Trundling through town, more revs, more flame spitting. People stop, stare, point, shake their heads in disgust. Windows are shut tight and old ladies cover their ears. This is like nothing else they've ever experienced and I try to make an exit before the noise police are summoned, tearing out of town in a blaze of glory. This isn't a cool car, it's sub-zero and I feel like a kid again, giddy with anticipation. Slower trucks are dispatched with a drop into second and flooring of the throttle. I'm pinned into my seat and the heavy metal thrashing reverberating around the cabin is all-enveloping. Revs, more revs, more adrenaline.
As expected, it's a proper workout. There are absolutely no concessions whatsoever for the driver on normal roads. It's stiffly sprung, of course, but it's the weight of the steering and the strength needed just to change gears that saps my energy. As I reach my destination after half an hour of constant physical assault, I can't say I'm sorry to be able to get out for a bit.
I wander around the car, admiring its sheer purposefulness. There's no fat here, nothing that isn't absolutely necessary, and I feel slightly guilty about weighing it down when sitting in it. These cars tip the scales at just 900kg-1,984 pounds.
The Fuchs wheels are worth a photoshoot on their own. Stare at the rears in particular and you're sucked into an alloy vortex, deep inside where the hub lives, miles from the outside world. The rear Pirellis each have an 11.2-inch footprint and the Cinturato P7 markings take me back to my childhood when they were de rigueur for outrageous supercars the world over. They're in startlingly good condition, too.
Lifting up the engine lid, I'm faced with a work of art. The look is familiar, an air-cooled flat-six, but look at those trumpets! And no covers! It's auto-porn and I can't take my eyes off it. There's also a twelve-point distributor cap that I wouldn't fancy having to replace. It doesn't sound at all like a traditional flat-six, despite the visual similarities. The effect is pure NASCAR racer and is none the worse for it.
This car, chassis number 911 460 0037 and engine number 684 0027, was one of the three practice cars that supported the 12 pressed into service in the inaugural IROC season of 1973/4. The International Race of Champions was an excellent idea: take the best drivers from a wide array of differing motorsports and pitch them against each other to see who really was the best driver in the world at that time. All cars were identical 3.0 RSRs, all were different colors and drivers had to swap cars between each race.
The three practice cars were called upon whenever any of the 12 racers were unable to run and this particular car was driven in the second Riverside race by Mark Donahue, where it retired on the eighth lap. Then, in the third Riverside race, George Folmer raced it to fifth place.
Only the top six drivers competed in the finale at Daytona's road course in February 1974 and by then seven of the RSRs had been sold on. After IROC moved on to Chevrolet Camaros the following year to reduce costs, the eight surviving RSRs were sold, most going on to compete in the 1974 IMSA Camel GT and Trans Am series, which is where this car started getting its podium finishes.
Bill Webbe of Applejack Racing bought it after the final Daytona IROC race and it was driven to victory by Hurley Haywood at Daytona and Canada under the IMSA banner. He took it to second place at Charlotte and again at Mid-Ohio, sharing duties with Webbe himself. In the Trans Am series, the car finished first at the Daytona 200, first at Watkins Glen, second at Charlotte, second at Mid-Ohio and fourth at Road America.