Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in ou...
Classic Porsche 911 - Surveys owners, repair and operation of 911 news stories and page model, sales and much more in our club fans and fans of the legendary series cars Porsche 911. All about 911-901, 930, 964, 993, 996 and new era 997 and 991-series.

If you're buying a used 911 as an investment, send me your address so that I can arrange a visit from the boys. Investors who never drive their 911s bring a word to mind. That word is 'pimp'. As 911 diehards, the boys don't like pimps, so when they arrive, make sure your engine is still warm, the exhaust system is making that tinkling noise and there is evidence in your tyres of some recently accomplished brisk cornering.

All 911s, from 1963 to this afternoon, share a characteristic 911 'feel', but that varies greatly in degree. Bog-standard used Coupes from the late 1970s or 1980s once delivered the goods for sensible money but they might demand some restoration work now.

Choosing a 911 is such a very personal matter. Just go for what you really want, get the best straight car you can find and look after it. Reliability is legendary but repairs can be costly.

My choice is currently the 993 Carrera 2 Coupe of 1993-98. Its predecessor, the 964, was respectable but dull. The 993's different, agile feel makes it terrific to drive and good ones go for less than £30,000 - this week, anyway.
It's the last air-cooled 911 model but so what? Later models lost nothing by being water-cooled. No, pick a 993 for its exhilarating agility, and its price.

A friend of mine paid £26,000 for a superb 1994 993 Carrera 2 in late 2013. He loves it, whether he's tootling about the shops or on a 300-mile blast through the remote Highlands of Scotland, where it truly excels. And that's no more than it deserves.

Porsche 911 Carrera RS
1973 // £500,000
The eternally great, ultimate development of the original 911 concept, it combines high performance and low weight with inch-perfect precision handling. Superb but the price of this model now, sir, is officially‘through the roof'. If you buy one, promise us you will use it.

On an autumn day in 1972 the salesman from Porsche GB came to visit our house. 'We're making a special car,' he told my father. 'Only 200 will be built, and we're offering them to our best clients first as demand is sure to be strong.' They built more than 1500 in the end, and demand was so great that, instead of management having to use them as company cars to use up unsold stock as expected, Porsche sold out the first batch of 500 immediately and had to build two more series.

Why the fuss? Because the RS is so much more than the sum of its parts. It was derived from the relatively humble 2.4S, but with flared rear arches and wider wheels (a 911 first), bored-out engine (at 2.7 litres Porsche's biggest road car motor to date), a rear spoiler (another first, and not just for Porsche, so initially illegal in some markets) and, last but not least, weight-loss that took the RS under the magic 1000kg in 'lightweight' trim.
The result: 150mph, 0-60mph in 5.0sec, handling to die for (and you would if you lifted off mid-comer) and a string of victories on every continent including rallies, Le Mans and the Targa Florio. Oh, and you can drive it to the shops.

Mine's been in the family for 42 years and has never once 'failed to proceed'. Beat that, Enzo...

Porsche 911 GT3 (997-series, generation II)
2009-12 // £80,000-120,000
The 997-series Generation II cars were terrific in their time and the naturally aspirated 997 GT3 was a hugely powerful, seriously fabulous machine, subtly better in fast corners than previous GT3 models.
A classic in waiting - bound to be a sound long-term investment.

Any brand new 911
2015 // From around £75,000
Admit it, they are absolutely brilliant. If you don’t want one, you should. Buy it, keep it, service it properly. One day, it will be a classic but, meanwhile, enjoy a few happy decades driving it. The best of all worlds.
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  •   Guy Baker reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    CAR: #Porsche-911E / #Porsche-911 / #1972-Porsche-911E / #Porsche / #Porsche-911-2.4E
    Year of manufacture #1972
    Recorded mileage 3226km
    Asking price £119,995
    Vendor Cotswold Collectors Cars, near Bibury, Gloucestershire; tel: 01242 821600;

    Price £4827
    Max power 165bhp / DIN
    Max torque 152lb ft / DIN
    0-60mph 8.9 secs
    Top speed 137mph
    Mpg 17-23

    This ’1973 model-year 2.4E, with comfort pack and S gauges, was resprayed from a metallic green before it left France in 2002, and in this ownership from ’14 has been painted by Riviera Coachworks, part of a refurbishment that included a £25,000 Autofarm engine rebuild. The finish is even, but with a few polish marks on the bonnet and window trims, plus a tiny chip on the left rain gutter. The brightwork, including the sill trims, looks good bar a few blemishes, but the driving lamp reflectors are starting to corrode. The front wing bolts were off for the repaint; the strut bolts are undisturbed.

    It now has Fuchs alloys, though it originally came with cookie-cutters that are still with the car, shod with 2005 (f) and 2010 (r) Michelins, behind which the discs look recent. The spacesaver spare wheel is unused and there’s a jack and tools, plus a cut-off for the twin batteries but no compressor evident, and the gas struts are too weak to hold the lid open.

    Inside, the smart vinyl looks original and the carpets are probably repros. The headlining is excellent and the original Blaupunkt radio still works, as does the clock. The windows work, but slowly. The motor is clean and tidy, with its shroud painted body colour. It wears new exhausts and heat exchangers, plus there are fresh Nylocs and oil-return pipes. It also has the later hydraulic cam-chain tensioners fitted, a typical Autofarm touch. The oil is clean, and the filter is marked 14.5.17 and 584km.

    The injected flat-six starts after a brief churn and settles to a slowish tickover. It behaves just as a healthy small-bumper 911 should, with a taut, supple ride, no suspension clonks and that wonderfully communicative steering, tracking straight and with smooth brakes that don’t pull. When warm, it shows slightly more than the expected 4bar of oil pressure at 4000rpm – about 4.5 – and feels peppier than a standard 165bhp 2.4E, so it may have been rebuilt with extra enthusiasm or S cams. Excellent.

    This sweet 911 comes with a comprehensive history file, American and European manuals and a spare key, plus MoT until June.


    EXTERIOR Fine paint; a few polish marks
    INTERIOR Some new; all wearing well
    MECHANICALS Very healthy rebuilt engine

    VALUE 6/10
    For Super condition; goes well
    Against Not the original (darker) colour, but #Viper-Green is nicer

    If you want a highly original Porsche 911, as good as an S, it should be on your list. The similar, ex-John Fitzpatrick car sold at auction for similar money, but was poor cosmetically.
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  •   Ben Koflach reacted to this post about 3 years ago

    The 1973 #Porsche-911-Carrera-RS is recognised by many as being the finest #911 ever. Hailed by many as the greatest road-legal 911 of all time, the #1973 #Carrera-RS remains top of the desirability stakes more than 40 years after its launch, but how many people are aware of the links between this desirable #Porsche-911 and the mighty 917? Words: Keith Seume. Photos: Stefan Bau.

    Some people believe that the Carrera RS is the best road car that Porsche ever built, and it’s easy to see why they might think that way. But can you really say that this 42-year-old car is better than, for example, a modern #997 GT3RS, or the newly-announced #Cayman GT4? That’s an impossible question to answer, for you have to put the RS in context with what else was around at the time.

    Modern limited-run, high-performance Porsches, such as the 911 GT3 (and its sibling, the turbocharged GT2) are undoubtedly breathtaking cars: they are seeringly fast – too fast, one might argue for road use – and, in the case of the GT3RS, pretty uncompromising. They are brutal trackday machines that are, to be frank, a pain in the proverbial to drive on anything other than billiard-tablesmooth roads. Drive a GT3RS for very long on the average British country road and you’ll soon be visiting your dentist to have your fillings replaced…

    And this is where we get to the crux of what makes the 1973 Carrera RS such a fantastic car. It is simply a great all-rounder. But before we go any further, let’s take a step back in time and look at the circumstances surrounding its development and release.

    Elsewhere in this issue you can read of the story behind Porsche’s greatest race car of all time, the mighty 917 (The Big One). As the cost of developing and competing at the highest levels of sports car racing – Can-Am in particular – had spiralled to what many within Porsche believed was an unacceptable level, the company began to consider other more costeffective ways to promote its products.

    Ernst Fuhrmann is well-known in classic circles today as the father of the four-cam motor in the 1950s. After a sabatical period at Goetze, he returned to #Porsche in #1971 initially as Technical Director, before being appointed Chairman of the Board in 1972. Fuhrmann’s return to Porsche coincided with the departure of Ferdinand Piech, father of the 917, who left to go to Audi. Fuhrmann made no secret of the fact that Piech’s obsession with the 917 and its race programme wasn’t in line with his ideas on how best to promote the marque. In Karl Ludvigsen’s Excellence was Expected, he is quoted as saying of the 917’s participation in Can-Am ‘That was a very interesting adventure, but one cannot constantly play on so many pianos. Now we are going to stay closer to production cars…’.

