Under normal circumstances, this year’s Rennsport Collective would have taken place at the beginning of August, when the weather was a good deal warmer and perhaps slightly more predictable. As it happens, with the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, many smaller and some really big international events have been summarily cancelled, leaving spectators and enthusiasts searching the internet for reruns of older races or car shows. It has been a dismal year, and you would not be blamed for feeling that cabin fever might be setting in.
But the good folk in the Rennsport Collective office were determined to find an alternative date for their relatively new event. Having held their first Rennsport Collective event last year, the last thing they wanted was to be beaten by a pesky virus, and for enthusiasts to think that the 2019 event was a ‘one-hit wonder.’ Battling a crowded fourth-quarter motorsport calendar and the onset of unpredictable autumn weather, the team fixed the rescheduled date for Sunday 1st November, and the venue, the sprawling lawns of Stowe House in Buckinghamshire.
The odds were certainly stacked against the team and their proposed new date, as the weather lashed the UK with heavy rain the night before, and the forecast was for even heavier rain the afternoon of the event. So there was just a window of some hours, in which the well-behaved and brave assemblage of enthusiasts could enjoy the feast of Porsches that was set before us.
Although it was a smaller group of cars that greeted us, in the opinion of this writer, the team at Rennsport Collective deserve full marks for their preparedness in going ahead with the event. Congratulations are in order too, for the high quality of the cars assembled and for the superb location. The front lawns of Stowe House made for a magical spectacle and were it not for all the hurdles above that the team had to jump over, there would have been more cars and more spectators. But let us be grateful for what we have, as this last weekend certainly delivered the goods under trying circumstances.
And so, onto the display cars. With the present restrictions on travel from certain countries in Europe, it goes without saying that some prized vehicles were not able to make the journey. With this in mind, there was nevertheless a healthy mix of both current and some yesteryear models, including both road and race cars.
Making your way through the building from front to back, you are confronted with a view that seems to go on forever, but as you approach the steps that lead onto the extensive lawns, you were greeted with a spectacle that would warm the heart of any Porschephile. To the left was a selection of 911 RS and RSR road and race cars, a 911 Safari Rothmans rally car, GT3 Cup, 911 T/R, RS 3.0 and more. To the right were more 911 RSRs, 993 GT2, 996 Cup, Carrera GT supercar, 959, 991 GT3 Clubsport (which starred in a film by Porsche), 911 S/T (the lightest 911 ever, and finished 3rd in the 1970 Tour de France), 964 RS, 911 Safari RS Tribute and much more.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to the real thing, for the very young, there was even a half-scale 917K Junior model on display which would make one kid very happy this Christmas. Powered by a 9 hp 230 cc engine, this half-scale replica is capable of speeds of up to 28 mph, and it boasts rack-and-pinion steering and a hydraulic brake. They are available in Gulf Blue and Orange, Salzburg Red and White or Martini White and Blue, and only a few will be built each year making them very collectible.
Moving through to another display area, the visitor was confronted by a 991 GT3 Cup allegedly owned by a local Stowe matron, but we weren’t buying that story! Here you could also view a wide range of Porsches from a 356 to a 991 GT3 RS boasting the spec as chosen by Mark Webber after he won the 2015 World Endurance Championship. A very special 911 S/T upgraded by none other than Jo Siffert in 1970, from Group 4 to S/T and then raced by Andre Wicky. A really delicious red 993 GT2 Clubsport sat alone, no doubt highlighting the rarity of this model, as just 21 units were made.
A short walk through an adjacent gate took viewers to a small enclosure where a 904 stood, this car raced only two weeks earlier at the Goodwood SpeedWeek. A 996 RS/R adorned in the Stars and Stripes livery and raced by Kelly-Moss Motorsports shared this space, along with a roadgoing 911 Carrera RS 2.7, making this a special and unique enclosure.
Out front of the building, there were loads more Porsches, from a 356, 914, 911 through to modern road cars. Everywhere you looked, there were just more Porsches parked with a healthy crowd of people wandering across the grounds all enjoying what was on offer.
This kind of event, a static display of special, limited number production vehicles and racing cars with a rich history, is just what the Porsche fraternity need. It’s not an all-comers, general Porsche car display, but rather an opportunity where owners are invited to bring their cars for a specific reason. The car might be a race winner or a car that has a unique history of some kind, either way, they are all hand-picked cars for their own special reason.
We hope that you have enjoyed our brief selection of the best of the best from the Rennsport Collective 2020.
Written by: Glen Smale
Images by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale