PorscheĎs customers had raced the 356 GT models before the 911 was introduced
so it was only logical to expect them to do the same with the 911 once it was
introduced. Porsche themselves were the first to enter a 911 in competition.
Production and sales of the 911 started in September of 1964 and by January
of 1965 Porsche had already run a factory prepared 911 in the Monte Carlo
Rally where they placed fifth overall, an impressive beginning for a new
model. For the Monte Carlo Rally the 911 was homologated in Grand Touring,
the engine modified to produce 160 horsepower, a 100 liter gas tank was used,
as well as larger brakes and limited slip differential. The 911 then went on
to win most of the major European rallies, including three victories at the
famed Monte Carlo Rally and a win in the tour of Corsica.
Porsche was putting most of their factory racing efforts during the sixties
and early seventies into the 906, 910, 907 908 and 917 and aside from the
911R left much of the development of the 911 and 911S to their racing
customers. In 1967 they built 22 of the very radical 911Rs. The "R" was
derived from the German word rennen, which means race. To save weight on
these cars the fenders, hood and engine lid, doors and bumpers were made of
fiberglass. All of the windows, but the windshield were made of Plexiglas.
The oil tank was made of aluminum and mounted ahead of the right rear wheel.
The result of these efforts to reduce the weight held the weight to 1830 lbs.
The engine was an adaptation of the racing 906 engine, but based on
production 911 engine components that produced the same 210 hp as the 906
engine. 500 cars would have to be built in a 12 month period to homologate
the 911R in the GT class and the sales department decided that the general
public would not buy 500 race cars, so only the original 22 911Rs were built.
Because too few of them were built to homologate them as a production car,
not very much was done with the 911Rs themselves, but they showed the way for
the future 911 based racing cars. One 911R was fitted with the type 916
engine for the Targa Florio in 1969. The Type 916 four-camshaft version of
the 901 engine produced 230 - horsepower, 20 more than the standard 911R
engine. The only notable accomplishments for the 911R were establishing a
series of 14 international and five world records at the Monza track in 1967
and winning the 1969 84-hour Marathon de la Route.
For 1968 and 1969 Porsche did homolgate racing versions of both the 911S and
the 911T models for the Group 3 GT class. The engines for these cars were 2.0
liter racing engines based on the 911R engines, but with the production sized
valves of the 911S and 911T engines, 42mm for the intake and 38mm for the
exhaust. The 1969 version had a longer wheel base lengthened 2.24 inches by
lengthening the rear trailing arms and moving the rear wheel cut outs to the
rear, lengthening the wheelbase from 2211mm to 2268 mm. . At the same time
fender flares were added front and rear to provide more wheel clearance. On
these 2.0 liter cars wheel widths were available from 4.5" to 7".
For 1970 Porsche homologated their 911S in both the Group 3 and Group 4 GT
classes. New rules for the GT classes allowed the fender flares to be
increased by two inches from the stock configuration to accommodate larger
wheels and tires. With the larger 2195 cc displacement the cars were in 2.0
to 2.5 liter class where they could increase the displacement up to the class
limit by using a larger bore.
These cars were known by their internal designation the 911ST. From 1970
through 1972 a series of these cars were built for both rallying and GT
racing. The first 911STs built to compete in this class had 2.3 liter engines
(2247 cc, which was 85 mm bore and 66 mm stroke) and then they were expanded
to 2.4 liters (there were two versions 2380 cc 87.5 with mm bore and 66 mm
stroke and 2395 cc with 85 mm bore and 70.4 mm stroke) and finally 2.5 liters
engine (again their were two versions 2492 cc with 86.7 mm bore and 70.4 mm
stroke and 2464 cc with 89 mm bore and 66 mm stroke) The cars built in 1970
and 1971 utilized the 66 mm stroke will most of the later cars built in 1972
used the 70.4 mm stroke.
The 911ST was different from the standard production model in that thin gauge
sheet metal was used for the roof panel, for both rear side panels and for
the seat pan and interior back and side panels. In the interest of weight
saving they also deleted the seat slide supports on the central tunnel, all
standard seat belt mounting points, the heater ducts, the ashtray, the glove
box door, and the tubes for the front and rear hood latches as well as the
front and rear latch mechanisms. The decorative under door and bumper
moldings were also left off, as were the fog light recess covers, front
torsion bar protectors, the rear torsion bar covers and the passenger side
sun visor. Sheet metal joints were not filled, none of the sound deadening
material was used and even the paint was kept as thin as possible to help
keep the weight down.
