This is how Richard Schickman started the RSR Project: A longtime devotee of the early 911s, especially the 1973 RSR, Richard was always drawn to muscular, masculine shape and stance. When you create something for yourself, and do it with passion, the result is special. Others want to share in your creation.
Porsche assembled the RS Carrera in enough numbers to be homologated as a GT car. Aimed at the FIA’s group 4 special grand touring cars, Porsche developed an all-out racer based on the RS. Every allowable improvement was made; thus was born the RSR, which revealed its dominance immediately with wins at the 24 hours in Daytona and the Targa Florio.
Alas! Only 49 of these masterpieces were created. With heavy price tags and scarcity in numbers, mere mortals could not know what it was like behind the wheel of an early RSR.
Schickman was one of those mortals, but he had a plan. He would build his own version of his beloved 911. It wouldn’t be an exact copy – that would be almost impossible to do. Instead, he could create an homage to the rare German racer.
He started the process with a late 70s car, striping it down to bare metal, welding up the sunroof, and building up the car in the look of the 1973 racer. When he finished, someone else just had to have it and offered him the right amount of money. So Richard had to start over. Hmmm, maybe he was on to something.
He sourced another rust-free donor car, media blasted it, and work began again. Steel flares and proper fiberglass ducktail and long hood were added to the exterior, along with period-correct lightweight bumpers. All gaskets and rubber were replaced at the same time.
The interior got the RSR treatment as well. The dash was rewrapped and the glove box door was removed for that extra weight savings, just as in the original. A new headliner added to the mix along with no nonsense RS door panels. Fixed shell bucket seats with just a touch more padding than their race counterparts are there, along with Perlon carpet, a Wevo shifter, and 380mm deep dish steering wheel. It gives your hands wonderful things to work with while piloting this machine.
Underneath the ducktail is not the high-strung 2.7, but the most marvelous, more potent, indestructible 3.2 motor.
There have been requests for larger twin plug motors, but in Schickman’s mind this just complicates things, and if he wants to stay at his price point, the reliable 3.2 is his go-to powerplant. To add a few ponies, a K&N air filter and headers have been included.
Coming off the back of that motor is a non-standard looking exhaust. A banana muffler has been capped, with twin 3-inch diameter pipes mounted in the center. Then the whole thing is ceramic coated; admittedly it’s a bit different from the standard RSR twin pipes. When the car is fired up, however, the motorsport symphony convinces you that this little change is cool.
Now take into consideration the donor car has gone on a major league diet with removal of impact bumpers, impact shocks, and the front and rear steel deck lids, plus other little bits and pieces – so there is a weight savings of 400+ pounds. Fuchs-style wheels built by Briad are 15x9s in front with 15x11s bringing up the rear, shod in Michelin TB-15 sneakers, keeping all this activity in touch with mother earth.
Climb in and there are familiar sights. But the seat that’s holding you and the deep-dish wheel you are holding on to let you know something new is afoot. Turn the key, and you are smacked upside the head with a Germanic aria fit for Steve McQueen. There is a wonderful immediacy to Richard’s creation. Everything is working in harmony; it doesn’t pin you to the seat, but it is plenty quick! Even with all that rubber on the road, the steering is still light with a proper Porsche feel. It’s of a true-to-type, palpably mechanical nature; no electro-minders get in the way. You’re wrapped up in a classic 911 cocoon, with the look and feel of that unobtainium historic racer. It’s just you and one well-bred beast.
Walter Röhrl states, “A garage without a Porsche 911 is simply a bleak and empty hole.”
This RSR Project recreation lights up Richard’s garage and any place he goes. It’s a dream-car, based in reality – and, to put it bluntly, it simply kicks ass!
More from this months RS Magazine