Is the Porsche 911 2.7 RS from 1973 the best car ever built in Germany?
I wish I could claim to have driven every German car, but unfortunately it's not like that, and I don't think I'll be able to do that either. But I certainly drove a certain range - starting with various SL Mercedes, I drove the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé (estimated value approx. 100 million dollars, editor's note), one of my most exciting experiences. Of course I also drove some less spectacular German cars and one of my daily drivers is a 300 SL Gullwing. But if you ask me now, please choose one of your cars that you can keep, then I would actually choose the 2.7 RS.
And you'd give some cars for that?
Well, among others a McLaren F1, the Lamborghini Miura SV and also an old Bugatti.
And all this to keep the 2.7 RS?
It's not just the car, of course. It is a combination of my emotional attachment to the car and the fascination for it. This 2.7 RS has been owned by our family for many decades, I took over the car from my father. So there are already some good and very personal memories on it. I remember, for example, when we got the car when I was a child, I was brought to school with it by my father, we drove Vmax on the German motorway in 1985, we were just on our way to Zuffenhausen, had the whole car full of luggage from the full front booth to luggage behind the seats and my father sat at the wheel with silver-grey hair already at the age of 74 while a young driver of a Porsche 928 drove next to us to see who was driving this car at these speeds.
Remember your first ride on the 2.7 RS?
Oh, yeah! My father was away on a trip and our Porsche dealer called and said an inspection was pending and we would get a free checkup. I told my mother about it and said, “why don’t I drive the car to the free inspection.” Rather bravely, she said ok, and got me the keys which were kept hidden in my father’s study. I remember driving it quite cautiously and thinking: it is not that difficult to drive this after all. So I got a faster and faster on the motorway. At some point a corner came up and I was not expecting just how much it will understeer when going fast in to corners. That gave me a little fright.
Do you ride a lot on the RS?
Not too much. I have the car in England, as it is a right-hand drive. When I'm in Europe, I drive it regularly and every time it surprises me anew, every time I park it, especially after a long drive, I always think: wow, what an amazing car!
Does the RS need a lot of care and attention?
Not at all. I can say that in the 46 years that I have lived with this car, the only thing that was ever broken was the sliding roof. That's it. I remember I was out with my mother and it started raining. Then we spontaneously stopped at a BMW dealer by chance on the way and a mechanic quickly changed a fuse and it was good to go.
Is it a love relationship?
You could say that. When I open the garage and see the car, I smile all the time. It actually makes me happy. I love the sound and feel of the doors when opening and closing, the smell in the car that actually still smells like it did when it was new, the seats that are very good even on long distances, the sound when starting. It all makes you feel very good. And then of course the driving! The long, thin gear lever, the very sensitive steering that takes a bit to get used to it; the car understeers a bit at first as I said and then oversteers it in the corner, but it speaks very directly and honestly to you. And of course, the sound of engine. From 4,000 revolutions it gets going and changes its especially when you hit that sweet spot all the way up at 7,500 RPM. It's really addictive. Especially on a beautiful pass road.
Even on the racetrack?
I can't tell you that. I've never been on the track with this car before. But at this point perhaps a short anecdote on the side: before my father bought the RS, he drove a 911S from 1967. His dealer called him and offered him an RS, he said that only 200 would be built and that would be a good opportunity to buy one.
A friendly dealer.
Wait and see. My father accepted the offer but wanted a certain pale-yellow color he had seen on another car. The dealer said that wouldn't be a problem, but when we got the RS, my father almost had a heart attack, because the color was a bright-Orange yellow and not what he expected. Be that as it may, he somehow came to terms with it and the RS was actually the only car he never sold. He always kept all the other cars for a few years and then sold them again once something better came along.
Instead, you inherited it.
That's right, I did. And years later, I had the RS painted, because the condition of the paint was not so great anymore, so the painter called me and asked if the car had been painted before? I said no, he said there was another color under the paint, a pale-yellow. Basically exactly the color my father ordered and would have liked. To this day this is a mystery to me.
The color is actually pretty cool.
Yes, today. Back in the 1980s it was very unfashionable, it was a rather embarrassing color.
Is the 2.7 RS suitable as a daily driver?
Absolutely. You can do anything with this car. Transport the children in it, go shopping in it, take it on a long trip, a short trip, drive it to work. It even has storage space, at least if there are only two of you. You can put in a lot of luggage. I remember a tour with friends from St- Tropez to London in 1995. There were six of us, three men, three women, and my two friends had two Ferraris, one new 355 and one 348. We had spent two wonderful weeks in St. Tropez, a lot of partying and so on. It was great. But then we had to go back and catch our ferry from Calais to Dover and we were late. One of my friends then said that everyone should drive for himself, so maybe at least the two Ferraris would have a chance to catch the ferry, which was very kind of them especially since we carried all their luggage.
(laughs). Two playboys. Then we started and I remember driving it close to top rev and top gear almost all the way to the ferry. And we made it! Two minutes before the ferry left. A crazy trip on a very hot day. I can still see the sweltering heat over the rear of the RS in front of me today. But it never let me down.
Does the RS drive fast automatically?
I would say there are other Porsche cars that tempt you more to drive fast. I used to drive a Porsche 959S and you drive it really fast. Just one weekend earned me three points on my driver's license account.