Porsche 911 Carrera RS ~ 1973-1973
Start the engine (remembering to use the cold-start lever between the seats) and it settles to a slightly rough but meaningful idle. Start to rev it and you get that true spine-tingling 911 wail – it sounds simply wonderful.
The extra power and torque of the 2.7 engine is immediately apparent – the car feels quite different to the contemporary 911S. Having 210bhp in such a light machine is a delight. The car responds immediately to the throttle, in a way that’s been lost with later, heavier 911s.
The steering, too, feels light and direct. It’s non-assisted, so you get incredible feedback through the wheel. Turn the wheel and the car reacts immediately. The handling is better than you expect – very good, in fact – but you’re always aware that the rear-engine could snap at you if you don’t commit yourself through the bends. Lift off the throttle partway through and you could find yourself facing the wrong way – or worse.
But, hey, that’s part the appeal of the RS. It’s a car you have to respect and if you do, it’ll reward you with one of the best driving experiences around.
Faults? It’s hard to think of any when you’re intoxicated by the whole driving experience. The ride is firm, but not overly so on those old high-profile tyres. The brakes are somewhat lifeless until you hit the pedal hard, while the 915 gearbox takes some getting used to. It’s a ’box that you have to treat gently, easing the lever from gear to gear, rather than expecting it to snick into place. Once you’re used to it, though, the gearchange adds to the whole RS experience.
A word of warning, though’ rive an RS once and you’ll never forget it. At the back of your mind you’ll always yearn after this oh-so-great Porsche.