Tale from driving the 1974 Porsche 3.0RS

1974 saw a big turning point for the marketing men at the Porsche factory. When they followed up the success of the 2.7 Carrera RS in 1973 they decided to break into the Supercar market with the new Carrera RS lightweight. Up until then they had just produced beautifully engineered sportscars, which in their class were sensational but not front runners in the marketing world. Le Mans 1969 was the first sign of a major turning point in the Porsche image when Richard Attwood and Hans Hermann brought home the monster 917 into first place, their first major win. In UK they had two plans, 1 to get me out in the car on as many promotions as possible and 2 to double the price from the previous year!
My job was to show this new production sportscar to the press and race it in the Modified sportscar championship against highly modified cars and try to beat them. There was only one car that we were constantly beaten by, a highly tuned 1950 Jaguar XK 120 driven with great verve by John “Plastic” Pearson. And a famous modified Datsun 260Z called “Big Sam” driven by Win Percy bit our tail on several occasions but we kept it at bay! So Porsche were very happy to let me take it to many promotional days. One in particular sticks in my mind, a press day to show off many manufacturers latest models to attending journalists was arranged at the Mintex test track near Loughborough in the Midlands. So John Aldington, Porsche GB managing director, sent me up to show off their new machine.
I collected the car from Falcon Works in Isleworth, their HQ in UK early one morning and drove up the M1 to Mintex.
Their test track resembled a perimeter road around an army parade ground, except there were elevation differences either side of the rectangle! It was a typical English cold and rainy day, but it did not discourage the enthusiasm of the gathered scribes. I had taken out a couple of guys and familiarised myself with the various puddles that had formed in the different dips and undulations in the tarmac, and quickly realised that this was the perfect chance to show off the amazing self centering characteristics of the 911 and to practice my trick of taking my hands off the steering wheel having set up the car into each wet corner, allowing it to naturally go to opposite lock and just letting the car steer itself and control the slide purely on the throttle, grabbing the wheel on the exit to see the car going straight up the road again!  So news spread fast that this was the ride to have! There was a shed next to the track where the press needed to book their ride with all the different cars, and on this day I was not the celebrity, as a certain TV personality, Noel Edmonds was there taking people for a run in his rally Ford Lotus Cortina. I think he must have had his nose put out as the queues were for me in the Porsche! To this day I am sure that he would not recognise the man who stole his thunder for a day! The wind was truly taken out of his sails!