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To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION at RM Sothebys' Monterey event, 15 - 17 August 2024.

  • Believed to be one of only 200 examples produced for 1973 in factory “Lightweight” configuration
  • Italian-market example benefitting from 30 years of loving ownership in Germany with its first caretaker
  • Finished in factory-correct Light Ivory over Black with numbers-matching 2.7-liter engine
  • A wonderful example of one of the most consequential models in Porsche history

For a car whose fate was anything but certain at the outset, the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 has been more than vindicated. A runaway success commercially and competitively, this groundbreaking variant of the 911 would unwittingly form the very bedrock of Porsche’s engineering and corporate strategy since debuting in 1973 during a period of internal upheaval as the German automaker restructured its production and motorsports programs. Indeed, the close kinship between Porsche’s roadgoing and competition models—now a Porsche hallmark—is largely thanks to the 911 RS 2.7, which was developed in the early Seventies for Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile Group 4 competition, which required 500 streel-legal examples for homologation.

Hard to fathom given the RS 2.7’s present popularity, Porsche marketing execs had little faith at the time that the company could sell more than 80 examples to private racers. “Considering the extremely spartan equipment necessitated by weight requirements, and having seen and driven the car, we do not believe that we can effectively market the car under normal circumstances,” wrote the marketing department to then engineering director Ernst Fuhrmann, as quoted in the book Carrera RS.

How wrong they were. Debuting at the 1972 Paris Motor Show as the first 911 to feature the “Carrera” moniker, brisk demand for the RS 2.7 drove Porsche to produce more than three times the homologation requirement, with 1,580 units built for the 1973 model year. Further proving just how misguided the marketers were, 200 of these were specified with an M471 Lightweight conversion, as seen on the example offered here. This factory option jettisoned what existing “spartan equipment” there was on the interior and fitted thinner body panels and glass to reduce weight and increase performance. A less extreme M472 Touring conversion retained some creature comforts at least. With the 911 RS 2.7, Porsche attracted a dedicated group of enthusiasts that grows stronger with each passing year.

Counter to the 911 RS 2.7’s notoriety among collectors, this beautifully presented example has led an unassuming life—though still remarkable in its own way for having spent 30 uninterrupted years with its first owner, who initially used it as a company car, of all things. Believed to have been delivered new to Autogerma Italia in Verona, Italy on 9 April 1973, the Porsche made its way to WMR Autowerkaufs GmbH in Neustadt, Germany after the original Italian purchaser backed out. Following a month of driving past the showroom where the Light Ivory 911 RS 2.7 beckoned, the first owner acquiesced to the inevitable and traded in his then-new 911 E in July of 1973.

He would employ the 911 RS as a company car during summers, enjoying its capabilities on stints between local cinemas that he managed. “I had glorious fun driving the car in those days, when the Autobahn was often quite clear,” he recalled in correspondence on file. “I had a regular run up to Frankfurt, and there were several stretches of road there where I could really extend the car—260 km/h was my target.” Though he did not drive it in competition, he once attended a high-performance driving school at Hockenheimring in the late Seventies.

Soon after acquiring the car, he would enlist two former Porsche Motorsport technicians to look after it and make modifications to his taste. After thoroughly enjoying it for four years as his company car, he settled into using the 911 RS 2.7 on weekends and holidays curtail excess mileage. In 1977, he had low-profile 50-series Pirelli P7 tires installed, with German TUV authorities insisting that a later speedometer be retrofitted at the time to account for the smaller overall wheel diameter.

By the mid-1980s enthusiasm for the 911 RS 2.7 had grown considerably, prompting the owner to restore it largely back to stock specification, reversing some modifications previously made—namely, swapping a previously installed “whale tail” rear spoiler from a later 911 with a correct-type RS 2.7 “ducktail” spoiler. Starting in 1985, the owner formally recorded with the German TUV that the car was being taken off the road for winters.

In 1990, as a birthday gift, the owner’s son organized a road test with Motor Klassik magazine. In the multi-page spread, his 911 RS 2.7 was pitted against its period archrival, the BMW 3.0 CSL. A digital copy of the article is on file. Four years later, the owner is said to have had the same former Porsche Motorsport technicians who had been caring for the car all these years to recommission the paintwork and engine, after which it went into storage and saw increasingly less use until finally being sold in 2003. Thus marked the conclusion of an impressive three decades with its original caretaker.

Acquired by the consignor in summer of 2016 after the car had changed hands multiple times throughout Europe, it is now offered from an extensive collection of important Porsches. Fully restored and with numbers-matching engine, this rare Carrera RS Lightweight will surely find many eager buyers, particularly those interested in vintage racing events or in augmenting a collection with one of the most desirable and impactful Porsche 911 models ever produced.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/auctions/mo24/.

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