1972 Porsche 911 2.7 RS Prototype
Chassis no. 911 360 0012
Engine no. 6630022
Considered by many to be the most classic of Porsches, the 2.7 Carrera RS was built for competition in international racing. RS means Rennsport, German for motor sport, and the Carrera name was retrieved from the 356 Carrera, itself named for the Mexican road race Carrera Panamericana of the 1950s in which Porsches had managed a class win. Created from the 911S, a high performance version of the E-series 911, the RS had a larger, 2,687cc engine developing 207bhp with mechanical fuel injection. The Nikasil cylinder walls in the 2,341cc S engine facilitated boring, and larger brakes and wider rear wheels were fitted, which involved flaring the rear fender openings. Gas Bilstein shocks were fitted, and a stiffer sway bar was installed In order to lighten the car, thinner steel was used, resulting in a weight saving of more than 300 pounds. A ducktail spoiler was added to the rear. In total, 1,580 were built, a modest number, but fully satisfying the 500-car requirement for Group 4 GT homologation. Because of shortages of the thin gauge steel, the final 300 cars had normal weight bodies.
Hyperactive on the road or track, the 2.7 RS was capable of 158mph, zero to sixty in barely five seconds. With an excellent gear change, powerful and responsive brakes and nimble handling, it was the measure of the Ferrari Dino.
Nine pre-production prototype cars were built in 1972, of which this is the second. It was completed in April, a good six months prior to the start of production, confirmed by factory correspondence with later owners. It appears in early promotional materials, readily identifiable from its Signal Yellow color and lack of a rear wing, a hallmark of the production units. The car remained with Porsche until RS production ceased. Austrian registration documents indicate that works driver Helmut Koinigg took possession on September 26, 1973. Said to have been a gift, the car was repainted in white, the usual RS color, by Koinigg because he disliked the original yellow. Photos from this time show a rear spoiler. The young Austrian had raced for the Porsche team at Le Mans in 1974, and showed promise as a competitive driver. Unfortunately, he was killed in practice for the United States Grand Pix at Watkins Glen in 1974.
Helmut Gold, a fellow Austrian, bought the car on February 27, 1975. He traveled widely, driving it as far afield as Africa. He repainted it to the original yellow color and kept it until 1975, when he sold it to Erich Weidener of Memminghem, Germany. Weidener painted the car white once more. Friedhelm Tang of Bonn bought it from Weidener in 1990, keeping it for a number of years before selling to Christopher Stahl, also of Bonn, who began to restore it. Before it could be completed, Stahl sold it to David Mohlman, who decided to return it to its original factory condition.
Mohlman entrusted it to British Porsche specialists BS Motorsport of Westcott, Buckinghamshire, while the engine and transmission were sent to Manfred Rugen Motorenteknik in Hepstedt, Germany, for rebuilding. Upon completion, it was sold again to another collector, who put it up for sale in 2006. It has been in a private collection since that sale.
Today it looks exactly as it emerged from that restoration: RS bumpers, deleted spoiler, 6x15 wheels in front and 7x15 to the rear. It has the modest 911S badging and correct houndstooth front seats. The current enthusiasm for the 2.7 RS makes this a very desirable property, and its prototype provenance very much enhances its value. The world is awash in 2.7 RS replicas and re-creations, themselves commanding high prices. This is a chance to get one of the very rarest real ones. Certainly, it will be the Porsche to covet by those collectors who have all the others.