1993 Porsche 911 / 964 Carrera
Year of manufacture1993
Hans Bigler, Huttwil, Switzerland (acquired new in 1993)
Hanspeter Schiess, Au, Switzerland (acquired in 2012)
Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Jürgen Barth, Norbert Franz, and Robert Weber, Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8, chassis no. is listed
In the early 1990s, Jürgen Barth, head of Porsche’s customer sports department, proposed the company build an all-new 964-based racing car, one that would see the 911 return to the highest levels of GT racing. It was this directive that ultimately resulted in the 964 Carrera RSR 3.8, a purpose-built racing machine designed to be competitive at an international level, yet accessible to privateer racing teams.
Barth and project manager Roland Kussmaul oversaw the development of the 964 RSR, which was built to regulations that would allow the car to compete in the popular German ADAC GT Cup and major 24-hour endurance races. Unveiled in 1993, the new Carrera RSR 3.8 was immediately dominant, capturing class wins at Le Mans and Sebring, as well as Daytona, where the Porsches swept the GT class, finishing 1-2-3-4. The RSR also delivered outright victories in the 24-hour GT races at Spa-Francorchamps and Nürburgring.
To homologate the new RSR, Porsche was obligated to build a number of road-going models that shared the basic specifications of the race car. The result was the Carrera RS 3.8 Strassenversion, which continued the tradition of the illustrious Rennsport models that came before.
A further development of the earlier 964 Carrera Cup and 3.6-liter Carrera RS, the RS 3.8 was thoroughly engineered for maximum performance and built by hand in Porsche’s racing department in Weissach-Flacht. Along with its specialized Porsche Motorsport suspension and braking components, the Carrera RS 3.8 utilized a strengthened, seam-welded tub, with thin glass and lightweight aluminum panels contributing to a curb weight of just 1,210 kg (2,670 pounds).
The RS 3.8 was de-contented in every imaginable way, providing the driver with a pure, highly involving experience. The purposeful, businesslike interior was equipped with lightweight bucket seats and a three-spoke, non-air bag steering wheel, while niceties such as power steering and air-conditioning were available only upon special request. Customers who wanted an even more extreme specification could order the Clubsport package, which removed the interior carpeting and introduced racing seats and a full roll cage, effectively transforming the Carrera RS 3.8 into a road-going RSR.
Externally, the 3.8 RS retained much of the classic 911 form, even with the additions of wide fender flares and an exotic aerodynamic package that included a deeper front spoiler and an adjustable bi-plane rear wing. Power came from a revised version of the 964’s air-cooled flat-six that had been bored by 2 mm (increasing displacement to 3.8 liters) and produced a reliable and very conservative 300 bhp at 6,500 rpm. Three-piece Speedline wheels rounded out a package that was nearly as outrageous as the RSR racing car but had been finished to the impeccable standards of a top-of-the-line Porsche road car.
Porsche built just 55 examples of the 964 Carrera RS 3.8 Strassenversion. Of these, 10 were ordered in track-focused Clubsport trim and three were specified in right-hand drive.
The rarity of these machines, coupled with the acceptance of limited-production 964 variants as blue-chip collectibles, has catapulted the Carrera RS 3.8 to the top of many enthusiasts’ must-have lists. A true homologation special with a dramatic appearance to complement its performance, the RS 3.8 is regarded as one of the great thoroughbred 911s – a descendent of the Rennsport bloodline that traces back to the original 911 R.
According to Porsche factory records, this 964 Carrera RS 3.8, chassis 497105, was completed on December 14, 1993, destined for delivery in Switzerland. This RS was originally specified in iconic Guards Red, with its lightweight bucket seats painted in the exterior color and trimmed in black leatherette with contrasting tri-tone gray centers.
As is documented on the original Porsche invoice, this RS 3.8 was sold new, in a direct factory sale, to Hans Bigler of Huttwil, Switzerland.
Herr Bigler, a long-standing Porsche enthusiast, first registered the 3.8 RS in 1994 and drove it approximately 3,000 km during his first two years of ownership. In late 1996, he brought the Porsche to RUF Automobile GmbH in Pfaffenhausen, seeking to improve the car’s performance. Herr Bigler then had RUF install a turbocharged RCT engine in the RS 3.8, a carefully executed conversion that required only a small modification to the lower edge of the rear bumper.
This upgrade was finished in 1997 and the Carrera was delivered back to Herr Bigler, who continued to enjoy the car over the next 15 years. Meanwhile, RUF retained the original RS 3.8 engine until 1999, when it was sold to a customer who had it installed in his 1992 964 RS.
In 2012, Herr Bigler sold the RS 3.8 to Hanspeter Schiess of Au, Switzerland, who drove it sparingly and entrusted it to Garage Markus Hausherr in St. Gallen for regular service. In 2017, Herr Schiess seized the opportunity to acquire the 1992 964 RS that had been fitted with the original engine from chassis 497105. Before re-installing the original engine, RUF checked over and serviced the car’s complete drivetrain, and then rightfully reunited the 3.8-liter engine with 497105. As noted by a 2018 letter from Estonia Ruf, the engine had been driven approximately 28,000 km in its stints with the two cars, “far less than the 48,000 km shown on the odometer of #105.”
After this process was completed, the Carrera RS 3.8 was sold to the current owner, an American collector with a passion for the most exclusive limited-production Porsches. The Porsche has since been imported to the US and carefully detailed to concours standards.
The consignor, who has owned several rare 964 variants, reports that this car is in pristine condition, retaining its factory-supplied interior and its original Guards Red paint finish. Today, the car makes a strong impression in all respects and, at the time of cataloguing, the odometer displayed just over 48,000 km (approximately 29,825 miles).
In keeping with its high-quality presentation, the car is offered with a copy of the Porsche Motorsport parts book, a spare set of keys, tool roll, emergency road equipment, and leather folio containing the original owner’s manual, service directory, and stamped warranty book. The RS is also offered with a file of documentation that includes a Porsche Certificate of Authenticity, the aforementioned letter from Estonia Ruf, assorted service records, magazine articles, and original Swiss registration and Abgas papers. As evidenced by numerous stamps in the warranty book and invoices on file, Swiss factory service centers and independent specialists have carefully maintained this car until its recent arrival in the US.
One of only 55 examples built by Porsche’s racing department, the 964 Carrera RS 3.8 Strassenversion is among the most rare and sought-after of the legendary Rennsport models. Like its predecessors, the RS 3.8 was purpose-built for motor sport homologation and offered performance that blurred the line between road and racing car. The remarkable qualities of these rare competition-bred Porsches have long been recognized by connoisseurs and are increasingly appreciated by today’s collectors.
An impeccably maintained Swiss-delivered car with a well-documented history, this Guards Red Carrera RS 3.8 is an exceptionally desirable Porsche – one worthy of serious consideration.