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    Porsche 911 SC RS The Bastos-liveried 911 had a stellar rallying season in 1984. We take it for a drive in its native Belgium – and quickly find out why it left so many rivals trailing in its wake. In 1984 Porsches were really smoking them off – specifically, the tobaccosponsored #Porsche-911SC RS rally cars. Johnny Tipler tells the tale of this short-run competition car and samples the real thing on its Belgian home turf Photography Antony Fraser. Archive pics courtesy Johan Dirickx.

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

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

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

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


    CHASSIS 010’S 1984 SEASON

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

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

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

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

    The Prodrive-built 911 feels unruly at first.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


    TECH DATA PORSCHE 911 SC RS

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

    911SC RS offers understeer and oversteer at will.

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

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

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

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

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

    DRIFT AWAY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    PORSCHE 934 CARRERA RSR TURBO CHASSIS NUMBER 930 670 0153

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CARRERA RS/RSR ENGINE DEVELOPMENT

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

    RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE

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

    Stewe Corpley drives the #1986 #Porsche-911-Turbo-SE – Porsches 80s flagship #930 .

    Should you, during 1986, come across a right-hand-drive #930-series #Porsche-911-Turbo-Special-Equipment , take a good look at the owner. That’ll be the person behind the wheel; no one who recently paid £73.985.06 for this piece of four-wheeled transport will lose any opportunity to be the one behind the wheel.

    The person you’re looking at will be special indeed: someone with the outrageousness and means and sheer gall to pay a premium of £34.685 just to have a Porsche 911 Turbo 930 that has been improved someone who feels they need more power than the 300bhp of the standard model. At most there will be a dozen of these people out and about on the roads of Britain.

    Despite the Motorfair fanfare during October, the Turbo Special Equipment (Porsche people make certain they say it in full) isn't a new car, it has been built to special order by the repair and restoration staff in the Zuffenhausen factory for the past four years. Now, Porsche Great Britain reckon there’s a market for it that wasn’t around before (perhaps they’ve been surprised at the worldwide interest the four-wheel-drive #Porsche-959 has generated for ultra-expensive Porsches) and they’ve reserved the car a special place, and price, in their official price list.

    The #Porsche-930 Turbo SE (as we’ll call it) is hand-finished. The restoration shop people start with an ordinary, fully built Turbo, strip away the ordinary #Porsche-911-Turbo wings and fit the louvres in the top surface that allow you to look straight through to the top of the tyre. They lit the car with side skirts (we prefer that to the 'running boards’ which is how one impertinent pump jockey described them) and the rear wings got huge, slatted air scoops ahead of the rear wheels. Those admit great gobs of air to cool the brakes.

    There’s a lower chin spoiler, with a business-like mesh grille under the familiar bumper, but the car’s shape at the extreme rear is completely familiar. Same tea-tray wing, same low tail lights and ‘turbo’ in lower case script. The nine-inch wide rear wheels (forged alloy, with five spokes) have polished rims and they wear the new-size 245/45VR16 tyres which now also go on to ordinary, £39.303 Turbos. The front wheels are in the same style; standard seven-inches with the 205/ 55VR16S they’ve had for several years.

    It’s surprising how different the #930-Turbo-SE looks from an ordinary car. There’s a less brutish, more exotic quality to it. and from the front more than a hint of 935 sports/racer. And that is much of what the buyer is paying for - a classier image for a car which goes as hard as any other production car on this Earth up to 170mph.

    Are you getting the feeling that this, despite its huge cost, is a poseur’s chariot of the worst kind, the type whose serious purpose and abilities are subservient to its claim to making the occupants look good? I must say this is what struck-me. And I was then struck, as always in such cars, by the overwhelming foolishness of choosing a car solely because it suits your image - or because you'd like to suit its image. I mean, being seen in a car is so impersonal. Nobody knows who you are; nobody knows it’s you in there, enveloped in leather behind the expensive curves of coachwork. Posing in cars is nothing more than an exorcise in futility.

    With these dark thoughts in mind I opened the hefty door of the Turbo SE on a rainy night after a particularly disaster- ridden day in the office. Parked next to the SE was a classical, no-frills #911 , the one we used for this year’s Top 10 photo session. Gavin Green had that. It was £25,000-worth and we knew it was nice. Mine cost three times that amount, and it was an unknown quantity.

