ROBERT BARRIE 24
ROBERT TURNS SHERLOCK HOLMES AS HE TRACES THE HISTORY OF THE BRUMOS 2.8 RSRS, OF WHICH THERE ARE NOW MORE RESIDENT IN EUROPE THAN THERE ARE IN THE USA
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Idonʼt imagine anyone bought, sold and raced more 2.8 RSRS in 1973 than Peter Gregg, the perfectionist proprietor of the celebrated Brumos Porsche dealership in Florida. He was involved with as many as nine different examples, including three of the R-numbered factory prototypes. It was an extremely busy time. Impress your friends and family with this brief blufferʼs guide. It leans on Joe Ruszʼs excellent Porsche Sport 73 and John Starkeyʼs equally excellent, if somewhat pricier, Porsche 911 R-RS-RSR.
The first of the cars in question was chassis 0328, also known as prototype R4. Gregg and regular co-driver Hurley Heywood won the demanding Daytona 24-hours – a round of the Fiaworld Sportscar Championship – with the car in February ʼ73. It was the first outright international race win for a 911. Iconic stuff.
The car ran in the red, white and blue Brumos livery with Greggʼs favoured race number 59. For those that like details, the number was in the centre of the door on one side and ahead of the rear arch, as per the usual Brumos practice, on the other. I have no idea why!
As a factory car, the worn out 0328 went back to Germany after the race. There are different reports as to what happened to it after that. Some suggest it raced again, others that it was destroyed and others that it still exists.
Meanwhile, Gregg and Heywood went on to win the Sebring 12-hours in March in chassis #0705, sharing the light yellow car with owner Dave Helmick. It ran as race number 59, displayed in the usual place on both sides, with the names of the regular Brumos sponsors, including Garrard record players, also clearly evident.
Gregg and Heywood shared Helmickʼs car at Sebring because the delivery of Greggʼs own RSR – chassis #0727 – was delayed. It finally appeared in April and was the car he raced most during the season – always in Brumos colours and always as race number 59 – to win the IMSAGT and SCCA Transam titles.
The car had uprated rear suspension, wide rear arches, a deep front spoiler and lightweight doors and roof. Gregg reportedly paid one dollar for it. He also took delivery of chassis 0997 to act as a spare. That car was displayed and later sold having only been lightly used. He sold chassis 0885 and 1113 to the Mexican privateer Hector Rebaque and chassis 0940 to a US customer.
Away from the domestic race season, he shared the yellow and green BPliveried and Sonauto-entered chassis 0020, or prototype R2, with Guy
Chasseuil at Le Mans in June. There is a fantastic picture of the car – along with the Martini-liveried prototypes R6 and R7 – in the small garage workshop Porsche used in the village of Teloché during the event. The following month, back in the US, Gregg drove the same chassis 0686, or prototype R7 in a FIA World Sportscar Championship round at Watkins Glen.
The car was now in Brumos colours with race number 59 and a long tail. He drove it again among the unlimited prototypes in a Can Am race at the same venue the following day. This time it was number 58 because Haywood had already taken 59 for a 917.
Over the summer, the newly-homologated 3.0-litre engine was fitted to 0727. The unit failed first time out, but that initial disappointment was quickly followed by a series of wins. Gregg finished the season as he started – winning with Haywood at Daytona. This time it was November and chassis #0727.
He also shared one of the Rebaque cars in the same race with Guillermo Rojas. It ran in Brumos colours as number 95. See what they did there? The cars by now had heavy flatfaced front spoilers in a clue as to what the next seasonʼs models – the 3.0 RSRS – would look like. The Garrard sponsorship seems to have ended by this point.
So, where are the cars now? Itʼs interesting that several have made their way to Europe and to the UK in particular. There must be something about the model and the history that appeals. The Sebringwinning chassis 0705 has been in the UK for many years and is carefully restored to its period spec. It was seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the summer, accompanied by the Brumos-liveried 0885, which also lives in the UK. Meanwhile, the similarly-liveried 1113 was seen at a damp Luftgekuhlt.
The IMSA GT and SCCA Transam-winning chassis 0727 has been in continental Europe for a few years. Chassis 0020, or prototype R2, is in the Porsche Museum in the Martini livery it wore on the Targa Florio before its outing at Le Mans. Chassis 0686, or prototype R7, lives in London, and also wears Martini livery – in this case from its outing at Le Mans. It was also seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year.
If we put 0328 to one side, it seems only 0997 and 0940 are still in the US and, of those, only 0997 wore the Brumos livery in period. Is it time for some of Greggʼs cars to go back? CP
“TIME FOR SOME OF GREGG’S CARS TO GO BACK?”
2.8 RSR, chassis #0328, the Daytona 24 Hours-winning Brumos 2.8 RSR driven by Peter Gregg and Hurley Haywood. (Photo credit: Louis Galanos)
Robert Barrie is a classic Porsche enthusiast through and through. As well as competing in historic events with a variety of early Porsches and organising track days, heʼs also a purveyor of fine classic automobiles