Friday, September 26, 2014

Porsche 911 2.7 RS Video

Another fine Petrolicious video:

The 2.7 RS is often cited as the best model in the long history of air-cooled 911's, at least for normal road use.  There were faster ones (the Turbo), all-singing, all-dancing ones (the 959), but none apotheosized more than the 2.7.  It's the model I'd pick, if I could afford one.  (Stripe delete option, please.)

My experience has been that you are a 911 freak, or you aren't.  I've tried to explain my disease to Hotshoe, often past the point where he was interested.  And I'm not even a Porsche fanatic, at least in my own estimation.  The 911 is not necessarily, for me, the pinnacle of sports car design &c. &c. &c.  The '60's and '70's produced other iconic sports cars--more than their share.  And the most recent decade or so hasn't been too shabby either.

It comes down to "imprinting," I think.  The 911 made no great impression on me when first seen in the pages of Road & Track.  "Nicer than a 356," I thought, "but even more expensive."  Ed Cole had already done a rear-engine air-cooled flat six, albeit with pushrods, in the Corvair.  And 2.0 liters wasn't that much bigger than the 1.6 in the 356.  Not when Alfa's 1.6 had d.o.h.c. and Ferrari, Jaguar, and Corvette had 3.0, 3.8, and 5.4 liters respectively.  The 911 cost more than a base Corvette, as much as an XK-E.  At least Porsche finally had fully-articulated independent rear suspension...

But the first one I saw in the flesh, in the summer of 1965, stopped me in my tracks.  It was a black 911 coupe.  It's lopey idle signaled its 128 horsepower at high revs--almost 50% more than the 356 Super 90's.  At anything higher than 2000 revs, you heard the low-restriction exhaust and that aggressive-sounding cooling fan whir. "This is not your father's Porsche," I thought.  The 911 quickly established itself as the car to drive in the SCCA's C Production class (356's ran in D and E).  It could and did beat B Production Corvettes, especially on short courses or where braking and lack of fade was important.

And it looked terrific--lean and mean, but sophisticated--even better in the flesh than in pictures.  I fell in love.  Still am.

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