1973 Porsche 2.7 RS Carrera

The performance is more than adequate, even for 1973… power and torque do make this Porsche a shattering performer... which is what gives a car ‘steam’…” Veteran journalist Denis Jenkinson of Motor Sport writes on the new 2.7 RS

Featured in January 2017 Classic and Sports Car, this is a good example of an iconic model in a classic colour combination, totally restored by a fastidious owner and ready to go. 

The 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7

The word ‘Carrera’ has a magic to it for Porsche enthusiasts, and the homologation special that debuted at the Paris Show in October 1972 bore the title writ large on its flanks. It was always the mark of a high-performance Porsche, from the exotic, four-cam production 356s, to the racing cars of the 1960s.  

The Stuttgart company’s reason for building the car was simple: homologation for GT racing. From initial concerns that the car wouldn’t sell (many were allocated to senior management as company cars…) demand outstripped supply to the extent that by July 1973 when production ceased a total of 1,580 had been made – far more than 500 the rules required. 

With its fat rear arches – to accommodate wider 7in Fuchs alloys – a wind tunnel-tested rear spoiler and bold ‘Carrera’ motif, the Carrera RS instantly stood apart from lesser species of 911. And under that famous Bürzel (‘ducktail’) sat a special 911 engine with Nikasil-lined cylinders allowing it to be bored it out 2,687cc. Coupled with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, power was a solid 210bhp and the gain in torque was such that at just 2,500rpm the 2.7 matched the old 2.4 motor’s output at 4,000rpm. 

Two regular versions were offered: M471 Lightweight and M472 Touring. Great efforts had gone into making the Carrera RS as light as possible: many panels were thinner, specially made for the car, and even the Tourings lacked many standard 911 features. 

Whichever version was ordered, its performance was electrifying. The Touring sprinted to 60mph in 6.3 seconds and would nudge 150mph flat-out. The full-on Lightweight was only fractions faster. 

With the 300 SL ‘Gullwing’, E-type and R-Type Continental, the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 is a definitive, era-defining car. It is also widely considered by the world’s most experienced drivers to be one of the most exhilarating ever to drive. 

This Motor Car

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 ‘1564’ was completed in June 1973. According to the definitive work on the subject by Dr Georg Konradsheim ‘Carrera RS’ – and attested by the car’s Porsche Certificate of Authenticity – it was one of the final 30 cars built. It’s country code of 113 signified it was a German-market example consigned to official agent Gottfried Schultz of Ratingen-Lintorf, near Essen. Delivery code 5 meant it was ‘unwaxed, collected inside factory’, usually by a dealer.

Konradsheim also confirms that ‘1564’ was ordered in colour code 2201, Grand Prix White/Blue and the seats were classic black leatherette with a corduroy insert, code 12: the configuration in which it is presented today.

Options fitted to the car:

441 – Power antenna, right, and loudspeaker

650 – Electric sliding roof

Already the owner of a 930 Turbo, our London-based Danish client purchased ‘1564’ in 2014 from Berlin Porsche enthusiast Frank Kawalek. The car had most probably spent all its life in Germany. The search for a good 1973 Carrera RS had been a long and frustrating one, but he beat off other buyers for the car that an inspection by marque authority Steve Winter of JAZ Porsche revealed as “basically positive”.  

The car arrived in the UK in February 2015 and our client enjoyed many months behind the wheel before returning it to Winter: it was good, but could be better. Winter suggested a full restoration by Bruce Cooper of award-winning restorers Sportwagen. Based in the east of England, Cooper’s team took the car back to bare metal (by hand, to avoid damaging the original panels), improving on its 2002 restoration and rectifying new areas of corrosion. During the process the rear wings were realigned and the door and general panel fit was at last good enough for the fastidious owner. A gleaming coat of Grand Prix White took the car back to as-delivered in summer 1973.

The Fuchs wheels were refurbished to perfection by recognised specialist Biagio Chrzanowski at Vert-Ego and are now 100% accurate right down to the brushed rims and blue centres. The interior was restored by ace trimmer Neil Tadman after correct, Touring-spec front and rear seats had been sourced. The Palo Alto Speedometer Co in California, “the best in the business”, according to Cooper and VDO factory authorised, refurbished the dials. Winter sourced a new-old-stock correct Carrera RS steering wheel. 

Steve Winter of JAZ then worked on the engine and the car was reassembled with an emphasis on total originality – even Porsche’s notorious, rough black overspray around the seat runners and behind the air vents was faithfully replicated.

The result of some £95k spent with acknowledged experts since 2015 on an already good car is a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 that meets the standards expected by today’s collectors. The owner has enjoyed the car since restoration and has shown it at the Porsche Classics at the Castle meeting for older air-cooled Porsches in 2015 and 2017. He describes the restoration of ‘1564’ as his “quest to create the ultimate RS” and has been delighted with “a really crisp and sharp-looking RS.” We couldn’t agree more.