All rights reserved to Z Photo Custom Photography LLC and Ted Zombek for the photography and journalism of this article.
Every automotive project begins with a little fuel and a spark of imagination. For Ron Thomas the goal was to recreate the ultimate clone of the 1974 series Porsche 911 RSR 3.0L.
Many hours were spent pouring through Porsche factory documents, and on the phone with RSR owners and experts working out the correct details for this project.
Many more hours were spent outsourcing original RSR parts. Only when none were available the decision was made to make exact copies.
There were no short-cuts on this road of recreation. Thomas' passion for the Porsche marque and his attention to detail dictated complete attention to the most minute details.
This book is a photographic chronicle of that path to perfection.
To begin this project a suitable chassis had to be located. This particular 1974 911 was discovered behind a barn in central Ohio.
The tired 911 was taken by trailer to the Tolles Technical Institute in Plain City, Ohio. Here the Junior and Senior automotive mechanics students disassembled the car down to the bare shell.
The bare shell of the 911 was then moved to True Performance Automotive Repair in Plain City, Ohio.
True Performance is a specialist shop with a focus on the repair and restoration of exotic automobiles.
Under the guidance of Randy Hedges, Josh Hafner and Shane Scott made all of the necessary repairs. They then performed the appropriate RSR conversion followed by the application of the correct 1974 Porsche Orange paint.
This may sound like a simple job but there were many, many hours of labor in fabricating, welding and hand fitting the fiberglass parts involved.
The important task of building the engine for this RSR was given to Jim Patrick of Patrick Motorsports in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jim and his team of Porsche mechanics built this powerplant with both originality and performance in mind.
An aluminum case with nine bearing mains was used along with a long stroke crankshaft. High strength chrome molly connecting rods connect the crank to the 98mm pistons. Directing the light weight valves are a pair of sprint specification camshafts. Sitting atop the engine is the correct slide valve fuel injection system. The fuel air mixture ignited by the twin plug distributor.
The specifications for this engine were first developed by the Max Mortiz racing team in Germany. At the time, Mortiz was unofficial developer for Porsche Racing.
The 915 gearbox in this RSR also received special attention. In 1974 the Porsche development department recognized that there was an inherent weakness with the lubrication of the internal components. An extensive rework of the gearbox oil system was done to provide greater reliability. Included in these modifications were an oil pump and cooler.
An extensive search was done by Ron and his resources to locate original RSR parts including the lubrication system and gear ratios.
Ron has spent many, many hours of research in the development of this Porsche 911 RSR. Many more hours were spent visiting with owners of original RSRs and tracking down correct factory parts.
Perhaps the most important resource for Thomas' recreation of the Porsche 3.0 RSR came from fellow RSR enthusiast Armando Serrano.
Based in Southern California, Armando has worked for years to gather information on the unique details of these 1970's race cars.
With Armando's connections Ron was able to find many of the original and hard to find parts for this RSR project. Parts came from many countries, the plastic gas tank from England, the oil cooler from Switzerland, various bits from Germany, and many more were located in the USA.
Serrano's website, www.pbase.com/slidevalve911rsr/, is a treasure trove of information on the Porsche 911 RSR.
This Porsche is the result of passion and dedication to detail.