1969 Porsche 911 T to ST Specification
Porsche has to be one of the most evocative and prominent brands of all time. Steeped in motorsport heritage, in its 70 years of existence, Porsche has achieved staggering heights in nearly all forms of motorsport. The crisp stylish lines of their cars evoke passion and excitement while also managing to remain functional and approachable. No mean feat. A great deal of the marques fame is due to the iconic 911, now in its 54th year of production. A car as at home on the road as the track, it has decimated the test of time and continues to innovate and lead the way forward.
From its debut in 1964, the then 901 and soon to be 911 was a resounding success. With its strong unitary steel body shell, sturdy six cylinder engine and gearbox and its refined and no nonsense interior, it clearly offered a different approach from its Italian and English counterparts. Light, nimble, relatively powerful and importantly, reliable, the 911 soon found its way into motorsport.
The 911’s long association with the race track started in the hands of few privateers. Its first visit in a long love affair with Le Mans came in 1966, in the hands of the independent French duo of Jacques Dewe and Jean Kerguen. Porsche’s factory backed 911 involvement in motorsport, bar a factory entry to he 1965 Monte Carlo Rally, did not get off of the ground until the legendary British Works driver Vic Elford took victory in the very first rallycross race, driving the ‘GVB 911D’, a car taken straight out of AFN’s showroom.
1967 would bring further off-road success for Elford and the 911, with the talented all-rounder securing the European Rally Championship for Zuffenhausen in a 911S, only to be followed by Pauli Toivonen a year later in a works Porsche 911T. The Porsche 911 was proving itself an adept weapon on the world’s rally stages, with the late Björn Waldegård using a 911S to secure back-to-back victories on the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally in 1969 and 1970.
Porsches first official attempt at producing a racing 911 came in the form of the 911 R. Back at the factory minds were concentrated on the development of new, even more powerful competition 911 models. Race director Peter Falk and engine guru Hans Mezger were deeply involved but, above all, it was Ferdinand Piëch, Ferry Porsche’s 29-year-old nephew, promoted to head of R&D, who had the power and the vision to move things forward and create the first super-high-performance 911; a car intended to be capable of wiping the board in GT racing.
Piëch, a passionate and regarded engineer, got down to work with racing mechanic Rolf Wütherich. Their first aim was to strip the Porsche 911 S of every ounce of unnecessary weight. Although the unitary steel bodyshell was retained, anything bolted onto it – such the bonnet, doors and wings – were replaced by glassfibre panels. Plexiglas replaced the heavy windows and metal parts were drilled with holes. The cockpit was stripped to the bare minimum and sound insulation was removed. Even the door handles were ditched in favour of simple plastic straps and the tail-lights were replaced by smaller parts of minimal weight. Four prototypes were built that way, each one a little lighter than its predecessor. By the end, the 1,030kg of a standard Porsche 911 S had been reduced to 800kg on the scales. The 911 R remains the lightest 911 constructed by the factory to date.
To complete their Porsche 911 R – the ‘R’ standing for ‘Racing’ – and create the ultimate rally and race missile, further work was necessary. Piëch specified lightweight, wider wheels for faster cornering speeds, plus a tachometer reading to 10,000rpm and a ‘Monza’ steering wheel. Next on the list was an engine to match the potential of this projectile. Piëch settled on the 210HP aluminium six-cylinder Type 901/22, basically as used in 906 and 910 Porsche racing models. He also experimented with the 230HP higher-revving Type 916 race engine.
When Porsche’s celebrated racing manager and occasional racer Huschke von Hanstein tried the 911 R, he was full of enthusiasm, sadly the sales department at Porsche did not share his optimism, not confidence that the 500 examples necessary for homologation could ever be sold. For that reason, only 20 further examples of the 911 R were made. Although un-homologated and as such not able to compete in GT events, the 911 R went on to secure a remarkable outright victory in the 1967 Marathon de la Route – an 84-hour non-stop blast round the old Nürburgring’s Nordschleife and Sudschleife combined. This combined with Gérard Larrousse outright victory in a 911 R in the 1969 Tour de France and Jo Siffert and his Swiss team taking five new long-distance world records – including the 20,000km at an average speed of 209km/h at Monza in a 911 R in October 1967, very much pathed the way for factory based competition development of the 911.
