In 1973, Roger Penske created a racing series called the International Race of Champions, or IROC. Equally ambitious and unique in concept, the IROC series aimed to place the world’s best racing drivers in identical cars to compete against each other over several rounds at leading U.S. venues. In so doing, Penske’s aim was to reduce all the usual variables in motor racing, so that only the bravest, cleverest and most skilled driver would prevail.
While deciding on a car to serve as the basis for the IROC series, Penske consulted with his star driver, Mark Donohue. His answer was unequivocal: If Penske wanted a strong, fast, reliable and consistent racing car, the only reasonable choice was a Porsche. Donohue suggested that Penske contact the Porsche factory and order a run of the latest racing 911s. Donohue had been impressed by the RSR’s handling and durability and was also confident that the engineers at Porsche could prepare a fleet of identically matched race cars — a challenging feat in its own right. Penske followed Donohue’s advice and, at his request, Porsche built 15 examples of the 911 Carrera RSR for the IROC series. Built to identical specifications, the IROC RSRs were essentially hybrids of the 1973 model 2.8 RSR and the new-for-1974 3.0 RSR. The IROC RSRs were all painted in bright colors with black Porsche script on the rockers for maximum impact on television.
The Porsche presented here, chassis 9114600016, is the earliest IROC RSR by serial number. Identified by production number 104 0209, this car was originally finished in light yellow. As one of the first examples completed — if not the very first — this car is featured in several famous photographs taken by Porsche, showing the newly completed — and quite colorful — IROC RSRs at the factory prior to their delivery to Roger Penske.