1992 Porsche Carrera RS ($395,000)
Photography by Royce Rumsey
Written by Andrew Golseth
- Location: Costa Mesa, California
- Chassis: WPOZZZ96ZNS490974
- Engine: 3.6-Liter Flat-Six
- Transmission: Five-Speed Manual
- Mileage: 28,867 Kilometers
- Color: Paint-To-Sample Lemon Yellow | Black & Grey Leather
PRICE: $395,000 OR BEST OFFER
The 964 Rennsport Recipe: 9 Parts Classic Styling & 11 Parts Modern Performance
Every model that’s seen enough evolution hits a sweet spot at some point, and while the 964 Carrera RS might not be Porsche’s fastest, most expensive, nor even its rarest 911, anyone arguing for its place among the marque’s finest has some good taste, not to mention a strong argument to back it up.
Based on the 964 C2 platform, an already exceptional foundation, Porsche built a barebones, driver-focused 911 loosely modeled after their motorsport Carrera Cup car. Keeping with the naming convention inherited from its older siblings, the car was simply dubbed the Carrera RS. While the RS’s styling is reserved—especially compared to modern enthusiast-aimed Porsches—it’s also stood the test of time, aging gracefully thanks to its minimalistic packaging. Factory color options were limited, but Porsche did offer a paint-to-sample option for a premium.
To create an RS, the chassis was seam welded to reduce flex, sound deadening was left out entirely, thinner glass was used on the doors and rear windows, the trunk lid was made from aluminum, and special magnesium five-spoke cup wheels were fitted. Inside, the cabin lost every unnecessary accessory, including air-conditioning, cruise control, power windows, rear seats, and stereo—the audio package was available as optional add-on though. Finally, RS-specific tri-color black and grey racing buckets on manually adjustable rails were bolted in. The weight loss regiment meant the RS had become nearly 350 pounds lighter than the standard Carrera 2.
The suspension was heavily reworked as well, trading standard Carrera parts for a host of more performance-aimed components: 40mm lowering springs, re-valved shocks, adjustable stabilizer bars, and a manual steering rack assembly were all added to the RS. The standard 3.6L flat-six was massaged too, increasing output to 260 horsepower, and the powertrain was further enhanced by stuffing Porsche’s beloved G50 bell housing with steel synchromesh close-ratio cogs, swapping in a lightweight flywheel, and using an asymmetrical limited-slip differential to get all the power to the pavement.
The end result is what many argue is Porsche’s greatest street car, the most balanced air-cooled experience. Old school 911 feel with a modern fuel injected—but still air cooled—naturally aspirated flat-six. With a perfectly-geared manual transmission to match the motor, in a stiff, lightweight chassis, the Carrera RS is quite simply the ultimate modern-classic driver’s 911, and a perfect example of less being more.
The 964 is considered by many to be the last installment of the “original 911.” While its 993 successor is also an air-cooled Porsche, the 964’s styling was kept much more in line with its predecessors. There’s a clear reason Singer Vehicle Design uses 964s for their bases. The 964 smoothed out the 1980s markings from the impact-bumper cars with smooth, integrated, body-colored bumpers, aero-mirrors, modern lights, and a hydraulically-actuated deck lid intake spoiler.
Based on the Carrera 2, the shallow flares keep the body narrow but still allow for a very sure-footed stance thanks to the lowered ride height of the RS. The panels are kept uncluttered with model designation only scripted on the rear, and this is just another tempered touch that separates the RS from other track-focused specials. Few road cars carry a more harmonious and continuous ideology of both design and engineering than this.
Both inside and out, mechanically and visually, it has everything you’d ever want in a 911, and absolutely nothing else. It’s certainly not the most visually aggressive, but that was never the goal. Built for the driver in mind, this car practically wrote the book on the “back-to-basics” approach.
While the Carrera RS was only offered in a limited selection of colors, a special paint-to-sample option was available at a premium. This 1992 Porsche Carrera RS benefitted from that option with a custom nonmetallic factory spray of Lemon Yellow. All paint is original and impeccably clean, as is the interior, powertrain, drivetrain, and undercarriage.
Inside, the cabin is in equally impressive and preserved condition, with no major wear visible on the seats, carpeting, or steering wheel. The interior, like the rest of the car, remains unmodified from stock.
The powertrain retains its factory specifications and components, is unmodified, and could welcome concours-level judgment. As for its ownership history, a pharmacist in Italy purchased the car when it was new. The car was then purchased by a dealer in Monte Carlo who sold it to a Porsche collector who briefly owned it before selling it back to the Monte Carlo dealer. Finally the car made its way overseas, entering the United States through Florida before being transported to California where it now resides.
Body – The body is straight, accident- and rust-free, and completely original with even panel gaps throughout.
Paint – The paint-to-sample Lemon Yellow has been extremely well preserved and retains an excellent shine with no major imperfections. Depth readouts range from 3.5-6.5.
Trim & Glass – The trim, glass, and lighting equipment are original and all in like-new condition.
Wheels – The RS-special cup-spec magnesium five-spoke wheels are straight, uncurbed, and complete with center caps.
Steering Wheel – The four-spoke RS-embossed leather wheel remains in showroom condition.
Dashboard & Instrumentation – The VDO instruments are clean and functioning properly. The leather dash pad is taut with no cracking, seam splitting, or shrinkage.
Seats & Trim – The RS-specific tri-color black and grey leather bucket seats are fantastic, as are the carpet and floor mats. Overall, the interior is surprisingly clean considering its 25-year age.
Engine – 260-horsepower 3.6-liter flat-six.
- Original Motor: Yes.
- Engine Number: 62N81572
- The Drive: The engine fires easily from cold, idles smoothly, revs eagerly, and pulls strongly.
Transmission – The original five-speed manual transmission is the original, correct RS ‘box with close ratio gears for better acceleration and fitted with a limited-slip differential for optimal engine-to-tarmac power delivery.
- Original Transmission: Yes.
- Gearbox Number: 2003078
- The Drive: The transmission shifts without issue and is a joy to operate with short throws and direct gear engagement.
Handling – With a lower center of gravity thanks to the 40mm drop springs, and a stiffer chassis and suspension setup, the RS was built for cornering and to cut through the apex that much faster.
- The Drive: With 260 horsepower on tap in a stiff, lightened chassis, the Carrera RS is all about a balanced drive, making handling an undiluted, uninterrupted, analog experience with ample feedback that begs for more every after every turn.
This paint-to-sample RS is unmodified and completely original with the exception of consumable components, such as filters, fluids, belts, and tires.
The tool kit, owner’s manual, and service documents are included.
The Smoothest Modern/Classic Blend – Performance cars have gotten increasingly faster in every regard—faster acceleration, deceleration, and speeding-ticket-earning speeds and insane G forces—but driving isn’t all about the figures obviously, it’s about the feeling. The Carrera RS is an engagingly analog machine with still enough power on tap to effortlessly keep up on today’s roadways. Fast and easy while being communicative and direct, we don’t think Porsche has built a better street car that melds classic feel with modern performance.
Rare Import And Ready To Roll – The Carrera RS was never sold new in the United States, making them highly desirable grey market items. Now legal in the US, this lovely lemon of an RS has already cleared customs and now calls California home. Its complete service history is fully documented and the car is turnkey and ready for its next caretaker.
MEET THE SELLER
This car is for sale by David Mohlman of DJM Investments.