The 911 R was followed by the 911 T/R (essentially a parts kit from the factory), but it was its successor, prepared to Group 3 Special Grand Touring specification and designated the 911 ST that started to prove the rear-engined car’s worth on track, taking victories at famed locations such as Daytona in the hands of the legendary Brumos team.
It appears that only seven complete ST were manufactured by Porsche in 1971 for the Acropolis Rally and then used later that year and in 1972 for circuit racing. In addition Porsche sold 36 official ST kits to customers. The 911 T was chosen as the base car for modification as it comprised the lightest homologated weight of any 911. Customers could purchase all motorsports parts from Porsche’s racing department.
The factory ST’s started with short-stroke 2.3-litre engines, with 911 S (40mmIDA) carburettors, S camshafts, the magnesium-cased 901/911 gearbox, ventilated S brakes and they ran in the 2.5-litre class as the 1971 production engine was 2.2-litre. By the end of 1971 and early 1972 they had evolved quite a bit, using 46mm IDA carbs (from the 904 and 906 sports prototypes), 906 camshafts, the standard 66mm crankshaft but with the bores taken out to 89mm to get the engine up to the 2.5-litre class limit. Producing 245bhp on Webber carburettors and 260bhp on fuel injection, the cars were lightened as much as possible using alloy door skins, fibreglass bonnet and everything drilled and lightened as much as possible. Weight was down to around 820kg and sometimes lower.
This car was restored to be as exact a copy of a 1971 ST as possible by early 911 expert Steve Monk for then owner and well historic Porsche racer Peter Rutt. Starting with a 1969 911 T, chassis number 119122483, sold new by Porsche Cars Pacific Inc. in Bahama Yellow with black leather interior, as detailed in the accompanying Porsche Certificate of Authenticity. The car was completely stripped and the shell was taken down to the bare metal. Any rust was repaired or replaced, the shell was seam welded and reinforced along with the suspension pick up points and drilled and lightened where possible. The doors were skinned in aluminium and the car was fitted with an original fibreglass bonnet from a factory RSR.
The engine was built to the Works specification using an early 1965 alloy crankcase, 66mm short stroke crankshaft, 89mm barrels, high compression Mahle pistons, 46mm IDA Webber carburettors, 911 ‘mod S’ camshafts, 46mm/40mm inlet /exhaust cylinder heads which were gas flowed by JM Racing and a correct early exhaust, giving 231 bhp on the rolling road.
Fitted with a proper 901 dog leg gearbox and the steel type A brake callipers, as period with, enlarged pistons, Bilstein suspension and riding on Minilite wheels at the rear and Fuchs at the front. The car weighed an impressive 845kg ‘dry’ when finished. Peter went on to campaign the car in the UK and Europe.
119122483 was then purchased by another keen historic racer and collector in March 2016 before taking the car on the Tour Auto, with then editor of Octane, David Lillywhite in April 2016. An account of their escapades is documented in a five page article in the July 2016 edition of Octane.
Prior to the Tour Auto, the car went back to Steve Monk to be prepared. The work undertaken included two new seats and belts, FIVA papers, full lubes service, wrap the bonnet in blue, fit open exhaust pipes, windscreen sun visor, new cam covers and blanks for the twin spark head, new wheels and tyres all round, fit trip meter and Peltor heads set, etc.
Since completing the Tour Auto the car has seen relatively little use. Earlier this year the car went back to Steve Monk for more service work. The seats were replaced with two period looking race seats, the rear parcel shelf was re-trimmed, the car has a new front windscreen and a new lightweight rear screen amoungst other minor details.
Accompanied by a spare set of wheels, current FIA papers and UK V5, upon first sight of the car it is clear a great deal of time, money and attention to detail has gone into its restoration and preparation. Fast and exciting to drive, with that unmistakable sound of Porsche’s legendary 6-cylinder engine, this is an ideal entry to the increasingly popular competitive rallies like the Tour Auto and the Modena Cento Ore. A car as well suited to the open road as shining on the hill climbs and race circuits, just as the 911 ST built its reputation on in period.