This unusual 2.7 Carrera RS was created in 1972, based on the 2.4-liter 911S, and with which Porsche assaulted the 3-liter racing classes. Today, the RS is regarded by many as one of the top five sports cars to emerge from the 1970s. Its versatility is hardly surprising; the 911 was designed from the start to be equally suitable for competition and series production. It is highly usable, both trickling through traffic and competing on the race course or rally route.

Thanks to a Nikasil coating on the light alloy cylinder walls, the existing 2.4 S cylinders were bored out to a capacity of 2,687 cc. The fuel-injected six-cylinder air- and oil-cooled engine was the largest used on a road-going Porsche of the time, capable of 158 mph and accelerating from standstill to 62 mph in just over five seconds. Combined with an excellent 5-speed gearbox, powerful, responsive brakes and precise handling, the Carrera RS was more than a match for Ferraris of the day.

Initially the RS derivative was to be known as the 2.7 S. Nine pre-production road car prototypes were built, this one being the second, completed in April 1972, some six months before the first production cars. Various letters on file from Porsche AG, corresponding with previous owners, also confirm this early production date. Early factory promotional material depicts this car, which is easily identifiable, not only by the color, but by the fact that it did not originally sport a ducktail rear wing, a signature feature of the production cars.

Porsche retained the car until the RS production run of 1,580 cars had been completed, and judging from early Austrian registration documents on file, the car passed to the talented young works driver Helmut Koinigg, who took ownership in September 1973. It is reputed the car was a gift, and that he changed the color from Signal Yellow to the iconic Grand Prix White, the color of many RS cars. Through several owners in different continents, the car most recently has been owned and restored by David Mohlman, under the guidance of Porsche specialist Edmond Harris in the U.K.

Condition today is a sheer delight, and even to the casual onlooker it is easy to note the unique features of this car, such as the deleted rear spoiler, simple "S" badging, and the period-correct houndstooth front seat inserts. It is both a testament to Porsche for building such a truly usable prototype rather than a hacked mule and to the attention paid during the restoration that we are able to appreciate this extremely important early RS as it is today.

With the current wave of enthusiasm for the 911 RS, this significant example is certainly one of the most important and individual of the bunch and would surely be a centerpiece in any of the most discerning collections worldwide.

SCM Analysis


Number Produced:1,580 (Touring and Lightweight)
Original List Price:$16,500 approx
Tune Up Cost:$350
Distributor Caps:$18
Chassis Number Location:On horizontal bulkhead under front hood
Engine Number Location:Stamped into engine block to right of the cooling fan
Club Info:Porsche Club of America, 5530 Edgemont Dr., Alexandria, VA 22310
Investment Grade:A

This Carrera RS sold for $334,000 at Christie’s Monterey sale on August 17, 2006. While this may seem like silly money for a used 911 road car, I judge this to be market correct for this car at this location in today’s market. There are several reasons for the price.

First, compare this very interesting example with the more numerous Carrera RS Touring, of which approximately 1,500 were made. The RS is a real production car, very similar in trim to the standard 911S of the day with full interiors and shiny bits on the bumpers and rocker panels. Today, it takes about $150,000 to buy a no-excuses Touring RS, and some owners with exceptional cars are asking near $200,000.

Next step up the RS ladder is one of the much rarer lightweight models, of which 80 were built. As you can expect, these models bring a significant premium over the Touring models-at least 50%. This brings us to the $225,000 level for an ordinary RS Lightweight and even more for a special car, such as this prototype. So the extra premium paid here seems reasonable for such an unusual example.

The bigger question to ask is how well these staggering prices will hold up in the next five to ten years, and if the Carrera RS and all other early 911 cars (1965-73) will retain their rapidly accelerating values. Less than ten years ago you could buy a rather good RS for about $45,000, and they frequently came to auction at those prices and flopped. These have been heady years for the early 911 crowd, led, as it should be, by the RS, as the last and best of the breed.

Another way to frame the question is to compare the worth of this prototype RS, at $334,000, to the last 356 Carrera Speedster, also sold at this venue this year for $345,000. The Carrera Speedster is far rarer, much more exotic with its 4-cam engine, and has been a true collectible for much longer. A 904 sold at the same sale for $565,000, so the Carrera RS price equals about 60% of the 904. Does this seem about right? There were 120 904s built and 1,580 Carrera RS cars, but of course this RS is no ordinary example.

While the RS market may be a bit overheated right now, my prediction is that the RS has emerged, for good reasons, as a true collectible, and that the values, although always subject to fluctuation, will hold. They are fast, handsome and fun, but the one difference the RS displays that sets it apart from the two vintage Porsche icons noted above is that the RS is eminently usable today, in a way that few 904s or Carrera Speedsters ever were or will be. Old cars used to end up in museums, other than the lucky few that would trundle to a nearby neighborhood show or go for a leisurely drive down memory lane.

But today, people are using old cars for all kinds of events and non-events. Whether touring in Europe, one of the fun runs now in all parts of the U.S., a Porsche Parade, local show, or just going to the kid’s soccer game, a Carrera RS is able to get you there in style and with a reliability that almost no other car in its category and price range can match. This fact has not been lost on an emerging band of user-enthusiasts, and is one important reason why the RS is in such demand.

As to this specific example, for any of you wanting to learn more about the Carrera RS, take note of the name of a previous owner of this car: David Mohlman. A long-time Porsche enthusiast, he has quietly become one of the world’s leading experts on this important model. His cars have a well-deserved reputation for being among the finest examples of the model available. His involvement, in my judgment, added to the luster of this particular car.

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