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Total 911’s Greatest Porsche 911 drives ever – Josh’s picks

Between Editor, Lee and Features Editor, Josh, the Total 911 team have driven pretty much every different variant of Porsche 911 ever made, from the original short wheelbase 2.0-litre car to the latest 991.2 Turbo S. But which ones stand out in their mind as the best? Here are Josh’s greatest ever Porsche 911 drives:

6 – Porsche 993 Carrera RS

Before I got behind the wheel of my first Porsche 993 Carrera RS, I’d spent close to 18 months listening to Lee eulogising the last air-cooled Rennsport’s talents. The bar was, therefore, set pretty high for the 993.

However, it more than lived up to my expectations with a lithe and nimble chassis that is so eager to change direction that steering it feels almost telepathic. The engine is a real firecracker too, happy to rev but with plenty of guts in the mid-range.

5 – Porsche 911 S-R 2.5
Yellow 1972 Porsche 911 S/R driving

If any car can transport a back road in rural Essex into a scene from the movie Le Mans it’s the Porsche 911 S-R 2.5. Effectively the forerunner to the 2.8 RSR, the S-R was an ST-type 911 built by the factory and I can still hear the bark from the unsilenced flat six ringing in my ears.

It wasn’t just the music from the twin pipes that besotted me with the 911 S-R however. On the road it was beautifully adjustable, allowing me to play with its attitude through each corner on the throttle rather than just wrestling the wheel.

4 – Porsche 991 GT3 RS

Yes, the 997.2 GT3 RS (and its 4.0-litre brother), complete with Mezger engine and manual gearbox, were close to making this list but it was actually the Porsche 991 GT3 RS that impressed me most.

Technologically, it is such a huge leap over the previous generations of Rennsport and this shows most on track where it feels more like a racing car than a road car thanks to its simply stunning levels of grip (especially from the front end).

3- Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RS

Like the 991 Rennsport, the Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RS is an incredibly large leap forward from its predecessor. However, the 1974 Carrera RS is, at its core, still very much a classic Porsche 911. It’s just been dialled up to 11.

Taking the 2.7 RS as a starting point, Porsche improved almost every area using the lessons learned during the 1973 race season. The 3.0 RS’s chassis is more direct, there’s more grip and the flat six punches hard across the rev range.

2 – Porsche 911 2.2S
Silver 1969 Porsche 911 2.2S driving

Technologically there are better classic Porsche 911s on this list (the 2.5 S-R and the 3.0 RS) but there is something about the 2.2-litre Porsche 911S that never fails to completely charm me.

Maybe it’s the purity of its silhouette or, more likely, it’s the short stroke flat six that just loves to rev. And rev. And rev. Taking it passed the 6,000rpm mark and letting it come ‘on cam’ is an experience I will never tire of. The chassis too is excitable without being as aggressively oversteery as the early short wheelbase cars.

1 – Porsche 964 Carrera 4 Leichtbau
964 C4 Lightweight driving on track

I never thought I could fall in love with a four-wheel drive Porsche 911 but the 964 Carrera 4 Leichtbau thoroughly proved me wrong when I took it on track in Finland last year.

After being shown around the car by its creator, Jürgen Barth, I was left to revel in the delightfully playful chassis. Complete with the adjustable differential, I’ve never come across a 911 that can have such fantastic track in all conditions without compromising on handling. It’s pretty close to sheer perfection.

What is the best Porsche 911 you have ever driven? Join the debate in the comments below, or head to our Facebook and Twitter pages now.


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Collectors go nuts for 964s and 993s at RM Sotheby’s London sale

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… It seemed in recent months that the years of booming air-cooled Porsche 911 prices had finally come to a rest. And then RM Sotheby’s rock up in London for their annual sale and a Porsche 993 GT2 sells for £1.85 million including premiums.

Yes, you read that right. £1.85 million. Three collectors starting a bidding war of incredible proportions for the one-owner, Riviera Blue 993 GT2, the hammer coming down at £1.65 million (€1.98 million/$2.21 million) to make a complete mockery of the original widowmaker’s £750,000-£850,000 estimate.

The 993 GT2 was not the only late air-cooled Neunelfer to sell above estimate though. In fact, it was simply the phenomenal climax to a frenetic 30 minutes of action in the auction house that started with the much-anticipated Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8.

