This is the car the Fast and Furious star always wanted. Now it could be yours.
Every one of us has a dream car. Doesn’t matter what it is or why we want it, what matters is the desire. Many of us won’t be so lucky as to own our dream car—or even sit in it. Some do, though. Paul Walker had a dream car and was lucky enough to have the means to afford it. For two short years, he was able to live his dream behind the wheel of this 1973 Porsche 911 RS 2.7.
Walker needs little introduction, so here’s a short one: He was one of the original stars of the Fast and Furious franchise, headlining the first seven wildly successful movies before his untimely death in 2013 at the age of 40.
What we know for sure is that the car was purchased on his behalf by his friend and business partner, Roger Rodas, at the Russo and Steele auction in Monterey, California, in August 2011. Curiously, Walker told Leno he’d already bought the car sight unseen after seeing an ad for it on the internet; we can only assume an earlier deal fell through for some reason.
We also know, from the car’s documentation, it was originally sold to Adolf Hiller (no “T”) in 1973. It was sold several times around Europe before being purchased by Dr. Herminio Cuervo in 1980. Cuervo was a U.S. Air Force doctor stationed in Germany who took the car home with him to Florida after his rotation was up. From there, it changed hands several more times in the States before being sold to a doctor in Modesto, California, who had the engine and transmission restored in the ’90s before eventually consigning it to auction in 2011, where Walker acquired it.
We may not know exactly why Walker wanted a Carrera RS 2.7 or this specific car, but we know why the car is highly sought after by most collectors. In his words, it’s from the “golden era of Porsche.” The mighty 917 was dominating Le Mans, the crowning achievement of a then-small brand that had been building a name for itself in road racing, particularly with the 906 and 908. The little air-cooled cars from West Germany were beating Ferrari at its own game.
Not the 911s, though. Introduced in 1963 as a ’64 model, the roadgoing 911 just wasn’t finding the same success in racing as its purpose-built brethren. Part of the issue was its rear-mounted engine that gave it unusual snap-oversteer handling characteristics, and that problem was exacerbated by its aerodynamics, which created lift at high speeds instead of downforce.
Aerodynamicist Hermann Burst was brought over from the 917 development team to sort it out. Despite its racing success, Porsche was still a tiny company and Burst’s budget was tiny. Not only that, he couldn’t mess with the 911’s shape. With the help of fellow aerodynamicist Tilman Brodbeck and stylist Rolf Wiener, the famous “ducktail” spoiler was born. Paired with a new front air dam, the car not only made downforce, but it also reduced drag, allowing for a higher top speed. To top it all off, the ducktail even improved engine cooling.
The Carrera RS 2.7 is more than just a rear spoiler, though. To really make it competitive in FIA Group 4 racing, more had to be done. Porsche engineers fitted wider rear wheels (a first for the 911), necessitating wider bodywork in the rear. To reduce weight, the entire body was made from thinner steel than a standard 911, and the same was done for all the glass. Sound insulation was also removed, and if you ordered a RS 2.7 Sport model, so were the rear seats, the clock in the dashboard, the glove compartment lid, and all of the carpeting.
Behind those wider wheels and tires the race engineers fitted stiffer springs and thicker anti-roll bars all around. Crossmembers under the car were also strengthened. In the rear, they even found the budget to upgrade the suspension control arms.
The pièce de résistance, of course, was the engine. Bored out to 2.7 liters from the production 2.4, the deeper-lunged flat-six made 210 horsepower. Claimed to weigh just 2,116 pounds in sport trim and 2,370 pound fully dressed, the Carrera RS 2.7 was among the quickest road-legal cars on the planet. Officially, it had a top speed of 152 mph and could hit 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds, the latter number likely conservative.
You feel it the first time you drop the throttle and let the engine sing all the way to its 7,200-rpm redline. The tight cockpit, low seating position, and thin components make the RS 2.7 feel twice as quick as any modern, insulated, and isolated car that does a 5.8-second sprint to 60 mph. This car is made of the bare minimum of parts necessary to be road legal and stay in one piece, and it never lets you forget it.
This particular RS 2.7 isn’t just a 50-year-old survivor, either. Documentation shows it was sent to esteemed Porsche specialist Jerry Woods Enterprises in the ’90s to have its engine and gearbox gone through. You can tell, because it has the best shifter of any early, air-cooled 911. If you’ve driven a few, you know the gear locations noted on the shift knob are rough approximations. Not this car. The lever is a lot longer than one from a modern Porsche, but the throws and the gear spacing aren’t far off.
Not wanting to put a rare car with celebrity provenance in any jeopardy, we didn’t push the racing suspension or the old-school Avon tires hard. Still, even at moderate speeds, there’s a crispness to the steering and a confidence in the body and suspension movements you don’t get in other early 911s.
We do know he had plans for it. Before his and Rodas’ death in a recently purchased Porsche Carrera GT, the RS 2.7 was disassembled at their shop, AE Performance, and sent to the current owner’s shop to be repainted. Walker wanted the car returned to its original yellow instead of the white respray it was wearing when he purchased it.
Once the paint dried, though, everything stopped. Estates had to be settled and lawyers had to determine who owned what. 13 months later, in December 2014, it was determined that Walker owned the car and the current owner was granted permission to buy it from his estate. Not just the parts in the paint shop, but everything removed and stored at AE. After that, the project sat, unfinished.
Eventually, the current owner (who wishes to remain anonymous) decided to have it put back together. They knew from past conversations what Walker’s plans were for the car and began the reassembly process in 2019. The car received new upholstery, including the tweed seat inserts Walker specified and the new tires. As many original parts as possible were reused, and the owner estimates only a few small parts like the horn had to be replaced.
Since final assembly, the owner’s put fewer than 100 km on the European speedometer, plus a few more courtesy of MotorTrend. Having been a friend of Walker and Rodas, they consider the car too special to risk driving around much, nor do they want it simply collecting dust down at the garage. It’s slated for the Mecum Monterey auction on August 19, where it’s expected to bring between $1 million and $1.25 million.
Who knows why the future owner will buy it. Maybe they’re big fans of Walker. Maybe they’ve wanted a Carrera RS 2.7 just as badly as he did. That this restored Porsche legend meant an awful lot to someone we in the car hobby remember fondly just adds an extra layer of poignancy.