1973 Porsche Carrera RS/RSR 2.9 Lightweight

Porsche took over in sports car racing where Ferrari left off in the early 1970s. After winning the World Sports Car Championship in 1970, 1971 and 1972, Porsche reacted to the FIA decision to swing from sports-prototypes to more production-based machinery by selecting their eight-year-old street-going 911 to be further developed as a racing car. For the car to be homologated, they needed to deliver a batch of 500 cars-something the sales and manufacturing people thought might be impossible.

For several years, starting with the 911R of 1967, Porsche had built and sold highly limited runs of 911s modified for either race or rally use. But making and selling 500 looked to be a formidable task. However, the cars sold so fast Porsche decided to add two additional runs of 500 plus some extra cars bringing total production to 1,580.

Production was achieved by “converting” stock 2.4 911S cars into Carrera RSs. Body changes included thinner steel for many components, and rear wheel flares were welded on by hand. Lighter than standard glass was used on some cars. The Carrera’s characteristic ducktail spoiler was added in order to stabilize the car at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour. The 2.4 S engine was enlarged to 2,687 cc, with different pistons and cylinders, and the S mechanical fuel injection was calibrated to provide greater fuel flow. As a result of these changes, the RS gained 20 horsepower. The torsion bar springs were stiffened and special shocks were fitted, along with 7-inch-wide wheels at the rear.

The RS offered here has been modified to RSR specifications. The Munich-based firm of Reuttmaier completed the work. Since the conversion, the car has traveled just 2,500 miles and remains in very presentable condition. It is finished in Grand Prix White with Signal Red graphics and a black interior. Although the car has its original engine, it has been enlarged to 2.9 liters. Fitted is a host of RSR equipment, including a correct RSR interior, factory roll bar, brake bias adjustment knob, factory front and rear flares and bumpers, a front-mounted oil cooler, 9×15 and 11×15 factory RSR wheels, 917 brake calipers, a balsa front hood insert, airport gears, lightweight glass with original Glaverbil quarter windows, a twin pipe sport muffler, and an original Le Mans center-fill plastic fuel tank.

Although this example has been modified, it is important to note that this car began life as a factory lightweight. Today, modified to the correct RSR specifications, this 1973 RS offers a tremendous amount of race-car excitement at a reasonable price.