Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS v 3.0 RS: Improving The Breed
Up ahead, Total 911 Editor, Lee, is having a very good day at work. How can I tell just from looking at the back of his head? Well, he’s behind the wheel of a genuine, first 500, M471 ‘Sport’ specification 2.7 RS, and no one can have a bad day when in the driver’s seat of such a legendary 911.
It’s even finished in Grand Prix white with the blue side script and colour-coded Fuchs. With the sun glinting off the famous bürzel, it looks sublime. At this particular moment, I’d wager that I’m having an even better time though, and not just thanks to the glorious view of the original Rennsport shooting up the road ahead of me.
You see, Lee may be at the helm of a 2.7 RS, but in a game of very expensive Top Trumps, I have one-upped him on this occasion by precisely 307cc. The 3.0 RS that I’m currently piloting through the Essex lanes was launched just a year after Lee’s car and yet, it is often forgotten in debates regarding RS royalty.
However, from all objective perspectives, the 1974 Carrera RS is the better car. Maybe it is the 3.0-litre car’s incredible rarity that has turned it into a forgotten hero – just 109 cars were built (51 were full racing spec RSRs) – or maybe there is something more intangible that has elevated the 2.7 RS onto its pedestal among the Porsche gods. That’s what today’s family reunion is all about.
Getting these two Rennsport legends on the same stretch of tarmac has not been easy; over the last half a century, Zuffenhausen has released nearly 900,000 Neunelfers into the wild, with 2.7 RS M471s and 3.0 RSs accounting for a mere 258 of these.
If my maths is correct, the probability of getting these two together was one in 75 million! Those are some pretty long odds but, after nearly two years of searching, we finally did it. And, bloody hell, is it worth it.
Short of chasing down Jürgen Barth in a 964 RS, my pursuit of the 2.7 RS from the cockpit of its 3.0-litre successor is the surrealist experience I’ve enjoyed during my three years in this job.
As if to make the whole thing even more incredible, I’m strapped into the lightweight Recaro bucket seat, shifting with my left hand in one of only six right-hand-drive 1974 RSs ever made. It’s not just the orientation of the steering wheel that makes this particular 3.0 RS so special either.
Currently owned by ex-historic racing ace, Nigel Corner, chassis no. 099 was originally ordered by Lord Alexander Hesketh, head of the eponymous racing team that vaulted James Hunt to Formula One stardom in 1973.
To read our Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS v 3.0 RS head-to-head in full, pick up Total 911 issue 145 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.