911 Série F [1973]

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Actualité : La dernière Porsche RS 2.7 RHD bientôt restaurée

Autofarm, l’un des spécialistes britanniques de la restauration de modèles Porsche, va lancer prochainement la restauration de la dernière Porsche RS…

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Classic icons: Porsche 911T v 911E v 911S

In issue 159 of Total 911 we compared the 991.2 Carrera, GTS and Turbo S, declaring them the “modern-day interpretations of the 911 T, E and S”. Now, we’re rewinding the clock 45 years to the classic originals. Meet the mainstream F-series range as it was in 1973, the final year of the ‘long bonnet’ before the impact-bumpered G-series arrived, a move which changed the 911’s look forever.

Why ‘mainstream’? Well, as Porsche enthusiasts, we all have ‘1973’ branded on our collective consciousness as the year of the first road-going Rennsport. The Carrera 2.7 RS is a fully paid-up icon and arguably the greatest 911 ever made, yet, then as now, it was exclusive and expensive. So, just as we excluded GT models from our 991.2 triple test, the RS fails to fit the brief here.

The three-tier 911 hierarchy was established in 1968, when the entry-level T (Touring) and mid-range L (Luxury) joined the flagship S (Super) – the latter introduced in 1967. At this stage, all had 2.0-litre engines and a 2,210mm wheelbase. The carburettor-fed L gave way to the fuel-injected E (Einspritzung) in 1969, when wheelbase was lengthened to 2,271mm. A year later, the flat six grew to 2.2-litres, then 2.4-litres in 1972. The 2.4 F-series models were thus in production for just two years, compared with 15 for the G-series.

The three cars gathered today – kindly sourced by Paul Stephens in Essex – all hail from 1973, and look near identical at first glance. Get closer, though, and it’s apparent there are detail differences, most obviously the colour of the engine shroud: black on the 130hp T, green on the 165hp E and red on the 190hp S. However, as those power outputs suggest, by far the biggest difference is felt on the road.

I start in the middle with the 911E: a model Paul describes as “undervalued”. This particular example is resplendent in Light ivory (colour code: 131) on polished 6×15-inch Fuchs. It’s the only UK car here, which explains the round door mirrors – both the T and S are US imports and sport rectangular mirrors – while the absence of optional bumper over-riders or chrome wheel arch trims results in a cleaner look.

The E being a right-hooker helps me acclimatise more quickly, yet there’s still much that feels alien about a 911 of this era. The hand throttle, a hinged choke lever nestled between the seats, is one notable quirk, as are floor-hinged pedals that force you to skew your legs towards the centre of the car. Unassisted steering and a five-speed 915 gearbox that’s obstructive when cold are further features that would confound drivers of modern machines – not least anyone accustomed to water-cooled 911s.

To read the full article on our Porsche 911T vs E vs S mega test, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 161, in shops now and available to buy here or download.

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2.7RS Touring vs Lightweight

For many Porsche enthusiasts, the 1973 2.7 RS is the early 911 at its peak. It was the first road-going Porsche to wear the Rennsport badge, and indeed the first 911 called ‘Carrera’. Its legacy is enviable, its influence incalculable. Andreas Preuninger – godfather of every RS since the 996 GT3 – even had one on his bedroom wall.

The 2.7 RS story begins with the demise of the 917. After an illustrious career, including two Le Mans wins, Porsche’s sports car racer was outlawed in 1972. In search of a sequel and keen to stimulate sales, engineering director Ernst Fuhrmann set his sights on the 911. 500 such examples were required to homologate a race-ready version for FIA Group 4: a legend was born.

Porsche used the 2.4-litre 911S, the quickest 911 at the time, as the basis for the RS. Its air-cooled flat six was bored out to 2,681cc, with low-friction Nikasil cylinder linings helping boost power from 193bhp to 213hp at 6,300rpm. Torque jumped up too, from 211Nm to 255Nm at 5,100rpm.

