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1 of 7 Porsche Carrera RS Factory Prototypes
Designed by Tony Lapine (Head of Design at Porsche) for Dr. Ernst
Fuhrmann (Porsche Chairman)
Owned by Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann and Hans Mezger
First street Porsche 911 with ABS
Featured in 000 Magazine and The Carrera RS Book by Thomas Gruber
and Georg Konradsheim
The Carrera RS is one of the most revered cars in the Porsche
pantheon, and is regarded as one of the finest sports cars of the
1970's. Revealed at the 1972 Paris Auto Show, it was a factory
special built to meet the homologation rules of FIA Group 4 racing.
The RS ("Rennsport") was almost invincible at Le Mans, Daytona and
the Targa Florio, often winning outright against pure racing
prototypes. It's not often you would see the same car on the podium
one day, and passing you on the open road the next. The RS is
conclusive proof that one of Porsche's greatest skills was building
a car that was immensely competitive at the track, and equally
useable as a street car.
During the process of development for the RS, Porsche assigned 8
factory chassis as company development cars. These were assigned to
various members of the Porsche family, and were used by internal
departments to develop and test new concepts both mechanically, and
aesthetically. Chassis 0781 was assigned to Dr. Ernst Fuhrmann,
Chairman of Porsche. The car was developed with the iconic rear
spoiler, wide rear fenders as well as the new RS suspension
components, making it the first prototype car to have these
features. The car was originally equipped with the 2.7-liter
engine, and saw the first prototype of the KA (Kontinuuerlich
antriebslos) which later became was known as the K-Jetronic system.
0781 also received the first street prototype of the Teldix
antilock brake system in order to test it on normal road
conditions, making it the first 911 street car with an ABS
Aesthetically, chassis 0781 was taken to the internal design
department known as "Style Porsche". Tony Lapine was the chief
designer at Porsche, and was well known to push the boundaries on
design to make Porsche stand out against other manufacturers.
Lapine oversaw the development of design options with the new line
for the RS model. With this, he had the opportunity to test
different materials used for the interior, as well as integrating
modern comforts such as Air Conditioning, and power windows. The
final result was a car which includes style, performance, and
The exterior of the car was also used to develop different paint to
sample options that would be offered in the future. Chassis 0781
was painted in a white pearl finish, using experimental techniques
with Fischsilberweiss-metallic. This process uses fine ground fish
scales to give the paint its unique look. The interior of the car
also received a unique use of materials, that were also part of the
development of options for future customers. The inside was lined
with leather in a warm brown tone. The carpeting was done in a
suitable brown and the roof liner was done with beige. To complete
the entire interior, the seats were fitted with cowhide, as well as
the door panels and rear side panels. To finish off the car, the
design team decided to install a "Style Porsche" badge to
commemorate the unique design style that was fitted to this car by
the design department.
The final presentation of 0781 demonstrated various techniques and
prototypes that would benefit generations ahead. The car made its
way through different environments to test the durability and
performance of the different components. The Fuhrmann car was,
amongst other things, used for testing in the Algerian Sahara
Desert, where it was the favorite vehicle among the workers since
it featured the Air Conditioning system. After the car was done,
Dr. Fuhrmann decided to sell the car, and it was passed down to
Hans Mezger, the legendary Porsche engineer.
During his ownership, Mezger recalls the unique style and called it
Lapine's brainchild, due to the wild and very stylish design of the
car. Before selling the car in 1975, he replaced the rear deck lid
for the new owner, and kept the original RS deck lid for himself.
Years later, it is now shown with its original paint at the Porsche
Museum as one of the first panels developed for the RS model.
Mezger talking about the rear panel
Dave Imes owns a well know automotive shop Apex Classique that
specializes in Porsches located in Colorado. One afternoon, he
received a call from a person that found this 911 in a craigslist
ad for sale. Mr. Imes made his way to inspect the car and realized
some items stood out to him, such as RS reinforcements, and an oil
cooler. After sending out the VIN to Porsche, they responded to him
with a list of long and unique options that were original to this
car, as well as its use internally at the Porsche factory.
3 years later Mr. Imes was in Germany for his birthday. One evening
he attended a dinner with a friend where he was informed that Gerog
Konradsheim, the author of the RS Carrera book was going to be with
them. After many conversations and car stories, Mr. Imes asked Dr.
Konradsheim regarding a car he had back home. After they talked
about the unique features on the paint, and interior options, Dr.
Konradsheim asked for the VIN number, and told Mr. Imes that he
wanted to verify some details. He came back the next day to Mr.
Imes and told him "That is the Fuhrmann car... that car's got...
look in my books. You have this magic thing".
Back in U.S. Mr. Imes went back to the RS books, where in chapter 8
Special Editions, Chassis 0781 was called "Dr. Fuhrmann's car".
This is where Mr. Imes discovered the special history of this car.
Mr. Imes decided to do a complete ground up restoration of the RS
back to its original spec. Since obtaining the list of options of
the car, Mr. Imes went back to Germany to obtain the different
materials that were used in the car. Since a lot of them did not
make it to the final option list, Mr. Imes had to find replacements
that would match as close as possible to the original components.
After 3 years, chassis 0781 was assembled and completed. The car
was driven by Mr. Imes and completed over 100 Miles after its
restoration. It was also featured in 000 Magazine, issue 18.
Upon arriving at Canepa, vehicles are treated to the "Canepa
Difference" This includes a complete mechanical inspection.
Everything is serviced as needed, and road tested by Bruce Canepa.
It is finished off with a concours show quality detail. The
undersides and wheel wells are hand cleaned, ensuring that each
surface was spotless. The trunk, interior and engine bay are also
cleaned, ensuring that the RS is presented as though it had just
rolled onto the showroom floor. With the remaining step being the
exterior, the finish is polished and waxed to "as new" finish.
This Prototype Carrera RS is one of the rarest! Fitted with many
components for testing and development, this car was 1 of 8 test
mules for the production Carrera RS and future options in Porsches
of newer generations. The RS platform is unique on its own, but
this particular car is of significance importance due to its "one
of one" styling and ownership history.