Porsche Club GB track day, as usually the standard of driving is pretty respectable and, best of all, there’s always a good atmosphere: proceedings aren’t overawed by high volumes of cars – a common mistake made by mainstream trackday companies – and everybody is happy to talk to anybody. Being a PCGB event, I also benefitted from complimentary track day insurance cover as part of my policy with Locktons, subject to an excess of 10 per cent of the vehicle’s value.
Goodwood was the chosen venue, because unbelievably I’d never driven the motor circuit there before. It was a real box-ticker for me, made all the more special because my dad had decided to come along for the day. I always relish some father and son time, especially when he’s paying for breakfast en route… and before anyone moans, I did offer!
The track day itself was brilliant. A great mix of cars were on track, from a beautiful 964 RS right up to a plethora of 991.2 GT3 and GT3 RSs. It was a pleasure to share a circuit with them and engage in some brilliant conversations with their enthusiastic owners. A good, complimentary lunch topped things off, and I always appreciate the exceptional organisational skills of the PCGB team lead by James Mclaren-Rowe.
In hindsight I could have done with some tuition to properly learn the lines, but I had a belter of a day simply having a laugh with my old man. As for the 996? Firstly, let me say it performed excellently overall.
As my dad and I teared around Goodwood’s pretty circuit, giggling away all the while, I couldn’t help but think just how good value for money these cars are. My example had just got back from a 2,871-kilometre (1,784-mile) European trip less than a week before, and had zero preparation for the track day besides a quick tyre pressure check. If you can find a good example they give you so much sports car for as little as £15k. Phenomenal.
Secondly – perhaps inevitably – it highlighted, as all track days have done with my 996s through the years, that the car’s 21-year-old suspension is due for renewal. I’ll look at that in the coming months.
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- Post is under moderationWhen we sold the house that put the money in the bank that allowed us to buy the 993, everyone thought we were nuts. I’ll admit that looking at the estate agent’s pictures had me wondering what we were doing, but I’ve honestly no regrets on the move, particularly as it allowed me four years of 993 ownership.
Model: #Porsche-911-Carrera-2-993 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-2 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-Carrera-993 / #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche / #1994-Porsche-911-Carrera-2-993
Acquired December 2014
I seem to be having much the same discussions around the 993, with everyone saying I’m mad to sell it. For us it’s the right time to do so. There was a bit of a wobble when I popped into Sports Purpose and it was being detailed by Richard Tipper of Perfection Valet. Richard is a bit of a legend in our little car world, his clients trusting him with some of the most ridiculously exotic super, sports, road, race and rally cars.
He’s detailed more £1m+ cars than imaginable, the word ‘Tippered’ entering many motoring enthusiasts’ lexicon to describe his work. To say it was transformational on the 993 is to do the job he did on it a disservice – it really did look like a new car. Inside and out, the 993 looks sensational, Tipper spending an entire day to get it looking so good.
Now it’s looking perfect there are a couple of small jobs that need doing to have it completely ready for sale. The rear chassis legs are getting some attention as we speak, and a new set of discs are going on the front. Like the house we sold that allowed its purchase, the 993 will never have looked, or felt better when I eventually relinquish the keys to it. I even went through the service history and tidied it all up in date order in a new folder.
All I can hope is that it goes to someone who’ll enjoy it as much as I have; it really is a lovely example. Yes, I know, I would say that, but then I do get to drive a lot of them. That’s partly why parting with it won’t be too heart-wrenching, as I’m lucky enough to drive all manner of 911s and write about them on these pages – as well as other cars elsewhere. With a new baby arriving in a few weeks I’ll be too exhausted to miss the 993. At least that’s what I keep telling myself while everyone else continues to say I’m mad…
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- Post is under moderationLast issue I mentioned how, after a mere three corners of my track day at Castle Combe, my #Porsche-911-C4S-996 suffered epic brake fail, forcing the car into an early finish. I didn’t hang around in getting the problem fixed, remembering my old man’s oft-recited saying that “the most important aspect of a car is its ability to stop”. Long-time readers will recall I changed the brakes on my previous 996.2 C4 to EBC a couple of years back, so the decision to turn to them once again was an easy one, promptly ordering Yellowstuff pads, Dot 4 fluid and braided lines. I then booked the car in at ZRS Engineering down the road in Poole, as Matt there now does all work on my beloved C4S.
With the car on Matt’s two-post ramp, the wheels were whipped off and the pads removed. They had plenty of meat on them still as they were only installed at the end of 2017 but, as I’ve previously mentioned, I’ve just not been happy with their (complete lack of) feel and performance, despite fluid changes to alleviate the issue. Incidentally the pads had ‘TRW’ on the covers, which Matt informs me is the OEM brand, but whether or not it was just those covers which in this case were TRW remains to be seen. Either way, I took great pleasure in frisbeeing them into the bin.
EBC’s Yellowstuff pads were then installed inside the C4S’s Big Red calipers: these are intended for fast road and occasional track use, as they offer performance in huge heat ranges without brake fade. Although fashion isn’t exactly a priority when it comes to safety, it was great to see the yellow hue of the pads adding to the visual flare of my yellow KW coilover springs, at least with the wheels off!
Matt then replaced my rubber factory brake lines with EBC braided items. These will provide additional feel through the pedal, sorely needed in my case, and their braided element offers an increase in longevity underneath my C4S. With identical routing as per the factory lines, their it was simple enough. They’re good value: although the fittings don’t appear to be stainless steel (as they’re painted), they’re still good value when compared to vastly more expensive competitor items. I was pleased to have them fitted.
Matt did have to make up new hard lines from each caliper as mine had corroded. A 996 will always throw up a curve ball on a job like this, particularly with rust or corrosion on chassis componentry, so the added time needed for Matt to make those up before connecting to the EBC lines was expected, really.
With the braided lines in place Matt flushed out the old brake fluid, which ran for the hills when temperatures began to rise during the first few minutes of my aforementioned track day. I got two one-litre bottles of EBC ’s Dot 4 fluid, but the reality was we only needed the one. With the system bled, the wheels were soon back on and the 911 once again graced the floor.
Next step was bedding the brakes in, which I’m still in the process of doing. This is crucial to ensuring the brakes perform well over a sustained period of time. Many people skip this step and then wonder why they get brake fade pretty quickly. The process for EBC’s brakes can be found on their website at ebcbrakeshop.co.uk, but essentially I have to cover 200 urban miles before conducting a series of high-speed stoppages down to 20mph.
As I say I’m still in that process, and as soon as that’s done I’m heading for the track. What I will say, however, is that even now, after only a few miles, the difference is commendable. There’s now so much feel through that middle pedal that I can push it with confidence, those pads now clamping to the as-new discs with a conviction sorely lacking before. Once this set-up is run in, this is going to be an unbelievable car.