    If you want to establish a close and friendly relationship with a new 911 Turbo you should not drive it on a rainy night, after a spell in a Hyundai Pony. The ergonomics are hell. You will not be able to make the demisting work properly, because you will not have had time for the mandatory refresher course in rear-engined Porsche ventilation controls. You will also have trouble threading the car through those seven-foot wide barriers that are erected all over London suburbs to reduce the nocturnal rumbling of juggernauts; you will have trouble parking the car because you cannot see out of it and the wide wheels stick so far out of the body that you will fret about kerbing them. Better to wait for a fine day and head for the open road. As we eventually did...

    And the Porsche Turbo isn't all body modifications, of course. It has a leather- trimmed Interior - violent red and black in the test car - with all the equipment you could want. There's a powered sunroof, air conditioning, a pair of all-leather Recaro seats (with a console for powered adjustment, heating and lumbar support adjustment on the inside bolster of each). There are driving lights and the standard stereo is a Blaupunkt Toronto.

    Porsche 911 Turbo Special (930 SE)Equipment knocks off same of ordinary Turbo rough edges; comes with now front wings (below) fitted by Porsche's own restoration people In Zuffcnhauson, Germany.

    But the best bit of all is the engine, which is stronger even than the ordinary Porsche Turbo’s, so recently strengthened for the 1986 model year. The standard car has 300bhp at 5500rpm: this one bumps the output up to 330bhp at the same crank speed. The SE's torque peak is more or less unaltered: it stays around 318lb ft (at 4000rpm), the level to which it rose (from 303lb ft) a year ago. The SE's output makes it the strongest purely road going production Porsche ever built - and that has got to be a component in the makeup of the mammoth price.

    It’s surprising, in fact, that the output isn’t up more than 10 percent: Porsche’s people have given the engine high-lift cams, gone up a turbocharger size and fitted the SE with a bigger capacity charge intercooler, and a modified exhaust.
    The rest of the car is pure, well-developed #Porsche-Turbo . The flat six engine, fed from the turbo through #Bosch-L-Jetronic fuel injection ( #Bosch )and with an engine management system controlling its induction and breakerless ignition, is mounted behind the rear axle line and drives through a four-speed gearbox, specialty engineered to handle the massive torque of this car. #Porsche rightly feel that more gears than four are unnecessary. though so few ratios require some technique change from the driver, as we shall see.

    The 3000lb car has strut-type suspension at the front and tough semi-trailing arms at the rear, with anti-roll bars at both ends. There are torsion bars to absorb the road shocks at both ends, plus Bilstein gas filled dampers. The steering is by manual rack and pinion and it takes near enough to three turns to swing the fat three spoke wheel from lock to lock.

    930 Porsche SE cabin is overpoweringly red. Leather it of finest quality and equipment la plentiful, too. Wheel is lovely to use, gets in way of driver’s eye to dial, however.

    The morning dawns icy. Overnight some of the rain on the roads has frozen. Oversteer will be on the menu. My alarm clock has succumbed to the cold: I wake 45 minutes late. It is necessary to be at the service area outside Exeter at 6.30am. To make that, it will be necessary to average 200mph. What is more, the car does not have a handbook, and the intricacies of the ventilation controls still cannot be dredged from the frost-numbed mind.

    This may not sound like an ideal state of mental balance in which to make a first serious approach to the #Porsche-911 Turbo SE. yet it seems right for such a suspected poseur's car.

    I left my base with 120 miles to do (90 motorway, 30 poor back roads) and an hour to do them. I gave it about five miles of warm-up, running the engine easily in the gears around 3000rpm and feeling the way the warmth flowed quickly from the heater. That’s one point in favour of the air-cooled engine. When the oil temperature gauge started to move, I began to open up a bit. On the second corner taken with any power on, there was ice, the tail snapped out, and fortunately something inside me whipped on the right amount of correction and the Porsche did obey, and like lightning.

    And so we graduated to faster better engineered roads, trafficked all night so that they were drier. The Porsche began to lope along at 80, under 3000rpm in top. The wheel, different from any other Porsche type I've used, had a very thick rim, with a lot of little knobs on the windscreen side, where your fingers could fit exactly. That seemed, somehow, to make it a precision tool. In spite of myself, I began to enjoy all this.

