Porsche 911 3.0 SC Heigo Group 4 (1980) This 911 was the model for Rohrl’s rally Porsche
Porsche test driver Dieter Roscheisen’s Heigo-911 was the model for Walter Rohrl’s car at the 1981 San Remo Rally. Now the 911 is for sale.
The British distributor Girardo& Co. had already announced it last year, now the Heigo Porsche is for sale. The rally car was built privately by Dieter Roscheisen, a 24-year-old Porsche employee at the time, on the basis of a 1979 911 SC from factory stock. Porsche designer Ginger Arnold Ostle created the paint finish with Grandprix White above and Petrol Blue Metallic below. “Ginger placed the car under a lamp and used the course of the shadow to draw the line”, tells Roscheisen. Added to this were the red stripes and lettering of the sponsor: Heigo, a manufacturer of roll cages and roll bars from Kist near Wurzburg, Germany, supported the construction and use of the car for one season.
Rally 911 with 270 hp
With the help of some Porsche colleagues, a 270-hp competition car was built in a garage in Hochdorf near Vaihingen/Enz, which Roscheisen drove with co-drivers Rudi Rieger and Klaus Hesse during eleven German rally races in 1980. With good results: The team achieved three first places, two second places and one third place. At the end of the season, Roscheisen sold the car to a British paper manufacturer: Christopher Watham kept the Porsche for 20 years and drove it in some regional British rallies. Including several accidents: Watham, who had previously driven a BDA Escort, didn’t handle the Porsche well. “He had money, but no driving talent. Right at the first rally he threw the car into the forest”, the former Porsche employee tells us today.
One tire cost 500 marks
The two had met at the world championship party in honor of Walter Rohrl. Even today, Roscheisen has a check from the sale for 45.000 Marks. For safety’s sake, the buyer had issued several checks and asked Roscheisen to simply cash as many as necessary until the purchase price was reached. “He had no overview of his accounts, so the money didn’t play a role” speculates Roscheisen. It was a completely different story for the then 25-year-old technician: “We had to drive in such a way that the car remained whole. If we had rolled over, the calculation would not have worked out.” The former rally driver still remembers the prices: “A tire cost 500 marks and an 11-inch rim for the slicks 3″.700 marks.” The rim had to remain whole, a set of slicks had to suffice. This had its pitfalls, because the medium-hard compound was sometimes too hard, sometimes too soft: “On short stages, the tires barely warmed up”, says Roscheisen. The slicks earned him the comment of a spectator during a finish in downtown Esslingen: “Driving a Porsche, but no money for proper tires.”
In the year after the sale of the SC, Roscheisen helped Rohrl when the rally world champion was left without a car after the sudden withdrawal of Mercedes in the 1981 season: Roscheisen built a Group 4 911 for Rohrl. The Heigo Porsche is also considered the model for the factory 911 in which Rohrl and his co-driver Christian Geistdorfer drove the San Remo Rally in October 1981. Despite a broken drive shaft, Rohrl later described this 911 as his “best rally Porsche”.
Model for Rohrl’s Sam-Remo-Porsche
No wonder: Rohrl/Geistdorfer were on course for victory in their only WRC rally of the season. After the gravel stage they were behind the Audi Quattro of the leaders Michele Mouton and Fabrizia Pons. But on the asphalt stages that followed, the Porsche team could have closed the gap. Rohrl/Geistdorfer were already faster until the retirement than calculated in their own march plan beforehand. The car is now part of Porsche’s corporate collection.
Back to Roscheisen’s car: It had several accidents during British rallies, and at some point the track was lost. Until the Briton Stephen “Steve Davis buys a richly patinated 911 in Sheffield. The Porsche is dirty and painted in Rothmans colors. Research leads to Walter Rohrl, who gives Davis Roscheisen’s number. The comparison with old photos and details on the car prove: This is Roscheisen’s former car. A surprise for Roscheisen: “For me, the car no longer existed.” Davis decides to have it rebuilt as it raced in 1980 German Rally Championship. In March 2010, Roscheisen sees the car again and is disappointed: “Obviously, only the roof section was left of the original car,” says Roscheisen, says the former rally driver. The oil tank, which he and his colleagues had moved to the front under the front hood to improve weight distribution, was no longer there. The entire front end of the car had been redone, but details such as the stickers did not match exactly.
Most recently, the newly rebuilt and painted Porsche received a major service, a new clutch and fresh Michelin TB 15. Price on request.
Its history as a former rally car makes this Porsche 911 quite unique. However, the history of this 911 also includes that it has experienced quite a bit.