The Porsche 911’s following is a cult.
The codes of obscure chassis and engines are a language spoken fluently by the Neunelfer niche. A group whose religion is Luftgekhult, German for air-cooled. The resurgence of the 911 in modifiers circles has seen resale value rocket. The sports cars popularity has endured since inception, but the recent price rise and enthusiast interest has been in part amplified by three factors.
The first, the gritty LA noir influence of dreadlocked collector and Urban Outlaw Magnus Walker. Second, Japan’s Rauh-Welt. Owner Akira Nakai travels the world fitting lane-hogging wide body kits to air-cooled Porsches that jam social media feeds. Third, the ‘Everything Matters’ builds created by Singer Vehicle Design, whose painstaking restorations have drawn high praise from the mastheads of motoring culture.
With the same power-to-weight ratio as a current generation 911 GT3, Graeme’s Porsche is the kind of car that creates Porsche obsessives. His interpretation of the raw RSR has meticulous detail echoing Singer’s 911’s. It has the hot-rod attitude of a Magnus Walker canyon special and Rauh-Welt’s notion of driving above all.
Complete with rasping 3.8 litre race engine and a widened, ducktailed RSR blue figure, the car has a finest-finish approach to race-car minimalism
“There is no power assistance. There’s no sound deadening, no nothing,” says Graeme. “It’s not the kind of car you can cruise down to Melbourne in. You get in when you feel like going and getting involved. You come back and you know you’ve been for a drive.”
Growing up on Japanese classics and domestic muscle, Graeme’s first performance car was a Mazda RX-2, before he found eight-cylinder Commodores. Starting a business and spending years with his head down, in 1999 it was time for a reward.
Ready to cut a deposit for an R32 GT-R, a 993 Porsche in a dealer’s window across the street caught Graeme’s eye, then his chequebook. Twice the price of the Skyline, his immaculate 993 C4S remains in his collection, winning consecutive Porsche Club Concours d’Elegance events.
With the 993 stone-chip free and a returning itch for the track, Graeme needed something he didn’t mind bouncing off ripple-strips. A Carrera RS replica quickly found its way into the garage. Perhaps the most sought after acronym in the Porsche lineage, RS stands for RennSport, German for racing.
“My 911 RS replica car was built to do tarmac rally work. All the suspension had been upgraded. It was running a three-litre engine putting out 190 horsepower with 1050kg, ready to drive. It wasn’t a super quick car on a straight but it could get through corners really well.”
With his driving ability increasing, the Zweite Entwicklung of the Carrera RS started like many second evolution builds. The engine blew.
Getting more serious about track work, the decision was made to build an RSR interpretation, an updated version of the ultimate 911. Books were bought, forums scoured. Graeme handed a six-page brief to Autohaus Hamilton’s team of panel beaters, fabricators and mechanics.
A 3.8 litre flat-six was sourced from a late model 993, freshly built by PR Technology with double the previous engines horsepower. The entire suspension set up was revised and the stockpile of goodies hoarded to upgrade the RS was put to work.
“I then started dreaming and working out what I really wanted,” said Graeme. “The more we looked at it we realised needed to take the car back to a bare shell and start from scratch. I wanted to do a wide body conversion from RS to an RSR Porsche.”
“To do it properly, we needed to strip the car right out so that it maintained the original concepts of the RSR, a track version of the RS. No carpet in it, it had to have a full roll cage, race seats, anything that you didn’t need in that car removed from it.”
“That’s where the slippery slope started”
The design philosophy of the RSR is “leichtbau”, lightweight design. Porsche provides an easy way to summarise the concept – the RSR’s pull handles are leather straps pinned to the door cards.
Seam welded, converted from torsion bar to coilover suspension, stiffened suspension mounting points, a full roll cage that extends through the firewall. Graeme’s 3.8 RSR interpretation is the real deal, a car to please the Porsche cult.
The noise of the 350 horsepower boxer galloping through the long corners and screaming straights of Sydney Motorsport Park turns the head of every punter in pit lane. It’s control and responsiveness reflect a focussed chassis and suspension setup, taming the tracks high speed turn one with ease. Graeme the RSR prove a match against late model GT3 and GT4’s steered by equally competent drivers.
Even better, it remains street registered.
“This car is on another level – the sounds it makes. It’s raw, it’s in your face, every time you jump in it just makes the hairs on your arms stick up”
Ours too, Graeme.