    I pressed on rapidly to where I knew my friends were waiting near Exeter. It soon became clear that this was a car of prodigious performance. In top, you were well illegal if you were doing more than 3000rpm. I cruised at 4000. At 27.5mph/ 1000rpm it was fast, but the car felt completely stable In the still morning. There was some buffeting and some rear, but it wasn't loud. Or at least, you couldn't hear much of It for the tyre roar and bump-thump off the road. The Turbo is mechanically quiet, actually, but noise from underneath makes up for that.

    There was not too much anger from the others when I reached our meeting point. They’d used the time to have a service area fry-up, from which I wished them a speedy recovery. We headed west and were deep into Cornwall by Sam. And my familiarity with and respect for the SE was starting, insidiously, to mount.

    There is nothing like a very high geared car, which can still go extremely hard in top to give you an impression of supreme, limitless performance. The Turbo SE. stronger even than an ordinary Turbo, is just such a car. The engine will function smoothly in any gear from about 1400rpm. From about 2600rpm the boost gauge begins to show signs of puff. By 3000rpm there is a definite push in the back and by 3300rpm, if the throttle is opened wide, you cannot avoid going extremely hard.

    Turbo SE’s profile show resemblance to #Porsche-935 racer. There is a grille below front bumper that adds to impression when car is viewed from front, too. Scoops In rear guards have ugly slats, but they direct a lot of extra cooling air onto rear brake discs. Rear wheels have nine-inch rims.

    Beyond 4000rpm, if you are in a lower gear all hell breaks loose. It is as if you're being launched bodily. If first happens to be the gear you’re in, there is only time to concentrate on timing your change into second at 6800rpm, so that you will not over-rev the engine and come ignominiously up against the rev-limiter. Second is a remarkable gear. That one ratio encompasses the entire performance span of many lesser cars. It is possible (though why you should want to. I can't imagine) to get the Porsche rolling in second. You can still be in second nearly 90mph later. Into the red, the speedo shows 95mph, but about 4-5mph of that you have to allow as speedo error. The car’s sheer, thunderous performance has to be experienced to be believed. Forty to 60mph, 50 to 70, 60 to 80mph: they are all consumed in 2.5sec or loss. Suddenly you’re doing 90, right up against the red, and since there are plenty of places where 90mph is not a harmonious speed on British non-motorways, you had better think quickly.

    Third gear has a persona of its own. If it is 24 carat performance you want, third's really not much good to you below 3500 rpm or 70mph. You need to be in second. But between 70 and 130 the Porsche has effortless, soaring performance which lifts it beyond even the level of the Italian twelve’s, since it's so long-legged, so extraordinarily effortless in its self-energised power delivery - and so amazingly quiet. Oh, there is engine noise. The flat*six scream is there and welcome. But the silencing effect of the turbo, the lack of rasp or whine from the superbly strong gearbox, means that the engine is really very refined. On the over-run there might be a hint of vibration as the engine comes down through the 4000s, but only a paid critic would notice it. Anyone else would merely be impatient to slow, just to do it all again. The car’s performance is intoxicating. Think, if you can, of the surge from 100mph to 120 in just over five seconds. It’s so fast.

    Top does its best work over 90mph. Over the ton, really. That’s where the car has its seven-league boots on. Never has so much been achieved by one simple squeeze on a road car's accelerator. And if it’s cruising you want, this car will steam along showing 145mph and 5000rpm (it’s about 138mph true, actually) with nearly 2000rpm left to the redline.
    First is the gear that needs watching. Though the SE comes with a limited slip differential, you can light up both rear tyres if you engage the clutch abruptly with about 4000rpm on board. Actually dropping the clutch is something I just couldn’t bring myself to do. When the rears do spin, you have to be careful. Turbo cars like this - and competition cars - are prone to something called overspin. The tyres lose adhesion, the engine revs rise higher, the turbo spins faster and suddenly even more horsepower is being produced, to the detriment of your #Dunlop D40s. And with no benefit to forward motion. You're probably travelling sideways in smoke, by that time.

    The correct start technique seems to be to feed in the clutch briskly at 3500, enough just to break the tyres loose. Pause a moment as they grip, then give it everything. You’ll find the car is at its maximum, around the middle 50s, less than 4.0 sec later.

    There are not really any snap-changes in this car. The lever movement is long, though smooth. The engine tends to hang in the higher ranges, so there’s plenty of time (or rhythmic changes, not the slam- bam kind. And the need for gearlever violence is reduced by the knowledge that there is a great surge of thrust available the moment you've smoothly engaged the clutch again.

