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911 R
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  Article Image gallery (37) Chassis (3) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:1967
Numbers built:20 + 4 Prototypes
Internal name:911
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:September 30, 2013
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Click here to download printer friendly versionConsidering the 911's competition record, it is hard to imagine today that it took Porsche four years to develop the first real racing version of the six-cylinder engined car and then abandoned it after only a handful of examples were built because the sales department feared the 500 examples necessary for homologation could never be sold. Although now forced to run in the prototype class, the 911 R still showed its worth both in rallies and on record runs.

Before creating the 911 R, Porsche did offer substantial support to customers who wanted to take their 911 circuit racing or rallying. A special kit to improve the performance of the flat six engine proved particularly useful. Even in near standard specification, the 911 and subsequent 911 S proved very successful on both sides of the Atlantic. Among the many achievements was a class victory in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with a 911 S that was driven to and from the track. The first real factory involvement came in 1966 when Vic Elford asked Porsche to field a 911 S in rallies. He promptly finished 3rd overall in the Tour de Corse and the Rally Monte Carlo and ended 1967 as European Rally Champion.

At Weissach, the first order of business was to shed as much as weight as possible from the base 911. The steel shell was retained but all removable panels were replaced by fibreglass examples, the floor boards were extensively drilled and the cockpit stripped from all unnecessary bits including the interior and exterior sound-deadening. Porsche's engineers were well versed in lightening cars and wasted no opportunity; all hinges were cast in aluminium, the door handles were not plated but left in bare plastic and the taillight units were replaced by small circular lights.

Slightly wider five-spoke Fuchs were specified front and rear to deal with the anticipated higher cornering speeds. To clear the 7 inch rear wheels, the fenders were also slightly widened. A more substantial change was the relocation of the oil cooler from the engine bay to the right front fender. The oil lines ran through the rocker panel from the front to the rear of the car. Inside the cockpit, the 911 R boasted lightweight Scheel seats with a ventilated example for the driver. Further changes included a 10,000 rpm tachometer and a Monza steering wheel. The completed car tipped the scales at little over 800 kg compared to 1,070 kg for the production 911.

The 911 R was powered by the Type 901/22 flat six engine, which was closely related to the one used in the 906 and 910 sports racers. The all-aluminium unit featured twin-spark ignition and a pair of triple Weber carburettors. It produced 210 bhp, which was 30 bhp more than the 911 S fitted with the high performance kit. Some cars were also fitted with Bosch mechanical fuel injection. Porsche also experimented with a twin-overhead camshaft flat six, which was effectively one half of the 917 twelve cylinder engine. This Type 916 engine produced 230 bhp and could rev to 8,200 rpm instead of 7,200 rpm.

After four prototypes were built in Weissach on existing 911 S chassis, production switched to the Bauer factory where a further 20 examples were constructed in September of 1967. The sales department then halted the project as they did not believe they could sell 40 examples per month of the new competition car. The competition department did not give up on the 911 R just yet and campaigned the car in select events even though it was forced to run in the prototype class. Ironically its main competition were the purpose-built Porsche 906s, 907s and 910s.

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  Article Image gallery (37) Chassis (3) Specifications