For the seventh year running, the London Concours welcomed nearly 100 rare and exotic cars into the heart of the city. Hosted in the enclosed garden of the Honourable Artillery Company, close to Liverpool Street, the three-day event drew in car enthusiasts and curious office workers alike.
For 2023, London Concours marked the 50th anniversary of Porsche’s Rennsport sports cars, with around 50 RS-badged 911s gathered together – from air-cooled rarities to the latest 992 GT3 RS.
Other displays included ‘Grand Tourisme’, a celebration of innovative French cars such as the Citroen SM and Renault 5 Turbo, and ‘Golden Age Coupes’, epitomised by the Mercedes-Benz 300SL and Aston Martin DB5 Vantage.
A question of Rennsport
The highlight for us, though, was the celebration of all things Porsche and RS. The story began with the iconic 911 Carrera 2.7 RS of 1973, which introduced the concept of a lighter, faster and more focused 911 road car – along with the oft-imitated ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler.
Among several examples of the 2.7 RS at London Concours was a rally car restored by Tuthill Porsche (pictured above). Not seen in public for more than 40 years, it boasted a host of period accessories, from mudflaps to an analogue Halda ‘rally computer’.
Other standouts included a stunning 993 Carrera RS in Speed Yellow (seen at the top of this page), plus a sizeable number of post-2003 water-cooled cars, with increasingly elevated rear wings and monstrous power outputs.
There was even a plucky Cayman GT4 RS amidst the many 911s, representing one of the newest cars with a dash of ‘Made in Flacht’ magic.
From Le Mans to London
The Best in Show winner at London Concours also wore a Porsche badge, although it was built in High Wycombe, rather than Stuttgart. The Schuppan 962CR P1 (pictured above) is essentially a road-legal version of the hugely successful Porsche 956/962, which dominated Le Mans in the mid-1980s.
A mid-mounted 608hp 3.3-litre turbocharged flat-six and five-speed manual gearbox gave the Schuppan a top speed of 230mph – insane performance for 1992. It also looked every millimetre the Group C racer, with a carbon fibre monocoque chassis and canopy-style cockpit.
Sadly, only six examples of the 962CR were made before Schuppan was declared bankrupt in 1994. However, Porsche would introduce its own motorsport-influenced hypercar a decade later: the V10-engined Carrera GT.
Sure enough, there was one present at the Honourable Artillery Company, complete with bespoke bodywork by Italian coachbuilder, Zagato. It was perhaps the Porsche we most wanted to drive home, albeit preferably not through London traffic…
Tim Pitt writes for Motoring Research