An impromptu Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 – evo Archive
How a chance encounter saw a 911 Carrera upgraded to a 2.7 RS for this milestone-marking evo gathering
With the recent launch of a new Porsche RS model, fifty years after the first, it seemed appropriate to go back to issue 013, because tucked away at the back of the group of cars on the cover is a distinctive ducktail. But it should have been a rather different wing.
The ‘Perfect 10’ test was devised partly as a celebration of evo being a year old and partly to mark the end of the millennium.
‘I think,’ recalls Stuart Gallagher, who was then only a slightly more fresh-faced staff writer, ‘that Dickie Meaden had the idea. Or it could have been Peter Tomalin. Most likely it was a hybrid idea between the pair of them, but it was based around the feared millennium bug that was threatening to bring all civilisation to halt. If we really were going to go back to the Dark Ages, where mobile phones wouldn’t work, planes would fall from the sky and petrol pumps wouldn’t dispense a millilitre of fuel and our lives would grind to a halt, what would we pour our last gallon of petrol into?’
So presumably everyone then downed tools and spent the rest of the day sitting around drinking tea, eating Bourbon biscuits, drinking more tea, ordering McDonald’s and cogitating what to choose?
‘Spot on. Peter picked a…’
Peck of pickled peppers?
‘No, a Le Mans winning C-type. And then, not to be outdone, Dickie went for a 250 SWB. But not any old SWB, Stirling Moss’s SWB. An F40 appeared on the list, Harry plumped for a Bugatti Type 51, a Light Car Company Rocket came out of nowhere followed by Gordon Murray’s other car, the McLaren F1, which was favoured by John Barker. One Ferrari wouldn’t do, of course, and Jeff Daniels cast his vote for the Daytona. Roger Green went for the Countach, because why not? Although he did look a little crestfallen to discover it didn’t come with Farrah Fawcett in the passenger seat. And, this being evo, of course we had a road-going rally rep in the shape of a 22B, thanks to the late, great Russell Bulgin. You can spot what’s missing though, can’t you?’
So you picked the greatest 911, ever?
‘Well, not exactly. In fact not at all. The car I wanted to select was new and it felt a bit of a cop-out, but I really wanted to pour my £2.81 gallon of unleaded into a 996.1 GT3. I was still new to 911s – the 996 Carrera was the first I’d ever driven – and the GT3 had blown my mind when I’d driven it earlier in the year.’
Fair enough. The GT3 is still incredible. So how did you turn it into a 2.7 RS?
‘Well, things got worse before they got better. Porsche’s GT3 wasn’t available on the day of the gathering at Goodwood, but they did have a Carrera 2 with the Aerokit, so it looked like a GT3 if you squinted…’
I really hope Jethro doesn’t read this.
‘Anyway, when we arrived at Goodwood, we parked up near the cricket pitch in front of the house, whereupon a gentleman in his cricket whites strolled over, politely asking what we were doing. After the plan was explained, the cars introduced and reasoning given for their inclusion, he politely suggested that instead of using today’s 911 we really should use his 911, which we were most welcome to avail ourselves of while he went to have tea.
‘And that’s how I got to drive Viscount Linley’s Carrera 2.7 RS for issue 13, which very much was the correct 911 into which to pour your last gallon of fuel.
‘I took the 996 home, though, which was fortuitous because someone used it as a brake when I was stationary at a set of traffic lights.’