Pablo Escobar wasn’t just one of the most ruthless cocaine kingpins the world has ever seen, he was also a bonafide speed freak, something his money more than helped encourage.
Pablito had long raced in Colombia’s Copa Renault 4 alongside his cousin Gustavo Gaviria (who was actually said to be the better driver) before his exploits as the pusher man were publicized nation wide.
It wasn’t long though before the little “Renaulito” stopped giving him the giggles and El Patron moved to something much harder, like race prepped Porsches.
Pablo got his hands on a 1973 Porsche 911 RSR, originally raced by Emmerson Fittipaldi in the 1973 IROC Championship– before spending the next four years competing in IMSA– ahead of Pablo’s purchase. Pablo would race the car for years around South America, and at one point converted the RSR to look like a slant nose Porsche 935.
The car is one of the most rare 911 RSRs in existence, Porsche only built 15 cars for the 4-race IROC series in 1973, and for a time, Pablo’s was the only one unaccounted for.
Legend has it Escobar once bet Ricardo “Cuchilla” Londoño, one of Colombia’s most famous drivers, that he could finish within 15 seconds of him at a Medellin Hillclimb. Escobar would go on to finish eight seconds behind his compatriot “fair and square,” an achievement he was said to be quite proud of.
Pablito and Cuchilla were close, born the same year and both from Medellin, the pair crossed paths on the Colombian national circuit before Escobar and the Medellin Cartel funded the talented Londoño’s rise through international motorsports–proving an excellent way for the cartel to launder money– eventually even attempting to get Cuchilla onto the Formula 1 grid.
Escobar’s money secured Cuchilla a drive for Ensign in the 1981 Brazilian GP, his times were blistering in practice, clocking times inside the top 5 behind the wheel of a horrendously uncompetitive car. However, when it was discovered where his backing money came from Bernie Eccelstone quickly denied him a Superlicence, attempting to protect the sports prestige.