All this and heaven too… Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV, Part 3

DHL_Porsche RS Spyder_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

Musclemilk _Porsche RS Spyder_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11After returning to the paddock, my son and I came across one of Porsche’s racing displays highlighting Porsche Motorsports. The two cars showcased raced in the ALMS series, and were competitors in the LMP2 class; the RS Spyder. The yellow RS Spyder was campaigned by the Penske / DHL team, and the second, white RS Spyder sponsored by MuscleMIlk.

Immediately to the right of the Porsche Motorsports display was a series of open paddock bays, which revealed a second display, this one a showcase of 911 based race cars. The display featured a range of competition models from the earliest (a 1964 911), to the latest, the 2011 GT3R hybrid.

1964 Porsche 911 race car_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111964 Porsche 911 race car_Interior_ Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111964 Porsche 911 race car_ Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111967 Porsche 911R race car_ Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11After shooting this image above ( a 1967 911 R), I was passed by a group of people all moving towards the car for a photo opportunity. I overheard a man ask if he should stand by the door, and when I turned to see what was happening, I realized the man standing by the door of car #181 was in fact Dr. Wolfgang Porsche. What better indication of the significance of this event, than to have a member of the Porsche family in attendance, and obviously enjoying himself. (This would not be the last time that we would encounter Dr. Porsche at Rennsport).

Dr. Wolfgang Porsche at Rennsport Reunion _10/15/11

Dr. Wolfgang Porsche at Rennsport Reunion _10/15/11

1971 911 STR / East Africa Rally car_Porsche Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1971 911 STR East Africa Rally car, owned by photographer and race driver Jeff Zwart.

1973 Carrera RS_Martini Racing graphics_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1973 911 Carrera RSR, and the winner of the 68th (and last) Targa Florio road race.

1974 Porsche 911 RSR_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1974 Porsche 911 RSR_Interior shot_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111974 Porsche 911 RSR_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111974 Porsche 911 RSR

1976 Porsche 934 Turbo_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1976 Porsche 934 Turbo

1977 Porsche 934 1/2_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1977 Porsche 934 1/2, from the Bruce Canepa collection

1980 Porsche 935K3 _Interscope Racing_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1978 Interscope Porsche 935 K3

1986 Rothmans Porsche 961_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1986 Rothmans Porsche 961_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111986 all wheel drive Rothmans Porsche type 961, as raced at Le Mans. (As noted in its bio, this is the only type 961 in existence).

1995 Porsche 911 GT2 EVO_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1995 Porsche 911 GT2 EVO_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111995 Porsche 911 GT2 Evo

(Below) 1998 GT1 LM (Le Mans). This was the car that scored the outright victory for Porsche at Le Mans back in 1998, which was added to the ongoing celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary.

Porsche 98GT1 LM -Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

Porsche 98GT1 LM -Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11Porsche 98GT1 LM -Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11Porsche 98GT1 LM -Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

2004 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR

2004  911 GT3 RSR.

(Below)  2007 GT3 Cup car – Pikes Peak class winner and record holder, driven by Jeff Zwart

2007 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup_pikes peak class winner_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

2011 Porsche GT3R hybrid2011 Porsche GT3R hybrid2011 GT3R hybrid, still wearing the track fallout from its last race.

Now it was time to begin exploring the open paddock area, to look for other hidden Porsche treasures…

1966 Porsche 911 #901_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1966 Porsche 911 #901_Interior_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111966 Porsche 911 #901_Motor_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11914-6 T_Gunnar Racing_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11914-6 T_Gunnar Racing_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11914-6 T_Gunnar Racing_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11Gunnar Racing’s 914-6 T (www.gunnarracing.com)

1967 911S_#91_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

1967 911S_#91_ front trunk_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111967 911S

356's in paddock_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11

Porsche 911's in the paddock_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11Paddock  mirror reflection_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/111968 911L in paddock_reflections_Rennsport Reunion 4_10/15/11Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV, Part 4 coverage to follow…

(All photos by the author)

Porsche de- ja vu…

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.

Cars & Coffee, 1970 Porsche 911 gray RSR

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.

Car&Coffee, Porsche 911, 1970 gray RSR exhaust systemThat 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.

Cars&Coffee,1970 Porsche 911 gray RSR

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.

Cars&Coffee, Porsche 911RSR ,license plate _engine shot

Porsche 911 RSR _interior photo_cars&coffeePorsche 911 RSR, cars&coffee_front trunk detailCars&Coffee,Porsche 911 RSR interior Porsche 911 RSR, 17" wheels at cars & coffee

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.

Cars & Coffee, gray Porsche 911 RSR, racer taped headlights

3/4 rear shot, cars & coffee, gray Porsche 911 RSR

reflections, gray Porsche 911RSR, cars & coffeeThe 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.

gray Porsche 911RSR,  cars&coffee, yellow glass headlights

Porsche 911RSR, headlight shot, Cars & CoffeePorsche 911 RSR, carbon fiber seats, cars&coffeePorsche 911 RSR front shot, cars & coffee, yellow headlightsI received the latest issue of Excellence magazine in the mail late last week… whoa, de-ja vu…

(All photos by the author)