Top ad area, 970 x 250 (could be anything though)

Which 911 is the one true 911?

Simon de Burton
April 22, 2024
6 min

The one true 911 is the 911 Carrera RS 2.7, a souped-up, stripped-out, pared-down, no-compromise version of the regular 911 that it planned to build in just 250 homologation models for Group 4 GT racing. However, the unveiling at the Paris motor show on October 5, 1972, prompted such interest that the entire run sold-out before the end of the following month, leading to an eventual tally of 1,580 examples being produced: 200 ultra-light ‘Sport’ versions; 1,308 made to marginally less uncompromising ‘Touring’ specification, 55 pure race cars and 17 ‘base’ models.

What most had in common, however, was the coolest look on wheels – the 2.7RS was the first series production car to feature front and rear spoilers and, when it came to colours and graphics, Porsche threw all Teutonic reserve out of the window. The majority were finished in Grand Prix White with ‘Carrera’ door script in blue, red or green to match the five spokes of their Fuchs rims. There were also mad hues, too, such as Dalmatian Blue, Lilac, Blood Orange, and India Red.

To mark the car’s half century, Porsche contrived to organise a spectacular gathering of more than 20 RS 2.7s in the centre of Paris in 2022, exactly 50 years after the model was unveiled there. And among them was a particularly special example that – in terms of ownership history, documentation, originality and condition – may well be among the finest in existence. It belongs to Geneva-based classic car authority (and watch aficionado) Simon Kidston, who inherited it from his father - Lieutenant Commander Home Kidston, RN – who bought it new in early 1973. Here, Kidston takes up the story…

“It was the result of a Porsche salesman turning-up at our house in Dorset some time in 1972 and telling my father that a model called the Carrera RS 2.7 had been announced and that it was going to be the ultimate 911. My father had a keen interest in technology and always wanted the latest thing, so he said ‘yes please’ to the salesman and ordered the car, specifying a sun roof, electric windows, sports seats, a headrest on the passenger side only – why, I have no idea – and a heated rear window. He also asked for the now-famous Carrera stripe to be left off and for the car to be finished in a pale yellow colour that he had seen on other 911s. A few months went by until, one day, this lurid, egg-yolk yellow car turned up – not at all the colour we were expecting. The price came to £7,345.50 less the £2,000 part exchange allowance that had been agreed against our existing 911S, that had been bought new in 1967 and collected from the factory.

In the early days, the RS was used quite rarely. We had a family home in Tuscany and tended to do those long-distance trips in a BMW three-litre Si, with the 911 being used for high days and holidays and the occasional run to Scotland. We moved to Italy full-time in 1976 and the car was then kept at my grandmother’s house, wrapped in blankets, and, on occasions when we came back to England, it was always a great treat to go in it.

© Porsche

I remember enjoying the solid clunk of the doors, the whine of the fuel pumps and that very distinct interior smell that the car still has. It never had a radio, but the engine always sounded glorious to me and, to this day, it has never been taken apart – quite probably because my father was very meticulous and was always careful about warming the car up before driving it at all hard. It must have been special to him because, as I have already said, he always wanted the latest thing. He had owned wonderful cars such as Bugattis, an Alfa Romeo 8C and a Mercedes Gullwing, but didn’t hesitate to sell them when something better came along. However, the RS was the one car he never got rid of. It harbours so many memories for me. In 1985, my father took me to my first-ever vintage car event at Brooklands circuit in it. He used to race Alfas and Bugattis there, but would not have visited the place for almost 50 years. He was already 57 when I was born in 1967, but he continued driving the 911 occasionally into his old age.

The first time I borrowed it was without him knowing – I persuaded my mother to let me take it to the VW-Porsche garage in Florence which was offering free check-ups. I remember going onto the autostrada on the way there and discovering what people meant by Porsche oversteer and understeer – it just felt amazing to be driving it. I drove it away from our wedding in 1994 when I married my wife, Rosie, and, since inheriting it two years later, I have kept it in storage in England and use it when I go back. It’s the car my son drove through Hyde Park on his 17th birthday on the stroke of midnight, and every time I get into it I’m always struck by how it never disappoints – the steering feels so alive, the performance is still excellent and, because it has great fuel autonomy and decent luggage capacity, it is still a fantastic all-round car.

There must be others that have remained in the original family from new, but I don’t think there can be many that still have every shred of documentation that relates to them. It is, of course, worth many multiples of the price may father paid for it – but, just as he never parted with it, neither shall I.”