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

From the same collection as the GT2, the super rare 964 Rennsport (one of just 55 such examples) was expected to realise £400,000-£500,000. However, the heightened interest in the car saw bidding eventually cease at £640,000 (€768,000/$857,600) for a total of £716,800 once premiums had been factored in.

If that had got people talking inside Battersea Evolution then the next lot to the block – a 964 Turbo S Lightweight – really got tongues wagging, the hammer dropping at £870,000 (€1.04 million/$1.17 million) after the car had been estimated to make £210,000-£250,000.

Bidding on the car took nearly ten minutes to complete, with proceedings getting quite heated at times thanks to one Italian bidder. Once the upper estimate was smashed, bidding jumped straight from £260,000 to £400,000 as it became clear that the auction had become as much about machismo as machines.

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Things calmed down slightly with the next two lots (although on both occasions the estimates were still exceeded) as a 993 Carrera RS Clubsport realised £360,000 (€432,000/$482,500) before the hammer dropped on a 993 Turbo S from the same collection at £280,000 (€336,000/$375,200).

Next up was the now infamous GT2 before a dampening was put on proceedings slightly as it turned out that the 2.7 RS Lightweight was, in fact, a reshell, thus leading to a muted £200,000 (€240,000/$268,000) sale price on an original estimate of £450,000-£550,000.

Including a pair of Porsche 930s and a re-shelled 2.7 RS ‘Lightweight’, the collection achieved an incredible £4.22 million (before premiums) in under an hour of bidding, the results well and truly lighting a fire in the late air-cooled market.

For all of the latest Porsche 911 news, make sure you bookmark Total911.com now.

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s


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Six Porsche 911s to keep an eye on at RM Sotheby’s London sale

Tomorrow evening, RM Sotheby’s return to Battersea Evolution for the auction house’s annual London sale and, judging by the 12 incredible Porsche 911s they have consigned to the lot list, this year’s sale is set to be the best yet.

Alongside the obligatory Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RSs (both Touring and Sport spec cars will go under the hammer from 5pm tomorrow), there is myriad machinery from Zuffenhausen’s late air-cooled period. In fact, this year, RM’s London sale is perfect for Porsche ‘purists’ as these six Neunelfers attest:

1 – Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

One of the standout Porsche 911 lots at the sale, this Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8 is expected to achieve between £400,000-£500,000. That may sound like a lot but just 55 of these 3.8-litre Rennsports were ever built, making it one of the rarest factory Neunelfers of all time.

It’s not just the larger flat six engine that marks this car out from the hordes of 3.6-litre 964 RSs either. For racing homologation purposes, the 964 RS 3.8 got the Turbo’s wide body as well as an extravagant rear wing and three-piece Speedline alloys.

2 – Porsche 993 GT2

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The ultimate incarnation of the Porsche 993, the original 911 GT2 was another of Weissach’s homologation specials, built to dominant the GT ranks during the class’ revival in the early Nineties.

Identified by its extreme aerodynamics and bolt-on plastic arches, the 993 GT2 sent 433hp exclusively to the rear wheels. This stunning Riviera Blue example has an estimate of £750,000-£850,000. It’s worth it for the GT2’s sheer bravado alone.

3 – Porsche 964 Turbo S Lightweight

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Modern Porsche 911 Turbos and Turbo Ss are among the heaviest Neunelfers around, sitting on widened platforms and laden with plenty of tech and options. That wasn’t the case with the original Porsche 964 Turbo S however.

Built by the Exclusive Department in Zuffenhausen, the 86 examples of the 911 Turbo S Leichtbau were just 60kg heavier than the featherweight 964 RS. £210,000-£250,000 is the expecting sale price of this Speed Yellow example.

4 – Porsche 993 Turbo S

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Not to be outdone by its predecessor, this Porsche 993 Turbo S is expected to fetch similar money to the 964 Turbo S on offer at RM’s London auction. The guide price of £200,000-£240,000 seems slightly conservative, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a high number when the hammer drops.

Finished in Guards Red with black leather, this particular left-hand drive 993 Turbo S is in an incredibly desirable spec, with a number of colour-coded touches (including rare red brake calipers).

5 – Porsche 993 Carrera RS Clubsport

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Remi Dargegen ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If you prefer your Porsche 993 experience to be a bit more hardcore than the cossetting Turbo S, the RS Clubsport is about as raw as they come, making even the standard 993 Carrera RS look luxurious.

