1996 Porsche 993 Carrera RS

The spiritual successor to the legendary 2.7 RS, and one of the finest evolutions of a particularly great era for the 911” – Road & Track magazine
 
The final air-cooled 911, the Typ 993, was launched at the 1993 Frankfurt Show. Today, many consider it to be the last 911 to be built by hand, a hewn-from-solid testament to German engineering. Based heavily on the outgoing 964, but with an easier-to-maintain engine and heavily revised rear suspension, it was the fastest, best-handling, most comfortable and refined 911 to date.
 
Within two years Porsche announced an RS version, the latest in a distinguished line of high performance 911 limited editions that commenced with the iconic ‘duck tail’ 2.7 RS in 1973.
 
All were heavily modified homologation specials. Yet, as road cars, they remained drivable, with every model achieving instant status as a true classic.
 
The 911 (993) Carrera RS
 
Porsche intended the 993 RS to be the basis for a customer racer, the 993 RSR. The new car’s 3,746cc motor, with big valves and Varioram variable-length intake manifold, was fitted with a remapped Bosch Motronic engine management system and produced 300bhp.
 
All 993 RSs had a special (higher ratios on the first three gears) G50/31 six-speed transmission with a ‘shorter’ shift, and big (322mm front and rear, ventilated and cross-drilled) four-piston calipers from the 993 Turbo. The latter were hydraulically boosted, unlike the vacuum-assisted set-up on the normal Carrera. All cars had limited-slip differentials.
 
The bodyshell was seam-welded. The company went to great lengths to save weight. The RS was some 100kg lighter than the standard car, and the specification reflected that: an aluminium bonnet supported by a simple alloy strut; except for the screen, thinner glass; no rear seats; reduced sound-proofing; thin bucket seats; no air bags as standard; air conditioning and radio were options. Even the washer bottle held only 1.2 litres rather than the usual 6.5.
 
The 993 RS ran on three-piece wheels, 8jx18in front, 10jx18in rear, while Bilstein dampers replaced the regular car’s Monroes or Boges and the suspension was tuned for ultimate performance, with a lowered ride height, adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars and an under-bonnet strut-brace. On left-hand drive cars a 92-litre fuel tank replaced the original 72-litre, while all cars had a battery master switch, a small fixed rear wing and a special front spoiler.
 
Even with such a focused specification, the 993 RS was a better riding car than the bone-shaking 964 Carrera RS. Today, it’s position as the pre-eminent drivers’ Porsche of the era remains secure. It has been written that, “the 993 Carrera RS has everything you want and nothing you don’t.”
 
This Motor Car
 
This German market (‘C00’) Porsche 993 RS was first registered ‘WM-HD 911’ on 15 January 1996. The supplying dealer was ‘Porsche Zentrum 5 Seen’ (Hörman Sportwagen GmbH) in Gilching-Argelsried, near Munich. It was finished in a popular shade for the 993 RS, subtle ‘39C’ Midnight Blue Metallic, paired with ‘AK’ plain black leather interior.
 
As befitted such a sporting model, the specification was kept to a minimum. Its options included:
 
451 Reduced radio preparation
562 Driver’s and passenger’s air bag
567 Windshield graduated green tint
573 Air conditioning
651 Electric windows
197 88Ah battery
336 Blaupunkt Dusseldorf RCR 84 radio
371/372 Driver’s/passenger’s sports seat, manual adjustment
 
The road wheels were the standard-to-the-model, three-piece, ‘Supercup’ 18in alloys by Speedline. After just over a year the car was sold to the current owner, an Italian who immediately registered it in the name of his German company. It was later re-registered in Italy, first in his company’s then lastly under his own name.
 
In the current, second owner’s hands – a northern Italian collector with an extensive garage of classic and modern cars – this 993 RS has excelled as an enjoyable, fast and safe driver’s car, driven well within its capabilities on low-key regularity events. Meticulously serviced (as detailed in two service books, all by official Porsche service agents in Italy), it has never suffered serious accident damage or been resprayed. All original tools, books, spare wheel and first aid kit are included.
 
Having been preserved in long-term storage from new, the original Speedline wheels are unmarked, though would benefit from re-lacquering – a common issue with these three-piece alloys. The odometer reads just 31,800km, a figure verified by the stamps in the service books.
 
While ‘the last of the air-cooled’ has become something of a hackneyed expression when speaking of the Porsche 993, there’s no denying that the company changed direction with subsequent models, going for quantity and profitability over quality, soon introducing the cut-price Boxster and 4x4 Cayenne.
 
Throughout the ensuing decades, though, its 911 RS models retained the mantle of arguably the best driver’s car money could buy, and today waiting lists for RS 911s are long, the cars destined for preferred customers only. This 1996 993 RS stands alongside the current models with pride.