Profile - Porsche Carrera 3.0 RS

A ’74 car, a homologation special for the 3.0 RSR model, which included various modifications to the engine, running gear and bodywork.

Increase in compression ratio, 4-bearing cam boxes and shafts, dry sump lubrication, Bosch fuel injection, 80% limited slip diff were just some of the mechanical differences. The wheels and suspension set up were changed, but the 917 pattern brakes were retained. In essence it was a 3.0-litre version of the famous 2.7 RS lightweight.

This particular car, one of 109 built, was a factory-retained car which was acquired by works driver Herbert Muller and taken back to Switzerland.

From the moment one got into the car, it was obvious that here was a machine more refined than the raucous 2.8 RSR. The bonnet, wheelarch extensions and large rear wing were made out of fibreglass, and while the rollbar was padded in trimmed leather, it was otherwise totally stripped like the RSR.

Other traces of its sporting derivative survived: it had a full roll cage, a large central fire extinguisher, two race harnesses, special lightweight seats and the clock and cigar lighter had been removed, but there were two sun visors and the glove compartment had a lid.

On the road, it was definitely a refined version of its racing cousin, closer in spirit to the Carrera 2 than to the RSR. 20 bhp less than its more modern relative, it nevertheless felt as rapid and as responsive.

The driving position was awkward due to the right bias of the pedals, heeling and toeing was particularly difficult but the clutch was quite light. The gearbox was a little more baulky than that of the 2.8 RSR but it had to be borne in mind that it had just undergone a rebuild.

The car was less inclined to tramline than the fat tyred racer, but the 215/60VR15 Pirellis at the front and the 235/55VR1Ss at the rear had nothing like the footprint.

The most extraordinary thing about driving this car is just how little Porsche has advanced in some aspects of the 911, but on the other hand, just how far it has advanced in other areas.

The 3.0-litre RS was first and foremost a driver’s car. It was not designed as a road car, but as a car which could be quickly changed into a track burner. Its mechanical specification was first rate although the accent was on performance not refinement. Its chassis, though, was nothing like as forgiving as its modern namesake.

Although very unfair to compare a modern state of the art car with a model 15 years its junior, it was illuminating to assess just how Porsche engineers have used their motor racing experience to perfect their current product.

1974. Porsche Carrera 3.0 RS. Chassis numbers 9114609001 to 9109 (109 built). Engine type: 911/77. 95 x 70.4 mm. 2993 cc. 230 bhp at 6200 rpm. 202 lb ft at 5000 rpm. 920 kg.