Living the Legend – 911 owner reports Our contributing enthusiasts from around the world share their real-life experiences with their Porsche 911s
Lee Sibley Bournemouth, UK
Model #Porsche-911-Carrera-4S-996 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-996 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-4S / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-996 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-996 / #2002-Porsche-911-Carrera-4S-996 / #Porsche /
Acquired April 2017 @lee_sibs
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- Post is under moderationPorsche 911 Carrera (993)
A half-cage has gone in and the back seats are out in a bid to make the Porsche more hardcore
/ #Porsche-911-Carrera-993 / #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche /
The toolkit has been out recently, and likewise the 993’s back seats. More on this in a moment, but first you need to hear my justification. When you are surrounded by performance cars day-in, day-out, as I am fortunate enough to be in my job as evo’s staff photographer, you can’t help but feel drawn towards certain models, and also to analyse exactly what it is about them that appeals so much. Over the years there have been a handful of cars that have had me feeling a deep urge to sell my kidneys to own them. The first was the incredible 997-generation Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0, then later the Cayman GT4, Mégane R26.R, 458 Speciale, Golf Clubsport S and Ruf SCR 4.2. As you can see, there’s a theme here of mostly pared-back, driver-focused cars. This is clearly my ‘go to’ spec.
So, unsurprisingly, I had an urge to make my 993 a little more hardcore and, yes, driver-focused. I figured the perfect way to achieve this would be to install a bolt-in half-cage, as this would increase the car’s body rigidity and also allow me to fit harnesses at some point.
I chose a cage produced by German company Heigo, specifically its Clubsport model, and over a weekend staff writer Will Beaumont and I, with some extra help from Will’s father, removed the Porsche’s rear seats and assembled and installed the cage. Heigo has cleverly designed its half-cage so that you don’t need to destroy your carpet or weld in fixing plates for it. Instead it picks up on the original strengthened areas, including the front and rear seat belt fixings. Another positive is that we managed to fit it without having to remove the front seats. And although the kit weighs 25kg, after removing the rear seat belts and seat backs, the final extra weight to the car is a relatively minor 21kg.
As well as the cage, I’ve also installed a front strut brace, similar to the one used in 993 RSR race cars and even the aforementioned Ruf SCR. When researching parts I was surprised to find that you can purchase this brace on its own via Ruf UK. It’s ultra-high quality and easy to install, and the benefits are reduced strut tower flex (as both towers are tied together) along with reduced chassis flex.
The 993 is starting to become my ultimate fast road package and I can’t wait to get it back out on the road and track this summer to test the new set-up.
Date acquired April 2016
Total mileage 80,134
Mileage this month 100
Costs this month £853 roll-cage £360 strut brace
£26 dinner for Will and his dad
mpg this month 24.3
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- Post is under moderationCAR: #Porsche-911-Carrera-993 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche / #Porsche-911 /
A weekend behind the wheel gives our 993’s upgrades – and its natural talents – a chance to shine…
The 911 had been parked up for what felt like years waiting for available funds to replace two leaking valve covers – a common problem with the 993 Carrera. Thankfully I managed to save up enough to get the job carried out by RPM Technik just in time for a recent driving weekend with some colleagues and friends.
You may remember Jordan Katsianis, custodian of our DS 3 Performance, briefly mentioning this outing in last month’s Fast Fleet. Our plan was simple: bring a car – your own if possible – and head to the best driving roads that south Wales has to offer.
Gathering in a service station early on a Saturday morning for a quick coffee and a Danish, we had an eclectic turnout, ranging from a Saab 9000 Aero to a Cayman GT4.
The weather appeared to be against us at first, turning tragic as soon as we crossed the Severn Bridge into Wales, but we decided to tough it out and carry on with our plan, and to our amazement the rain and clouds gradually faded as we got closer to our first location, the skies eventually giving way to bright sunshine.
After my first half an hour or so on interesting roads I had to concede that the 993 was a little too stiffly sprung, but this was easily fixed by adjusting the Öhlins dampers to softer settings. Fifteen minutes later I was tackling the same corners again, now with more pace and confidence.
Another adjustable component that showed its worth in Wales was the Rennline pedal set that I have recently added. The standard pedals in the 993 make it hard to properly heel and toe, because the floorhinged accelerator is so low compared with the brake, but these aluminium replacements solve that by allowing you to independently set the height and lateral position of the accelerator. The only issue I had was with the optional extension plates for the accelerator, which are designed to close the gap to the brake pedal even further. There’s an upper and a lower one, but as you can see in the picture, I only have the lower one (the red bit) fitted, because if you’re wearing regular shoes of around size 10 or larger, you can easily end up unintentionally applying pressure to the brake and accelerator simultaneously.
As more miles passed beneath the 993’s wheels, I began to understand how to use the car’s rear weight bias to my advantage, but at the same time it also became clear that real mastery of this car can’t be achieved in a weekend. But that’s what I love about the 993 – just how involving it is. You feel like an integral part of covering ground quickly in it. No traction control. No stability control. No active suspension. Just intense driving pleasure.
With the non-stop feedback through the steering wheel and seat, you can eventually get to a stage where your concentration level is so high and your movements – gearchanges, steering, road placement – become so fluent that when you do finally come to a stop you can’t really identify the single great moment of the drive. Give it a moment, though, and you realise that this is because the whole journey was perfect.
Over the weekend I must have driven more than 400 miles, filled up twice and spent the equivalent of a cheap weekend break abroad, but making the effort to travel to decent roads in a car like the 993 is totally worth it, and I can’t wait to do it again.
Aston Parrott (@AstonParrott)
Date acquired April 2016
Total mileage 80,034
Mileage this month 481
Costs this month £605 valve cover replacement £300 pedals
Mpg this month 24.1
Above: adjustable pedals make for perfect heel and toe action.
Below: 993 and friends in Wales.
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- Post is under moderationThere are forms that can only be changed very cautiously, because icons must be immediately recognizable as such. If there is a revolution, then please especially under the sheet metal and in the interior, where Porsche wants to surprise us with a new operating concept and additional assistance systems. #Porsche-911-992 / #2019-Porsche-911-992 / #Porsche-992 / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche / #2019 / #Porsche-911-Turbo / #Porsche-911-Turbo-992 / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-Carrera-992 / #2020 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-S / #Porsche-911-Carrera-S-992
An icon at the crossroads: How do innovations like the plug-in hybrid and digitization change the rear-engined classic with the sawing voice and the impossible weight distribution? We have the story - for those who do not want to wait until October 2018.
Beetle, Mini, Land Rover, 911. All classic without expiration date - or the last Mohicans before the big paradigm shift towards E-Mobility and autonomous driving?
Probably something of both. Porsche has to take care of the 911 without scare the purists and ignore the signs of the times. "In the 911 there will be no four-cylinder in the medium term," promises chief conductor Oliver Blume. "But we are working on a plug-in variant and will probably use it later." What Blume does not say: Model 992, which debuts at the LA Auto Show in late 2018, is the last of its kind. Because the generation after next generation is already based on the completely new, in all essential elements scalable sports car platform of the future (SAZ), which was developed earlier this year. Lamborghini remains initially out, but Bentley, Audi and probably even Bugatti are considered set in the SAZ network.
Before the eighth in Zuffenhausen conceived rolls from February 2019 to the dealers, Porsche still wants to tell the story of the 991 to an end.
The penultimate chapter takes place in March at the Geneva Motor Show, where the winged GT3 RS, which is said to have 520 hp, celebrates its premiere. As part of the racing reunion, a classic event scheduled for September near Paris, Porsche wants to draw the last 991 derivative from the hat in the form of the strictly limited Speedster GT.
