- Only 10 kilometers on the odometer. This car is completely original and as-delivered
- Still covered with the factory-applied Cosmoline
- Special-order Polar Silver over Guards Red leather
- One of only 51 Carrera RSRs produced
- One of two with a fully trimmed interior
|Vehicle:||1993 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.8 coupe|
|Years Produced:||1993; last five in 1994|
|Number Produced:||55 or 56|
|Original List Price:||$167,000 1993; $189,000 in late 1994|
|SCM Valuation:||N/A (too few examples for comparison)|
|Tune Up Cost:||$3,500|
|Chassis Number Location:||Metal tag at base of windshield; black metal tag on passenger’s side inner front fender; factory build number on interior rear deck|
|Engine Number Location:||On vertical fan stand, passenger’s side|
|Club Info:||Porsche Club of America|
|Alternatives:||1994–98 McLaren F1, 1988–91 Ferrari F40; 1993 Ferrari 348 Challenge|
This car, Lot 133, sold for $2,257,114, including buyer’s premium, at RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba, Italy, auction on May 27, 2017. It was a 10-kilometer, brand-new, in-the-wrapper 964 RSR that sold at a huge premium compared to the year-earlier sale of its sister car.
It’s a good story.
Built only 55 units strong
The RSR was at the tail of a long progression of normally aspirated Porsche 964 performance and race cars, ably reviving the moniker of the famous 1973–74 RSRs. The 964 performance line started with the 1990–93 3.6-liter, 265-horsepower Cup Car for a German race series that mixed excellent amateur and professional drivers, 40 cars a race, with television coverage.
Later French and Japanese national series were added. In 1993 the Cup Cars underwent a substantial upgrade. That car also provided an able base for the 1993 Carrera RS 3.8-liter street car, which was the homologation base for the RSR, both built in runs of 55 units.
In 1993, the RSR listed for about $167,000. It was fitted with a 350-hp Type 64/04 engine behind a 5-speed, 40% limited-slip transaxle that was usually geared to 165 mph. In ADAC trim, the engine was injection-restricted to 325 horsepower. Racers and road testers of the day thought Porsche understated the horsepower and maximum speed.
New to the RS 3.8-liter and the RSR was the tall, biplane rear wing. The RSR body was full-seam welded, reinforced in many places, and had wide fenders that held 9.5-inch-by-18-inch wheels at the front and 11-inch-by-18-inch wheels at the rear. The suspension featured spherical joints with Bilstein racing shocks, a small lightweight clutch, big sway bars, and oversized Turbo S brakes. An air-jack system and center-lock wheels were optional, although just about every 964 RSR I have ever seen had both.
A successful GT racer
The RSR was intended for long-distance GT racing. In 1993, RSRs won the GT class at Le Mans, at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, and placed 2nd in the season-long German ADAC Cup series. In the U. S., RSRs won their class at the Daytona 24 Hours and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Today, collectors prize the cars for their raucous power and old-school drivability, although most of the cars are “petted” and not raced.
A very late, special run of five cars
Our subject car, chassis 496107 in Polar Silver, was one of two cars special-ordered in late 1994 — along with chassis 496109 in Grand Prix White. They were the last two 964 RSRs built, and they were part of a very late run of perhaps five cars that did not make many of the published records on 964 RSRs, which showed the last of 50 (or perhaps 51) cars built to be serial number 491104.
That initially created a lot of confusion — starting when your author pulled 491105 out of Japan in 2012. At that time, the Porsche Factory’s Juergen Barth confirmed the very late run of cars and numbers 105–109 are now acknowledged. The final count is widely considered to be 55 (maybe 56) RSRs total.
When is an RSR not a race car?
These two RSRs were special and expensive cars. We have copies of the January 1995 invoices from the British dealer for both cars. The list price was £121,544 with options totaling £18,611 — about $189,600 and $29,000 at the time. Both cars made long visits to Porsche’s Exclusive Department, where they were modified for possible street use with full interiors that were very red and either pretty or pretty garish, depending on your point of view. It certainly made the cars easily distinguishable from all other 964 RSRs.
How much leather would you like on your racer RSR?
The options on this silver RSR (quoted directly off the invoice) included:
- Seats in Guards Red leather, seat backs painted Polar Silver
- Carpeting in Can Can Red
- Upper and lower dashboard, steering column, and wheel Guards Red leather
- Door panels and tops of doors Guards Red leather
- Inside door pull handles silver/grey leather
- Headlining Guards Red leather
- Trim instrument mounting and switch panel surround in Silver leather (all knobs black leather)
- Middle and side fresh-air vents black leather
- Instrument trim rings covered in silver/grey leather, instrument dials painted silver
- Six-point bolted roll cage, covered with Guards Red leather, red stitching
- Six-point racing harness in red
- Battery master switch under front hood like Carrera RS, operation only inside
- Brake calipers painted gold
- Wheel centers painted amethyst metallic
- Fire extinguisher 1×2 kg
Please remember that these options were on an otherwise bare-bones serious race car.
The selling price of $2,257,114 was a surprise
The “not a surprise” part was that both of these RSRs had been privately for sale from multiple sources for at least two years, starting in the fall of 2014 with prices equivalent to $1,500,000.
Almost every major Porsche collector in the world considered them, ultimately balking at the prices. Separately, three of my good friends visited these cars in a warehouse in England with the intent of buying one or both. Nothing happened until 2016, when a well-known U. S. collector bought the white example 491109 for meaningfully less than was being asked. Good for him — that was a terrific buy then and it looks much better now. That white RSR was on display at The Quail during Monterey Car Week in August 2016. It will never leave the owner’s car barn, which has a one-way door.
Was that extra million warranted?
The silver subject car sold from its original owner to an investor/dealer, who offered it broadly and then decided to take it to auction.
Once the white car was sold into a solid collection, this silver one became a bit of a unicorn.
With RM Sotheby’s smart marketing campaign behind it, the dirty Cosmoline-coated RSR was one of the stars at the Villa Erba auction. Heavy bidding took the car to $2,257,114, including the 12% buyer’s premium. A well-known Porsche collector in Bahrain won the battle.
Was the huge jump in price vs. the white one a year earlier a smart expenditure? It was for at least two bidders — if not for most collectors. On the other hand, where do you go to find another one? ♦
(Introductory description courtesy of RM Sotheby’s.)