Classic Porsche



In 1973, Roger Penske created the Internatio­nal Race of Champions, commonly referred to as IROC. Equally ambitious and unique in concept, the IROC series aimed to place the world’s best racing drivers in identical cars to compete against each other over several rounds at leading motorsport venues in the United States.

To compete in his special series, Penske contracted twelve of era’s top drivers from the four main branches of racing. Peter Revson, Emerson Fittipaldi and Denis Hulme were selected from Formula One, Mark Donohue and George Follmer were plucked from the Sports Car Club of America, while Bobby Unser, AJ Foyt, Gordon Johncock and Roger Mccluskey were invited from The United States Auto Club. Rounding out the grid, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and David Pearson represente­d the period’s NASCAR line-up.

When deciding on a car to serve as the basis for the IROC series, Penske consulted with Donohue, who didn’t hesitate in his suggestion. He argued if Penske wanted a strong, fast, reliable and consistent racing car, the only reasonable choice was a Porsche. Donohue, who had driven a 911 RSR in late 1972, suggested Penske contact the Porsche factory and order a run of the latest racing

911s. Penske followed Donohue’s advice and, at special request, Porsche assembled fifteen examples of the Carrera RSR for IROC. Built to identical specificat­ion, the individual­ly painted 911s were essentiall­y hybrids of the 1973 RSR 2.8 and the new-for-1974 RSR 3.0 insofar as the adopted flat-six was similar to that of the later RSR, but with high-butterfly mechanical fuel injection instead of the more exotic slide-valve system found on three-litre cars.

The 911 seen here, chassis 911 460 0085, was the sole IROC RSR finished in red and is one of the only RSRS to have competed in all four of the races in the inaugural IROC season. The first three of these events were held between the 24th and 28th of October

1973 at Riverside Internatio­nal Raceway in California. In the first race, Indy car driver, Johncock, piloted 0085 to a tenth-place finish. For the car’s second race, Mclaren Formula

One star, Revson, finished fourth, a significan­t improvemen­t from his tenth-place starting position. Johncock found himself back in the red RSR for race three, finishing eleventh after experienci­ng throttle linkage issues.

For the IROC series finale on Valentine’s Day 1974, the top six performers from Riverside were invited to race at Daytona Internatio­nal Speedway. Foyt drove this very RSR, but finished at the back of the pack (in sixth place) after the car’s engine expired early on.


Following their service as IROC cars, the fifteen unique RSRS were eventually sold off, replaced by Chevrolet Camaros for the follow-up IROC season. Most of the 911s went to independen­t racing teams. 0085 was purchased in 1974 by notable Canadian racer, Klaus Bytzek, who raced his new Porsche in IMSA and Trans Am competitio­ns during 1976 and 1977.

In 2002, the car found its way to Porsche racing driver, Karl Singer. During his ownership, another racing 911 was found to have an

IROC RSR engine in place. A factory Porsche document dated 1973 shows this flat-six (6840030) was originally installed in chassis 0085. With this knowledge, Singer purchased the engine and had it installed in his IROC RSR, though to confuse matters, the car’s Porsche Certificat­e of Authentici­ty lists another engine (6840035) as being original to 0085.

Original to this IROC RSR or not, the replacemen­t engine is a proper type 911/74 fitted with a Bosch high-butterfly fuel injection system, enough for this exclusive 911 to attract a winning bid of $1,627,500 at Gooding & Company’s recent Amelia Island Auction.

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