Prior to the Panamera and Cayenne, it was widely acknowledged that Porsche aficionados fell into either the air-cooled or water-cooled camps. And now that’s further splintered into early- and late-model camps forming within the ranks of 911 enthusiasts.
The resurgence useful in the earlier cars caused values of machines just like the 1973 Carrera RS 2.7 to soar a couple of years back. The unobtainable price prompted an explosion of replicas on this iconic lightweight homologation model, with mainly 911 SC and Carrera 3.2 models being utilized as donor cars because of their relatively low value and galvanized bodyshells.RSR and RS values have continued to skyrocket as people flee the banks like a place to park their cash, the RS mania has slowed down somewhat. Many enthusiasts, interested in the smaller and lighter early ’70s cars, have fixed their sights on earlier ‘long hood’ competition models like the 911 R, S/T and R/R for inspiration,. That’s part of the reason.
These late ’60s and early ’70s models are equally iconic thanks to competition glory. They made their mark in European rally and race events in the hands of drivers like Bjorn Waldegaard ahead of the 911 RS was even conceived.
One man inspired by the pre-RS competition 911 models is enthusiast Robert Abbott. He decided to build this stunning 911 S/T replica from the fourth of his seven-car early Porsche collection, that includes a 356 Speedster and ’68 911 S.
Originally a ’71 911 T that left the factory in the same Signal Orange it now wears, the auto wore four Cibie Pallas lamps as he acquired it. “”””I was after a mix of 911 R performance combined with street comfort,”””” Rob explained. With this thoughtwho was one of the original Mulholland racers and remains an encyclopedia of Porsche knowledge. He began by stripping the car to bare metal in Fall 2010 to assess its condition. The car was in good shape along with the pair agreed their goal would be to construct a car that could have been an interim competition model in between the 1971 and ’72 S/T.
Towards the expert, the visual distinction between this car and a genuine S/T is the lack of the front lip spoiler fitted to the seven factory-built cars in 1972. Apart from that, the external oil and fuel caps are an homage for the 911 R and ultralight ’70/71 factory-backed S/T cars that competed in the Tour de France.
The shell was shipped to Kundensport in Camarillo, CA where the original steel bumpers were reworked to S/T spec. They then fitted steel S/T flares, an aluminum engine lid and balsawood-reinforced clear-framed, fiberglass front lid, all supplied by TRE Motorsports.
Kundensport would modify the hood and gas tank for the race-style filler system with bladed gas cap from TRE. They also installed the ’72 oil tank supplied by the property owner, as well as the cap and filler neck from TRE.
The 911 was then painted by Kundensport and reassembled with TRE-sourced weather seal lenses, kit and lights, lightweight chrome door handles and a weld-in S/T-RSR front strut brace. TRE further provided competition-style front and rear lid hold-downs along with lightweight hinges, while the unusual Talbot 300 mirrors ended up being saved by Rob for just such a project.
The original 15″””” S/T forged factory Fuchs wheels are light, strong, extremely rare and hideously expensive. So a set of more available 15×8″””” Fuchs were sent to Harvey Weidman at Weidman’s Wheels inOroville and CA, being turned into 15×9 and x10″””” replicas.for the driver and navigator’s seat for the passenger
With the shell away, the team could target the motor. Whilst the original S/T was powered by a high-strung 2.5-liter flat-six, Rob chose the ’80s Carrera 3.2L engine instead. Having a swept capacity of 3164cc from a 95×74.4mm bore and stroke, the stock 3.2L has more inherent grunt and feels potent when asked to move a car almost 500 lb lighter than its original recipient.
Left internally stock, it received an aluminum flywheel and pressure plate, 2.7 RS distributor, re-jetted triple-throat 46mm PMO downdraft carburetors, SSI aluminum heat exchangers and a Dansk muffler that had been modified by TRE to make three outlets like the rally version.
While the 240hp on tap may not sound like a lot by modern standards, keep this in mind car weighs less than 2000 lb!
Once installed, the Carrera motor was visually complemented by TRE’s clear shroud that replaces the factory tinwork in the engine bay.
The transmission is really a period ’71 five-speed 911 gearbox with dogleg first, reworked to handle the output of the brand new motor.
The suspension was uprated with period-correct Koni struts and hydraulic dampers. Then 930 Turbo 26mm rear torsion bars were paired with the stock 18.8mm bars at the front.
This set-up was utilized by the heavier 930 Turbo, so fine-tuning was done with a 22mm Weltmeister adjustable anti-roll bar on each axle to balance the relative front/rear roll stiffness. Finally, the brakes were uprated using 911 S calipers.
When embarking on a retro project like this you will need to decide if the car is only going to look like an S/T from the outside or even be a near perfect replica inside also. As it happens, Rob chose a third way, that has been to build a custom interior. After discussions with Dave, they decided to fit custom door panels with aadd a vent to the main instrument move and panel the clock over to the left side. The tacho now incorporates the fuel meter, while oil temp, pressure and level are all in one large dial.
The carpet is mostly original, apart from new sections replacing worn areas. A reproduction competition footrest was also fitted.
TRE supplied early Recaro-style race seats, with a deep bucket to the driver and with a less contoured navigator-style seat for the passenger.
The steering wheel can be a vintage Abarth piece, again kept from the owner and more ergonomic the skinny rim the factory supplied. Gear selection is via a Wevo classic short shifter, mounted on a black anodized 915 tower.
On the rally stage, the passenger’s job will be to read pace notes and work the chronometers that sit where the stereo would normally be. The radio head unit is now hidden, as well as speakers behind the back side panels with the basketweave perforated to allow the sound to travel.
Seatbelts were a brand new fad in the ’70s but this car has modern inertia reel belts and a aluminum TRE roll-bar behind the seats. Auto Foreign Services supplied the reproduction rear-seat delete and storage box kit.
12 1971 porsche 911 TST cibie pallas rally lamps
09 1971 porsche 911 TST fuchs wheel
05 1971 porsche 911 TST side view
Behind The Wheel
The advantage of fuel injection is the lack of carburetor jets that require constant adjustment. the, However and Dave team at TRE Motorsports are among a small group of 911 maestros who practically wrote it on tuning carb-equipped cars like this. So it was no great surprise when the flat-six burst into life and idled smoothly, its two triple-throat PMO carbs reminding me how sharp throttle response was be before single throat, plenum-based fuel injection.
A couple of blips to enjoy the induction noises and that itheir particular on canyon roads
The suspension, its low weight and small physical size made the 911 a genuine weapon on-track and out and about. The power and size allowed you to slip through gaps in traffic with an agility many modern cars simply don’t possess.
The engine torque was immediately evident and meant you could drive in a higher gear than instinct tells you. And as you gain speed, the ride becomes smoother, getting into its own on fast canyon roads. Which was always its intended purpose. If you were able to take a crack at Mulholland, away from traffic and cops, Rob’s TRE 911 S/T would be a real blast.
However, it’s unlikely you’ll see this Signal Orange 911 anywhere near Mulholland because it’s now in your house with its owner in Maryland. But if you live on the East Coast, stay alert for sightings of this rapid 911. It sounds as good as it seems.