With only a smatter of interior equipment (including a welded Matter roll cage and Nomex clad bucket seats), the 993 Carrera RS Clubsport is pretty much just a road-legal Carrera Cup racer. £220,000-£260,000 may be enough to get you in the driver’s seat.

6 – Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI

Photo by: Cymon Taylor ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's

Photo by: Cymon Taylor ©2016 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

If you prefer your air-cooled Porsche 911s to be of a classical persuasion, this 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 MFI is the car for you. Effectively a 2.7 RS Touring with impact bumpers (and, in this case, a de-spoilered decklid), 2.7 Carrera MFIs continue to look like astounding value, with this Light Yellow car no exception.

Listed at £180,000-£200,000, this matching numbers example – originally delivered to Italy in November 1973 – could see the hammer drop for less than half the price of RM’s 2.7 RS Touring at the London sale. Is that extra 50 per cent really worth it for a Rennsport badge?


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Seven of the lightest factory Porsche 911s ever built

The new Porsche 911 R has put lightweight Neunelfers firmly back on the map. However, despite the ethos behind it, at 1,370kg, the 991 R is far from the most ‘Leichtbau’ Porsche ever built.

In fact, for the following list, you can forget such legends as the 964 Carrera 4 Lightweight and the 3.2 Clubsport too because each Porsche 911 to have made our final countdown is a member of the sub-tonne club.

By our reckoning, the factory has built no less than 12 Porsche 911s that hit the scales below 1,000kg, nine of which were dedicated racing models.

7 – Porsche 911S (B Series) = 995kg
911S B Series

Often forgotten in the history of Leichtbau Neunelfers, the B Series Porsche 911S (built for one year only in 1969) was the first full-production 911 to join the sub-tonne club. The 2.0-litre car is the lightest 911S ever built; no other S-badged car dipped below the 1000kg mark.

6 – Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS Lightweight = 975kg
911 2.7 RS

Probably the most famous lightweight Porsche of all, the 911 Carrera 2.7 RS was the first Neunelfer to really adopt the ‘racing car for the road’ mantra that has made subsequent Rennsport 911s so popular. Ticking the M471 option box put the car into ‘Sport’ spec, lightening it by around 100kg compared to Touring examples.

5 – Porsche 911 SC RS = 940kg
911 SC RS

The Eighties is one of the only decades not to have been blessed with a proper Rennsport 911. However, while the 959 was being developed for Group B competition, the 911 SC RS was built to fill the gap. In the hands of Prodrive, the cars featured lightweight panels to produce a startlingly low base weight.

4 – Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RS/RSR = 900kg
911 3.0 RSR

Released a year after the iconic 2.7 RS, the 911 Carrera 3.0 RS took weight-saving to a new level, hitting the scales 75kg lighter than it predecessor. Only available in Lightweight trim, the 3.0 RS weighed the same as its racing brother, the 3.0 RSR – one of Porsche’s most successful 911 race cars of all time.

3 – Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1 = 825kg
911 RSR Turbo

The forerunner to the 934 and 935, the 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1 was the first turbocharged 911 race car. As such, it was forced to race in the prototype class. This didn’t stop it finishing second overall at Le Mans in 1974, aided by its impressive power and low weight.

2 – Porsche 911R = 815kg

Widely regarded as the lightest Porsche 911 ever built, the original 911R’s moniker isn’t strictly true (although it is the lightest Neunelfer ever built in any considerable number). Ferdinand Pïech went to town on the R, using fibreglass panels, plexiglass windows and magnesium componentry to reduce weight.

1 – Porsche 935 ‘Baby’ = 748kg
935 Baby

Built for the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft in 1977, Porsche’s 1.4-litre 935, nicknamed ‘Baby’, weighed in a full 220kg less than the full Group 5-spec 935. After a disappointing debut at the Norisring, Jacky Icxk took 935 ‘Baby’ to DRM victory at Hockenheim before Porsche pulled the plug on the project.


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Poll: What is your favourite lightweight Porsche 911?

Inspired by last week’s launch of the new Porsche 911 R (and yesterday’s brief history of its original namesake), we’ve been debating lightweight neunelfers here in the Total 911 office.

So, in our latest poll, we want to find out what your favourite leichtbau Porsche 911 is? Are you 2.7 RS fan, or do you prefer the 997 GT3 RS 4.0? Whatever your preference, register your vote now.


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