THE FISCHHABER CAR

by Peter Herbert

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One April morning in 1972 Bavarian racing driver Anton Fischhaber collected his new Porsche 911 from Munich dealership MAHAG. This was no ordinary 911, the little yellow coupe being one of the first examples of the 911 ST. The Stuttgart factory had previously offered tuning options for those wishing to compete with its cars, but this was the first purpose-built competition version of the 911, homologated as an FIA Group 4 GT.

 

 

 

     THE FISCHHABER 911S ALONGSIDE ROLF STOMMELEN’S PORSCHE 910/8 BERGSPYDER AT MONTSENY HILLCLIMB IN SPAIN

In Fischhaber’s sights was a second European Hillclimb Championship (GT Category), he having won his first title five years earlier in a 911S. However, the opposition had moved on, and ‘Toni’ was requiring more bang for his Deutschmark.

 

The elegantly simple ST weighed just 930 kg with the use of both aluminium and fibreglass panels, and was propelled by a 270 bhp 2.5 litre engine driving through modified transmission. Oil cooling, suspension and brakes were uprated, and a roll cage, competition seats and harnesses, and fire extinguisher completed the package. The car’s purity of form was unblemished by spoilers or wings, and it is thought just 24 examples were built by Porsche, although some claim that figure to be as few as 21.

 

                                                          THE 2.5 911 ST ON THE AUERBERGRENNEN STARTLINE

 

The 1972 European Hillclimb Championship comprised ten rounds, held in Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. With wins at Montseny in Spain and on the German hills of Auerbergrennen and Griesbacher, backed by second places at the giant 21 km climb of Mont Ventoux in France and the classic Swiss St Ursanne and Les Rangiers course, Fischhaber achieved his objective. Then, demonstrating the versatility of an ST, he entered the Nurburgring 1000 km race, and co-driven by Prince Leopold Von Bayern finished a creditable 14th overall.


The following year Fischhaber defended his GT title. To remain competitive the Porsche’s engine was enlarged to 2.8 litres. Then purity of form took a hit with a ‘duck tail’ rear spoiler being added, plus wider wheels and tyres. However, he was beaten by the similar car of fellow countryman Sepp Greger.

 

                                                                    IN 3 LITRE RSR SPEC AT TRENTO BONDONE

 

For 1974 the motor of the ST was further enlarged to 3 litres, factory support rendering the 911 close to RSR specification, the model that was to eventually succeed the ST. This did the trick, and a third international hillclimb championship was secured following wins in France at Ampus-Draguinan, Trento-Bondone in Italy and Augsburg in Germany.

 

The car was then sold to a Swiss collector and disappeared into storage. Subsequently it passed into a significant UK Porsche collection. More recently, Bedfordshire based independent Porsche specialists Export 56 were commissioned to fully restore the 911 and return it to original ST specification, complete with Neil Bainbridge built 2.5 motor, prior to being offered for sale. It would appear to have sold quickly, current whereabouts unknown.

 

Anton Fischhaber raced for 28 years between 1960 and 1988. A once German and thrice European Champion, he was one of Germany’s most successful hillclimbers. ‘Toni’ was a useful circuit racer too with many wins, including a notable fifth place at Le Mans in 1965 where he shared a Porsche 904 GTS with Gerhard Koch. After hanging up his helmet Fischhaber concentrated on dealing in real estate.

 

The ST is perhaps the prettiest and most significant version of the early 911 and frequently copied. Indeed, it is often said that of the original 24 produced only 75 survive. It is hoped the new owner does not hide the Fischhaber car away, and returns it to the scenes of its mountain glories. To again hear the chirp of rear tyres as they leave the Provencal village of Bedoin, the growl of the flat six accelerating up through the woods towards Chateaux Reynard, and then see the little yellow car burst onto the lunar landscape above the tree line before reaching the observatory at the summit of Mont Ventoux would be a very fine thing indeed.

                                                                              THE CLIMB OF MONT VENTOUX