Formerly owned by the late famed actor Paul Walker of the “Fast and Furious” film franchise, this striking 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 is one of a mere 1,580 produced, and it will soon join the Mecum Monterey auction lineup headed for the block this August. Unlike many Hollywood actors who have little idea how to properly drive a fast car but are made to appear as expert pilots on screen, Walker was quite well known for his skilled ability behind the wheel, and he performed many of his own stunts in the movies in which he starred. Over time, the actor and car enthusiast amassed quite a collection of vehicles for his personal use. Tragically, Walker met his untimely demise as a passenger in his newly purchased Porsche Carrera GT in late 2013 at the age of 40.
While he owned many collector cars, there seemed to be a special place in both his heart and his collection for Germany’s finest machines, and this 911 Carrera RS 2.7—Chassis No. 9113600901—is emblematic of the type of car that stirred Walker to his very core. In fact, Walker recounted the story of purchasing the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 to Jay Leno during an airing of “The Tonight Show” in 2011. In that interview, Leno referred to Walker as a “car guy.” The excitement in Walker’s voice was palpable throughout their discussion, and there is no doubt that he was particularly enthused by this very special Porsche.
There was good reason for Walker’s excitement. A lot of thought went into the design of this particular model. The 911 Carrera RS 2.7 was the brainchild of Ernst Fuhrmann. After he was installed as chairman of the board at Porsche in 1972, Fuhrmann drew special inspiration from the recent racing success of the legendary Porsche 917, which had captured the 24 Hours of Le Mans overall victories in 1970 and 1971. Fuhrmann felt that Porsche needed to build on the racing success of the 917 by incorporating its lessons into cars like the 911. Special editions of these cars were built that were street legal but close cousins to those finding success on the race track. It was the ultimate manifestation of the “Win on Sunday and Sell on Monday” mantra.
Since the 1950s, the RS moniker—short for Rennsport or race sport—was always reserved for only the most special of vehicles. The 911 RS 2.7 was homologated for use in the FIA Group 3 Grand Touring series, while 60 examples of the 911 RS 2.7 were developed specifically for FIA Group 4 competition.
The man at the center of the development of the 911 RS 2.7 was Porsche engineer Norbert Singer. If that name sounds familiar, it should. Not only was Singer the man primarily responsible for development of the all-conquering 917, but his name lives on today in the form of Singer Vehicle Design, where vintage Porsches are restored, reimagined and reborn under the watchful eye of former car designer Rob Dickinson.
The 911 Carrera RS 2.7 proved to be a winning proposition both on the race track and in the showroom. Initially, Porsche only planned to build 500 homologated examples of the car, but demand immediately shot through the roof and the folks in Stuttgart responded by producing 1,580 cars, more than three times the originally planned run. Over time, the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 became a real collector’s gem, and today, the 1973-only model is one of the most sought after performance models in Porsche’s portfolio.
Currently showing 93,774 kilometers, this light yellow Carrera RS was built in March 1973 with the Touring package. It is powered by a 2.7L/210 HP flat 6-cylinder engine sporting Nikasil cylinder coatings with Bosch mechanical fuel injection, and it’s mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The drivetrain and suspension were restored by Jerry Woods Enterprises of Campbell, California. Black accents on top of the yellow paint form a Porsche callout above rear bumper guards, and Carrera livery on the sides give the car a unique look. Chrome trim on the windows and chrome trim rings on the headlights give the car an air of elegance that continues to be a design element on the modern 911 GT3 with the Touring Package.
The black interior—restored by Autobahn Interiors of San Diego—is highlighted by Sport bucket seats with eye-catching black and white Pepita Houndstooth inserts. All seems right with the world from the view in the cockpit as VDO gauges, including an 8,000 RPM tachometer and 300 KPH speedometer, are right in the line of vision. The rest of the interior is spartan, but purposeful with a heater and defroster making the car useful for colder weather.
Weight-reduction efforts are evident throughout this car, with thinner steel body panels than the standard 911 plus lighter and thinner windows than the more common cars of this silhouette. The theme continues with a fiberglass rear deck and lightweight ducktail spoiler marked with a distinctive Carrera RS logo. A limited-slip differential, flared wheel arches, Fuchs wheels and Avon tires complete the all-business approach.
Armed with FIA paperwork, this Porsche is still a thrilling machine from behind the wheel. Coupled with the celebrity ownership provenance of Walker, this 911 Carrera RS 2.7 provides a compelling case as being among the most desirable Porsches extant.
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