All surviving examples of the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 are special, but this one is more special than most. It was built to a specification laid out by legendary Finnish racing driver Leo Kinnunen, who used it as a personal car while competing in Germany in the Interserie – a popular European motorsport series.
The Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7
The Porsche 911 Carrera RS is considered by many in the motoring fraternity to be the pinnacle of the 911. Porsche have built many extraordinary cars since 1973 of course, but so far as the 911 goes, the Carrera RS set the bar in both looks and performance.
500 cars were required for Porsche to homologate the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 for touring car racing in Europe, and it wasn’t known at the time if the company would be able to sell them all – they had a price tag well in excess of $10,000 USD and the executives at Porsche weren’t at all sure that demand for the car existed. They needn’t have worried. The model sold out less than a week after first being displayed at the Paris Motor Show, and Porsche would go on to build 1,590 examples over the course of the production run.
Porsche offered the Carrera RS in two trim packages – Touring and Sport Lightweight. The Touring package included things like carpeting, a radio and other modern amenities whereas the Sport Lightweight variant was a stripped out racing car designed to be just barely road legal.
The list of celebrity owners of Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7s is too long to list here, Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Kay, and Jenson Button are all either owners or former owners – and the list goes on a long way from there.
The performance of the RS (an abbreviation of Rennsport, German for race sport) is remarkable, especially when you consider that this is an air-cooled car build in the early ’70s. The 2687cc flat-6 was capable of 210 bhp and 182 ft lbs of torque, giving it a 219 bhp per tonne, a top speed of 150 mph and a 0-60 mph time of just 5.6 seconds.
The 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight Shown Here
The tangerine example of the Carrera RS 2.7 Lightweight you see here is special for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it was built for 24 Hours of Daytona winner Leo Kinnunen.
The story goes that Leo ordered the car to do practice runs for the 1973 1000 Lakes Rally in which he was to compete, and perhaps also to practice ahead of the Targa Florio. It must’ve worked, because Leo still holds the all-time lap record for the Targa Florio – beating the previous record by 90 seconds.
When specifying this car, Leo ordered it with larger ‘ST’-style wheel arches to accommodate wider wheels and tires. This would be the only 2.7 RS fitted with a “tea-tray” spoiler (as used on the latter Carrera 3.0 RS), it was also fitted with a limited-slip differential, a Matter alloy roll cage, a pair of Recaro rally seats (with thumbscrew-adjustable backrests), Repa racing harnesses, a larger-than-normal steering wheel to allow better control on loose surfaces and a raised passenger seat to improve co-driver vision.
In the years since it passed from Leo’s ownership, the car has belonged to a small number of enthusiasts, and it’s now due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the 12th of May in Monaco. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.
Images: Remi Dargegen ©2018 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s