After the 911 T, the Speedster is the second model in the Heritage range. The next 911 generation hears the abbreviation 992 and builds in essential elements on the current series. So it remains at the rear engine - the rumored exchange of boxer and transmission should be completed in 2025 with the so-called Ferrari Fighter (Project 960), the future of course, is still uncertain. Since the duo 996/986, Elfer and Boxster / Cayman share a modular architecture. This constructive approach is in principle, but it is still unclear to what extent the successors of Cayman and Boxster are knitted after the proven pattern and whether Audi is allowed on board. As of December 2017, everything from the big facelift to the radically innovative electric sports car is in the realm of possibility.
The new 911 is born in uncertain times. As early as next fall, legislators are tightening the exhaust gas standard for gasoline engines with the Otto Particulate Filter (OPF). The measures to comply with the two-stage RDE (Real Drive Emissions) limits cost engine power and money. Quite possibly, that's why Porsche also takes the BMW M-way in the next step and has to provide the expensive water injection. Against the background of the exhaust gas discussion, the classic naturally aspirated engines of GT3 and GT4 inevitably become discontinued models.
Because at the same time more stringent noise protection regulations threaten, also the intake and exhaust systems must be quieter. A tightening on a broad front brings the upcoming fleet norm of on average only 95 g CO2 / km. But do not worry: the enemy picture of a 911 with four-cylinder boxer without e-module is a chimera, at least in the medium term.
The graduated start-up of the 992 is based on its predecessor:
• Carrera 2S and Carrera 4S Coupé, Presentation 10/2018, launch 2/2019;
• Carrera 2S and 4S Cabriolet, presentation 1/2019, sale from 4/2019;
• Carrera 2 and Carrera 4 as coupé and convertible, presentation 4/2019, at the dealer 7/2019;
• 911 Turbo Coupe and Carrera GTS, presentation 9/2019, start of sales 2/2020.
Together with the new car, a revised engine generation (EA9A2) goes into production.
The 3.0-liter boxer mobilizes as #MHEV (Mild Hybrid) 15 kW more power and 70 Newton meters more torque, provides additional variability in the mixture preparation and reduces the already hardly measurable particulate matter emission by a factor of 10. The base Carrera 400 PS Strong twin-turbo propellant brings it in the S versions to 450 hp. From 2022 will be increased as part of the facelift again by 20 hp.
In the GT3 successor it remains at 3.8 liters of displacement, but the first-ever artificially ventilated six-cylinder in the sharpest 911 should increase in the first stage of development from 500 to 550 hp. Spearhead of the series remains the 911 Turbo; he stands with up to 620 bhp / DIN even better in the feed than before. In most cases, a new eight-speed double clutch (8DT 80HL) from ZF will provide the power transmission.
Inside there's an exciting mixture of classic and modern. Porsche was the only mechanical round instrument to rescue the centrally positioned tachometer into modern times. Although it remains at a total of five clocks, but the two displays on the left and right of the heart rate monitor can be partially configure freely. We know the big touch screen and the panel for the air conditioning from the Panamera. New are the optional head-up display and a long list of comfort and safety features. For example, the adaptive laser light, which illuminates far into the next bend, cleverly avoids reflections and self-glare, selectively illuminates pedestrians and animals, and works its way 700 meters into the darkness wherever it is possible.
Starting in 2022, the countdown for the 911 #PHEV is underway, but the market launch has not yet been fixed. This model integrates two propulsion concepts: the gasoline rear engine and the electric motor, which turns this 911 into a low-emission 4x4 coupe when needed. The compact E-package consists of four elements: power electronics, lithium-ion battery with 10.8 kWh, Stromer with 70 kW and 310 Nm and a special e-transmission with eight gears, freewheel and recuperation. In total, extrapolated 485 hp and 760 Nm are available. That should be enough to track to (0-62MPH) 0-100 kmh in less than 3.5 seconds and to be 315kph fast.
Depending on the driving style, the electric range should be up to 50 kilometers. If you like rushing rather than gliding, you can boost for 20 seconds at the touch of a button or swear all the drive components up in Sport Plus for maximum performance - then the Sport Response Button finally makes sense.
The #Porsche-911-992 has to be able to do better than its predecessor, has to be faster and more agile, at the same time wilder and more confident, quieter and - in spite of the Otto particle filter - more efficient. The means to an end: less weight, a stiffer body and a new eight-speed #PDK for the more powerful boxer. There's a new infotainment and various assistance systems. First test runs from February 2019 .Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationHOT RIDE: Porsche 993 Words Daniel Bevis Photography Mike Kuhn On (Roti)form RWB 993
Planet Girth The wide, wide Porsches of RWB are a global phenomenon. You’ll find them in Japan, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, and now, thanks to the work of Crolls Customs, a bright green 993 has popped up in Pennsylvania. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Philly #1.
RWB 993 Have you seen enough RAUH-Welt Begriff Porkers yet? No, we didn’t think so!
Ben Harmony’s RWB 993 Porsche
The acid-green vision you see before you is the product of passion and heritage, of vintage methods and new-wave thinking. You may be familiar with the cult of the RAUH-Welt Begriff (RWB) Porsche. But do you know just how deep the rabbit-hole goes?
The whole trippy merry-go-round is a million miles from simply buying and fitting a bodykit – it involves the synthesis and fusion of sensibilities, a personal commitment in time from Akira Nakai himself (for he is the enigmatic figure behind RWB), and a mind-boggling array of decisions in order to arrive at something unique. RWB cars are rare fruit indeed.
This car, which began life as a 993 Carrera 2, is the proud possession of Ben Harmony, Philadelphia resident and seasoned car modifier. His roots lie in the VW scene, although it’s fair to say that this scene-defining build has really taken the idea of OEM+ to a whole other level. This isn’t just bolting a set of Twists to a Golf. This is a different hustle on another game court.
“My first car was a 2008 Golf R32,” he says. “It was lowered on coils, and I did the exhaust, chip tune and so on. That started the car craze for me! My next project was a 2012 Golf R, which was bagged, stage 2+, and had a full Milltek turbo-back, APE fuel pump, tune, intake, and also HRE 501s and OEM European Recaro seats imported from Germany.” This car was sold to partially fund the RWB build, as well as Ben’s beloved daily – a 2004 Golf R32, which was also bagged, and running Rotiform INDs. “I miss that car a ton,” he laments. But don’t feel too bad for him. Just look where that money went.
Now, there are two key steps to take when you start down the bespoke RWB path: one is that you need to source and prepare the right car, and the other is that Nakai-san needs to interview you, to get inside your way of thinking and see how the car will intertwine with your wants and needs. And after numerous lengthy discussions with the great man, pinpointing every specific element of the details, Ben was ready to take the plunge, having been deemed worthy by the creative puppetmaster who pulls all the strings.
“It all really started about three years ago, when I found the original build videos on YouTube,” Ben recalls. “I began watching them and fell in love with the look of the cars and just Nakai-san’s passion for building. And I knew one day I had to have one!” At this point Ben had a shiny new BMW M3 on order, but he made the call to cancel that and instead refocus his life in an entirely more lairy direction. “It was the best decision I ever made,” he grins.
A suitable donor was soon found advertised on eBay and Rennlist: a straight Cherry Carrera with no accident damage and just 52,000 on the clock. “It was a three-owner car with a good history,” Ben explains. “Not many people would buy a mint car for an RWB build, but I wanted to find the cleanest because my ultimate goal is to have one of the most all-round best built cars. I don’t cut corners – if you’re going to do it, do it right from the start.”
