‘Duck Tail’ Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Mon 6th Jun 2022

A German classic, responsible for spawning a trend of rear spoilers on sports cars, the Porsche 911 Carrera is celebrating 50 years of production this month.

The 911 Carrera was a groundbreaking success of its time when launched in 1972, being the fastest German production car, and also the first production car to hit 100 kilometres per hour in less than six seconds.

As well as being one of the first cars to sport a rear spoiler, earning itself the nickname of ‘duck tail’, the Carrera RS 2.7, to give it its full title, also innovated by putting different tyre sizes at the front and the back of the vehicle.

Launched at the Paris Motor Show in October 1972, it was originally only conceived to be a limited run of 500 examples, but the success of those who wanted a sports car they could drive on the roads soon saw sales triple beyond the initial limited run.

The Carrera name was inspired by the Spanish word for ‘race’ and the RS coming from ‘Rennsport’ with the Carrera name emblazoned on the wing behind the front wheel arch.

Anreas Preuninger, Head of Porsche GT explains that the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 was the inspiration for the team’s motorsport future, saying: “It’s the most direct technology transfer from motorsport to series production that ever occurred. Nothing about this has changed to this day and it is part of living tradition at Porsche.

“An RS model made by Porsche is characterised by the most emotional relationship between the road and motorsport. This is the unfiltered driving experience that Porsche has represented for 50 years.

“The 911 Carrera RS 2.7 is a milestone in the Porsche sports car history and continues to shine today.”

And as a man keen on the finer technical details of making cars drive fast, even today, Preuninger is impressed by the Carrera’s 1972 stats.

“Those were sensational figures in the early 1970s. And they still are,” he says.

“The employees at the time were breaking new technical ground in many places. With commitment and a sense of creativity, they came up with innovations that we still benefit from today, such as using the rear spoiler on a series production car for the first time.”