R = Racing: The Historical Roots of the 911 R

New York Porsche 911 Racing | NY Exotic Vehicles

The 50th anniversary of the Porsche 911 R is approaching. In October of 1966, the first Porsche 911 R test car hit the race course in Hockenheim, Germany. In the moments between the first lap and the international exhibition, the Porsche 911 R defied odds, placed in races both usual and unusual, and made history.

In the fall of 1966, Rolf Wütherich, a Porsche employee, explained the objective of the 911 R project. “A vehicle is to be built that is superior to the current competition in its power-to-weight ratio.” The test report of the 911 R was just that. It weighed 800 kg and had 210 hp of engine power, making its power-to-weight ratio less than 4 kg per hp, which was 1.5 kg lower than the competition. These statistics determined that the 911 R could be highly successful in GT racing.

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After a modified 911 was raced by a factory team at the Monte Carlo Rally in 1965, individuals began racing the 911 at GT races and drew attention to the vehicle, inspiring the “purebred race car version of the 911” to be born.

Its birthday was in October of 1966, and its first lap time was 2 minutes and 17.5 seconds, only 12 seconds slower than the record time of the time (set by a Porsche 906 Carrera 6). This lightweight car with a 901/22 race six-cylinder flat engine, dual ignition, titanium connecting rods, large triple carburettors and the ability to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds made it one of the most excellent racing vehicles of the time.

Four 911 R prototypes were made within 1967 with only the absolutely necessary parts. These parts included glass fibre reinforced polymer front lids, wings, doors and bumpers produced by Stuttgart-based company Karl Baur, and 4-mm glass windshields and 2-mm thick plexiglass
windows. This made the 911 significantly light in comparison to other race
sports cars.

Despite the minimal construction, the 911 R was nearly twice as expensive as the regular 911 S, and the recession forced Porsche management to produce only 19 911 Rs, 15 of which would be sold and four would remain at the company to be raced.

The 911 R debuted on the race track in the 2-litre GT prototype class on July 1967 at “Circuito del Mugello” and finished third after two Porsche 910 race cars, beating the Alfa models and Ford GT40 Mk III. The 911 R would go on to place and win several other races, including the “Rallye Coupe des Alpes,” the “Rallye Neige et Glace” and the “Marathon de la Route” endurance race after an outstanding 84 hours.

Fifty years later, this legendary vehicle has proved that it’s still worth talking about. The Porsche 911 is often considered the icon of the Porsche product line, and has been the standard for sports cars over the years. Call Manhattan Motorcars at 866-325-1528 to make an appointment to experience the Porsche 911. Our luxury car dealer is located at 711 11th Avenue, at the corner of 51st Street in New York, NY.

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