The 993 was located in Kansas City, Missouri, so Ben sent over a PayPal deposit and got himself booked on the next flight out, along with buddy Roman, to collect the car and take it on a road trip back home.
If your knowledge of US geography is a little rusty, a quick route-planner on your favourite online mapping service will reveal that this is a journey of well over 1,100 miles. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” he laughs.
And what better way to get to know your car. Before entirely tearing the thing to pieces and starting afresh?
So, what’s it like watching a RAUH-Welt Begriff creation be spirited into existence by the frenzied, nicotine-fuelled Nakai-san? “I’ll be honest, it’s pretty surreal,” says Ben, in masterful understatement.
“The car was getting worked on for over a year getting it ready for Nakai-san’s arrival. It was a long journey of emails, details and planning. These builds take a lot of time and effort, especially when you’re a young kid who runs his own business and goes to school full time, it can be very stressful! I flew out to visit a build a few months prior to mine commencing, to meet some of the RWB guys, and also set my date with Akira Nakai and meet him for the first time – which helped out a lot! When he arrived in Philly we already had that bond and knew each other, which was very cool. But to see it all come together and hang out with Nakai-san at my house and watch him build my car was probably one of the greatest events I’ve ever experienced.”
RWB builds are noted for being a three-day process, but such was the quality of the base car and the fastidiousness of the planning that Ben’s Philly #1 only took two days to build. “It was a weekend of hanging out with my best friends and family, and just watching the project car I worked hard to build finally come to life,” he enthuses. “The best part was just watching my buddies’ eyes light up as Nakai-san worked and put the car together, because they used to joke and say ‘Ben, get real, you’re not building one’. But now it finally happened it just made it that much sweeter.”
As you can probably imagine, this certainly isn’t a car for shrinking violets, and Ben gets a fair amount of attention when he’s out and about. “I do drive the car a decent amount,” he assures us. “I’ll take it to dinner with my girlfriend, drive it to class, or just run errands. People go crazy over the car trying to take pictures while driving, or just stop me to talk about it. I get tagged in so many social media pics! Whenever I drive it I usually end up talking to at least one or two people about the car, and I always take the time to answer questions and let them take photos. People love Nakai-san’s work, and it feels great to be a part of that.”
The nature of extreme modification is not to rest on one’s laurels. Sure, Ben may have had his car converted into something hand-crafted and unique by one of the world’s premier automotive artisans, he may be rocking some obscene wheels and a delectable interior, but there’s something about that standard flat-six that’s niggling him.
“The motor’s still stock, aside from a custom titanium exhaust, which weighs around 5lb compared to 98lb for the stock item,” he says. So what’s the future? “Turbo, turbo, turbo,” he cackles triumphantly. “What I really want to do is swap in a 993 Turbo engine, shoot for about 450bhp – not crazy power, because everything on this car was done for reasons of balance and handling and I don’t want to throw that off.” He says that. But this Porsche’s all about the crazy. Let’s see where the mischief takes him, shall we?
TECH SPEC: 993 CARRERA / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-911-993 / #Porsche-993 / #Porsche / #Porsche-911-RWB-993 / #Porsche-911-RWB / #RAUH-Welt-Begriff / #Porsche-911-RWB-993 / #Air-Lift / #Airdynamiks / #Rotiform-LVS / #Rotiform / #RWB / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-Carrera-993 / #Air-Lift
STYLING Full custom RAUH-Welt Begriff wide-arch bodykit; Porsche Gelb Grün paint by Josh at Crolls Customs.
TUNING #Porsche-M64 3.6-litre aircooled flat-six; custom titanium straight-piped exhaust system; manual ’box with CAE shifter.
CHASSIS 10x18in (front) and 13x18in (rear) Rotiform-LVS; 265/35 (f) and 315/30 (r) Pirelli P Zero Rosso; #Airdynamiks-air-ride with #Air-Lift-3H management; #Brembo discs with ceramic pads.
INTERIOR #Recaro-A8 seats; full colour-coded #RWB rollcage; doorcards retrimmed in black; new black carpets; Alpine Bluetooth headunit; JL speakers; Focal amp.
THANKS I want to thank Josh at Crolls Customs for the killer paint and bodywork; Brendan Ginty for the interior work and getting all the suspension done – the man is a perfectionist and there isn’t a thing he can’t do; and all the RWB guys for the help along the way.
WHEELS: GET THE LOOK Philly #1 is rocking a set of miles-deep Rotiform LVS wheels, measuring 10x18-inch up front and a whopping 13x18-inch out back. Proudly manufactured in the USA, these wheels can be ordered in anything from 14-24-inch in diameter, and 6-16-inch in width. (Well, within reason – if you ask for a set of 14x14” they may look at you funny. Still, can’t hurt to try.) You can also choose between forged monoblock, two-piece, or the full-fat three-piece, as you see here. Get in touch via rotiform.co.uk to discuss specs and pricing.
What is RWB?
RWB stands for #RAUH-Welt Begriff , roughly translating as Rough World Concept. It’s the brainchild of legendary and revered Japanese tuner Akira Nakai. Beginning operations in his hometown of Chiba, Nakai-san’s outrageously widened aircooled Porsches have captured the tuning world’s imagination, being immortalised in countless frothing Instagram posts and even the Need for Speed video game franchise. Each car features custom arches, bumpers, wings and skirts, decided upon when Nakai-san interviews the client to ascertain how the car will match their character and fit into their lifestyle. The parts then get shipped to the customer for prep and painting, before Nakai-san flies in with his tools and gets to work building the thing. On a diet of beer and cigarettes, he works through the night until the car’s perfect. Everything’s cut freehand, by eye rather than measurement, in the manner of a traditional craftsman. The quality of the finish is testament to his unique skills.
The youngsters would say Ben’s 993 is ‘on fleek’
“People love Nakai-san’s work, and it feels great to be a part of that”
The Rotiforms hide Brembo discs and ceramic pads. Nice.
Nakai-san has got a lot better looking.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
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Convertible Prototypes / #Porsche-911-Carrera-3.2-Speedster-Studie / #Porsche-984 / #Porsche-911-Speedster-Studie / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911-Carrera-3.2-Speedster / #Porsche-911-Speedster / #Porsche-928-Cabriolet / #Porsche-928 / #Porsche-Prototypes /
We reunite three forgotten 1980s Porsche prototypes. Their story shows that the development from concept car to production can be a rocky road… Story: Matt Zuchowski. Photography: Konrad Skura.
The role of convertibles in Porsche’s history is regularly underestimated, often overshadowed by the mighty 911 coupé and some tin-top racing heroes of the past. For these three special roofless models, that role is further diminished for despite their decisive functions, they didn’t go down in history at all. The little known sad truth is that for every car which makes it to market there are countless others left by the wayside, at best ending up merely as sources of inspiration for certain future design solutions. There are even those that were virtually finished projects, ready to be put on the production line, yet for some reason they never left the guarded gates of their developer’s sanctum. In the case of Porsche, that’s its Development Centre in Weissach.