    But Fuhrmann still believed in the value of racing as a way to improve sales, and even though he was personally at the forefront of the movement within Porsche to ultimately kill off the 911 in favour of the 928 (plans for which were already on the drawing board in the early 1970s), he knew the rear-engined, air-cooled model still had a few years left in it. ‘Racing is good advertising for every car,’ said Fuhrmann – even a flagship front-engined V8-powered GT, like the future #Porsche-928

    Fuhrmann was a shrewd businessman as well as a great engineer. He looked dispassionately at the #Porsche-917 programme, weighing the expense incurred against the monetary returns in terms of sales – ie, did the 917 actually make the company any money? Amazingly, it seems it did, for the cost of the race programme was more than offset by the return in publicity generated by the 917’s successes on track.

    Just two months after he was appointed chairman of the board, Fuhrmann gave the go-ahead to develop the 911 for racing. Not since the days of the #911R had there been such a push, but this was not to be a short-term effort like the lightweight R. Porsche entered a raceready 911 in the #1972 GT Championship, beginning with the 1000km event at the Österreichring in June.

    Driven by Björn Waldegaard and Gunter Steckkönig – an experimental race engineer with Porsche since 1953 – the highly-modified 911 was forced to run under the looser, but highly-competitive Group 5 classification. It finished 10th, behind a series of all-out competition cars. Now lay the challenge of how to apply the lessons learnt from this early success to the 911 as a whole.

    The main questions were how to make the 911 more competitive on the track, and then to examine what modifications would have to be incorporated into a limited-series, road-going production car. To satisfy the requirements of the FIA Group 4 regulations, Porsche would need to build 500 examples – a far cry from the 25 (or, initially, 50) required years earlier for the 917 to be given the go-ahead.

    Norbert Singer was placed in charge of the project and his first task was to see how he could ‘build in’ lightness, to achieve a target weight of just 900kg. This was done by reducing the thickness of the steel used on the body pressings of the earliest cars, from 1.00 or 1.25mm to just 0.7mm. At the same time, the glass used in all other 911s was replaced by thinner, lighter material made by the Belgian company, Glaverbel. Lightweight glassfibre panels replaced the steel deck lid and rear bumper/ overriders, too, on models destined for the track. Interior trim was an obvious candidate for attention, with the rear seats deleted, all sound-proofing removed and new door cards installed, which dispensed with the normal armrests and door pulls in favour of plain panels with lightweight plastic handles from a #Fiat-500 and a pull-cord door realease.

    The heavy stock reclining seats were replaced, too, this time with lightweight buckets with thumbscrew adjusters to set the angle of the backrest. Oh, and there was no clock, no passenger sun visor, threshold trims or glove box lid. In short, anything that wasn’t needed got left in the parts bin…

    The bodywork came in for some significant restyling, too, with wider rear wheel arches designed to accommodate 7Jx15 Fuchs wheels, the fronts remaining at 6Jx15. Tyres were 185/70x15 and 215/60x15 #Pirelli-CN36 radials. Under those wheel arches were #Bilstein gas shock absorbers, which helped save just under 4 kilos, while a thicker front anti-roll bar (18mm instead of 15mm) was fitted, along with a 19mm rear.

    Visually, the most significant change to the 911’s profile was the distinctive RS ‘ducktail’ on the rear lid. This followed extensive wind tunnel testing at Stuttgart in the early 1970s, which led to the incorporation of the small lip spoiler under the nose of the 911S models. That was fine for a car with the performance potential of the regular road-going ‘S’, but at higher speeds it was discovered that airflow over the rear of the 911 generated significant lift at speeds over 150mph. By adding this simple ducktail, according to Ludvigsen, lift was reduced from a heady 320lbs to just 93lbs at 152mph. At the same time, the Cd figure fell slightly from 0.41 to 0.40 – a small improvement admittedly, but still worthwhile in the quest for perfection.

    A further advantage of the new spoiler was that it improved airflow into the engine bay, providing extra cooling and intake air for the new engine. And what an engine it turned out to be.

    The contemporary production unit displaced 2341cc (optimistically tagged ‘2.4’ by Porsche), but by increasing the bore from 84mm to 90mm, the capacity rose to 2681cc (nominally 2.7 litres). This was a deliberate choice to allow the engine to be developed for use in the 3.0- litre class, and in fact meant the Carrera had the same bore and stroke as that of the 5.4-litre 917/10: 90mm x 70.4mm. As we are starting to see, the Carrera RS owed much to the mighty 917…

    The lessons learnt from the all-conquering 917 didn’t stop there, for the Carrera’s engine featured Nikasil-lined aluminium cylinders produced by Mahle, in place of the Biral cylinders of the #Porsche-911E and #Porsche-911S models. This process proved to be far tougher than the previously-preferred chome-plating used on aluminium cylinders, thanks to the tiny grains of silicon-carbide contained in the coating. It also had the added benefit of allowing an oil film to adhere to the cylinder walls more effectively.

    The new (or rather ‘revised’) engine, which shared the remainder of its major components with the 2.4-litre unit, produced 210bhp at 6300rpm and some 255Nm of torque at 5100rpm. The transmission – type 915 – was the same as that used in the mainstream models, other than a slightly taller fourth and fifth gear ratios than those used on the 911S.

    The plan was to build just 500 examples of the Carrera RS (as the model became known) but as history has shown, the response was so great that this initial run sold more quickly than had been imagined possible. Four versions would be be available, the rarest being known as the RSH (for ‘homologation’) – a lightweight (960kg) model of which just 17 examples were built. Then came the #M471 and #M472c options, better known as the ‘Lightweight’ and ‘Touring’ respectively.

    The former was essentially a productionised version of the RSH, with slightly less attention paid to all-out weight savings. As a result, the factory-specified weight of the M471 model was 975kg, just 15kg more than the RSH. The #M472 , though, featured the same interior trim and detailing as the regular 911S, other than a smaller 380mm-diameter steering wheel. This trim package added around another 100kg to the all-up weight. The final offering was the 2.8-litre RSR (option M491), of which 55 examples were built for competition use. Ultimately, 1580 Carrera RSs were sold, not including the RSR – a far cry from the original planned run of just 500. However, by building 1000 (or more) examples, Porsche could now homologate the RS for use in the very competitive Group 3 GT racing category.

    The value of genuine, original RSs has, over the last few years, gone through the roof. After a period in the late 1980s when even a Lightweight could be purchased for £20-25,000 in the UK, they have continued to rise in value at an almost alarming rate. This has led to tales of fakes and forgeries (which is where the latest forensic examinations of VIN numbers comes in useful – see Drive-My News, so it is a wise man who seeks expert advice before entering into the purchase (or sale) of an RS today.

    But is an RS really worth a high-six figure (or more) price tag? How much better a car is it than a good 2.4 911S? That depends on who you ask. With a good ‘S’ costing between a quarter and a third of an equivalent RS, you’d need to be pretty set on Carrera RS ownership. But, on the other hand, there is no doubt that an RS is something very special – it’s a limited run model which has direct links to the 917. It was developed by Porsche’s finest engineers for use in the most competitive of all race categories. The letters ‘RS’ stood for RennSport, and that’s a pretty good indication this is something special. If you’ve not driven a 1973 Carrera RS, it’s hard to appreciate what a perfectly balanced package it is, be it in Lightweight or Touring trim – it’s definitely far more than just a ‘hopped up’ 911S. It hasn’t become the stuff of legends without cause. But what would you expect from a 911 born at a time when Porsches ruled the racetrack?
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  •   Malcolm Thorne reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    LEARNING TO FLY / #Porsche-911S / #Porsche-911 / #Porsche /

    It took just a few minutesʼ drive for ʻMalibuʼ Larry Koch to fall in love with this Porsche-911S , but another 43 years to form whatʼs become an unbreakable partnership… Words: Alex Grant / Photos: Andy Tipping

    ‘Malibu’ Larry Koch and his four-decade love affair with a 911S.

    Just west of Malibu along the coast from Los Angeles, Deer Creek Road rises steeply away from the Pacific shoreline into the beautiful Santa Monica mountains. Painted orange under the warm glow of a Californian evening, its sun-cracked concrete weaving a path through the mountains.

