Of all the classic Porsche 911 models ever made, one has achieved almost mythical status, looming large above the rest: the 1973 Porsche Carrera RS!
The Carrera RS was the only street-legal 911 factory-equipped with a special fiberglass front spoiler, flared rear fenders to accept wider wheels, bold graphics and, best of all, the famous 'ducktail' deck lid. Its wonderful 2.4-liter power plant received larger, Nikasil-coated aluminum cylinders and pistons which, combined with the race-derived BOSCH fuel injection, created a 2.7-liter, 210 horsepower road rocket that would rule Autobahns and racetracks with utter domination for years to come.
32 years after the last RS rolled off the assembly line, prices for surviving "matching numbers" examples of the 1,580 Carrera RS cars manufactured have reached stratospheric heights and are still continuing their climb, with no end in sight. Today, admission to the exclusive club of RS owners usually requires an investment of $100,000.00 or more.
What about those of us who actually have to work for a living, but lust for the prestige and exhilaration of owning and driving a 911RS? Get the next best thing: a carbon-copy recreation, based on a correct 1973 all steel chassis mated to a matching numbers, 2.4-liter fuel injected engine.
This '73 Porsche 911 Coupe, VIN *9113102076* was sold new right here in California and has covered 92,941 miles to date, less than 3,000 miles annually, on average. Being a low-mileage example of the breed, it truly was an exceptional candidate to become a special RS.
Let's inspect this superb surviver from top to bottom now, inside and out, starting with the trunk.
Presence of correct, gray felt carpeting complete with original wood insert, FUCHS spare wheel, jack, tool bag, original driver's manual, warranty booklet and red vinyl pouch is an indicator of good things to come.
Note the correct, European H4 headlight units with asymmetrical reflectors!
Looking right into the horse's mouth, so to speak, we appreciate the clean battery box area and suspension pan. Most vulnerable to rust or accident damage, the condition of the spare tire well speaks volumes about any classic 911. On this one, there's nothing but good news to report!
Click on any of the above images for a full-size view
Guards Red body looks fantastic. To be sure, a few minuscule imperfections will be unavoidable on any car that's being driven on the street; they're nothing to lose sleep over. Paint is super smooth and glossy; there are no dents or scratches. Original, black CARRERA graphics look crisp and are free of bubbles. Wheel centers are correctly painted to match.
More important than sparkling paint on a 32-year-old collector car, even more so on a classic Porsche, is its structural integrity, namely the condition of its undercarriage.
Everything is looking sharp down under, even the vulnerable floor pans and jacking points. There's no sign of prior damage or haphazard rust repair. It's the proverbial California Porsche!
Side view reveals it: this 911RS was built to original specs. It has not been lowered, there are no tinted windows, add-on mirrors, or extra lights. Despite the Donauwellen Carrera side trim, the RS is somewhat of a sleeper, a subtle supercar with mild rear flares and a smallish rear spoiler. In its day, a "ducktail" Carrera caused every bit as much excitement among knowledgeable enthusiasts as a Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird with its "towel rack" air foil.
The classic FUCHS forged alloy wheels are shod with expensive Pirelli P700-Z radial tires.
Inside, the RS is all business.
Starkly functional cabin, fitted in black, nicely complements the vibrant red exterior. In the view of many sports car aficionados, the early 911 cockpit achieved unequalled perfection of design.
Original gauges have been refurbished and re-calibrated by specialist NoHo Speedometer; they look gorgeous and work perfectly. Note the ultra-rare clock delete plate on the right. (This lightweight RS also features a radio delete plate, of course.) In the manner of the 1970s, the stock 380mm steering wheel has been replaced with a slightly smaller and much "grippier" period DINO leather-clad volant.
We've never seen nicer, more comfortable competition seats in an early 911. These beautiful RECARO sport seats, covered with extra-supple, fantastically patinated, black leather are rarer than hens' teeth. Just try to find another pair!
Rear compartment appears completely stock and original; folding seats have seen very little use, if any at all.
Just like the lightweight M471 RS Sport, this 911 is equipped with the fiberglass one-piece front and rear bumpers. Prestigious "Entenbürzel" (ducktail) deck lid is secured with racing-style elastic toggles. Trim and badging consists of color-coded decals, saving a few additional ounces.
Below the 'glass bonnet rests the numbers matching, original, '73 flat six power plant with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection. Engine bay is wonderfully tidy and presents itself completely detailed to mirror the car's clean exterior.
It may look fantastic, but how does such a rare Porsche drive?
Very well then, let's take the car out on a test run!
RS starts willingly, idles smoothly, and sounds wonderful, just like you would expect it from an original, early C.I.S.-equipped 911. There are no untoward noises and no oil leaks. Oil pressure is great; once operating temperature has been reached, it's hard to keep one's foot off the loud pedal and the revs below six Grand. On May 8, our trip from Hwy. 101 to Channel Islands Harbor took mere minutes. We were constantly exceeding the posted speed limit; it was a joy to pilot this RS. The strong type 915 5-speed transmission, powerful vented disc brakes all around, and a tuned suspension turn very fast driving into an addictive pleasure. Luckily, the local fuzz gathers at the Krispy on Sunday mornings . . .
Among today's hottest collector cars, the early, 1965-'73 Porsche 911 models are fast-appreciating assets. Very few good, rust free California 911s are being offered these days; cars as eye-catching as this particularly well-built 911 Carrera RS replica are almost impossible to find.
The immortal Carrera RS epitomizes Zuffenhausen's desire to rule the world of sports cars, on and off the track. After the first international gas crisis, late in '73, the factory's perspective changed, perhaps forever. Nowadays, a Porsche seems to be just another overweight--albeit fast--luxury car.
Ready to be driven with utter pleasure, this exciting RS needs nothing but a new, appreciative owner. It is being offered here for considerably less than the cost to build such a special 911 from the ground up would be.
Note: we sold this car in Summer of 2005. To view vehicles we currently have for sale, please visit Californiaclassix' SHOWROOM.