They also made parts available to further modify and lighten these 911sís
such as a fiberglass hood, front fenders, and front and rear bumpers,
aluminum skinned doors with a steel frame, and Plexiglass for all windows
except the windshield which was also available in thinner light glass.
Optional 80 liter or 110 liter fuel tanks were available with a large filler
neck up through the front hood were available in place of the standard 62
liter tank with its fender mounted filler. A strut tower brace was installed
to add stiffness to the front trunk area. For racing 7" and 9" by 15 inch
wheels were available.
1970 Rally version of the 2.2 911S was very successful in the Monte Carlo,
Swedish rally, Austrian Alpine event, RAC Rally and the winner of the
Manufactures Rally Championship.
1970 2.3 liter Circuit racing version of the 911S. These 2.3 racing cars
utilized 7 and 9 inch wheels and became a favorite production based racing
car for the private racing teams.
1970 2.4 liter light weight ("Proto") prototype built especially for the 1970
Tour de France. 1970 Tour de France. Porsche reduced the weight of this car
even further than that of the 911R to 1720 pounds. The engine for the Tour de
France car was a 2.4 - liter engine producing 245 horsepower. These extensive
modifications were permitted because the car was raced as a prototype rather
than as a GT car.
1971 2.2 liter 911S "Safari". The Safari cars were lighter in weight than the
production cars, but the biggest difference was in the special preparation
for the rigors of off-road racing which included extra reinforcement, raised
suspension settings and skid shields. Though the cars were very successful in
the East African Safari, they never won this event which is one of the few
races in the world where a 911 or 911-based car was eligible that they have
not been able to win.
The significance of Dave Morseís 911ST was that it was the first of what
became a number of Porsches that were purchased by Americans prepared and
then taken back to Europe to race, mostly at Le Mans. Richie Ginther Racing's
All American was an entry at Le Mans in 1971 with Alan Johnson and Elliott
Forbes-Robinson as their drivers. Ginther called his 911 ST Sloopy Jr. and
Sloop ran with a 2.4 engine configuration in the 1971 Le Mans race. Ginther
was a master at getting a little more out of production Porsches because he
had been preparing 911s and 914s for SCCA racing here in the US for a few
years before their 1971 Le Mans effort. As a result he had some tricks for
the 911 that they hadnít seen in production based race cars Europe before.
Ginther replaced the rubber suspension bushings with Teflon suspension
bushings of their own manufacture which offered more precise suspension
alignment. They also used stiffer torsion bars which improved the cars
handling. Harold Broughton who did the engines for Ginther prepared the
engine for their Le Mans effort. Their efforts paid off for they were the
fastest qualifier in the Group 4 GT class and the fastest of 20 GT Porsches
While this cars Le Mans debut was not auspicious because the car went out
with a broken connecting rod in the eighth hour of the race because of an oil
line problem early in the race, it was significant because it was the start
of a trend that many American teams were to follow In 1979 we were part of an
American team that took four Porsche 935s to Le Mans and while we finished
better than the Ginther 911ST placing second, eighth and ninth we were not
The Ginther 911ST was sold to Bill Yates, a California Porsche dealer who
competed with the car in Porsche club events and continued through the years
to modify the car to keep it competitive. Fortunately as the car was modified
over the years Bill Yates kept all of the original parts, so that when Dave
Morse purchased the car from Yates in 1993 it made it much easier for the
Morspeed crew to restore the car to its original configuration.
Morspeed is a comprehensive restoration shop with many complete restorations
under their belt ranging from 911 Carrera RSs, to 906s, 908s, 936s, 934s, 924
GTRs and a 917/30 . They do complete restorations in house including body
work paint and all of the mechanical assembly. Jerry Woods Enterprises whose
shop is within Morspeed did the engine and transmission for Dave Morseís 911
ST. In fact the engine was assembled in one of our engine overhaul classes
that we hold at Jerry Woods Enterprises.
Dave Morse and Ron Gruener and the rest of the Morspeed crew extensively
researched the car and then performed the comprehensive restoration that was
completed just in time for the 1997 Monterey Pre-Historics. The car tested
well at the Pre-Historics and a week later it became the first 911 to
participate in the Monterey Historics. The car was able to run because there
is now a large group of the historic Trans-Am cars running at the US historic
races and in the early days of the Trans-Am series there were two different
classes in the Trans-Am series, the over 2.5 liter cars where the Mustangs,
Cameros and the like ran and the under 2.5 liter class where the Porsches,
Datsun 510s and Alfas ran. Daveís 911 ST was the only under 2.5 liter
Trans-Am car at the Monterey Historics, but it is a good beginning and it was
great to see a 911 at the Historics.