    Larry Koch, better known as Malibu Larry, knows this route well. And it shows. Now retired after 38 years as a TWA pilot, he reckons heʼs flown most of the best-known passenger aircraft in service during what heʼs been told were the ʻgolden yearsʼ of aviation. But itʼs this distinctive brown 911S, and an incredible road only a few miles from his home, where heʼs at his happiest.

    His enthusiasm is infectious: ʻAnytime I get in the car and start it up I feel great,ʼ he says, reaching for another gear. ʻHangovers, colds, whenever the wifeʼs yelling at you – just get in the car and go for a ride.ʼ

    Larry might be a local, but his obsession for air-cooled cars came from a childhood in France, eventually making his way through a multitude of tuned Volkswagens, with a Forest Green ʼ67 Beetle as his mode of transport when he was working as a flight engineer.

    ʻIn 1972 I was made co-pilot, my salary doubled and a Porsche seemed like a natural upgrade,ʼ he explains. ʻSo I drove up from Orange Country to Encino, to the Gabriel- Olsen Porsche-Audi lot run by Roman Gabriel and Merlin Olsen from the Los Angeles Rams – the American Football team. But there wasnʼt a car on the lot, the sales guy said heʼd sold all of the ʼ72s, so he suggested I talked to Roman.ʼ

    Larry arrived well-researched, convinced by magazine reviews that the mid-spec 911E was the one to have. But Gabriel had a single 911S at the dealership, his own car. It had 600 miles on the clock and, at $9500, it was offered to Larry at $10,500 less than list. But whatʼs since become its most recognisable feature wasnʼt a selling point at first.

    ʻI asked what colour it was – he said brown, and I said I didnʼt want it,ʼ he recalls. ʻHe says take the keys and go for a ride, take as long as you want. I was out for ten minutes, if that, before I came back and said Iʼd take it. That was it – I donʼt know how he got home.ʼ

    Larry brings the 911 to a rest as the road takes a sweeping right-hander inland, the crests of Pacific waves twinkling in the distance. Under the reddish tint of a fading afternoon, itʼs hard to imagine that the distinctive Mocca Brown, now such a rare colour, was ever an unattractive option. Helped by its flared arches and colour-coded Fuchs wheels, the coupé has made an ugly duckling-like transformation during the 43 years since Larry brought it home.

    But that four-decade partnership has brought plenty of unwelcome attention, too. Not least of all from the local law enforcement, whose radar it appeared on almost as soon as it left the dealership. Several fines down, Larry decided to scrub off some of his need for speed by joining the Porsche Club of America and getting some time on track at one of their time trial events.

    ʻAnyone who owns a Porsche should have it on the track at least two or three times to know how it performs. Theyʼre completely different to everything else youʼve ever driven and thatʼs what makes these cars so beautiful – theyʼre a unique car to learn how to drive. I went on every track in California: Willow Springs, Sears Point, Riverside – before they tore it down – and of course, my favourite, Laguna Seca.ʼ

    You wouldnʼt know to look at it. Aside from the harnesses, wrapped around a harness-bar spanning the top of the folded rear seats, thereʼs little evidence of its track career. A small plaque on the dashboard marks it out as a contender in the 1975 Riverside Race Hunt, its first race, and the turning point for whatʼs happened since, as Larry explains: ʻI spun the car every time I took it out, it was the only way I could figure out how hard to push it,ʼ he says. ʻI didnʼt have a lot of experience, and I was learning on the run so I busted the transmission on that event.

    ʻThis guy comes up to me, he had a VW Bus that he had converted to Porsche running was beautiful. He said heʼd tow it home and swap out the transmission for 250 bucks – heʼd give me a rebuilt one and Iʼd give him mine, which sounded like a fair deal. He towed it to his garage – he had a lot of parts in it, so I said to put some new shocks on for me, too.ʼ

    It wasnʼt the good deal he was expecting. Putting the new parts through their paces on the way home he realised he was being followed and, as he pulled up on the drive, a Volkswagen screeched up to a halt in the road, and a pair of armed police officers started barking orders at him.

    Larry was dumbfounded: ʻApparently they had been watching this guy, as he was dealing in stolen Porsche parts. They arrested me right there – the engine was stolen, the trans was stolen. ʻWeʼre impounding your car, and youʼre under arrest.ʼ I had no idea!

    ʻThe transmission had its numbers filed off, so it was confiscated, but I got my car back, and they asked if Iʼd testify against this guy. He cost me a bundle because I had to buy a new transmission outright, but he was guilty, and they deported him.ʼ

    But, having had a glimpse of how the car could be even quicker with aftermarket parts, the Porsche took a change of direction. The 930 Turbo Carrera launched that same year and, while it was outside the reach of a TWA co-pilotʼs salary, the wider wings that set it apart from lesser models were an easy upgrade. At least, they should have been.

    Instead, Larry wound up with a six-month separation from his car, as the bodyshop closed down mid-way through fitting the glassfibre wheelarch flares and it disappeared, eventually turning up in the painterʼs back yard in Costa Mesa before being hastily finished.

    Baulk if you will at the thought of hacking apart an early 911S, but those glassfibre add-ons were a short-lived addition. Two weeks after his six-month separation was over, a spare wheel escaped from underneath the van in front on the freeway while he was out driving with his wife. There was nothing he could do.

    ʻI tried to turn really hard, but it wiped out the whole side of the car,ʼ he says. ʻThe flares ripped off, it blew both tyres, it just trashed it. Then this guy comes walking down the centre divider of the freeway and asks if anyone saw a spare tyre. It couldʼve been the most expensive walk he ever took – luckily for him he was working for a company, and it was their van.ʼ

    The trade-off for some waiting was a massive upgrade in parts quality from the insurance-funded repair job: ʻThese are ʼ76 Turbo flares – these are steel,ʼ says Larry, tapping the rear wing. ʻWe also found another “S” front spoiler and welded on about a foot on either side to the original spoiler to make it line up. That time, I went to the paint shop every day to look for it!ʼ

    By the end of the ʼ70s, the Porsche had changed completely. Larry says heʼd been inspired by the International Race of Champions (IROC) cars and, as was the trend at the time, had styled his to match, including adding the eight- and nine-inch Fuchs wheels that still fill out the arches today.

    But, of all the parts that swelled the S beyond its factory body lines, itʼs the whaletail still propped up in the corner of his garage that made the biggest difference. A genuine part from Vasek Polak, the dealer who prepared the ʻJellybeanʼ 911 racing cars, it was a glassfibre replica of the wing fitted to the 911 Turbo, but with an extra cooling grille, and it was functional, too.

    ʻIt had the most beautiful lines and curves I had ever seen,ʼ says Larry. ʻVasek made only a few, many tried to copy it but they were never the same graceful lines as his work. The mould was broken after the ʼ74 IROC season, but I was able to get one for my newly flared and painted car.ʼ

    It wasnʼt until 1986 that the original North American-spec 2.4-litre engine was treated to matching upgrades, though typically it came out of misfortune. Part of one of the valves broke off on the freeway and, despite shutting the engine off almost immediately, it was too late. Instead of rebuilding it back to factory spec, Larry had the capacity increased to 2.7-litres to match European cars and, in doing so, gave it muscle to match the bodywork.

    ʻIt probably doubled the torque, thatʼs whatʼs made this thing really interesting,ʼ he explains. ʻFrom a 2.4 where you had to keep the revs up all the time and the cam doesnʼt come on until around 5000rpm, it was possible – not that you would – to accelerate in fourth or fifth from 2000rpm, without the engine bucking out the back. It made the car a really fun drive.ʼ

    But, for once, itʼs not damage or theft thatʼs toned down the styling to the subtle levels itʼs reached more recently. Larry kept the 911 almost unchanged for over 20 years, even resisting a slant-nose conversion during the 1980s, before members of the Early S Registry suggested its wide arches would be a good foundation for turning it into a replica of the homologation-special 911 S/T.

    So, at the end of the ʻNoughtiesʼ, the original decklid came out of storage and the rubber bolt-ons dictated by the US Department of Transport made way for colour-coded bumpers matched to the centres of the wheels. Itʼs also running a cut-down version of a stock 911S exhaust system, albeit with the baffles removed to make the engine a little more sonorous as it approaches its 7300rpm redline.

