Porsche revived the Carrera name for its top-of-the-range 911 in 1972-73. Designated Carrera RS (Rennsport), the newcomer was intended as a limited-edition "homologation special" to enable the factory to enter Group 4 competition in the Special GT class, with a minimum build requirement of 500. However, the demand for this fabulous car proved so great that the production run was later extended by another 1,300-or-so units, qualifying the RS to also compete in Group 3, which it would dominate. The Carrera RSR GT-category racer collected overall wins in the World Sportscar Championship at Daytona and the Targa Florio in 1973, defeating 3-liter prototypes from Ferrari, Matra, and Mirage-Ford in the process-an outstanding achievement for a production-based car. Delivered new to Frankfurt, Germany, in May 1973, the 1973 Porsche offered here, chassis number 1316, is a genuine Carrera RS Touring model, which has been re-shelled using the body from a period-correct Porsche 911T. Until relatively recently, it had been assumed that 1316 retained its original bodyshell; indeed, previous owners dating back to 1985 were unaware it had been re-shelled. The obvious conclusion is that this was done relatively early in the car's life, almost certainly necessitated by an accident. Porsche ran out of genuine replacement RS bodyshells quite quickly, which is hardly surprising when one considers how many cars were actively campaigned in various forms of motorsport, making an alternative shell the only way of keeping it on the road. The original Porsche factory chassis plate bearing the number 9113601316 has been welded into the replacement bodyshell. Otherwise, 1316 is to RS Touring specification, the 911/83 engine, aluminium front cross beam, front brake calipers, fuel tank, and various other components being correct for this model. (The current engine started life in chassis number 0243, built in January 1973.) Numbered 02127335131AT, the gearbox is a factory exchange unit fitted relatively recently by Porsche's Classic Workshop at the behest of a previous owner, a Mr. Johansen, at a cost of $13,861. 1316 comes with a substantial file of history. Among other works, the file documents an engine rebuild carried out by Autohaus M Rauh in 2005 at a cost of $19,260 (Mr. Rauh owned the car for ten years), as well as a full cosmetic restoration and repaint in original livery undertaken recently in the U.K. at a cost of about $13,000. In addition, the car was serviced and dynamometer-tested by marque specialist Bob Watson in April 2008, producing a healthy 225 hp. During Mr. Rauh's and Mr. Johansen's ownership, the car apparently competed in several international motorsport events, and new FIA papers are on file. Finished in India Red with black leather interior, this immaculate Carrera RS Touring is offered with current road fund license and a Porsche heritage certificate listing its original specification.

SCM Analysis


This 1973 Porsche Carrera RS Touring sold for $99,267, including buyer’s premium, at the Bonhams auction alongside the Goodwood Revival in Chichester, England, on September 18, 2009.

With the recent collapse in the American market for rebodied examples of blue-chip muscle such as COPO Camaros and Hemi ‘Cudas, let alone the floodtide of “tributes,” “replicas,” “re-creations,” “evocations,” and “pro-street” machines, any follower of the collector automobile market is very clear about the values of real vs. “reborn” examples.

Retired race cars with less than top-tier status have a more legitimate excuse for being reborn in bodies that did not start out as one of the few examples of their purpose-built breeds; some things are just unavoidable when a car is driven in anger. However, a re-creation’s collectibility suffers when neither the engine nor transaxle comes from the original car, whose chassis number was grafted into the pedestrian 911T shell employed in the reshelling (in this case, all properly disclosed by the auction company).

Carrera RSs have seen a surge in value over the last decade. The first Porsches since the 4-cam 356 to bear the Carrera name, they have always had a special place in the Porsche hierarchy. Until the last decade, however, more often than not they have been the property of dedicated Porsche aficionados and seen regular club and track use, rather than static time as display centerpieces in the hands of speculative collectors. This helps to diminish the “shock and awe” from the auction company’s statement that owners prior to the current one back into the mid-1980s were unaware, or just didn’t much care, that the car was not all it was cracked up to be.

Where are the original parts

The case before us just does not convey enough legitimacy in its known competition history or content to merit paying for more than a recently built replica of an RS, however well-prepared. Because it has been replaced by another numbered RS mill, the absence of the original engine is tolerable, while the recent absence of the original transaxle due to the swap that took place in Germany would seem to have been avoidable.

The most distressing point is that the whereabouts of any original parts from chassis 1316 do not appear to be known. Further, apart from some recent vintage racing activity and mechanical and cosmetic work within the course of the last decade, nothing is known of any remnants of the original Carrera RS, whose chassis number stamping might be all that remains of the original 1973 Porsche Carrera RS. A genuine RS will bring north of $250,000 in today’s market. Clearly, this bidder knew exactly what he was getting-a well-executed replica with current FIA paperwork, solid mechanicals, and recent cosmetics. In this case, it should be considered well bought for fun, and well sold as any sort of collectible investment.

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