The year: 1974. The race: British Airways 1000KM at Brands Hatch. Drivers: Gijs van Lennep and Herbert Müller. Car: 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1.
After Porsche decided it had gotten all that it could out of the normally aspirated 3.0 flat six engine, they turned to turbos. But because the new 911 for 1974 had yet to be introduced, they were forced to compete as a prototype in the 3.0 class with prototype Ferraris, Matras, etc. This, of course, meant that to comply with the rules of the 3.0 class, the displacement had to be reduced by a factor of 1.4 per the equivalency formula to 2,143cc. The giant KKK (unfortunate name, I know) turbo was mounted on the back of the engine, all the way basically outside the bodywork, so it got some natural cooling. Depending on the boost, this engine busted out 470 to 500 bhp, with, unsurprisingly, massive turbolag.
Sidenote, RSR stands for Rennsport Rennwagen, or motorsports racecar, I assume as a juxtaposition to the RS (Rennsport), which was both run as a racecar and a road car.
The story goes that the wing, giant due to only scant restrictions on aero in the prototype class, was painted black to hide it a little and thus keep a closer visual connection to the production 911, but come on, who are we fooling?
As mentioned above, since this RSR Turbo was in the prototype class, it raced against pure racing cars such as the Matra MS670 and Alfa 33s, so wins (outright or class) were very unlikely. Despite this, the RSR Turbo managed a P2 at Le Mans in 1974 and the Watkins Glen 6hr (bested both times by that venerable Matra MS670). The following season it was succeeded by the new Group 4, 5, and 6 cars, the aptly named 934, 935, and 936, so no illustrious racing career for this car. It was more of a test platform for that turbo engine, and, above all, looks absolutely, mind-blowingly badass.
This particular car was driven by the Swiss/Dutch duo of Herbert Müller and Gijs van Lennep, who also piloted the car to the two P2 finishes that season. Gijs van Lennep, of course, was a Porsche Martini heavyweight, having won Le Mans in 1971 in a 917K, and Herbert Müller raced a ton for both Porsche and Ferrari in the 1970s, and fatally crashed in what he announced beforehand would be his last race at the 1000KM at the Nürburgring in 1981. In obviously happer times this car strode to a 5th place at Brands Hatch in 1974, beaten again by two Matras, as well as Mirage and Chevron Prototypes.
This particular model is by my favorite brand of 1:43 and 1:18 cars, TSM (True Scale Miniatures). It is the third TSM I’ve featured this car week alone, after the Honda Pilot and Porsche 935, and it’s just as great. TSM manages to build their 1:43s to incredible detail while keeping them very sturdy, and I appreciate that. Plus, their white glossy plinth looks amazing, and really stands out among the standard black plastic that most brands use. I’m really really hoping that TSM’s foray into 1:64, MiniGT, works out just as brilliantly, because I have become a loyal customer.
I was almost not able to feature this model, which I had originally penned in for the silver day. When I first got it the passenger side door mirror was missing. After a trip back to the seller, the replacement gladly does have both mirrors, and arrived right in time for wild-card day.
I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. Shout-out to ebay for the 20% off coupon last week for making this post possible!