    This did mean re-learning some of the carʼs limits after two decades of familiarity, though: ʻThe problem is as you get older your mastery level diminishes a little bit,ʼ says Larry, laughing. ʻThe last rally that I was on, I was clipping along fairly good, and weʼre out in farmland where there are no cars anywhere. This is the first time Iʼd driven my car without the whaletail, and I come tearing into this 90 degree turn where a farmer wouldnʼt let the road go straight.

    ʻI took it just the way I thought I would take it and I realised as I was coming out that it wasnʼt going to happen. So I kept my foot in it and drifted off onto the opposite side of the road and into the dirt. Fortunately the fences were set way back so there was plenty of room.

    ʻThe whaletail made that much difference, you have to drive it totally differently – at least 25mph difference in entry speed. Anything over about 80 is where it really works, and it was amazing. A real eye-opener.ʼ

    Toning it down might have taken a little of the grip out of the back end, but that brush with near-destruction on a Californian road was a reminder that the colour which he once walked away from has just become fashionable: ʻIronically, just recently, with the meteoric rise in the early 911s this colour has become more popular as it was only available for a couple of years, thus making it period correct for 1972. Now I know how much my carʼs worth, I donʼt wanna wreck it.ʼ

    Which would make this a pretty solid investment, considering the price he paid. But Larry isnʼt entertaining that idea: ʻEven when Iʼm feeling really good about life, getting into my Porsche and firing it up makes me feel even better. Thereʼs no way Iʼll ever part with it.ʼ

    He pauses: ʻBut who amongst my family will get it after Iʼm gone? Maybe in my will I will stipulate that first it be insured to its full market value, then each kid gets it for a month, then itʼs sold to the highest bidder, with the remaining kids splitting the profits. Iʼm not sure.ʼ

    Buckled back in and with the low growl of idling flat-six behind us, youʼd have to wonder what sort of profits would ever make this worth parting with. Despite the setbacks, with roads like this on his doorstep and time now finally at his disposal to enjoy it, this one-off 911 is worth far more than even the most generous offer for the sum of its parts.

    Above: Gone these days is the Vasek Polak-sourced IROC rear wing, the original ʻsmoothʼ look finding favour. Being a 1972 model, Larryʼs 911S, of course, features the one-year only oil filler flap…

    Far left: Well, letʼs face it, wouldnʼt you be happy with an early ʻSʼ, empty SoCal mountain roads and wall-towall sunshine?
    Left centre: Eight- and nineinch Fuchs wheels shod with Kumho tyres fill out the Turbo flares nicely.
    Left: Contoured Personal Fittipaldi is Larryʼs steering wheel of choice.
    Above left: Recaro sports seats in tan match the Mocca Brown exterior well. Full harnesses are evidence of time spent on track.

    Above: Original engine suffered a dropped valve, leading to a rebuild to 2.7 litres and ʻEuropean specʼ.

    Below: Living so close to the Santa Monica mountains, Larry Kochʼs favourite way to relax is to head for Deer Creek Road and explore the 911Sʼs performance.


    Above: Larryʼs 911S has been through a few guises, but the current S/T-inspired look is his favourite. Fender flares are steel 930 panels.

    Far left: Throughout four decades of ownership, Larry has accumulated plenty of paperwork, including this invoice for the 2.7-litre engine build and complete transmission overhaul, which totalled just $6323.60 back in 1988. Oh how we wish we had a time machine…

    Above: What better way to see off the summertime blues than going for a quick blast through the twist and turns of the roads above Santa Monica?

    Left and far left: In its original form, the #1972 #Mocca-Brown 911S was a pretty desirable car in its own right, but with the progression of time itʼs now become one manʼs personal quest to create his perfect Porsche.


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  •   Adam Towler reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Weight Lifting / #Porsche-911-Carrera-RS / #Porsche-911-Carrera-RS-2.7 / #Porsche-911-2.7-Carrera-RS

    The #Porsche-911-2.7-Carrera-RS is perhaps the most coveted and iconic #Porsche-911 of all time. We didn’t need much of an excuse to bring one together with its Lightweight counterpart. Story: Simon Jackson Photography: Gus Gregory / #Porsche-911-Carrera

    For all the magnificent advances in technology, the tremendously fast, wonderfully efficient, proficient incarnations of the Porsche 911 to have emerged over the decades, there is one model that remains absolute ruler. Is it the quickest? No. Perhaps it’s the rarest? It is not. Might it be the dearest? Well, it might be, but that’s extraneous here… This Porsche has remained king of the 911s for over 40 years through sheer status, and it’ll probably continue that way for another 40 to come. It’s an automotive icon, and for many the very definition of the term ‘sports car’. The Porsche I’m talking about is the 2.7 Carrera RS. Reputations don’t come much greater, or Porsche driving machines a great deal purer, but exactly what makes these cars so revered, and are they really that outstanding?

    Like so many of Porsche’s iconic model variants, the 2.7 RS was born through racing. Its genesis can be traced back to the 911 R of 1967, Porsche’s first dabble with the concept of a lightweight 911 built expressly for racing. The R was derived from the 160hp 911 S of 1966, and made use of timeless automotive weight-saving devices such as fibreglass panels and thinner glass to tip the scales at a measly 830 kilos. The car was extensively modified, running a 2.0-litre flat-six engine from the Carrera 6 producing 210hp, a prototype #Teldix anti-lock braking system, and certain key aerodynamic alterations – the car fleetingly served to quench the appetites of those wishing to race Porsche’s popular coupé in suitable top-level competition, just 22 were built. Certainly short lived but not lacking in achievements, the 911 R chalked-up some eyeopening endurance racing results in a short time; amongst them a win on the Targa Florio.

    Ultimately, though, with the 911 R a point had been proven by #Porsche , and it would add ammunition to an already burning blaze raving between #Stuttgart and the #FIA , inherited by #Ernst-Fuhrmann when he rose to power at Porsche in #1972 . The motorsport’s governing body seemingly refused to grant the 911 #Touring-Car homologation eligibility, something Porsche so desperately wanted in order to support its efforts competing in the rather expensive business of #Can-Am racing with the #Porsche-917.

    At the time, Porsche could scarcely afford to race in such high-level motorsport, and the costly nature of the 917 wasn’t reaping direct sales rewards in the showrooms. The brand needed a more relatable racing car, and despite its scheduled upcoming obsolescence (the 928 and 924 were already at drawing board stage), the 911 was the car Porsche wished to wheel into position to plug the perceived PR gap.

    Fuhrmann’s predecessor, Rico Steinemann, had long been losing the battle with the FIA, but he and Fuhrmann figured there was nothing the French authority could do to prevent the homologation approval of a new car, which would become the 2.7 Carrera RS, as a Group 4 Special Grand Touring car. And they were right – finally the 911 could go GT racing. Under Norbert Singer, boss of motorsport at the time, Porsche devised a plan to create a series produced 911 built for racing, all that was left to do was determine exactly what form that car might take and to work out the logistics of building the required 500 road-going vehicles required under FIA homologation regulations. In October 1972 Porsche displayed its new car at the #Paris-Auto-Show . The 911 2.7 Carrera RS joined together a pair of nomenclatures not seen in unison before, Carrera and RS. ‘Carrera’ to commemorate Porsche’s exploits in the Carrera Panamericana, ‘RS’, or Rennsport, having only previously been deployed on full-bore Porsche racers like the 550 Spyder. You could argue that it was a brave move to attach such significant monikers to this new car, but as we now know, the 2.7 RS was more than worthy. Using what had been learnt through the 911 R project, the 2.7 RS was stripped down to its bare essentials. Anything superfluous, like sound deadening or undersealing material, was deleted as was the case with the R model before it, thin glass was employed and lightweight bucket seating fitted – the rear seat was removed altogether and the glovebox lid binned. Even the passenger sunvisor was removed! Fibreglass panels were also used (the engine cover and rear apron amongst them), even the existing metal panels were reduced in thickness by around 0.30mm. The strictly competition cars featured laminated safety glass in place of the traditional stuff. For the first time Bilstein shock absorbers were fitted, saving 3.5kg of weight.

    Singer’s RS Lightweight was just that at 960kg, but it wasn’t the only version of this particular 911, there was also the Touring filled with a few more creature comforts, itself weighing just 1037kg. In order to meet homologation regulations, all RS models rolled from the production line in lithe Lightweight trim, and were later converted to Touring specification. What was the difference? Well, the Touring models came complete with an interior akin to that found in the 911 S; a fully trimmed cabin, steel bumpers, and a host of ‘optional’ extras, such as electric windows, sunroof, an aerial and speakers, and so on. Whichever version was purchased, the same 2.7-litre engine was fitted out back, derived from the 2.4-litre mill in the S, bored-out to 2687cc, an engine designed to be versatile providing Porsche with the option to further increase its capacity out to 2.8 or even 3.0-litres in future.

