In the world of classic cars, some names and models evoke a sense of awe and prestige. The Porsche 911 RSR 3.8 Strassenversion undoubtedly belongs to this elite group. At the recent Bonhams On The Grid Abu Dhabi auction, one of only two road-legal versions of this model fetched an eye-watering US$2,127,500 (around NZ$3.5 million).
The rarity of the RSR Strassenversion
Porsche Motorsport originally crafted around 50 units of the Porsche 911 RSR, primarily targeting the motorsport segment. What sets this particular vehicle apart is its status as one of only two Strassenversion (street version) models, making it a road-legal rarity. Such exclusivity has made this Porsche a coveted item among car collectors, capable of commanding astronomical prices in the market.
Under the hood, the RSR boasts a Le Mans “twin ignition” 3.8-litre engine. Porsche's official figures pegged the power at around 235kW, but in reality, this number likely edges closer to 280kW. This discrepancy is a charming nod to the typical German approach of downplaying powertrain capabilities, adding to the allure and mystique of the RSR.
A custom-built marvel with provenance
Ordered by a VIP client, this Porsche RSR's journey is as unique as its design. The original owner's bespoke requirements were so specific that it took Porsche several years to deliver the car. Interestingly, it rolled out in 1996, three years after the 964 production ceased. This backstory adds a layer of intrigue and history to the vehicle, enhancing its value.
Adding to the car's mystique is its incredibly low mileage – just 10km. After its initial purchase, it vanished into a private collection, unseen and undriven. The car was last sold in 2017 and has remained untouched since then. For a car of such calibre and uniqueness, it's almost a tragedy that it hasn’t graced the roads more frequently.
A luxurious touch
But this Porsche 911 RSR isn't just about raw power; it's also about luxury and distinction. Finished in Polar Silver Metallic, it features a Guards Red leather interior that extends across the cabin, highlighting its exclusivity. Other unique features include a large 120-litre gas tank, centre-locking Silverline wheels, and a locking differential.
A future in the shadows?
Despite its recent sale and the staggering price it commanded, there’s a bittersweet aspect to its story. With its ultra-low mileage and extreme rarity, it's unlikely that this Porsche will see much road use, instead continuing its life as a collector's item. Interestingly, the car previously sold for a higher price in 2017, highlighting the fluctuating fortunes in the classic car market.