Contrary to most other carmakers that choose to destroy their pre-production prototypes, or to at least keep them away from prying eyes, Porsche keeps virtually all of its stillborn forays. And what’s more, it recently decided to wheel some of its top secret projects out to the general public, presenting them at events and shows the world over, even lending them to selected media. And that’s how an inconspicuous white truck delivered three of these invaluable pieces of Porsche’s history one night to a place where we could carefully examine them, pondering on what might have been…
PORSCHE 911 CARRERA 3.2 SPEEDSTER STUDIE
Apart from all having similar paintwork and lacking roofs, the three cars presented here share another common feature: their stories are all linked, starting here with this pearl-white 911 Carrera 3.2 Speedster, which was presented as a concept car at the autumnal 1987 Frankfurt motor show. It revived the idea of a Porsche Speedster, whilst taking it to the next level.
Prior to this, the last 356 Speedsters had rolled out of the Karosseriewerk Reuter garage decades earlier and the name associated with the special drop-tops had all but disappeared from the Porsche world. Fortunately, though, this special body style remained in the minds of both the brand’s enthusiasts and its management.
It took a new #Porsche CEO, American, #Peter-Schutz , to put his faith in the #Porsche-911 and reengage its development with a convertible version included. What he had in mind was a raw, back-to-basics Speedster. It was a recipe that sounded familiar to Porschephiles. Alas, the company chose to go for a more versatile, luxuriously appointed convertible, not far from the default Targa.
In 1986, another Speedster was penned according to the instructions of Peter Schutz, who dreamt up a Turbo-look wide-body car with a small 356-inspired airfoil barely giving any wind protection to passengers. In a matter of months Porsche chief engineer, #Helmuth-Bott , proposed a more advanced design based on the old narrow-body 911 SC, also with a rather symbolic windshield, but in this case combined with proportionally smaller side windows, which transitioned smoothly to the rigid removable tonneau cover behind the cabin. The Schutz and Bott cars gave rise to the 911 Carrera 3.2 Speedster Studie, officially revealed during the Frankfurt show of 1987. The toned-down pearlescent paint and classic 911 motifs co-created an unlikely futuristic concept car that creatively reinterpreted the Speedster genre.
The light cabin cover can be lifted on hinges, but to get behind the wheel, I manage to slip in without raising the lid through a pet door created by opening the lower half of the door. The cabin isn’t much different from what the driver of a 1980s 911 was used to. Porsche did, however, show some creativity in choosing the colours to make the interior look at least unique, as everything was covered in white – from the steering wheel down to the floor mats.
The Speedster Studie won’t be remembered as a car with the most carefully finished interior but then again, concept cars are not designed for that purpose. Their mission is to manifest an idea, and in this respect the Speedster Studie couldn’t have performed better. The positive reception it received at the show supported by favourable market trends led to the production of a limited series of 911 Speedsters in 1989.
PORSCHE 928 CABRIOLET
The USA was a crucial client for Porsche virtually from the very beginning of the carmaker’s history, and few people knew how to exploit the great potential of the American market as well as Berlin-born but Chicago-raised Peter Schutz.
An open variant of the 928 seemed a natural extension of Porsche’s model line-up in the 1980s, which fitted perfectly with the Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills set of the time. Porsche had already had a bash at creating a 928 with a removable roof back in 1977, four years before Schutz’s arrival, verifying the idea of the Targa body. The idea, however, was soon dropped, but the need for such a car remained, so the service of cutting away the roof from the 928 (or at least its middle section) was offered through the years by various independent companies.
The Peter Schutz era at Porsche was marked by the much-anticipated comeback of the 911 but the company didn’t forget about its front-engined 928. It was thought to be a suitable basis for the new models extending the brand’s portfolio – amongst them a cabriolet, a four-door coupélimousine, and the mysterious 989. The Porsche Design Centre was asked to create several versions of the 928 convertible design, which were to be realised by the industry giant American Sunroof Corporation, whose new subsidiary was opened in nearby Weinsberg, specifically to fulfil Porsche’s needs.
The prototype 928 Cabriolet was finished in 1987 after ten months of work. It was based on the most recent 928 S4 incarnation and armed with a new five-litre 32-valve V8 engine. Even if it looked like a simple development of the series production model, it turned out to be an advanced project with its modifications going deep into the structure of the car. As the 928 wasn’t originally designed with a convertible version in mind, so the prototype needed various retrofitted reinforcements into its halved chassis. Specifically for this Cabriolet, the team designed a stronger floorpan, a firewall and, most importantly, A-pillars.
The car looks like a finished project, ready to be delivered to showrooms. Indeed that’s largely true of this prototype. Richly equipped with a four-seat interior, a potent powertrain and a projected price of about DM150000, the 928 Cabriolet really could’ve made it big in the US, if only it had a chance to prove itself. Just as it was finished, though, the US economy suffered a major financial crisis that left the dollar to DM exchange rate hugely unfavourable for Germans.
The price of the deutsche mark rose, taking with it the potential price of the 928 Cabriolet, and so Porsche sales in America fell proportionally. All this while Peter Schutz had to make way for the next CEO, Heinz Branitzki. The new boss sought to limit the firm’s expenses by terminating many of its current activities. The cabrio and four-door 928 project were among the casualties; both were eventually cancelled early in 1991.
The most inconspicuous car of our trio proves to be the most interesting and perhaps the most advanced. It took Porsche 27 years to admit that it had created this little roadster, revealing the news only in 2014. The 984 project started its life in 1984 as an external order from SEAT. At the time of entering German ownership, the Spanish brand needed a car to build its new image and international recognition upon and that led to another cooperation with Porsche. The Germans had already developed a four-cylinder engine for the Malaga, Ronda and Ibiza models but this time Porsche was asked to create a thoroughly modern, extremely compact roadster. The project, called ‘PS’, envisioned a car that was no more than 3675mm in length, 1100mm in height, and no heavier than 880kg. Also, it was expected to boast a see-through hard-top and some highly regarded Porsche mechanicals.
When the project reached a stage requiring concrete action, SEAT realised it could not accept the budget requested by Porsche for evolving the prototype into a production-ready car. Porsche didn’t want to leave the promising 984 at that stage, though, and decided to carry on its work on the car. Nicknaming it ‘Junior’, Porsche slightly altered its priorities: the new car’s price would be limited to DM40000; it would offer low fuel consumption; a new solid roof would provide more headroom; the engine would move from its central position to the rear-engine accommodation more familiar to the brand, while a bigger share of parts could be sourced from the other Porsche cars.
But the main goal remained the same: to create a modern small roadster slotting beneath the 944 that would help rejuvenate the brand’s entry-level client base. The company didn’t even need to do much to make the car look like the credible part of its family; with those round front lights it already looked like one. Contrary to the 928 or 968, here these lamps didn’t need to be raised: they hid the innovative ellipsoidal reflector spotlights, a recently introduced advanced solution that Porsche also used on the special 942 model, an extended 928 that was a gift from the company’s workers to Ferry Porsche on his 75th birthday. The 984 was meant to be an advanced car: in the early stages the development of an AWD system was taken into consideration for it, with the potential of a motorsport career in the future.
Most of the car’s other parts came as ready solutions borrowed from other models from the brand: the brakes came from the older 911 SC, the steering from the future 964, the electronics from the current 928, while the gearbox was based on the unit that was installed in the 1976 912 E (an interim model that was offered in the USA between 912 and 914). An important innovation proved to be the independent multi-link suspension on the rear axle, developed by Georg Wahl, that was passed onto the 989 limousine and eventually ended up in production in the 993 of the early 1990s. Initially the 984 prototype was planned to be given a completely new two-litre boxer engine with four valves per cylinder, a double overhead camshaft, and a turbocharger.