    It’s quite an achievement when you consider that this is the same engine which was first conceived as a 2.0-litre unit, its incredible expansion only plausible thanks to Mahle’s Nikasil-coating technology allowing Porsche to increase the block’s bore from 84mm to 90mm (the biggest used for a 911 at the time). When applied to the cylinder bores, the Nikasil-coating provided strength and reduced friction, a technique honed on Porsche’s 917 race cars. The engine featured the same compression ratio (8.5:1) as the 2.4-litre engine and the same 70.4mm stroke. Once more Bosch mechanical fuel injection was utilised, the valves and timing were cribbed across from the 911 S of 1972/3. All this equated to peak power of 210hp at 6300rpm, a 20hp gain on that of the 911 S. Likewise torque rose from 159lb ft to 188lb ft, and the whole lot was linked to a 915/008 five-speed gearbox.

    The body of the 2.7 Carrera RS was significant thanks in part to its increased width. The rear end of the car featured bulbous rear arches, designed to accommodate a wider rear track (up by nearly an inch) and Fuchs wheels (seven inches) providing this particular 911 with a very distinctive silhouette. Naturally it had a practical function too, allowing the 2.7 RS to record the highest lateral G-force during cornering than any other Porsche vehicle before it. Further aiding that ability were changes to the car’s aerodynamics package. Most notably amongst them was that iconic ‘ducktail’ rear spoiler, which dated back in some form to 1970 when its properties had been investigated during wind tunnel tests in Stuttgart. Numerous versions of the ducktail were tested in an attempt to reduce the standard car’s rear lift at speed, the final design was found to reduce the car’s drag coefficient to 0.40 – in turn reducing high speed oversteer through the increased downforce. As an added bonus the tail plane also directed more air into the engine’s intake, increasing performance, and keeping the rear light clusters cleaner! During a 1000-kilometre race at the A1 Ring, a prototype RS equipped with a ducktail spoiler managed to circulate at 2.5-seconds per lap faster than one without. All that was left to do then was to apply the car’s name to the body, and given the ban on any non-essential weight, graphics were decided upon instead of metal badges. After some consideration, the words ‘Carrera RS’ were splashed down the flanks of the car – a move that would become synonymous with an utterly iconic Porsche.

    Despite concerns in Porsche’s sales departments at #Zuffenhausen over the popularity of its new stripped-back racer, and an unforeseen hurdle when the bureaucrats at the West German National Motor Vehicle Authority refused to grant blanket type approval for the modifications made to the 911, especially that ducktail rear spoiler (which was deemed a potential hazard to pedestrians), Porsche discovered it need not have worried about meeting the 500 sales deemed necessary by the FIA for Group 5 racing. Skirting around the red tape, Porsche went to the extraordinary extent of having each RS individually type approved at its local office in Stuttgart. Some 51 RSs were already sold prior to the Paris Motor Show in 1973, and by the time the doors had closed and the show wrapped, all 500 were spoken for, and it wasn’t long before Porsche announced that a further 500 would be built, which would allow the 911 to achieve homologation certification for Group 3 racing, too. This second series of cars came without the ducktail spoiler as Porsche’s type approval loophole had now closed, but owners could purchase them for retrofitting at their dealers if they so desired. All told by summer 1973 1580 Carrera RS cars had been built, comprising 1308 Touring models and 200 in Lightweight form, some 55 cars were in RSR specification for racing (with a larger 2.8-litre 300hp engine) with 17 further homologation cars. Of those cars produced, colours were limited to non-metallics due to the use of fibreglass panels, except a few which were bespoke built entirely from metal. Grand Prix white was the most popular choice of paint, with contrasting blue, red or green graphics, some 62 black cars were built, and even fewer in Gulf orange (25). The suits at Porsche need not have worried; the Carrera RS was a roaring success, but hindsight’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it?

    As soon as its wheels touched the ground the 2.7 RS began building a legacy that survives to this day. On track the racing incarnation battled with the likes of V8 Corvettes and 4.4-litre Ferraris, but despite its power deficit its deft nimbleness and handling proficiency made it a competitor able to punch well above its (rather feather) weight. The David versus Goliath Porsche regularly beat its opposition in period and it’s maintained that reputation into today’s historic racing circles.

    On the road the 2.7 RS was famed for its ability to eclipse previous 911s, most notably when exceeding 100mph thanks to that ducktail spoiler. It was this ability to exceed the sum of its parts that ensured the 2.7 RS stood out from its peers at the time, the 210hp offered little in the way of persuasion on paper. In the real world 62mph was clocked up in just 5.8-seconds, pushing on to top out at 150mph, but it was the way it used that power that charmed all who drove it. The flat-six engine had teeth, but it was progressive in its power delivery, not vicious or intimidating. And that remains true today. The RS was fabled for being loud, which it is, but it’s not ridiculous, and it was known for snap oversteer mid-corner, but like any 911 you’re probably driving it all wrong if you manage to get bitten by that character trait. Slow-in, fast-out achieves the best from the RS, allowing its incredibly tractable, if not mind-bendingly quick, engine to pull you out and onwards up through the rev range to the 7200rpm redline. In period road testers reported an eye-wateringly hard ride, but when compared with a contemporary sports car the RS is actually quite tame and flexible. The brakes are not servo-assisted, but they provide composure and (fade-free) poise to scrub any excess speed off as required.

    The view from inside is a familiar one for any classic 911 aficionado, despite the lack of complexities in the Carrera RS, something true of both the Touring and Lightweight versions. This car does not feel delicate in either guise though, rather it feels reassuringly competent, not the threatening old girl you might be expecting. Its petite dimensions make it thoroughly enjoyable to drive on the road too, whether that might be during a cruise or a charge. This is a racing car for the road which you could use everyday, and one which you wouldn’t hesitate to take away for the weekend – well, at least that was true back in period, today things are slightly different.

    The two examples you see here are both offered for sale with Specialist Cars of Malton, and while the Touring model demonstrates its historical relevance with a beautiful mix of period patina and evidence of unadulterated care and attention having been lavished on it over the years, it’s the history of the Lightweight alongside it which is more important in many ways. A matching numbers Touring is a car that will set you back in the region of £500,000 today, and its history will not differ dramatically from a more run-of-the-mill classic 911, a Lightweight however should really demonstrate a level of historical provenance from back in period. The left-hand drive car you see here is one such automobile, as Malton’s Sales Manager Mark Mullen explains: “For many people the 1973 2.7 RS Lightweight is the pinnacle of the iconic Porsche 911, a stripped out road legal racer whose heritage has founded a whole series of RS models,” Mark said. “This particular car has been used as it was intended, for rallying, throughout its life. Originally light yellow in colour the car was painted white at some point and now looks superb with its red graphics and wheels. Period spotlights show off the purpose of the car. An iconic 2.7 RS Lightweight with a competition history is a sought after collector's piece today.”

    The car was purchased in 1995 from a dealer in Munich by the owner of a Porsche garage in Portugal, the purchaser’s family had been involved with Porsches both in business and in motorsport for in excess of 40 years. A year later he sold the car to another Portuguese man, who in 1999 swapped the car with a further Portuguese collector. From 1999 to 2014 the Portuguese collector campaigned the car in historic race events, including the Volta Portugal, where it achieved a seventh, fifth and second overall during his tenure with the car and in 2004 the car placed fourth in the Rali ACP Veteranos.

    The 2.7 RS story is an epic one you never tire of hearing. This car’s legacy created one of the most important lines of Porsche product for the past 40 years, and delivered to us some of the greatest driver’s sports cars ever conceived. The 2.7 Carrera RS may have been born out of necessity to take the fight to the likes of Ferrari, Corvette and Pantera on the track, but these original road cars spawned as a result remain part of the building blocks of modern Porsche culture as we now know it.

    Today these 911s are trading hands for huge sums of cash, but of all the Porsche vehicles created over the brand’s history, it’s the rare 2.7 RS that deserves to be valued so highly without quarrel. Perhaps the only point of contention here is that as these cars have become so precious, they have led owners to becoming too afraid to use them as they were initially intended, with purchasers preferring to wrap them in cotton wool inside secure collections, never to turn a wheel in anger again. That’s a sorry state of affairs if that notion continues to propagate. We can think of at least three important Porsche men who would take umbrage at that concept; Fuhrmann, Steinemann and Singer.

