Lord Mexborough's 911 3.0 RSR IROCThis 3.0 RSR is truly a shocking 911. If the lurid green color scheme doesn't have you reaching for the Alka Seltzer then perhaps the thunderous cacophony that erupts once its engine is alive will. Blip the throttle and flames shoot out of each big-barrel exhaust pipe. It's the stuff dreams are made of: looks to kill and a soundtrack worth laying down your life for. Could this be the ultimate air-cooled 911? It's a question that's been asked a thousand times, isn't it? Which is the ultimate Porsche? Well, right here, right now, this beastie is it as far as I'm concerned.
As far as special 911s go, this one is unique in the U.K. It's one of the hallowed IROC RSRs from 1973 and was used to level the playing field in the quest to find the world's greatest driver. All the other survivors live Stateside, and even if it was a bag of bits it'd be worth reporting on, but the fact is that this RSR is properly sorted and, as we're about to find out, road-legal. It's Armageddon on wheels and my palms are starting to sweat with anticipation. Oh my.
It's all very well having a road-legal race car, but to actually head out onto the highway in a vehicle that was designed and built for one express purpose-to compete on a race track-could be seen as foolhardy at best. By their very nature, racing cars are difficult to drive and while we're glad to have race-inspired track-day weaponry available, such as the GT2, GT3 and GT3 RS, an actual racer is a completely different animal. Drive one of these to a track and you're likely to be too knackered to drive any more.
This RSR doesn't look like it'll be an easy drive. It's practically saying, Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough-and I do know my limitations.
It sits outside the dealership where it's for sale, coughing, spluttering, trying to singe my leg hair, desperate to be let off the leash and do what it was meant to do: race. So I'm heading for some wide-open moorland, where I should be able to get the measure of this hallowed machine and do it justice for these very pages. Game on, let's go.
It's all pretty familiar cabin architecture here. The seats are built for people smaller in frame than my lardy self, but I still find them comfortable enough. The four-point Luke racing harnesses are a pain, but then inertia-reel seatbelts would never look right in here, would they? Behind, there's a welded half roll-cage and some thin black carpeting over the space usually occupied by the kids' seats. The real indicator of how brutal this car is happens to be dead-center in the instrument panel: a 10,000-rpm tachometer with no redline. Nice.
People unfamiliar with the allure of classic 911s often complain about the pedals being off-set but here they're even more so. It means my legs need to be at an angle that's way more extreme than most, but I guess that's part of the appeal. Nothing is going to be easy about this car. Nothing.
Revs, more revs and even more revs. The RSR wiggles its substantial hips as I blip the throttle and local wildlife scurries for cover after a rude awakening from hibernation. More revs, more flames, wider grins all around. Time to engage first and head for the hills. Revs, more revs, trying to keep the engine alive, keeping petrol coursing through its veins. With a violent jerk I'm off, moving, revving, ears bleeding. But I'm smiling.
Races have been won in this car. This is the soul of the thing-a DNA detection team could no doubt find traces of its drivers and the tracks it competed on and it's all I can do to stifle a "Yee Ha!" as I lurch toward the open road. But first there's fuel to be bought and locals to upset. Up front is a massive, plastic fuel tank-I've seen smaller ones on arctic lorries. All that revving is thirsty work.