FlatSixes.com 1973 911 RSR Replica Article

April 14, 2013

How Ron Thomas Built a Replica of the 1973 911 RSR That Won Daytona in Just 3 Months

This is a replica of the Brumos RSR that took the overall win at Daytona in 1973. Those who were able to attend the 2013 24 Hours of Daytona race or this year's Amelia Island Concours might have been lucky enough to see it in person. However, very few knew that this amazingly accurate replica was built in just 3 months. This is the story of why and how it happened.
The idea for this project started as a discussion over dinner, back in early Sept 2012. But this wasn’t just any dinner; this was a special dinner at Brumos for the new owners of the limited edition Brumos 997 Cup cars.

At the table, among others, were Ron Thomas (new 997 Cup owner), Hurley Haywood (no introduction needed) and Bill Warner (founder of the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance). Eventually the table discussion turned to Hurley’s upcoming role as Grand Marshal for the 2013 24 Hours at Daytona. Hurley & Bill asked Ron if he knew any replicas of the car Hurley earned his first Daytona win in.

For those that don’t know him, Ron is not your typical Porsche owner. For one, he is a bit of a collector. When you ask him, he can’t actually tell you how many Porsches he currently owns, “it’s somewhere around 40 or so”. In addition, in 2011, Ron purchased Aase Sales (a specialty site for Porsche restoration parts) from Dave Aase’s children after Dave (a close friend of Ron's) passed away.

In thinking about this project, Ron knew Aase Sales specialized inventory of new old stock (NOS) and vintage Porsche parts could make the difference. Taking all this into consideration Ron decided to take on the task of building a car for Hurley to use at 2013 Daytona festivities.

This task is not as easy as it may seem to those who have not attempted such a build before. The time required for builds like this is usually measured in years. Sourcing key items, like the high butterfly mechanical fuel injection or vintage transmission cooler pumps, can be near impossible and take longer than this entire build. Fortunately, Ron had been stashing parts away ever since building the ‘74 RSR and Aase Sales was able to fill in some of the gaps with some NOS parts.



The reason they were asking about replicas vs. the original was that, according to Porsche & Brumos, the original car went back to Germany after Daytona to be taken apart and studied. While Ron wasn't aware of any replicas, he had been thinking about doing another RSR project ever since finishing his 1974 slide valve RSR. Maybe this was the project.

However, Ron was not able to start in on the project in September as he was already committed to finishing other projects first. By the time he eventually could start, he was left with 3 short months to get everything completed. In order to help the project timeline, Ron decided to use his already very correct ‘73 RS replica as the starting point instead of a bare tub (perhaps the only way the project could be completed on time). Dismantling of the replica RS started in mid-October and that's when the clock started ticking on this fast paced project.


This is where extra assistance from Bill Warner came into play. Bill, in addition to being behind the Amelia Island Concours and an instigator in proposing the project, is a former writer and photographer for Road & Track. He was able to provide some vintage photos, helping the build team get the details just right.


Bill also provided assistance in tracking down details on original sponsor decals so that those that were no longer available could be recreated by Ron and Aase Sales.


The vintage photos became an integral part of the build process and were used right alongside the car to get everything as correct as possible.


There was one area that Ron did take significant liberty with the original car and that was with its engine. Aase Sales’ stash of components provided the foundation for a 3.6L RSR motor that was built to be used in place of the original 2.8L RSR mill.


The finished Porsche is a thing of beauty. There it is on the Concours at Amelia Island just last week!


Each photo of the finished car is almost a story in itself. This became abundantly clear in the hours spent reviewing the car in person with Ron.


Nothing was simple during the build.


Many parts had to be created from scratch.


Painstaking attention to detail can be found at every turn.


The culmination of this obsession over detail was when Grand Marshal Hurley was able to get back in the car and take it for some laps around Daytona.


Despite over 400 hours of work inside the car, 175 hours by paint specialists, and 200 hours by Ron & his crew at Aase Sales, Ron is not finished with the car. There were two things that could not be completed in time for the 2013 Daytona event. One was to replicate the original dual fill fuel cell with its corresponding twin opening hood, and the second was to recreate the original style valve covers for the motor. Ron is planning addressing both of those shortly.



Hurley leading the pack in the '73 Brumos RSR.

For those that are curious, Ron’s next project is to resurrect this Brumos Daytona Prototype which came to him as only a bare rolling shell. I’m sure this car too will have its own set of stories to tell.