If You Build A Porsche RSR Tribute Car, They Will Come
Photography by Carter Kelly Kramer
We’ve all had that dream, right? The one where we finally cut free from the day job to focus entirely on our passion project. The one where we chuck our laptops at our bosses and say, “LATERADE BRO” as we walk out the door and into the sunset on a grand project of our own design. It’s only natural, and Richard Schickman is about to pull exactly that off.
By day, he works in Manhattan real estate for the firm Douglas Elliman, by night however he’s started cooking up some beautifully done RSR tribute cars that aren’t made to break the proverbial bank. So far, all three have been snatched up, and he might get the chance to finally give Manhattan real estate the goodbye it deserves. I caught up with him over the phone recently to hear about exactly what he’s cooking up just outside of Manhattan on what he calls “The RSR Project”.
Ted Gushue: Rich, tell me what you’re up to.
Richard Schickman: Re-creating and building high-level Porsche RSR tribute cars.
RS: Because Porsches are my love since I was 15 years old. When I was a kid I bought a ’69 911T and learned how to use oxy-acetylene torches, welded new floor pans into the car and drove that. Then I bought a ’71 E, fixed that up. I’ve been a lover of Porsches, and cars in general, since I was a kid. I had worked for Nick Soprano at Motor Classic. That was my after school job. I went to Fox Lane in Bedford, New York. Class would get out and I would be detailing cars, and doing light tuneup work for Nick. That’s where my love sort of began.
TG: Where did it go from there?
RS: It went from there to working at a bodyshop. A high level body shop in Bedford Hills called North State Custom.
TG: Where my uncle worked!
RS: Uncle Steve, yep. I worked there with him to be around it, and learn it. Then over the years, I’ve always had cool cars, and fun cars. All of this manifested itself in the purchasing of a ’67 912, which I just loved, but it was always underpowered, the whole thing.
So of course I wanted to build an RSR. I was going to chop the car up, and I spoke to Magnus Walker, who I bumped into as a PCA event. Then I spoke to Spencer at Speed Sport Tuning in Danbury Connecticut, and everybody was telling me, “Do not chop up this absolutely gorgeous all-original rust free California ’67 912 that you have. Sell it, and buy a donor car, or a shell”.
That’s what I ended up doing. I put it on eBay. I sold the car, and then I went shopping, and I found a ’77 3.2 liter Turbo-look car that I bought out of Utah. Really clean car, and that’s sort of where it began.
I initially just built what was my dream car. Ended up tearing the entire body down, ripping the interior out, knowing that I was going to put glass bumpers on it, glass hood, glass decklid, as per the original, and the interior as well, doing low back RS shells. No headrest RS shells. RS door panels. Completely gutted, deleting out the air conditioning vent, having the dash redone. All of that stuff.
I built that car, and it came out awesome. I was driving it, and someone saw the car, and offered me a sum of money that I couldn’t turn down. Then a little light bulb went off, and that’s how it evolved. Then went and found another car, a ’74 car, the orange car. Built that car up. Created a Facebook page. Someone in California saw what I was doing, contacted me, and commissioned me to build the blue car. The Riviera Blue car. Which was delivered three days ago, actually. Passport just came and picked it up.
The idea started to grow, and in my mind, how cool for someone to be able to contact me, and say, “Listen, I want a car in Viper Green, with green seats, and this and that”. Within, at this stage, four to five months, they will have that car in their garage. That’s where this is going, and what it’s become.
I have another one that I’m doing now, off an ’84 Carrera car. Really nice, 50 thousand mile car. We’re putting 3.2 liter motors in them. As you know, just an awesome indestructible motor. The original 2.7s had a lot of problems. I just felt I wanted to do something that was a little more reliable. More drivable. It also has more power. We’re shaving about 4 or 500 pounds off the cars. We’re removing the metal hood, metal deck lid, front and rear bumpers, as well as the impact shocks. For the larger style, newer bumpers, impact bumpers. Keeping the 915 box, which I prefer. A lot of people are so G50. So, power to weight ratio, they really boogie.
TG: I’ve got the 915, and I love it.
RS: Exactly. I think when a 915 is set up with a WEVO shifter, which I do, and all new bushings, I think it’s a more visceral feeling, if you want to use that word. It’s more hands on. I don’t like the hydraulic feel of the G50. But that’s an argument you’ll see on blogs from here until eternity.