It was a power unit that potentially could be used in the aircraft industry in the future, too. But such an ambitious plan never materialised; instead the 984 was given a four-cylinder ‘Typ 4’ boxer from the 914 model, grown to 2400cc. That was enough to reach its proposed power output which was in the region of 120–150hp, which allowed this small and aerodynamic car to achieve aboveaverage performance figures: a 0-62mph time of less than eight seconds and a maximum speed of 143mph were good.
Although Zuffenhausen’s engineers did take some shortcuts here and there, they undoubtedly put a lot of energy into developing the 984. This is most evident from behind the steering wheel. The first thing that comes to one’s mind inside the 984 is the well-known 944. The dashboard is differentiated only by a few details, like an intriguing cylinder temperature gauge – most probably included only for research and development purposes. The whole interior is upholstered using fine materials with astonishing care. The creatively folding roof, hidden in the boot in one section, can still be opened and closed. Seizing the steering wheel one can only imagine how great this little roadster might be to drive. Judging by the traces of intense use left on the underbody, Porsche test drivers appreciated its dynamic capabilities a lot. Sadly, though, we were never able to find that out for ourselves as, like with the 928 Cabriolet, the 984 was killed by the falling dollar. With each month that passed by the projected price of the car on the US market rose, right up to a point where the whole project was deemed unprofitable. After four years of budgetdraining development work the whole 984 venture was closed down in March 1988. From a short series of prototypes only this one example survives to this day. Others were destroyed in various ways, dismantled or crashed in tests. The only 984 left might have shared this fate, too, judging by its white and black research sticker on the rear lid.
The 984 project did not, however, remain useless. It can be presumed that Porsche’s engineers took a good look at it when they were working on a roadster of similar proportions just five years later. It came to be known as the Boxster. The stories of these three cars joined together here prove that what we see offered from carmakers is just the tip of the development iceberg. The life of a prototype is tough and often completely pointless. Cars like these remain silent heroes of their brands, ending up mostly forgotten or underrated.
The life of a prototype is tough and often completely pointless.
Judging by the traces of intense use, Porsche test drivers appreciated its dynamic capabilities.
The 928 Cabriolet was ready for production, destined for the US market, but a financial crisis halted the project…
The 928 Cabriolet really could’ve made it big in the US, if only it had a chance to prove itself.
The Speedster’s cabin cover can be lifted on hinges. Its all-white colour scheme was designed to gain attention at Frankfurt.Stream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.
- Post is under moderationA LIVING LEGEND / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche / #1973 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-RS / #Porsche-911-Carrera / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche-911-Carrera-RS-2.7 / #Porsche-911-2.7-Carrera-RS / #Porsche-911-2.7 / #Porsche-911-Carrera /
The life and times of the most successful Carrera RS competition car ever. Calling any car ʻthe most successful of all timeʼ is quite a claim, but in the case of #AUI-1500 , the ex- #Cathal-Curley 1973 RS, it is perfectly true: no other similar Carrera can match this legendary Porscheʼs competition history. After a hard life and an exacting restoration, it is now back on the road thanks to the exhausting research of marque specialist, Mark Waring. Words: Mark Waring. Photos: Antony Fraser and Mark Waring.
AUI 1500 is immortalised in Mark Copelandʼs book, The Porsche 911 in Irish Rallying, as ʻThe most successful 2.7 Carrera RS of all timeʼ. In my research of over 1200 records of Porsches in rallying, I concur. There is quite simply no other RS that has achieved anywhere close to the success AUI 1500 has enjoyed in rallying without any modification, straight off the showroom floor.
AUI 1500 is unique in winning three international rallies outright – The Circuit of Ireland, The Donegal and The Manx – against the stiffest opposition found anywhere in the world, competing against fourteen other RSs, at the same time ending the dominance of the works-backed Ford Escorts. This achievement was nothing short of sensational, but AUI 1500 is also a very special car due to its continuous competition history and miraculous survival.
Registered initially as OM 77, the last RS with Sport Equipment delivered to the UK, this car was the highest placed Porsche in the RAC Rally in 1973, winning the Team prize driven by 1972 Motoring News Rally Champion Harold Morley. Only a few other RSs have ever completed this gruelling world rally championship round in period out of the 11 that have tried.
By 1975, most RSs were entered as Group 4 cars with at least 2800cc and utilising other homologated parts, such as twin brake cylinders and larger brake discs. To succeed without these modifications proved to Porsche and the world a standard RS was a winner at a time when Porsche was, regrettably, concentrating on other forms of motorsport deemed more important for impressing the American market for which the RS was not eligible.
In 1974 AUI 1500 won events in three different formats, among them the Circuit of Ireland. This is the third oldest rally in the world and the jewel in the crown, for nowhere else was there a round of the European Rally Championship lasting five days and covering 1200 miles, of which 600 were stage miles. Two of those days, the rallying continued through the night and AUI 1500 won by a margin of 5 minutes 48 seconds, a record that still stands today. Its pilot Cathal Curley followed this with a win on the threeday June Donegal Rally, and the September Castrol Manx rally, beating the great Roger Clark at the peak of his career into third place in a works-backed Escort.
The first international rally win for a 1973 Porsche 911 RS came at the hands of Jack Tordoff in 1973 on the Circuit of Ireland. He was one of three foreign drivers to return after it was cancelled in 1972 due to the political situation. His direct competition came from one other RS and a 911S. Adrian Boyd, driving a Ford Escort, led then retired on the penultimate stage, leaving the way clear for Tordoff. The following year eleven RSs entered the Circuit of Ireland. The touch paper had been lit and was to burn for six more years, lighting up fierce competition between the Porsches.
AUI 1500 changed hands several times after 1974, returning to England and eventually competing in over 42 rallies, fourteen of which were at international level. When homologation finally ran out for its eligibility as a rally car, it was subsequently sold to a buyer in South Africa. Briefly rallied again, it was converted to an RSR with parts supplied by Porsche that included a full 3.4-litre twin plug ʻwerksʼ engine. AUI 1500 evolved from a Group 3 2.7 RS to Group 4 RSR.
For three years, from 1984 to 1987, commercial property developer Albert Van Heerden raced the car in the Rolo Motors Historics Championship and PSCA events, by all accounts proving to be a very quick driver. In its last race, he achieved pole at the old Kyalami Formula 1 racing circuit, but in a 155+mph accident, the car hit the wall separating the circuit from the town of Johannesburg.
The ensuing impact caused the car to cartwheel, ending on its roof with the engine running and on fire. Albert escaped unhurt but was so traumatised by the experience he never raced again. #Porsche-911-AUI-1500 ʼs long career as a competition car effectively ended, as it was deemed uneconomic to repair. The ʻwerksʼ engine and gearbox survived, however.
A private Porsche collector bought the damaged car and stored it for 23 years unbeknown to anyone save two of his closest friends. A private man, he wishes to remain anonymous but without his intervention AUI 1500 would have been lost forever. For that, every Porsche enthusiast should be eternally grateful.