    It feels reassuringly competent, not the threatening old girl you might be expecting.

    It’s an automotive icon, and for many the very definition of the term ‘sports car’

    The 2.7 Carrera RS is a special 911, even in road trim.

    Lightweight’s cabin is track ready and tells a story of har fought battles won.

    Thanks: Specialist Cars of Malton ///
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Narrow Bodied #Porsche #911 Turbo - Vanilla Shake. Don’t let the innocuous looks of this delectable cream classic fool you! This pretty Porker has a dark side too in the shape of a #930-Turbo engine in the back Words: Johnny Tipler. Photography: Antony Fraser.

    Buy Pirelli shares now! Johan is on track, lighting up the Cinturatos on the back of his #1972 911T around Abbeville circuit’s twelve twists and turns! Sideways action is his forte, but it’s easier with this car because, unbeknown to the casual observer, there’s a surprise lurking in the engine bay. This innocent-looking cream cracker with its mellow green stripes just happens to be packing… a #1977 European-spec 3.0-litre 930 engine, complete with K27 turbo and 964 camshafts! It’s a pretty special prospect even before we open the engine lid. Created in San Diego by veteran Porsche specialist Tom Amon, it has an exemplary paint finish: Chrysler ‘Cool Vanilla’, overlaid with Ford ‘Kiwi Green’ stripes – painted, not decals. In Abbeville and the surrounding villages it’s a real head turner.

    The 930 engine and 915 transmission were rebuilt by Tom Amon and fitted around 15 years ago. Other modifications carried out at the same time included a B&B dual outlet exhaust, new Bilsteins, anti-roll bars, rear torsion bars, ball joints, steering rack, TT rods, plus 964 front brake calipers with a 22mm master cylinder. The Fuchs wheels are special items as well, being Harvey Weidman refinished ‘Deep Sixes’, with 7R on the back.

    Once I’ve finished admiring the tantalising exterior I open the door. Another amazing aesthetic feast! Green leather upholstered GTS Sport S seats, and similarly clad dash top and door furniture, with carpeting consisting of German Squareweave matting by Autobahn Interiors. There’s a 380mm RS steering wheel, and a North Hollywood Speedometer turbo boost gauge instead of the 911 clock. The 1972 F-programme 2.4-litre 911T was good for 140bhp, and now with the 3.0-litre 930 engine it sports a rampant 300bhp. The first direct evidence I get of its enhanced performance capability is on Abbeville’s twiddly circuit. Among the tracksters doing their hurlaround thing is a red Ruf CTR, a Yellowbird in all but plumage, and having warmed up the 2.4T, Johan locks on. Like a cruise missile, gradually we reel in the Pfaffenhausen twin-turbo CTR, and it’s a well-driven car too. With 500bhp it pulls away from us along the half-mile start-finish straight, but not by much and, a couple of turns into the mid-field section, Johan’s caught up again. We are holding onto a Yellowbird, and we are not in a lowered chassis, just a narrow one. It’s incredible to be able to do that with a 1972 car, to have that kind of power available, and it’s enormous fun riding the kerbs. Talk about doing a Ruf, this is exactly the sort of concept that Alois Ruf embraced when he began tuning Porsches.

    Of course, Porsche was one of the first car manufacturers to embrace turbocharging, beginning with the 917/10 Can-Am cars in 1972 when this 911T started life. The first 911 race car to run with a turbo was the 500bhp 2.14-litre RSR that came 2nd in the 1974 Le Mans 24-Hours and Watkins Glen 1,000kms, and then another year on, in Spring #1975 , the 930 Turbo road car was unveiled.

    There’s another angle to this. Forced induction is one thing, but a dramatic capacity hike is another, and the impact on performance is inevitably startling. Shoehorning a bigger motor into an unsuspecting minnow has long been an efficacious way of gaining more horses: in the ’60s Carroll Shelby did it with the AC Cobra, and TVR did it with the Griffith. In the early ’70s, Autofarm’s Josh Sadler was an early Porsche panderer, transplanting a 911’s flat-six into a 912 to go hillclimbing with. A decade later I worked over an innocent Alfa Romeo 1300Ti tin-top, installing a 2000 Berlina engine and LSD so it went like shit off a shovel. The 911 was a special case though: its flat-six had the advantage of having individual cylinder barrels so you could increase capacity by changing bore and stroke without resorting to a larger engine: no need to switch a 2.0 for a 2.7. But the temptation to transplant little for large remains attractive because it’s swifter to achieve and probably less fiddly. And that’s what Tom Amon did with Johan’s car in the USA in #2005 , out with the 2.4, in with the 3.0 turbo.

    Back in the paddock apron, Johan lets the turbo cool off. ‘We’ll just let it spin out for a minute or two,’ he says, ‘because the oil line for the turbo comes from the engine, so when you turn off the engine the bearings on the turbo are still spinning without oil so that’s why you need to have it come down from about 100,000rpm to zero, just as a cool down, and that’s why you have to let it run on idle so that when the turbo is on zero rpm the bearings don’t need oiling. And that prolongs the life of the turbo.’ It’s a recent addition to Johan’s collection. He first saw it in the States in 2007, but it changed hands and came to Holland in the meantime. ‘The car wasn’t sorted, and I’m sure that the last owner didn’t drive it much. In fact, I’m almost certain that he was daunted by the car, so he decided to sell it. It wasn’t cheap, and of course if you make a conversion like this it’s an expensive task, and then you take into account the lavish interior, but even so, the price I paid was a fraction of the build cost of the car. The only thing I don’t like is the coconut floor mats, but that’s typically American; they absolutely love those things, but on the other hand they protect the other mats underneath. When we first got the car we ice blasted the chassis to clean it, and we could see that the original colour of the car was probably Gemini Blue. But I think it does look period in vanilla and green. Whoever painted the stripes on did a good job, and that was done in the States. It’s got the mph speedometer so it’s still to US spec. Otherwise, the only thing I would have liked is a sliding roof, but then it’s better not to have one for optimum torsional rigidity.’

    Johan still wants to make some minor adjustments. ‘I like everything about it, except that I need a steering wheel that comes closer to my body because my knees are hitting the wheel. And I would like to change the gauges, so probably I’m going to have a design made to match the beige and the green stripes of the exterior. Something like they had in the Sport Classic. And I’m going to get a 300kph speedo like the RS’s, and a rev counter that goes to 10,000rpm without a red line, just for fun. I’ll have the turbo boost gauge incorporated in the speedo, and a proper clock re-fitted, because it bothers me that I don’t have a clock. I couldn’t care less if I have 1 bar or 1.2 bar or 1.8 bar boost; it’s nice to see the needle going up and up, but if you’re driving really fast you don’t have the time to look at it! Basically I don’t have time to look at my speedometer either, the only thing I’m concentrating on is changing gears.’ It’s a fine looker from any angle. But the posture of the car is slightly out of kilter with a normal F-programme 911, because the rear wheels have been made wider on the inside so that there is no offset projecting into the wheelarch; common practice in the ’60s before specialist aftermarket wheel manufacturers got going, a set of wheels was taken to the local blacksmith where the wheel rim was cut off, a hoop spliced in and the rim welded back on again, and a suitably wider tyre fitted. That’s what’s happened to the rears on this vanilla fudge car, though the offset has been implanted on the inside of the wheel so it’s not obvious externally. It allows bigger tyres to be fitted on the back than this narrow-bodied car would normally have and it does give it a slightly curious tail-up attitude.

    Those extra millimetres do make a difference on track, according to Johan. ‘Though they kept the original body they widened the back wheels on the inside, so from the outside they look like the standard wheels, but they are half-a-centimetre wider on the inside, and although my rear tyres are a little wider than the front ones it is still not enough to handle the potential power and provide traction. You sense that, when you come out of a corner and floor it so you’re in turbo boost mode, the wheels are spinning and you don’t get the power to the tarmac, but at the same time you have to be very tender on the accelerator.’

