Scott Lear
Scott Lear
12/10/08 1:44 p.m.

For more than 40 years, the Porsche 911 has offered world-class performance to the general public. What most of the general public doesn’t realize is that they were getting shortchanged in the performance department.

Porsche loves racing, and they were bonkers about it in the ’60s and early ’70s. The engineers at Stuttgart couldn’t resist the temptation to see how their rear-engined wünderkar would react when tuned to the limit for racing.

The results included the rally-bred 911T/R, which won Monte Carlo three years running, and the uncompromising 911R, a high-powered 911 that was about 500 pounds more nimble than its relatively porky street-going relatives. The success of these racing cars helped catapult the 911 to the icon status it enjoys today.

Those early racing 911 models were produced in limited numbers—only about 20 911Rs saw the light of day, for example—and their price was just about what you’d expect for a limited-production race variant tuned by the factory. Today, there are even fewer of them. Figure about half the 911Rs have survived, and they’ve gone from really expensive to really, really, really expensive.

What’s a Porsche enthusiast—one who wants the visceral thrill of an early racing 911 without the burden of a second mortgage—to do? Dip into the Porsche parts bin from the past 40 years and build the next best thing, that’s what.

Read the rest of the story

Our Preferred Partners