    But one thing is critical in this car, as a result of the four-speed box. You must cover yourself against falling into vast gulfs between the ratios. Thus, when you’re travelling fast it’s best to hold onto a lower gear if you can't see over the hill, rather than risk allowing the revs to fall below 3500rpm. This is actually quite brisk as long as the engine's turning at over 2000, yet so great is the rate of acceleration difference between that and when it’s at 4000, that you’re interested only in one thing. Thus in difficult going, if you’re decelerating, you should change down to third below 70-75mph, second below 50, and first below 30. It's a curious routine until you get used to it, but if you adhere to it. your ability to find power and put it down In every situation. Is awesome.

    As for acceleration, we could get serious only about running some standing quarter miles (13.3 seconds) and some zero to 100mph times (12 seconds dead). It was clear that the thing was so quick that a full set didn't seem worth the trouble. I just wanted to drive. They say zero to 60mph comes up in just over 5.0sec (though such statistics are always dependent on driver skill) and that the car will pull a bit over 6000rpm to give a 171 mph top speed. We’ll take their word for the last. I didn’t go over 150 more than three times, and at that stage, because there was a bit of a cross-wind blowing on our private course, the car felt decidedly lively. Mechanically, it could have sat there all today and tomorrow.

    All this power needs a chassis. The Turbo SE has one reputed to be the most difficult in the business. Realty it is not. There are only two things to remember. Always be hard on the power at the point of maximum cornering effort - and never. never get caught running into a corner on trailing throttle.

    With power to hold its tail down, the Turbo has the grip of a limpet. It has such rear grip, in fact, that unless you turn it into a bend property, its acceleration will propel your front wheels straight across your bend in hideous understeer. Indeed, the grip is such, that even with 330bhp and all these pounds-feet you will probably not unstick the tail in the dry, purely with power. The experts' trick for doing that is to throttle off momentarily to unstick it, then come down hard again on the horsepower to hold it out, while applying opposite lock. Any instinct you have to steer with the throttle, as you might in a more docile machine, needs to be curbed until you’ve felt the big beast out. And by the time that happens, you'll probably have discovered that steering with the wheel makes the best sense. Yet when driven rapidly by someone who truly understands it, the 911 Turbo (and SE) are extremely rapid cars, perhaps even quicker than their mid-engined competitors. They have a neat, rhythmical swinging motion into bends, their reaction to correction of any kind has been bred to be very sympathetic, and the short wheelbase helps there. All the old stuff about the 911’s layout being 'fundamentally wrong' can be made to look rather ill by a good pair of hands on a Turbo's wheel.

    The suspension's support systems are fine. The ride is flat, firm, sometimes jolting (over broken bitumen) but it always has that reassuring tightness which is another reason people buy Porsches. The steering is pin-sharp, especially with the SE's superb wheel. The brakes, huge discs that are cross-drilled and have twin-pot calipers, are superb. Push them hard and you stop hard. Their best attribute, apart from a sheer ability to retard, is that they can be eased off, perhaps to half your original stopping effort, with an ease and accuracy that still isn't normal even in expensive cars.

    But the heart and the guts of this car is the way'it goes. That is why I finished up liking it so much, while thinking it no more than a poseur's special to begin with. I suppose I can get to terms with the price, since the #Ferrari-Testarossa and #Lamborghini-Countach are well into the 60 grand sector and this car is at least as good as they are for sheer ability to go. With its decent bumpers, visibility, manoeuvrability. 12,000 mile service intervals, seven-year anti-rust guarantee and proven resale value, it might well be a lot better, if good sense comes into it.

    What is clearest of all, is that the ordinary 911 Turbo can be an even better choice for someone who puts the time into getting to know it and to handling it the way they do it at #Weissach . That car, 30bhp lighter than the SE, can save you more than £30,000 - £30.000! - yet it's only 0.2sec slower over 0-100mph. It comes to you, very well-equipped, for £39,300 and, in the mood I’m in right now, I think it’s a bargain.

    Luxurious buckets have power-adjust console on inside bolster, plus system of bolster adjustment. They're very comfortable, if loud-looking. 330bhp engine has bigger puffer, Intercooler, then standard, plus high-lift cam profiles, new exhaust.
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