And so began the rebuild. There is nothing original about a successful competition car. The legal identity of a vehicle is defined by its original chassis number for that is the process the registering authorities identified the car in period as meeting the type approval for its use on public roads. I bought the entire damaged shell, so in that respect I had no concerns. But there was little else of the original car that survived.
The due diligence I carried out revealed the gearbox had been damaged on the second attempt on the RAC rally in 1978, and the right hand front strut on the Scarborough Stages in 1979. Front spoilers were damaged and replaced rally to rally, and several sets of wheels were used, both Fuchs and Minilites. The ducktail frame was replaced later, due to corrosion.
The tired engine was not suitable, or required, for an RSR and found its way into a 912 and, latterly, a 2.4T. It was rebuilt before, finally, the crankshaft broke – it was irreparable. I inspected the damaged cases but the engine number did not appear original, and were magnesium not siluminum alloy cases, as expected.
I located 911/83 crankcases and rebuilt an engine of the correct type.
To complete the transformation to RSR, the bodywork had been replaced with wider arches to cover 9J and 11J wheels, the front inner wing and struts modified for coil-over shock absorbers and holes cut for brake cooling ducts. Both battery boxes were removed, and a front oil cooler installed. Instruments were necessarily replaced due to the increased top speed and rpm.
In the accident all the glass was broken, the engine loom was burnt and the roof damaged. My trip to South Africa was successful, though, as I purchased from the first owner the two original seats and a prototype rally navigation aid trialled in the car.
On the matter of authentication, before restoration began the VIN numbers were inspected by Porsche AG and a new alloy chassis plate reissued. A letter was received stating all the requirements for doing so were met in full. The MD of Porsche Cars GB and the Register Secretary of the Porsche Club GB both wrote letters supporting the car and the reunification with its registration number AUI 1500.
The first task was to straighten the ʼshell and after seven days of pulling and relaxing the metal, the car was sitting once again on a factory-spec jig. To ensure I had all the correct style of panels, I bought a very late M-registration accident-damaged RHD 2.4T which provided common parts; most critically it was a rare non-sunroof model.
The dials bearing the correct dates required only to be refurbished and the speedo and tacho recalibrated to read 150mph and 7200rpm, respectively. Three of the 6J wheels were also in date range, so were ideal. Everything else was correct and most probably manufactured in the same batch, or close to the manufacturing date, as everything originally fitted to AUI 1500. Clear glass I sourced along with the – unusual for an RS – two-stage rear screen that had originally been ordered for AUI 1500. A thinner front screen without manufacturerʼs marks was purchased new because of safety issues, and is complete with Glaverbel identification.
The roof from the ʻTʼ was removed, leaving all the factory welds in situ, and reattached using stronger invisible welds on the RS chassis. A third-series RS would not have been fitted with any thinner panels, so the donor roof was perfect.
Alternatively, I could have bought all the individual roof panels from Porsche and assembled a new roof but without the appearance of an original, and that was never going to be acceptable.
Regrettably, the floor of AUI 1500 had been modified with twin brake master cylinders and seat braces, and had been the subject of numerous repairs. It was impossible to straighten the battered floor, but a new RHD floor panel has not been available from Porsche for twenty years .
I received a tip-off suggesting Porsche had two new old stock RHD floors lost somewhere in its warehouse. With an appropriate part number they could be located, but which one? I ordered every superceded part number from 1973 until 1976 until I hit the jackpot. I bought them both!
The inner rear wings were more difficult. Only 1990s versions were available and required extensive modification. The 2.4Tʼs inner rear wings were corroded beyond use. I was determined to fit new old stock wings and when I did locate a pair they were initially not for sale, but nine months later the owner changed his mind. It was game on!
Planning the restoration was helped by an improving market, but even in 2010 there was no guarantee costs would not exceed the ultimate value. Despite increased knowledge, better technology and improved parts availability since 1987, it still took a year in the planning as nothing of this magnitude had ever been undertaken before. What followed was executed with military-style precision and is almost certainly the most extensive and sympathetic restorative work carried out on a 1973 RS completed by a private individual.
The principle of restoration was a simple one, to reuse as much of the salvageable metal from the original damaged shell as possible. To establish this every panel was removed piece by piece and before long I had a full-scale ʻAirfix construction kitʼ of an RS on the floor in front of me!
Decisions had to be made about what metal to cut in order to leave factory welds on the panels I was going to reuse. The floor, for example, was cut 10mm from the edge and the metal ground away from behind the inner sills to leave them intact.
Refitting the panels was achieved by drilling holes in between the factory welds and welding panels together with a weld in the new hole, then grinding these flat. This resulted in only factory welds being visible, and a stronger chassis.
Where new panels were used, we counted the old welds and their position, and replicated them. This approach was necessarily much more time consuming and the bodywork took two years to complete.
My sanity was questioned, especially after fitting the perfectly good inner rear wings and then instructing my bodywork specialist to cut a third away and reinstate the original metal we had saved. I can honestly say the people that built AUI 1500 would not be able to tell their work from ours as we even copied their less than perfect work that had been original to the car!
With the bodywork complete, a factory-manufactured ducktail was fitted, along with a rare front bumper. The car was then finished in Glasurit Grand Prix White. A periodcorrect date stamped wheel and rear half cage were installed, the latter extended as it had been in 1974 to a full cage, with period-style fixings.
The exterior is as it won the Circuit of Ireland, complete with alloy sill covers, which are immediately recognisable in photographs. Unlike the original full undertray, they are for show only and attached with industrial Velcro, thus avoiding making any more holes in the bodywork. The rally equipment is period-correct and mounted on a removable board utilising the original mounting holes under the dashboard.
Finished in April 2014, AUI 1500 was unveiled in a special ceremony at Porsche Centre Isaac Agnew in Belfast. I had promised Cathal Curley throughout the four year restoration he would be the first person to see the finished car. Joined by navigator Austin Frazer the car was kept under cover whilst the waiting press and invited guests turned their back as it was unveiled. The following day it was photographed on the start/finish ramp of the 2014 Circuit of Ireland, which celebrated 40 years winning the event.
Returning in June for the Donegal International Rally and the Manx Rally in September, I was honoured to be invited to drive as a ʻDouble Zeroʼ car ahead of the rally on several stages before being photographed on the start/finish ramp of both events. No other RS has ever received this accolade.
AUI 1500 gained high level sponsorship after winning the Circuit of Ireland, when Porsche Cars GB provided a full engine rebuild kit, offering to carry out the work. Porsche AG sent a letter of congratulations and an unexpected cheque equivalent to £1000.
So impressed were they by mechanic Patsy Donaghy that they flew a representative over especially to offer him a job. Patsy was looking after eleven RSs at the time, had just got married and bought a new house, so turned down the offer.
I visited the garage where he rebuilt the engine and we drove the test route he used. Even when AUI 1500 raced in South Africa it managed to obtain the patronage of importers, Lindsay Sakers, providing service and mechanical support. AUI 1500 became quite the media star. An RS rarely appears in adverting, Pirelli being the exception, but AUI 1500 appears on rally tyre sponsor Dunlopʼs advertising campaign, plus Porsche direct advertising. There is little actual film of any Porsche RS in rallying in the 1970s but when it was recorded, it was courtesy of the BBC/RTE. As the winner of three events there is naturally footage of AUI 1500, affectionately described thus or simply ʻAUIʼ. This footage can now be seen on five different DVDs.
