1973 PORSCHE 911 RSR | The Greatest Car Ever Built

by GIANPAOLO on July 1, 2010

1973 Porsche 911 RSR

I just saw an interesting question posted by the official Porsche page on Facebook. In it they asked, “What’s the greatest RS of all times?  We want to know what you think!”.  Honestly, I really DO want to know what you think?  After seeing that, we just simply could not resist the temptation any longer to write about what I consider to be the best Porsche ever to come out of the factory floor, albeit in limited production.

I’ll admit right off the bat that I have a soft spot for older Porsches with a more classic look. I love the 356 Porsche Speedster and perhaps I even talk about it more than the car I am about to salivate over. But if I am honest with myself, and we should all strive to be, the 1973 Porsche 911 RSR is just simply automotive perfection.

Now I realize that I am not alone in my sentiment.  This is one of the things I firmly believe in that seems to fall within the category of general consensus.

“The Carrera RSR was the super star of the 1973 sports car racing season. Boasting 300 horsepower at 8,000 RPMs from its 2.8-liter flat six, it was another giant-killing, lightweight 911 based Porsche masterpiece. An RSR won the 24-Hours of Daytona, ahead of prototype efforts from Ferrari, Matra & Mirage-Ford. This is thought to be the most original, correct and lowest mileage RSR with race history in the world.”

[Source: http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z9192/Porsche-911-RSR.aspx]

Not only is the 1973 RSR the one of the most successful of the Porsche racers of all time, even leaving prototypes in the dust, it just oozes Porsche excellence.  If I had to describe the essence of Porsche to some alien life form, or place one image of the brand into a time capsule for future generations to discover, I’d show them an image of the RSR. Here are the specs:

GENERAL SPECIFICATIONS

Country of Origin: Germany
Numbers built: 49 (it’s that rare)
Production year: 1973
Major Wins: 1973 Sebring 12 Hours (Hurley Haywood / Peter Gregg / Dave Helmick)

ENGINE

Engine configuration: 911/72 B 6
Location: Rear, longitudinally mounted
Construction: Magnesium alloy block and head
Displacement: 2.808 liter / 171.4 cu in
Bore/Stroke: 92.0 mm (3.6 in) / 70.4 mm (2.8in)
Compression: 10.5:1
Valvetrain: 2 valves / cylinder, SOHC
Fuel Feed: Bosch K-lectronic Fuel Injection
Aspiration: Naturally aspirated (how we like it)

DRIVE/TRAIN

Chassis/body: Unitary steel
Suspension: Trailing arms, coil springs over shock absorbers
Steering: Rack-and-pinion
Brakes: Ventilated Discs, all-round
Gearbox: 5 speed manual
Drive: Rear wheel drive

DIMENSIONS

Weight: 840 Kilo / 1852 lbs
Length, Width, Height: 4128 mm (162.5in) / 1651mm (65in) / 1321 mm (52in)
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r): 2272 mm (89.4in) / 1402mm (55.2in) / 1422mm (56in)

PERFORMANCE FIGURES

Power: 308 bhp / 230 KW @ 8,000rpms
Torque: 290 Nm / 214ft lbs @ 6300 rpm
BHP/Liter: 110 bhp / liter
Power to weight: 0.3 bhp / kg
Top Speed: 280 km/h / 174 mph
0-60: 5.0 seconds

Photo Gallery:

[Photo credits: Porsche AG]

VIDEO: 1973 Carrera RSR Race Car Accelerating

So let’s try and get a consensus here.  Is the 911 porsche RSR built in 1973 and 74 the best car ever built? I’ve taken my stance in declaring that it is.  Now it’s your turn to step up to the plate with your thoughts.  I invite you to join in by leaving a comment below.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Corsicanhawk July 5, 2010 at 12:17

Although I have not ever driven one, nor have I ridden in one, I have seen several of them up close. And I have also heard their engines. Based on the articles I have read about them, and on their concept of a lightweight race car for the street, and on its record in racing, I must concur with you. This is a basic, pure car, a performance car, a beautiful car, an eye-popping car!!! The reverence with which it is spoken about, the desirability of owning one for every enthusiast’s garage combine with its heritage, its lasting appeal and with its “ahead of its time” performace to make it a complete car, the best in history!!

Reply

Tito Young February 16, 2011 at 12:15

I too find a kind of excellence regarding them. They are very different than other race cars thus being one you could (with enough money and mechanics) build. Even better… they look so great. I would drive one in minute. Where are some keys?

Reply

Mark Burns April 16, 2011 at 23:39

The ’73 911 2.8 RSR is absolutely the most brutal vehical I have ever experienced and while I thrilled to the outrageous noise, mechanical inrimicy and explosive hook-up after the apex the driver wasn’t having near as much fun as the guy dancing the mid ’50′s AC Ace around corners and straights for giggles. But the most complete Sportscar I’ve been fortunate to experience is without doubt the 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB “SEFAC 61″. Not quite the power to weight of the RSR and a less electrifying experience but so much more controlable and fairly succesful in competition too.

Reply

nathan September 14, 2012 at 22:40

I have just purchased a 1973 RSR recreation. Wow. The most incredible feeling. Looks, Performance,. Handling. It is just extraordinary.

Reply

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