Although the new cars experienced the expected difficulties, Helmuth Koinigg’s Turbo Carrera turned a lap time of three minutes and 55 seconds – 11 seconds faster than the best lap recorded by an RSR 3.0 the previous year. During the Le Mans four-hour race – run in two separate heats – Lennep and Müller showed great promise driving R9, although the car failed to finish either heat. In race one, the Porsche ran out of gas on the final lap and, in race two, the
turbocharger gave up.
Following the Le Mans tests, Porsche made the intercooler part of the Turbo Carrera’s standard equipment and revised the intake manifold to improve air distribution. In April and May, R9 served as a training car for the Monza 1000 Kilometers and Spa 1000 Kilometers before making its competition debut at the Nürburgring 1000 Kilometers on May 19th.
With Schurti and Koinigg at the wheel, R9 completed 30 laps and finished 7th overall while the sister car, driven by Lennep and Müller, finished 6th overall. Notably, the best result for a normally aspirated Carrera RSR was 12th overall.
After gearbox trouble prevented a finish at the Imola 1000 Kilometers, Lennep and Müller drove R9 to an impressive 6th place overall at the Österreichring 1000 Kilometers in Austria. A testament to the outright speed of the Turbo Carrera, only the Matra-Simca, Alfa Romeo and Gulf-Mirage sports racing prototypes finished ahead of R9.
At the end of the 1974 season, R9 was reconditioned at the Porsche factory and sold to Dr. William Jackson of Denver, Colorado, for 77,700 DM. A well-known and respected enthusiast, Dr. Jackson was one of the earliest and most discerning collectors of Porsche racing cars. Over the years, Dr. Jackson owned some of the most important examples of the marque, including 550 and RS Spyders, two America Roadsters, an Abarth Carrera, a 904 and a 911 R.
On August 25, 1975, Porsche corresponded with Denver collector Grady Clay regarding Dr. Jackson’s purchase of the Martini Turbo Carrera, acknowledging receipt of the 25,000 DM deposit. Significantly, the letter details the Turbo Carrera’s history and states that R9 covered 5,500 km throughout its various training and racing sessions.
In February 1976, Porsche issued the Importer’s and Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin and the former Martini Racing Team Porsche arrived at its new home in the US. For the next three decades, the RSR Turbo 2.14 remained a fixture in Dr. Jackson’s collection. Fortunately, the Porsche saw very little, if any, use during that period, thereby preserving the car in outstanding, as-delivered condition.
In October 1999, Dr. Jackson finally sold the works Porsche to classic car dealership Heritage Classics in Los Angeles, California. It wasn’t long before Matthew Drendel discovered the car’s whereabouts and, in Fall 2003, R9 found a new home in the Drendel Family Collection.
Over the past nine years, the RSR Turbo 2.14 has been selectively displayed in concours events – Rennsport Reunion and the 100 Motor Cars of Radnor Hunt – and was featured in Porsche’s “Family Tree” commercial, which was produced for the introduction of the Panamera.
Unlike the vast majority of racing sports cars, the Martini & Rossi works Porsche remains in exceptionally original, unrestored condition, essentially untouched in every significant way. Upon inspection, one finds traces of each and every modification made by the engineers at Weissach, fascinating evidence of experimentation. Whereas most 911-based racing cars were built to strict specifications, this car played a unique role, serving as Porsche’s test-bed while attempting to build the first turbocharged 911s.
Beyond its own special qualities, R9 is offered with a remarkable file that contains original letters and invoices from Porsche as well as the original Importer’s and Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin. Such important artifacts are rarely seen and support the unique history of this magnificent motor car.
If only for its status as one of, if not the very first purpose-built 911 Turbo, R9 is among the most historically and technologically significant Porsches in existence. It is the origin of one of the greatest racing programs in history and, as such, embodies the spirit of competition. Its marvelous unrestored state, impressive racing history, iconic Martini & Rossi livery and unquestioned provenance are qualities that place this car in an extremely rarified category of competition cars.
This 1974 Porsche RSR Carrera Turbo 2.14, chassis number 911 460 9016 (R9), sold for $3,245,000 at the 2012 Gooding and Company Amelia Island sale, held March 9th in Amelia Island, Florida.
Auction Editor Rick Carey reported on R9:
Lot # 55 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.14; S/N 9114609016(R9); Silver, Red, Blue 'Martini'/Black; Estimate $1,750,000 – $2,250,000; Competition car, original as-raced, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $2,950,000 plus commission of 10.00%; Final Price $3,245,000 — 2142cc/450hp turbocharged SOHC flat six cylinder, 5-speed, fully independent and adjustable suspension with titanium coil springs, front splitter, huge rear wing, large fiberglass flares front and rear, 1-piece 5-spoke center lock wheels, Martini livery, aluminum roll cage. The second of four Carrera RSR Turbo 2.14s built. Used a works race and development car with several races including 6th overall at the Osterreichring 1000km in 1974 and then sold to Dr. William Jackson in Denver. Unrestored and as raced. Fiberglass is wavy, paint is chipped, interior and engine well patinated. Raw fiberglass cooling ducts yellowed and dirty in the best possible way. Drendel Family Collection. While an incredibly significant car, the RSR Turbo's final price is huge considering other, equally potent and more successful Porsches were on offer for far less. The $700,000 premium this car commanded over the 76/935, for example, doesn't add up.
[Source: Gooding & Company; photo credit: Pawel Litwinski courtesy of Gooding]