More significantly, the car was subjected to a crash diet, with thinner body panels, lighter bumpers and a complete absence of creature comforts. This cut weight to just 975kg in original RS Sport spec models (factory code M471) – usually called Lightweight or RSL. Many customers craved a little luxury, though, and after the initial 200 Lightweights were built (plus an additional 17 RSH homologation cars), Porsche acquiesced with a further 1,308 RS Tourings (factory code M472, or RST): better equipped and 100kg heavier. It’s the spec differences between these two versions we’ll focus on here.

Seeing one 2.7 RS quickens the pulse, but the sight of two in convoy, blatting boisterously up a B road, is enough to give any Porsche fan palpitations. ABW 356L is a fully-restored 1973 Lightweight owned by Nick Hart. ABW 131L, separated by just a few chassis numbers and with a near-identical number plate, is a 1973 Touring, kindly supplied by Autofarm.

What makes this classic coming together even more special is that both cars are Light Ivory with blue decals: arguably the most iconic colour combination for Porsche’s most iconic car. Interestingly, the two features that define the ‘RS look’ today – the ducktail spoiler and Carrera side script – were both delete options, although it’s rare to find a 2.7 RS without them.

The two 911s pull over, the clamour of 12 horizontally opposed cylinders suddenly silenced. At first glance they look all but identical. However, an impromptu game of ‘spot the difference’, led by Autofarm director Mikey Wastie, quickly reveals they’re anything but.

To read the full in-depth feature of our 2.7 Carrera RS Touring v Lightweight test, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 158 here or download from Newsstand. 

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How to Drive a 2.7 RS at the Limit

 

Evo contributor and world-class driver, Richard Meaden, shows us just how to extract every iota of oomph from a tangerine orange 2.7 RS in this display of driving brilliance. Not only is this car the beginning of the RS lineup, but it’s a narrow-tired, lightweight, and powerful track-oriented car with all the idiosyncrasies these cars are known for.

At a mere 2,425 pounds, the 2.7 RS is a svelte machine and that, among other things, contributes to the very acute sensation of the engine sitting between the rear haunches and quietly running the show. Meaden notes, « it’s not something that makes your palms sweat straight away, just makes you scratch your head a little bit, and try and interpret what the car’s responses mean; which ones you have to listen to, which ones you can ignore, which ones you need to try and drive around. »

That, essentially, is why these cars are so involving: they make the driver and their technique the determinants of the overall performance. It’s a hackneyed term, but the 2.7 RS really is a driver’s car. It’s limited by the front axle, and it needs a real prod on corner entry to work well.

How comfortable you are with oversteer, how willing and capable you are to use that weight to your advantage, and how gutsy you are on entry determines both yours and the Porsche’s success through a given corner. Meaden throws the 911 in with a jab of the steering, off throttle, and coaxes the rear around to negate any infuriating understeer and slide neatly through the corner.

It seems that the only real challenge Meaden had was carrying enough speed into the corner—getting the Porsche to pivot perfectly through the middle of the corner requires enough momentum, perfect timing, and a generous helping of guts.

The post How to Drive a 2.7 RS at the Limit appeared first on FLATSIXES.

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Survivor: 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight

This 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight was the subject of a sympathetic restoration by the Porsche marque experts at Autofarm in the U.K. What came to be known as the “Beirut RS”, we cannot fathom a truer poster child automobile that defines the term “survivor” better than this. During the war in Lebanon in the mid 80’s, a mortar shell hit the building that this rare car was being stored in and part of the structure fell on top of the car. The car was entombed until it was more recently resurrected by property developers who contacted the original owner’s family asking what they wanted to do with it… During the war, the car had been put away but it’s owner but he never returned from his volunteer work driving an ambulance. The family had since moved out of the country, but the car remained until one day the building was being rebuilt and it’s developers wanted to know what they should do with the unearthed car. So, after some ridiculously insulting low ball offers, a friend of the family was contacted and he informed them of what the car was really worth. He ended up purchasing it himself […]

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