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1973

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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Nine gorgeous Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS details

While many Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RSs now languish in air-conditioned garages, the example featured in the latest issue has lived an active life, participating in numerous races and rallies over the years.

Top Total 911 snapper, Ali Cusick captured some stunning shots of this regularly exercised Rennsport and, while we didn’t really need any excuse, we thought that was reason enough to share this gorgeous gallery of details:

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To read our full test drive of this regularly exercised Rennsport, pick up Total 911 issue 147 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

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Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS v 3.0 RS: Improving The Breed

Up ahead, Total 911 Editor, Lee, is having a very good day at work. How can I tell just from looking at the back of his head? Well, he’s behind the wheel of a genuine, first 500, M471 ‘Sport’ specification 2.7 RS, and no one can have a bad day when in the driver’s seat of such a legendary 911.

It’s even finished in Grand Prix white with the blue side script and colour-coded Fuchs. With the sun glinting off the famous bürzel, it looks sublime. At this particular moment, I’d wager that I’m having an even better time though, and not just thanks to the glorious view of the original Rennsport shooting up the road ahead of me.

You see, Lee may be at the helm of a 2.7 RS, but in a game of very expensive Top Trumps, I have one-upped him on this occasion by precisely 307cc. The 3.0 RS that I’m currently piloting through the Essex lanes was launched just a year after Lee’s car and yet, it is often forgotten in debates regarding RS royalty.

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However, from all objective perspectives, the 1974 Carrera RS is the better car. Maybe it is the 3.0-litre car’s incredible rarity that has turned it into a forgotten hero – just 109 cars were built (51 were full racing spec RSRs) – or maybe there is something more intangible that has elevated the 2.7 RS onto its pedestal among the Porsche gods. That’s what today’s family reunion is all about.

Getting these two Rennsport legends on the same stretch of tarmac has not been easy; over the last half a century, Zuffenhausen has released nearly 900,000 Neunelfers into the wild, with 2.7 RS M471s and 3.0 RSs accounting for a mere 258 of these.

If my maths is correct, the probability of getting these two together was one in 75 million! Those are some pretty long odds but, after nearly two years of searching, we finally did it. And, bloody hell, is it worth it.

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Short of chasing down Jürgen Barth in a 964 RS, my pursuit of the 2.7 RS from the cockpit of its 3.0-litre successor is the surrealist experience I’ve enjoyed during my three years in this job.

As if to make the whole thing even more incredible, I’m strapped into the lightweight Recaro bucket seat, shifting with my left hand in one of only six right-hand-drive 1974 RSs ever made. It’s not just the orientation of the steering wheel that makes this particular 3.0 RS so special either.

Currently owned by ex-historic racing ace, Nigel Corner, chassis no. 099 was originally ordered by Lord Alexander Hesketh, head of the eponymous racing team that vaulted James Hunt to Formula One stardom in 1973.

To read our Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS v 3.0 RS head-to-head in full, pick up Total 911 issue 145 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

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Total 911 issue 145 on sale now

Over the last few years, our Rennsport head-to-heads have often focussed on the 911 RSs water-cooled renaissance, from the excellent 997.2 GT3 RS 3.8 and RS 4.0, to technological tour de force that is the latest 991 iteration.

However, for Total 911 issue 145 we have gone back to the legendary RS’s genesis with a battle between two Rennsport legends: the 2.7 Carrera RS Lightweight and it’s super rare successor: the 3.0 Carrera RS.

The 1973 Rennsport may be the poster boy for classic Porsche 911s but is its often forgetten 3.0-litre brother the ultimate air-cooled RS? Our incredible head-to-head hits the open road in the new issue to find out.

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Elsewhere in issue 145, we get behind the wheel of the rare Porsche 996 Millennium Edition, the chrome-wheeled Carrera 4 built by the Exclusive Department to herald in the turn of the 21st Century.

Lee also saddles up in the new Porsche 991.2 Turbo S for a road trip to find out if the latest version of the forced induction wonder, laden with ever more technology, can prove as thrilling as the Irish panoramas are stunning.

That’s not all though. Modified Neunelfer enthusiasts can read the story of custom MFI 2.7-litre build and our thoughts on the 9A2 flat six’s tuning potential, while we also get up close and personal with one of the most successful Porsche 993 GT2 Evos ever built.

To read all this and much, much more, pick up Total 911 issue 145 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

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Sales Spotlight: Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS

It’s been five months and one day since we started our Sales Spotlight feature and, in that time, we’ve showcased a number of incredible Neunelfers, from Turbo Ss to GT3s. One particularly iconic Porsche 911 has evaded the glare of the Sales Spotlight though. Until now, that is…

The Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS – the original Rennsport 911 – needs no introduction on these pages. The first factory-built production Porsche 911 built purely with competition in mind, the 2.7 RS has gone down in the history books as the car that cemented the Neunelfer’s sporting pedigree.

This particular 1973 Carrera RS – currently for sale through prestige Porsche specialist, Maxted-Page – is one of just 93 right-hand drive cars (out of an overall total of 1,590 2.7 RSs) that found their way to the UK’s shores.

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What’s more, of various possible Rennsport colour schemes, chassis no. 509 is in perhaps the most recognisable livery: Grand Prix White with blue ‘Carrera’ decals and matching Fuchs alloy wheels.

Originally, supplied by Maltins Car Concessionaires of Henley-on-Thames, this 911 Carrera 2.7 RS has passed through eight different owners since first being registered to Gerald Patrick Stonhill of Oxford in March 1973.

The eighth (and latest) owner bought the car through Maxted-Page in 2010, the car being comprehensively looked after at both Autofarm and Maxted-Page, with a raft of improvements made, including a recent suspension overhaul, gearbox rebuild, new paint and remedial bodywork, plus a full service.

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An M472 ‘Touring’ spec car, this 1973 Carrera RS comes complete with Recaro sports seats for both the driver and passenger, as well as electric windows and a heated rear-screen (all as per the original bill of sale).

While prices for this iconic Neunelfer have stabilised over the last year, this particular example (with a fantastically complete history) still represents a great investment while also providing one of the most enthralling Porsche 911 driving experiences around.

For more information on this Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS, head to Maxted-Page’s website where the rest of their incredible Porsche stock can also be viewed.

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