I received the latest issue of Excellence magazine in the mail late last week, and after taking it out of its plastic wrapper, I began skimming through it as I usually do from the back to the front (to preview the contents). As I got towards the middle, I noticed several photos of a car that looked familiar. So I stopped and opened up the magazine to get a better look at the article. That’s when it hit me, I had seen this same Porsche at Cars & Coffee in Irvine, California.
I remember the buzz it created the first time it showed up back in April. One of my friends had chased me down, and said I had to go check out the really cool, gray Porsche 911 RSR parked out on the back row. That was enough to get my attention, so I headed off towards the crowd gathered around what I assumed to be the mysterious gray 911 RSR. And I was correct; there in the middle of this sea of people was this amazing Porsche. I stood back and waited for the crowd to thin, and when it did, I moved in for a closer look. I walked around the car a couple of times, taking in the details and shooting pictures as I went. I then circled several more times, quietly studying the RSR flares, the 17″ alloy wheels, the ducktail spoiler, and admiring its beautiful gray paint job. I then focused in closer on other subtle details; the lack of a hood emblem, the shaved cowl (no windshield wipers or washer nozzles), the LARGE red brembo brakes, and the dual, highly customized exhaust system.
That was when the owner walked over and lifted up the duck tail spoiler, revealing a motor that would be right at home in any purpose-built Porsche 911 race car. Rumor was that the motor was a 3.8 liter, built up from a 997 RSR core, for street and track use. The amber-colored, fiberglass fan shroud and light golden fan, red anodized intake trumpets, combined with the black anodized, slide valve fuel injection, and braided stainless fuel lines, all combined to create the visually stunning impact delivered by this motor.
But the payoff came when the owner climbed into the car and fired it up to leave. The motor settled into a quick idle, with an occasional blip of the throttle used to get the car rolling. The sound was incredible; if you closed your eyes it sounded like being in the pits at Laguna Seca, listening to the exhaust note from the latest 911GT3 RSR.
The car returned again several weeks later, with a few subtle changes. It now sported a rather telling custom license plate, and with its windows lowered, offered up a view of its stunning interior, with red leather clad RSR racing bucket seats, 380 mm RSR steering wheel, and a pair of dual, vintage dash mounted chronographs. Centered between the seats and topping off the gear shift lever, was a Porsche 917 inspired, balsa shift knob. The front trunk was also opened to reveal the purpose-built front strut brace, RSR carpet, and two remote, front shock reservoirs.
Upon its next Saturday morning return, the Porsche wore racer taped- over headlights, apparently from a recent track day event. I once again had to wait for the crowds to thin, so I could gain clear access to photograph the car. The weather that morning also cooperated, producing some very interesting lighting and reflections, which magnified and accentuated the contours and lines of the car.
The Porsche RSR’s most recent appearance showcased further visual modifications that had been made; yellow european (French) glass headlight lenses had been added, and the red leather RSR seats had made way for a set of carbon fiber racing seats. I guess this speaks to the serious nature of the owner and his focus on performance at the track.
This is an absolutely amazing car, and one that should be seen and heard in person, to fully appreciate its impact on the early Porsche 911 community.
(All photos by the author)