The Porsche works rally team’s appearances were successful if sporadic beginning with the 356 then the 911. Their most successful period occurred in the late 1960s when they enjoyed three consecutive wins on the Monte Carlo Rally beginning in 1968 with Vic Elford and Pauli Toivonen, and in 1969 and 1970 with Björn Waldegård and Gérard Larrousse. A further win on the Monte Carlo Rally was achieved by Jean-Pierre Nicolas in 1978, with Jean-Luc Thérier claiming first place on the Tour de Corse in 1980.
Porsche’s real rally successes came on national series, with a string of rally wins and championship titles being won in France, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Austria.
With the arrival of the Group B era, Porsche knew that the chance of success with the 911 was limited so they set about creating the 959 a four-wheel drive twin turbo supercar, which was introduced to the world’s press in 1983.
It was anticipated that the 959 would be homologated in early 1985, although homologation for the World Rally Championship was never achieved as the first road cars were not available until 1987, a year after Group B was cancelled.
In the interim period Porsche homologated a high performance version of the 911 SC called the SC RS. The basic 911 SC was homologated into Group B in early 1983, with the SC RS following in time for the 1984 season. Under the management of Prodrive, Henri Toivonen achieved 2nd place in the European Rally Championship, whilst Saeed al Hajri went one better finishing 1st in the Middle Eastern Championship.
Originally built for the 1970 Rally New Zealand, the car was in fact diverted to Australia where it had a very successful racing career, in the hands of Ray Thackwell and Dr Leo Stubber.
The car’s circuit racing career lasted from 1970 to 1978 and out of 132 starts, it finished on the podium on no less than 100 occasions, which included 41 first places and a number of championship wins.
After its racing career the car eventually returned to what it was built for, Rallying, with it’s previous Australian owner taking 2nd in Class B on the Porsche Club Rally in 1994, 3rd in Class A on the Porsche Club Rally 1995, together with strong placings in the AEM Classic Rallies in 1994, 95 and 96.
In 2000 the car arrived in the UK and proceeded to undergo a restoration, since when it has proven popular and successful on many European events including The Rally of the Lakes, Ireland in 2002 and 2003, the Eiffel Classic Rally, Germany in 2003 and 2004 and the Isle of Bute Historic Festival, Scotland in 2003. In 2006 it also appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The car can still be seen at rally demonstration events today, having been guest driven by Jurgen Barth on the rally stage at Race Retro in 2008 & by Björn Waldegård.
Engine : Flat 6 cylinder, rear mounted front-engine, twin overhead camshafts, two valves per cylinder, 250 bhp
Induction : Naturally Aspirated, with twin weber carburettors
Transmission : Rear Wheel Drive, five speed gearbox