The Porsche 953 ranks as one of the finest off-roaders Porsche has ever made. It was basically a souped-up 911 designed specially to give Porsche an advantage in the 1984 Paris–Dakar Rally. Just a year later, it was replaced by the 959. Despite its brief run, it still managed to make quite the impression. Built around a massively enhanced suspension and a supremely powerful 300 bhp (224 kW), 6-cylinder engine, it showed Porsche knew more than just sportscars.
Built so that the factory Rothmans Porsche Rally Team could hit the international stage, the SC RS used the Turbo’s body with fibreglass bumpers and aluminium doors. In Autumn 1983, Porsche presents the 911 SC/RS for motor racing. The engine originates from the 911 SC, with improved performance achieved by the mechanical ball fuel injection, increased compression, the cylinder heads from the 935 and forged pistons. Racing seats are fitted in place of the standard seats.
Röhrl and Geistdörfer very nearly won that San Remo Rally, after a comeback that would have been one for the ages. Röhrl and Geistdörfer were up against a field of faster, more powerful four-wheel-drive cars in their rear-wheel-drive Porsche 911 SC, and somehow managed to pull within an eyelash of victory. Unfortunately, a broken driveshaft forced the pair to retire, leaving Michele Mouton's Audi Quattro to run away with the race.
In 1978, the works team fields two 911 SC at the East African Safari Rally. The name of game is to survive 5,000 kilometres of the toughest tracks in sweltering heat and torrential rain. The conditions take their toll: of the 72 starters, 13 reach the finish line. Martini Racing Porsche System Engineering signs on two specialists to drive: Sweden’s Björn Waldegård (Start No. 5) and Kenyan Vic Preston Jnr (Start No. 14).
For the 1974 racing season 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 (246 kW) and RSR Turbo 2.1 (338+ kW) were created - the 3.0L for the customer teams and the 2.1 turbo for Porsche’s own team. The Carrera RSR 3.0 was made in small numbers for racing. The 3.0 RSR would go on to become the most successful Group 4 racing car of its time thanks to its combination of low weight, immense Porsche 917 brakes, impeccable handling, and a 330+hp naturally aspirated flat-6.
For 1974 both the 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 and RSR Turbo 2.1 were created - the 3.0L for the customer teams and the 2.1 turbo for Porsche’s own team. The 911 Carrera RSR Turbo 2.1 developed 338-368 kW in power, but as the engine was small, the turbo lag was big and it wasn’t as easy to drive out of the corners as it was with the 3-litre normally aspirated car. Weight reduction measures included plastic hoods, fender flares and doors and an aluminium safety cage.