Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS: Rennsport Royalty
King Juan Carlos I, the man bequeathed with the Spanish throne by the infamous General Francisco Franco, is an unabashed enthusiast of all things with an engine.
You may have spotted the now former King of Spain at his native Formula One Grand Prix over the years, mingling on the grid with the drivers and presenting trophies on the podium.
As well as his well-publicised interest in motorsport, Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón-Dos Sicilias (to give him his full name) is also known to be an avid motorcycle rider and, during the 1970s and 1980s, would apparently evade his security detail at the Palacio de la Zarzuela with alarming regularity in order to ride out into the hills north of Madrid incognito.
Rumour has it on one particular trip in the Spanish back lanes, King Juan Carlos happened across another biker at the side of the road. Disguised under his helmet, the King of Spain asked the man what the problem was?
His fellow motorcyclist had run out of petrol, in the middle of nowhere (and in the days before mobile phones). Juan Carlos, still hiding his identity behind his visor, was more than willing to help out, ferrying the stricken rider to a local petrol station and back.
It was only just before he left back for the palace that King Juan Carlos briefly removed his helmet, revealing the true identity of the mysterious Good Samaritan that this man had been riding pillion with.
Now, there is more than a hint of ‘urban legend’ about this particular anecdote; there has never been any official confirmation from the Spanish Royal Family, after all.
Despite this, Juan Carlos’ motorcycling exploits were a well-known secret so it may well be true. However, I personally prefer to imagine the popular King of Spain not on an MV Augusta in the Madrid hills but at the wheel of a Porsche 911.
My vision is not outside the realms of possibility, for Juan Carlos was known to be a fan of Stuttgart’s finest. During the 1970s, the King owned probably the most iconic Neunelfer of them all, a 911 Carrera 2.7 RS. The car showcased on these pages is believed to be the very Rennsport owned by the motor-mad royal.
To read our test drive of the ex-King Juan Carlos 2.7 RS in full, pick up Total 911 issue 137 in store today. Alternatively, download your copy straight to a digital device now.