Artcurial is auctioning off one of its most successful RSRs during Rétromobile in March. The 911 with racing history should cost about 2 million euros.
In the strong red, the Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 looks almost inconspicuous, without the many colorful sponsor logos and start numbers. One of the most successful RSR with a rich racing history poses here. The first owner was the GELO racing team. After 36 years in a collection, a new owner is being sought for him on March 18 in Paris.
Legend with racing history
50 years ago, Porsche put a legend on its wheels with the Carrera RS. From 1974 the three-liter RSR as a Group 4 racer was the crowning glory of the GT creation. These RSRs, built by the factory exclusively for privateers, are real rarities that are traded at high prices today. The more prominent the racing history, the higher the value - if the history is verifiable.
The most expensive 911 back then
With a purchase price of around 80,000 marks, the 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 was the most expensive, freely available 911 at the time. The information on the exact number of units varies depending on the source. A total of 56 original three-liter RSR for Group 4 are said to have been built by the factory. Other representations mention slightly smaller numbers of 50 to 54 cars. In any case, there were less than 60 cars. This includes a small series of ten to twelve RSRs that were still being set up for the 1975 season.
Today, however, there are probably well over a hundred Carrera RSR in use worldwide. However, some of the Carrera RSR used in historic motorsport are only subsequently built examples, even if they should correspond to the specifications of the 70s. Original cars, especially those with a prominent racing history, are among the most coveted rarities.
Carrera RSR on their own
Determining the exact numbers is another detail in the history of the RSR that is also difficult: some cars were built by teams like Kremer Racing or the Frenchman Louis Meznarie on their own on replacement bodies. This includes, for example, the Kremer-Porsche with chassis number 005 0004, with which the Dutchman Cees Siewertsen started in 1975.
Now a copy of the Group 4 legend is for sale, which was built at Porsche and has been in a collection for almost 36 years. It is the RSR that the team of Cologne businessman and bon vivant Georg Loos bought in 1974 as their second race car and used it in races in the brand world championship, the GT European championship and the German racing championship. The GELO team afforded to have their cars serviced directly by the factory, including the RSR now on sale with chassis number 911 460 9077. The price limit for the auction on March 18 at the Rétromobile in Paris is 1.8 up to 2.4 million euros.
16 races in one season
The car was used for the first time at the end of April 1974 at the World Championship race in Monza with the drivers Jürgen Neuhaus, Jürgen Barth and the team boss himself. Eleventh overall, the trio took third place in the GT class. John Fitzpatrick and Jürgen Barth had more success a few weeks later at the Nürburgring: they won the GT category in the 1,000-kilometer race. Like their teammates Tim Schenken and Rolf Stommelen in Paul Ricard in August.
In 1975, GELO continued to use the 9077 chassis, primarily in the races for the Make World Championship in Europe and the GT European Championship. The former Australian Formula 1 driver Tim Schenken started three European Championship races with this RSR and won the race in Misano, leading the triple success for his team. Schenken finished runners-up at the end of the season, only just beaten with a deficit of three points. In addition to the Australian, other well-known drivers contested EM rounds with this car: Toine Hezemans (2nd in Hockenheim), John Fitzpatrick (3rd in Jarama) and Manfred Schurti.
In a collection since 1985
According to the Artcurial auction catalogue, after the season with a total of 16 races, Loos sold this RSR to the Italian Mario Balestra. He used the Porsche under the team name "Renato Balestra", a fashion designer, in national events. Regular driver Franco Bernabei won the Group 5 category at a race in Monza and the overall classification in Pergusa in Sicily. At the Giro d'Italia for automobiles, he finished second overall together with Andrea Borgia.
After that, this veteran Carrera RSR got off the road to success. In 1979, the Italian Bruno Rebei bought the aged 911 and converted it to a 934 turbo engine. The Porsche was then damaged in an accident and sold to a Swedish driver along with the original components (engine, gearbox and rims). The new owner restored the RSR to its original condition. Via another station, the Italian Gabriele Gottifredi, the ex-Loos RSR finally ended up in Ernst Schuster's collection in September 1985.
Loos vs. Kremer
He had the red Carrera taken care of by Dr. Restoring Siggi Brunn. The engine with number 684 0095 was also installed at this time and is still in the car today. This powerplant was originally in Swiss Edy Brandenburger's RSR, which was later converted into a Group 5 car for the 1977 season. At least that is what the English-born expert John Starkey said, on whose information the auction house relies on the history of the competition.
There was almost an auction duel between the ex-Loos RSR and a sister model from arch-rival Kremer in March. The enmity between Kremer and Loos from the cathedral city went down in motorsport history as the "Cologne Porsche War".Their feud continued beyond the RSR era as well. In the USA, a Carrera RSR with large Kremer lettering on the sides will go under the hammer at Gooding in Amelia Island on March 5th. This car with chassis number: 911 460 9110 has belonged to the US Lloyd Hawkins Collection in New Orleans since 2016.