    How does the 911T turbo compare with the 930? Johan provides a very interesting take on the two installations: ‘Well, the early 930s were even more dangerous than this one, because they had huge turbo lag, which this one doesn’t have. To counter that, they changed the turbo and the response time, so you still had a little bit of turbo lag but you didn’t have the residual power coming through when you lifted off and the turbo was still blowing. And because this one has a smaller turbo the response is better all round, with no lag or hangover.’ The 930 benefited from much broader tyres, brakes and suspension, which Johan acknowledges: ‘Chassis-wise, this one is not as good as a Turbo because it’s smaller, so I guess the 930 would be the better bet as a turbo road car, but they still remain dangerous cars. What you’ve got here is the classic body and in this body size they never had more than 210bhp in an RS, and even that was a little wider at the back. So, basically, the most brake horsepower we had in this chassis was 190bhp in the 2.4S, so this car has another 110bhp on top of that, and in fact it’s a bit too much for the chassis.’ Therefore, upping the boost pressure is of no interest to Johan. ‘There was still a way to get more out of the 930’s 260bhp 3.0-litre engines; basically you’d just turn up the turbo boost, and I’m sure that you can boost it with this one, but I don’t want to go any higher because we could have some problems with reliability. It’s fun on the road and the way it passes cars like the BMW 6-series on the track is simply awesome.’ Seems to me it passes everything – except, frustratingly, that CTR!

    Surprisingly, the chassis has not been upgraded in any way, apart from slight wheel widening, and that smacks of a novelty exercise. Surely you would augment the damping and brakes while you’re nigh-on doubling the power? ‘I don’t think anything has been done to improve it torsionally,’ says Johan, ‘so what I’m doing here on track you can do once in a while, but you are not supposed to do it on a regular basis. You have to put in a roll cage and lower the centre of gravity to start with. So it’s a nice car on the road. When you are on the highway it’s very fluent in traffic, with the power capability to match any modern car, and that’s the main aim of the car.’

    The ‘3.0’ T has also provided Johan with an inspiration. ‘It’s a fun little car, and I’ve been thinking of building something like it just for pleasure, and I’m going to sell my r-gruppe car because I’ve bought this one, so now I’m thinking I’ll build something like it myself, but have it torsionally stiffened, have a rollcage in the cabin, clad in leather just like a real CTR. And I absolutely like the idea of having a Targa with 300 brake horsepower, but then you really do need to stiffen up the chassis.’ Watch this space! I search for parallels with other on-track experiences: to make it work around the circuit like he just demonstrated, is Johan’s technique particularly different to the lightweight 911R? ‘The R is easier because it’s lighter, and this car has a bigger engine which is heavier in the back end, so in order to make this a really good track car we would have to upgrade the suspension and probably put on low profile tyres.’ But to be able to stay with a Yellowbird like we just did, there’s not that much wrong with the way the suspension is set up as it is. ‘No, but I could make it better, with less body roll, and I could probably make it so it would get ahead of the Yellowbird! But then you’d have to work on the suspension, and I don’t want to do that to this car because I don’t think you have to change everything on a car. Once in a while you have to give the car a shakedown on track as it is, and it would be possible to make it better in that context, and if we did that, despite the disparity in the power, I’m sure it would be faster than the CTR.’

    There are no two ways about it, of course, it’s a much quicker car than a regular 2.4, a direct result of its lightness and the available power, and in terms of on-road performance it feels more like a 2.7RS, and that’s without bothering to trouble the turbocharger. The narrow-bodied Turbo T’s steering is very light, and the ride is admirably dainty for such a veiled beast with a latent sting in its tail. It’s firm but light over these bumpy French country roads that switchback over the arable hills. The tall tyres that no doubt contribute to the easy ride are Pirelli Cinturato P1s, 205/60/R15 on the front and 215/65/15 on the back.

    When the turbo starts to kick in at 3,500rpm it’s a very smooth power delivery – though I don’t hoof it lest it plays the bucking bronco. In fact, on these back roads I’m resisting the temptation to explore it to the full but one excuse is that the brakes require very firm pressure on the pedal and I’ve used up half the travel without anything very much happening. That means I’m having to pre-judge acceleration as well as braking points, what with the turbo thrust and the ‘period’ anchors.

    Like the brakes, some other aspects are also authentic #1973 . For instance, there is only a single Durant door mirror, and the rear three-quarter windows open but the front ones don’t. On a hot, sultry day in Picardy the cabin needs as much ventilation as I can muster, and those back side windows levered open certainly help cool it down.

    Fundamentally this is a great open road machine, where you can be fairly relaxed about driving it. Gun it on a back lane and you’d better be pretty sure where it’s going to go. First gear is hardly necessary because it’s so torquey, pulling strongly from 2nd through 5th. Five gears: one more than the 3.0-litre Turbo ever had. It’s a smoothie when simply cruising around and off-boost. Ultimately it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, though. A bit like Johan himself: there’s a little of the Jekyll and Hyde going on, the easy-going charmer becomes the sideways king who takes no prisoners on the race track. So it’s a paradox of a car. You’re not supposed to have that many horsepower in a small body, but it’s huge fun! Cool, too, just like a vanilla shake.

    Left: It’s a 911T but the ‘T’ takes on a rather different meaning when there’s a turbo in the back! Subtle metallic green stripes are painted on. Those opening rear windows are essential on a hot day in an early #911 .

    Widened rear wheels give this narrow-bodied turbo a slightly raked stance and lose in the battle for grip against 300bhp. Twin exit exhaust is a bit of a giveaway if you know what to look for.

    Interior is testimony to an impeccable custom job. Seats are green leather clad, as is door furniture and dash top. Steering wheel is an RS item. Coco mats protect the German Squareweave carpets. Right: Getting a wheel off the ground!
    Now that’s a bit of a surprise! Where once a normally aspirated flat-six sat, now resides a full on #930 Turbo engine giving a wholesome 300bhp.
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    We take a look at the recently-restored Per Eklund #Porsche-911-SCRS rally car. Swedish rally star Per Eklund ran this factory-built 911 as a privateer in the WRC in 1978 and #1981 , and now it’s been totally restored. We caught it in action on the rally stage at 2014’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Words: Johnny Tipler. Photos: Antony Fraser (statics), Johan Dirickx (archive), Johnny Tipler (action).

    I duck instinctively. A cloud of dust, stones flying everywhere as the white 911 sweeps sideways round the final bend on Goodwood’s Festival of Speed rally stage, barrelling angrily along the final run between the bales to the finish line. It’s Johan Dirickx, Belgian Porschephile extraordinaire, resolutely helming his latest acquisition, the ex-Per Eklund SC.

    Whilst snappers are liberally showered with shingle, there’s no particular danger of an off as Johan is familiar with the course, having run his Bastos SCRS here on previous occasions. He has a penchant for 911s with provenance, and bought the Eklund car in 2013, its illustrious rally star owner having abandoned the restoration that he’d implemented a full 15 years earlier. In the past year, under Johan’s tenure, the car has been comprehensively rebuilt from the bare shell – including a repaint and replicating the original Happy People livery – at Johan’s 911Motorsport workshops in Kontich, Belgium. All mechanical work, including a comprehensive engine and transmission rebuild, has been expertly carried out inhouse by Mike van Dingenen.

    A passionate collector, Johan makes an acute assessment of the Eklund 911: ‘There were two factory cars – the East African Safari cars – and then there were three cars built to most of the Safari specs, and one of those is this one, the Per Eklund car. I think two of the three client cars still survive. So this car was pretty much built up like the Safari cars, and that’s why it is a little bit higher, and if you look at the rear wheel arches you’ll note that they are much wider than SC wheel arches, more like STs. There are signs that this is an experimental engine; you’ve got the high butterflies and single-plug ignition, which is strange because most of those engines ran on twin sparks. The engine sounds pretty similar to the SCRS; it’s a deep boom. I absolutely love it.

    ‘Also the suspension is different to what you would expect, and it could indicate it was a prototype, because the car is much higher. Those were some of the little things that #Porsche did at the time when it was built into a race car; all those little things that only Porsche did that no individual would ever have done.’

    The car has an intriguing provenance. Chassis number #911 410 2989, it only competed in a couple of WRC events, though Per Eklund campaigned it in a number of less important rallies, the car ending up with 935 style front bodywork doing autocross, a discipline (if that’s the right word) that Eklund excels in. A works Saab rally driver from #1970 to 1979, he scored a fair number of podiums at the wheel of a 96 V4, and like several of his countrymen he is up there with the gods of the WRC. He was Swedish Rally Champion in 1978, and Swedish Rallycross Champion as recently as 2004.

    So how come the #Porsche-911 ? In 1978 Per was looking for a suitable rally car for the #1978 WRC season, and was introduced by his pal, Prodrive engineer David Lapworth, to the exalted short run of rally 911s that Porsche was building in Weissach at the time.

