Competition has always been in Porsche’s bloodstream, and the company thrived on circuit racing and hill climbs from the outset. Whilst its mid-engined spyders became known as “giant-killers” everywhere from Sebring to Le Mans, its bread-and-butter rear-engined production chassis offered a distinct advantage on tight and twisting hill climb roads. Strangely, the company’s racing department had shown relatively little interest in rallying, although Peter Falk and Herbert Linge drove a new 911 Coupé to 5th place and a class victory in the 1965 Rally Monte Carlo, which was the 911’s initial foray into the international rally arena.
Then, a British racing driver named Vic Elford persuaded the factory to lend him a 911 to race in the Monte Carlo Rally in 1968. With David Stone navigating, and with minimal backing from the racing department, Elford skilfully drove his 911 T to an overall win in the opening event of that season’s FIA World Rally Championship. Adding some frosting to the celebratory cake was the 2nd place finish of Pauli Toivonen and M. Tiukkanen in a 911 S Coupé.
For the 1969 season, Porsche was convinced that the 911 could be a contender, and it prepared an even half-dozen new 911 S Coupés for rally duty. Chassis numbers 119300529, 0530, 0548, 0912, 0931, and 0932 were pulled from the assembly line for preparation. All would be fitted with carefully built Type 911/30 engines that were equipped with Bosch mechanical fuel injection. Chassis and suspension parts were strengthened, lighter-weight aluminium doors were fitted, and all of the usual modifications were made to help these cars and their occupants withstand the worst road and weather conditions.
Chassis number 119300932, the last of this group, is offered here. Former factory driver and Porsche expert Jürgen Barth confirms that this car was delivered from Zuffenhausen on 18 March 1969 and was painted 6809 Blutorange (Tangerine) with a black leatherette interior; although, at this time, it did not have an engine or transaxle. This car, along with the five others, was transferred to the racing department for completion.
A Scheel racing seat was installed for the driver, along with a leatherette and cloth Scheel seat with a headrest for the navigator, and competition-type lap and shoulder harness sets were added for both. The interior was otherwise quite spartan, with most trim pieces and noise-absorbing insulation removed to save weight. Rubber hold-downs ensured that the front lid would stay firmly in place. There was a much-larger-than-standard windscreen washer reservoir, and the back-light had electric heating. A special 100-litre fuel tank was also installed. The front disc brakes were upgraded with experimental callipers and non-standard pistons, whilst the rear discs remained standard. Underneath, there was a 14-millimetre front anti-roll bar and a 16-millimetre rear bar.
Barth notes that the engine was tuned to deliver about 170 horsepower, with modifications including polished intake ports, a higher compression ratio, different camshafts, Bosch mechanical fuel injection with sliding throttle bodies, platinum-tipped sparkplugs to prevent fouling at low engine speeds, a special exhaust system, a lightened flywheel, free venting of the dry-sump oil tank, a special generator, and special spark plug boots. The transmission was a standard-production Type 901 five-speed with lowered gear ratios. The clutch package included competition linings, and a ZF limited-slip differential was fitted. When completed, these rally-spec 911s scaled approximately 2,249 pounds dry.
Chassis 0932 was destined for the Acropolis Rally, where it was manned by Pauli Toivonen and Martti Colari and supported by the factory as a two-litre entrant. With a dominate performance, they would go on to win the rally an outstanding one minute and thirty-two seconds ahead of the 2nd place car. After its stint with the Works team, the 911 was returned to Porsche and subsequently sold to its first private owner, French racing driver Jean Claude Lagniez, of Montrouge. At this time, the factory Kardex was updated to reflect the engine number 6390010.