Blackbird: Matt Black Porsche 911 RSR replica

Fresh from last month’s WEVO cover in 911 & Porsche World magazine, Team Glypman have the front page of this month’s Total 911 magazine with Mike Gagen’s Matt Black Porsche 911 RSR replica.

Designed by Neil Freestone, the cover features our buddy Mike Gagen’s 911 RSR, shot on the move in San Diego. Based on a ’69 T, the car is an R Gruppe stalwart on its fourth iteration.

Reading the piece a month after I wrote it, I’d really like to change the whole thing around. That’s pretty much the same for everything I write! The article is still fun to read, though the Jamie quote I included (my title here) was changed to “this car is sick”. If you’re wondering why I would write that, now you know I didn’t. As Lipman says, “this car is sicker than Gary Glitter” and no mistake.

No column this month, as the mag has knocked them on the head! You’ll have to buy Porsche World if you want a double dose of my prose in print this September. Here’s the start of the feature:

The Art of Stealth

Built in sunny San Diego, this skunkworks 911 RSR has the look of an SR-71 Blackbird and makes just about as much noise. What’s not to like?!

Built along a natural harbour, San Diego is a seafarers’ paradise. Entering the city on the legendary San Diego Freeway, we pass signs for Navy bases, and the submarine station at Point Loma. Warships of the US Pacific Fleet at anchor in the bay are waterborne Star Wars technology: nowadays, low radar signature is everything.

San Diego is all about stealth. This is the home of Stiletto: an advanced hull design that “passively dampens the visible and acoustic signature”. Trapped air bubbles suppress stern wake energy, also reducing noise from movement and machinery. The Navy’s soon-to-be-scrapped Sea Shadow stealth project also lives in San Diego; moored in a once-classified submarine salvage barge at Mole Pier.

Stealth plays heavy on my mind as I follow Mike’s Gagen’s monster black Porsche down through San Diego’s Granite Hills, towards our city limits shoot location. The car screams “look at me” louder than a fat man in a wetsuit, but the driver is so possessed with stealth, he’s driving to the shoot with the engine off.

Behind the wheel of our Nissan rental car, I’m struggling to keep up. Gagen’s a veteran track addict and Porsche Club of America instructor, with the stickers to prove it. Despite my screaming the auto gears in this Marlon-Blando Eurobox, the switched-off RSR is getting away.

Maybe it’s sticky tyres and a stealth paint job stymieing my senses, but Mike’s machine seems to make better use of gravity. Hammering down Mount Helix at a decent rate of knots, the big black 911 seems more magnetically attracted to the bottom than my slabby silver hatchback. Yes, black is more magnetic: that’s what this is.

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