Porsche has always been at the helm of motorsport ever since their early Gmünd days. Their ability to create lightweight cars with low drag, high reliability, and great handling has kept them on top of the game… Occasionally earning them the unofficial title of “Giant-Killer” at places where the competition came with much bigger oomph.
This is also perhaps the reason why Porsche is the world’s largest race car manufacturer. In 2006, the company built 192 race cars, 275 in 2007. And while the numbers are unclear for the current year and racing season, one look at the company’s lineup of customer sport models (5 models for 2017) is plenty to understand the reason behind their success. Their position is bolstered even further by the performance of the company’s works racing team consistently delivering at international motorsport events like the FIA World Endurance Championship.
So when Porsche brings out a limited-edition competition car, purveyors and Porsche aficionados are often found flocking over immediately to make a purchase. Such was the case in 1972, when Stuttgart brought forth the extremely limited Porsche 911 S/T.
Only 30 odd examples of the Porsche 911 S/T were ever built. A car that was a precursor to the upcoming 1973 Porsche Carrera RS, the S/T was a one-year-only competition model built for road and dirt motorsport events. The car was hugely successful, winning the International Championship (precursor to the WRC) of Makes and dominating GT class events around the year. If Porsche hadn’t withdrawn their efforts from rallying, who knows, the S/T could have gone ahead to bring Stuttgart a WRC title or two.
With a motorsport-bred competition Porsche of such low volumes, you can imagine that finding one is like going unicorn hunting in the wild. The original Porsche 911 S/T is by far the most sought after Porsche classics in the entire world. So much so that the car started a trend where of tribute cars that would imitate the original. That said, there are few that do the tribute justice, and fewer that exceed what the 1972 competition car originally has pre-established. This 911 S/T tribute is certainly the later.
The Porsche 911 S/T that you see here straddling the colourful spring B-roads of Harrowgate, in the United Kingdom is one such tribute S/T that was originally build to tackle dirt rallies and tarmac motorsport events by the late Swiss privateer – André Wicky. André raced Porsche, Lotus, and Coopers for almost two decades between the 1950s and 1970s, where he won the 2.0-litre GT class at Le Mans in 1960. He then went on to establish his own team Wicky Racing Team at the start of the 1970s, where this S/T comes into the picture for the first time.
André Wicky’s 911 S/T currently resides with Andrew Mearns, owner of Gmünd Cars from Knaresborough in the United Kingdom. Andrew himself is a keen Porsche enthusiast since a very young age and a dealer who’s knowledge of the cars of Stuttgart go beyond anyone else’s. While the car is currently parked alongside other gleaming Porsches on sale at Gmünd Cars, it’s already the property of Andrew’s friend Andre (of Frisco_911 on instagram); who you can recall as the avid Porsche collector who is on a globetrotting adventure with his other 1969 Porsche 911 T/R.
While tribute 911 S/Ts were built to capture the spirit of the original rarity, quite a few cars were made to higher specification than the original. In this particular case, the details become even more interesting as the car here was built to period-correct competition spec for Wicky Racing Team to compete in motorsport.
Built in January 1970 for Wicky Racing Team, the Porsche 911 S/T then was built to compete in Group 3 events in Europe. It was completed with a 2.3-litre flat-six engine that was mated to a 5-speed straight-cut gearbox and Webber carburettors. The result was a 250bhp car with about 850kg of weight that would instantly sprint to speed as the pistons happily revved past 9500rpm!
After four years of racing, the S/T was retired and stripped down to be re-instated as a regular 911. The car was then sold to a priest in Wicky’s birth town of Laussane in Switzerland. While the man of God thoroughly enjoyed fast cars, he wasn’t the best of people to reign in the S/Ts power; crashing it and selling the car soon after.
Over the next decade, the car was fixed and sold to several owners in Europe, eventually to assigned to storage. It would be a few more years before Geneva-based Christie’s art dealer Thomas Seydoux would resurrect the car from its slumber and take help of local restoration expert Marc de Siebenthal to restore the car its original Wicky’s Racing Team S/T spec.
To ensure that the restoration as absolutely according to how the car was, Seydoux brought Andre Wicky onboard to overlook the process. The Recaro seats, Halda gauges, Heuer stopwatches that you see on the car were accurately sourced by Wicky then.
Seydoux used the now restored Porsche 911 S/T tribute to participate in many historic rally events across Europe. Here, he won a stage win at the Gstaad Rally in 2009 and won Coupe de Alps in 2011. Now that the car is in the hands of like Andre, who has a particular itch to put proper Porsches to proper use, I reckon that it’s just the beginning of a third coming for this iconic machine, something you should be excited about as much as I am.
Photos by Drew Gibson For ColumnM