ex Herbert von Karajan 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0

In early 1973, Porsche poured newfound competition resolve into the 911 platform by building the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7. A homologation special that allowed them to race a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 under the factory banner. A year later, Stuttgart used the same basic approach to homologate a Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 factory race car. But while the 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 was built in an unexpected tide of 1,580 examples, the 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 was manufactured in a comparatively small run of just 55 cars.

In addition to receiving a larger 3-liter engine displacement, the former type 911/72 engine was upgraded with new cylinder heads with larger inlet ports, and larger inlet and exhaust surfaces for the valve heads. Cars specified for Group 4 regulations also received twin-plug ignition. Most significantly, the crankcase material was switched from pressure-cast magnesium to a more durable die-cast aluminum alloy. With such bullet-proof construction, the motor could be race-tuned to develop as much as 330 hp, though in standard street guise the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 put out around 230hp . Such power propelled the low-weight car to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 2014 Pebble Beach Auction
1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RS 9114609026 – sold for $1,001,000 at 2014 Pebble Beach Auctions  (Picture by Gooding & Company)

No major changes when it comes to the chassis, as this was essentialy the same for both the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 and the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0. However,  there were some differences. The anti-sway bars and rear torsion bars had some reinforcements.  The wheels were Fuchs again, but they were one inch wider for the 3.0 model. The Porsche 917 borrowed its ventilated disc brakes. Some slight differences on the bodywork too, where the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 received some panels from the Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.8, as well as paneling from the concurrent model-year G-Series.

Features included a deeper front bumper to accommodate a larger oil cooler, wider front and rear fenders, thin-gauge steel paneling and thin-gauge glass, and a large rubber-edged whale tail to replace the 2.7’s ducktail.

Despite being a precursor to the factory-campaigned Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 3.0, the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 still made a competition impact, including a 12th-overall finish at the 1974 24 Hours of Le Mans. Particularly rare among the 1970s Porsche homologation specials, the powerful Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 has evolved into one of the marque’s most collectable 911-based race cars, as an indelible link in the 911’s legendary competition evolution.

From the 55 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.0 that left the factory in Zuffenhausen, one was delivered brand-new to the musician Herbert von Karajan. That car now resides in France and recently won the 1st in class in the 2017 Chantilly Arts & Elegance Concours d’Elegance