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

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