At the around the time that Porsche were building the three all wheel drive Porsche 953 cars for their successful debut Paris Dakar campaign in 1984, they also built a series of 20 2 wheel drive evolutions of the Porsche 911 SC known as the 911 SC RS or 954 models for customers to compete in the Group B class for highly evolved / modified versions of production cars of which at least 200 examples had been built.
These 20 evolution SC RS models featured modifications including extensive use of light weight aluminium panels that replaced steel items for the hood / bonnet, doors, fender / wings, and boot / trunk lid. Additionally the SC RS models were fitted with aluminium safety cages Porsche 911 Turbo brakes, with new castings for the rear calipers required to work with the coil over suspension that was tethered at the rear so that the rear suspension did not drop beyond a prescribed limit when the rear wheels left the ground.
Porsche sold the 911 SC RS evolutions to customers at over double the price of a standard 911 SC with motors that produced 250 hp in touring trim and over 270 hp when fitted with a competition exhaust. These cars were considered the heirs to the by now legendary 911 RS and 911 RSR models of the early mid 1970’s.
After winning the 1981 World Rally Championship as co driver to Ari Vatanen in a Rothmans sponsored Ford Escort RS1800 Dave Richards hung up his helmet and did a deal with Rothmans for his new venture Prodrive to prepare and run works Porsche 911 SC RS’s, officially registered Porsche’s UK importer in Reading, for Saeed Al-Hajri of Qatar and British co driver John Spiller to compete in the 1984 and 1985 Middle East Rally Championships (MERC) which the pair won two years running with 18 overall victories.
Alongside the MERC programme Prodrive entered selected events in both the World Rally Championship, in which Al-Hajri became the first Arab to score points and European Rally Championship. Amongst other Prodrive 911 SC drivers Finn Henri Toivonen won five European Championship events and but for a back injury, which nearly ended his career, might have become 1984 European champion.
Porsche and Prodrive went their separate ways in 1986. Porsche was busy preparing their Group B 959 Rally Raid and 961 racing models, while Prodrive forged new relationships with MG and BMW before linking up with Subaru in 1990 with whom they became synonymous through the 1990’s thanks to a successful world championship rally programme. Today Prodrive is best known for it’s links with the Aston Martin racing programme, David Richards being Chairman of both companies which are not structurally financially interdependent.
Readers interested in restorations might find the link to this blog on the restoration of another ex Prodrive Porsche 911 SC RS of interest, the price quoted for the new aluminium fenders / wings alone makes a visit a must.
Thanks for joining me on this Lightweight Evolution edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow, when I’ll be looking at Porsche’s, indeed the worlds only, dedicated endurance racing Group B programme. Don’t forget to come back now !