55 engines in one season
Kremer Racing's way of working differed greatly from that of rival GELO, who bought technical support from the factory for a lot of money. Erwin and Manfred Kremer, on the other hand, always attached great importance to independence. They self-confidently named their Group 4 racers Carrera RSK – K for the brothers' family name. In addition to using the cars, the tuning of engines was also part of the success story. The magazine sport auto reported that the Kremers prepared a total of 55 Porsche engines in their company in the 1975 season alone.
The RSR offered in Amelia Island was long considered a customer car of the Kremer brothers. Originally, the collector Lloyd Hawkins assumed that it must be the former car of the Cologne private driver Josef Brambring. But John Starkey, who was also consulted by Artcurial, now identified another first owner for this racing 911: the Italian Count Girolamo Capra, a lawyer and gentleman driver from Vicenza. When he sold the RSR in favor of a new 934 in late 1975, the car initially stayed in Italy. It later belonged to the collectors Ernst Schuster, Albert Obrist and, according to Gooding's list, from 1992 also Bernie Ecclestone.
When it comes to the price limit, the ex-Loos RSR has a lead of around one million euros over the ex-Capra car. Do the bidders see it the same way?
The Carrera RSR 3.0 story
With the 911 Carrera RSR 3.0, Porsche achieved a masterpiece. All of the experience that the works team had gathered in 1973 with its cars in the one-make world championship flowed into the development. The Martini Racing Team achieved its greatest success with overall victory and third place at the Targa Florio. Both prototypes had a six-cylinder with a displacement of three liters. The Group 4 versions of the first RSR generation, on the other hand, had to make do with 2.8 liters.
Porsche acted very skilfully when approving the Carrera RSR 3.0. The 74 generation presented the technicians as an evolution of the predecessor. Thus, the existing homologation only needed to be extended. Another special series of at least 1000 identical cars could be dispensed with. A total of 109 examples of the Carrera RS 3.0 were enough. "Germany's strongest piece" was the title of auto motor und sport in May 1974 when testing the 230 hp 911 king.
The most powerful Porsche offspring at the time was already a weapon in the near-series Group 3 trim. But it became a legend as a flawless racing version of the RSR.This was ensured by the improved three-liter six-cylinder from the fitness studio at Plant 1 in Zuffenhausen. The magic code 911/75 officially stood for 330 steady hp in the circuit version. The enlarged, air-cooled six-cylinder boxer was made fit for racing with sharper camshafts, the throttle valve system, dual ignition and dry sump lubrication. The tamer RS engine already had the aluminum crankcase.
For the sprint races of the German Racing Championship, even 345 hp were officially tickled out of the engine. However, that was not enough to prevail against the Ford Capri RS (1974) or the BMW 3.5 CSL (1975) in the fight for the top spot in Division 1 of the championship. However, the Carreras dominated in the GT European Championship and the GT category in the World Manufacturers' Championship. The RSR were also a force on the mountain.
In order to get the RSR in shape, the weight also had to be reduced to 900 kilograms. However, the lightest RSR weighed no less than 920 kilograms. In addition to the elimination of all superfluous ballast, including the clock and the glove compartment lid in the interior, plastic was used extensively. The front (including spoiler) and rear bumpers, the powerful rear fender flares and the engine cover with the large rear spoiler were made from the lightweight material. The large oil cooler was located in the center of the front bumper, flanked by an air intake for cooling the front wheel brakes.
The fender flares offered space for the wide rubber rollers: in 1974, initially 10.5 inches at the front and 14 inches at the rear, each with a diameter of 15 inches. The five-spoke magnesium alloy center-lock rims were 917 standard. However, Kremer Racing relied on three-piece BBS rims and from 1975 even with dry tires with a diameter of 16 inches and a width of 11 inches at the front and 14.75 inches at the rear. The disc brakes with the cross-ribbed four-piston calipers made of aluminum came from the successful 917. The chassis of the RSR was changed to coil springs (steel or titanium) at the front and rear.
The list of successes for the three-liter RSR is long and ranges from national championships such as the French GT Championship to the GT European Championship and overall victories in the IMSA Camel GT Trophy to the GTS victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1975. ,
Incidentally, the last great success of a Carrera RSR in modern racing dates back to 1988. Edgar Dören, Gerhard Holup and Peter Faubel won the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring. This RSR was prepared according to Group H regulations. Under the engine cover with the expansive rear wing, a 3.4-liter six-cylinder boxer engine provided a steady output of 340 hp. Of course air-cooled.
The Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 offered by the Artcurial auction house as part of the Rétromobile is a very special example of the small series. Not only the history as a former car from the racing team of Georg Loos (GELO) with a whole series of well-known drivers distinguishes it. Above all, the apparently complete history of the stock and the origin from a well-known collection since 1985 make it attractive. Whether this red Carrera RSR will now find a new owner in Paris also depends on a valid documentation of the racing history and the province. There shouldn't be a lack of solvent interested parties. They can certainly also be found for the ex-Capra Carrera in the USA.