The most iconic photo ever of an RS rallying is arguably AUI 1500 landing from three feet high and appears on the front cover of Marc Copelandʼs book in which several pages are dedicated to the driver and car. Motor magazine, one of several that covered the continued success of the car, depicts AUI 1500 in a water splash, and most popular motoring press reported all the wins with accompanying photos.
Bizarrely, AUI 1500 was also the inspiration for a pop song! Written by longtime friend and fellow Porsche rally driver Phil Coulter, ʻHey CBʼ chronicles the struggle by fellow competitors to keep up with ʻCʼathal ʻBʼrendon Curley and his car. ʻHey CBʼ was released on vinyl by ʼ70s pop sensations The Bay City Rollers. Phil Coulter wrote two Eurovision Song Contest winning songs, ʻPuppet on a Stringʼ and ʻCongratulationsʼ, performed by Sandy Shaw and Sir Cliff Richard, respectively.
In 2014, AUI 1500 joined by special invitation a selection of Porsche factory Museum cars performing display laps at Brands Hatch. It has recently been filmed at the same circuit for a TV programme and displayed at two Porsche Centres and various club events.
In a re-enactment in Ireland April 2016, AUI 1500 joined 172 rally cars on six special stages and was displayed in the hotel headquarters at the gala banquet. Both Cathal Curley and co-driver Austin Frazer drove the car before a delighted and enthusiastic public. AUI 1500 has now covered 2000 miles, mostly on Irish and Isle of Man stages, including a special lap of the TT circuit with seventeen-times side-car champion, David Molyneux.
As owners we are just custodians of the cars we cherish and, by restoring AUI 1500, I hope I have preserved a legacy of Porsche that will endure for ever. AUI 1500 is now a permanent reminder of what Porsche could have achieved in rallying with the car most collectors now consider the most iconic 911 ever produced. But in hindsight, with the Suez Crisis in 1973 affecting European sales, it was the correct decision by Porsche to focus on the US market with the impact bumper model, thus ensuring the companyʼs survival.
Undeniably AUI 1500 is a very special RS. It is a testament to Porsche of the quality of a car built so well 43 years ago that it survived to be restored, and throughout its life protected its drivers from injury. It proved its versatility as a Group 3 and 4 car but should be remembered most for what it achieved straight off the showroom floor, doing exactly what Professor Porsche designed it for. Most of us could never afford an RSR but we all could have owned this car and thatʼs probably why we all identify so much with the 1973 2.7 Carrera RS. For more photos and details visit www.porschers.com
Thanks to: Esler Crawford, Leslie Ashe, Fergus McAnallen, Robin Parkes for the period photos; my wife Sarah and all like her who enable enthusiasts like me to enjoy and realise our dreams; Chris Craft, Managing Director PCGB; Joe Duggan for his unequalled depth and knowledge of rallying history in Ireland, and for being a true and valued friend; Fred Hampton, PCGB; Richard Clarke for pushing himself to achieve work at the highest level; Paul Robe of Parr for help finishing the car in time for Ireland; all my friends (you know who you are) for the unstinting support and belief in my abilities during the challenging moments of the restoration, and help sourcing parts; Porsche AG for continued support and making a great car in the first place – and for making available the parts to repair it; Carl Russell, MD Porsche Belfast, for hosting the unveiling, vacating half his showroom to display the car at short notice during the week of the Macan launch; the 1000s of rally enthusiasts in Ireland and the UK that have made me and the car so welcome.
Engine was rebuilt using correct 911/83 cases – AUI 1500 was mechanically stock, although prepped to withstand the rigours of international rallying Driver/navigator list reads like a whoʼs who of Irish rallying in the 1970s.
“AUI 1500 BECAME QUITE THE MEDIA STAR…” “ATTENTION TO DETAIL REIGNED SUPREME…”
Original seats were purchased from its former South African owner. The restored AUI 1500 is a timecapsule, perfectly capturing the golden years of rallying in the 1970s. If only Porsche had stayed in the game, but the US market was deemed more important, and promotion of the ʻimpact bumperʼ models took priority.
AUI 1500 is testimony to the exhausting research carried out by Mark Waring (left) who refused to let this legendary RS die. No wonder he looks pleased to be behind the wheel!
01. On the final stage of the 1974 Circuit of Ireland
02. Flying high! Greatest photo ever of AUI 1500 – Circuit of Ireland 1974
03. Cathal Curley hits the watersplash on the 1974 Manx Rally
04. To the victors, the spoils: celebrating victory in the 1974 Circuit of Ireland
05. Tarmac stage on the Donegal International Rally
06. Life as an RSR in South Africa in the hands of Albert van Heerden at Kyalami
07. 1974 Circuit of Ireland
08. After the big crash, AUI 1500 ends its first life…
09. …before beginning its resurrection in the hands of Mark Waring
10. The guts of a legend – an immortal one at that
“THAT WAS NEVER GOING TO BE ACCEPTABLE…”
Cathal ʻCBʼ Curley
Cathal, or ʻCahalʼ Curley, as he is also known, was Ulster Rally Champion in 1968 and 1969 in a Ford Cortina and won the Galway international in 1971 in a Ford Escort Twin Cam. In 1972 he won three more rallies in a lightweight BMW, including the inaugural Donegal International Rally, and changed the BMW in 1973 for the ex-Ronnie McCartney Dalmatian Blue RS Touring, taking delivery in the car park prior to the 1973 event.
Complaining that it didnʼt handle after the first stage, he soon changed his mind when informed he was already leading by ten seconds! He went on to win the Donegal Rally in June 1974 for the second time in a row. It was the first RS Touring to win an international rally outright. Jack Tordoff beat him to the first International win in an RS by two months. In April 1974, Cathal Curley won the Circuit of Ireland International Rally in AUI 1500, when eleven RSs were entered, and returned to the Donegal International Rally in June, winning for the third time in a row.
Cathal also led two other rallies before retiring the cars. Using AUI 1500 in 1975 and leading the Galway International Rally, he slid into a ditch and the car rolled onto its roof. He sold it shortly afterwards and, after a brief spell in a Lancia Stratos, which he described as ʻhandling like a cat walking on wet linoʼ, he led the Donegal Rally for the fourth year in a row until damaging a rear trailing arm after hitting a rock. Both cars were supplied by London dealer Chequered Flag.
He did, however, win the Cork 20 Rally in 1975 (upgraded to an international a year later) with the 3.0RS. His total international rally wins in three different RSs was four, all in period against the stiffest opposition, by then over 15 different RSs. Only two other drivers achieved an outright win at international level in period in an unmodified RS in Irish rallies, matched by only three drivers on mainland Europe. Only one other driver achieved three, but not against the same level of competition.
Cathal also won the Ulster Rally in 1976 one year before it was upgraded to an international rally and was second twice in the Manx in 1973 and 1976. He is without doubt one of the greatest Porsche RS rally drivers, a fact overlooked by Porsche who had by that time turned its focus away from rallying, the discipline that earned its reputation as a world leader in sports car manufacturing.
Porsche was about to dominate Prototype racing for years to come. The 956 era was dawning.
“HIGHEST PLACED PORSCHE IN THE ’1973 RAC RALLY…”
Photos courtesy Mark Waring AUI 1500: A LIFE WELL LIVEDStream item published successfully. Item will now be visible on your stream.