    This batch consisted of just five cars, two of which were retained by the factory, one ordered by Alméras Frères (winners of the 1978 Monte Carlo Rally with Jean- Pierre Nicolas), and one by Prodrive, in the pipeline for Henri Toivonen to contest the 1984 European Rally Championship, while the fifth went to Eklund Motorsport.

    Rather than being the very latest kit to come out of Weissach, the specification actually dates from four years earlier, 1974, when Porsche homologated the 911 to FIA regulation 3062. The competition department didn’t actuate the homologation until 1978 when they decided to build up the SC as a competition car to Safari spec, based on FIA 3062. The factory finally decided to go for the East African Safari Rally and nail the win, according to Jürgen Barth, who was, predictably, involved with the project at Weissach, along with Roland Kussmaul.

    Working backwards, in 1974 Porsche created what they called the ST kit, which seems to have been an adjunct to the pre-existing ST race car spec that came into being as a factory-derived competition car in 1970. Although not well documented, it’s likely that 15 examples of the original 2.3-litre #Porsche-911ST were built in race and rally format, with a further 23 units of the 2.5-litre 911ST documented as race cars. In The Porsche Book, Jürgen Barth lists the chassis numbers of 15 special 911S race and rally cars from 1970 and 1971, with 23 race cars from #1972 . The ST designation was an in-house amalgam of the #Porsche-911S engine and the lighter #Porsche-911T chassis.

    Eight years on, it enabled Porsche to build this small run of rally 911s to comply with the #FIA papers based on the 1974 car. Porsche judged the 1974 car to be the lightest base-model of the range, and so that was the starting point for the 1978 project. While a number of key privateers like Kremer and GELO Racing acquired STs and SC packages in the early ’70s, these later kits were so rally specific that only Alméras, Prodrive and Eklund Motorsport got them.

    The Alméras SC was also a narrow-body Group 3 lookalike, and they had a second 911 which was the Group 4 car, built up as a wide body Tarmac specification car, on account of the fundamentally Tarmac requirement of French rallies, whereas Prodrive and Per Eklund stayed with the narrow bodied 911, given the gravel-strewn surfaces of the rallies they would be entering.

    These two cars were built at the same time, but with significant collaboration between Per Eklund and David Lapworth. As such, the cars resemble each other very closely, and were equally similar in specification to the two 1978 works Safari cars (see sidebar).

    The comprehensive ST kit installed in the lightweight car comprises the 300bhp 3.0-litre flat-six built by Porsche Motorsport (with butterfly injection instead of the slider injection that was prone to jam due to dust on rally stages), a close-ratio gearbox with oil pump and cooler on top of the ’box (like the RSR), a 10,000rpm rev counter, competition clutch, competition exhaust manifolds and system, and a front-mounted #Porsche-935 oil tank.

    The uprated suspension components include front springs and struts with coil-over rear shocks, wrapped alloy trailing arms, and uprated brakes based on the 935’s at the front. There’s a front-mounted engine oil cooler, bias-adjustable pedal box, rear ducktail engine-lid spoiler, rear wing extensions in metal, and front alloy crossmember. The shell is reinforced in strategic places, including the engine bay and suspension mounts, with double-skinned front wheelarches and alloy roll cage. A battery of four Bosch spotlamps on the front lid completes the image.

    According to Per Eklund, the kit did not include the additional rally equipment of sump guards, seat, spotlights and steering wheel, and hydraulic handbrake, which he didn’t like. At the time, seats and steering wheel were left to driver choice, and sump guards were fitted according to the nature of the stages the cars were rallied on. The fuel tank was original so the spare wheel could be carried. Fuchs wheels were fitted at the front, and Fuchs or ATS Cookie Cutters on the back, depending on the nature of the stages. Per Eklund confirms that he received the complete ST kit from Jürgen Barth as one of the three selected teams, and indeed Jürgen refers to the batch as ‘STs with Porsche Motorsport’.

    The Per Eklund 911SC (or is it ‘ST’?…) began life as a standard car, converted with Porsche support in his Swedish workshop and remained in his ownership until Johan bought it. Bedecked in its jolly Happy People livery, its moment of glory was Finland’s FIA 1000 Lakes Rally of 1978, where Per and co-pilot Björn Cederberg finished 4th – having been 3rd on the road but docked a place for speeding on a transit section and receiving a time penalty.

    The 1000 Lakes was also nicknamed the Thousand Jumps on account of the notorious ’yumping’ over countless blind crests. A photo in Motor Sport’s October 1978 edition shows the Happy People car chucking up mud while spectators on a sunny hillside shelter under brollies. Amazingly, this was the very first time that Porsche scored points on gravel in the World Rally Championship.

    And the sponsor? According to Johan, ‘Happy People was a non profit organisation, and it seems that it still exists.’ But whether any funds changed hands, or Per just liked the logo is a moot point. As Johan says, ‘Per did not have any sponsorship and therefore volunteered to carry “Happy People” on the car, and even if that isn’t 100 per cent true, it is a nice story.’ The Eklund SC was then used at National Championship level with a good degree of success in rallies like the Hunsrück in 1979, and in the #1981 Swedish Rally where, notwithstanding its age, Per finished 9th overall, sponsored by Publimmo, with co-driver Ragnar Spjuth. This pair contested the 1981 Rally of 1000 Lakes, but failed to finish because of mechanical problems. Resplendent in white Clarion livery, Per then went rallycrossing with it, funking it up with 935 style droop-soot nose, front lid and polyester bumpers, all parts supplied by Porsche. These period parts have been kept with the car, including the original Swedish number plate, HOH 276. The car was then retired and placed in the local motor museum at Arvik, Karlstad, Sweden, part of which is dedicated to Per and his WRC successes, including his formidable Metro 6R4 from 1986.

    Back in the late ’90s Per decided to restore the car with the idea that he would enter the European Historic Rally Championship, so he extracted it from the museum. In 1999 the original Porsche Motorsport engine and gearbox were dispatched to Francis Tuthill for overhaul, though they remain under wraps and have never been reinstalled in the car. The projected restoration was never finished: Per was pulled from the project to run an X-Games (X = Extreme sports) team in the States, so in #2013 ownership of the car passed to Johan Dirickx.

    Perfectionist that he is, Johan instantly embarked on a full restoration, from bare metal repaint and application of the red-nosed clown and Happy People identification, based on a multitude of period archive images, to a comprehensive rebuild of the drivetrain and running gear. Happy People? A genial identity for such a fierce bolide. Still, it makes everyone smile.

    Which brings us to the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s Rally stage. I asked Johan’s friend, Alan Benjamin from Denver, for his impression of hurling it around the Goodwood rally course. ‘Absolutely fantastic, and a huge grin every run,’ enthuses the laconic Colorado man. ‘I am one of the few American rallyists here; we don’t really do rallying in the USA that much. Except for Pike’s Peak, which is now all paved. But Johan, my best Porsche buddy in Belgium, allows me to do this, and then he comes over to the US and races some of my Porsches at Laguna Seca, so we have a good international alliance.

    ‘But the Goodwood rally track is narrow, it’s pot-holed and the edges of the track, as we would say in the US, are trees, so when you’re driving someone else’s expensive car you try and leave a little bit out there and let the car owner and the pros really go for it. But it’s absolutely fantastic and the car is getting better every day.’

    What about the particular methodology of driving a loose, off-road rally stage? ‘The skill sets are completely different. There are way bigger slip angles, and if you had that much slip angle on pavement you would be dramatic but overall you would be slower, a lot more power and oversteer, less four-wheel drifting, but either way, it’s a blast!’ From last year’s 3m 24s in the Bastos car, Johan managed 3m 11s in the Eklund car. ‘We could have done better if the gearbox and final drive were more adapted to the terrain,’ mused Johan. ‘If this had been the case, 3m 05s would have been possible.’

    The Happy People SC remained in Per’s ownership for 35 years, and that’s a testimony in itself, even though it got neglected latterly. But now it’s in Johan’s tenure, benefiting from a nut-and-bolt rebuild, and knowing of his penchant for letting his beast off the leash, we’ll be seeing lots more of the car in historic rallies. Happy days!
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    Ron Fleming has owned his #1972 #Porsche-911S for four whole decades… Not many people can boast of having owned a car for as long as Ron Fleming, for he bought his black #911S 40 years ago! We look back over four decades of life with a 1972 #Porsche . Words & photos: Keith Seume.

    Ron’s name will be familiar to many people with a passing interest in high-performance Volkswagens and off-road racing. His company, FAT Performance, based in Orange, California, has an enviable reputation for building race-winning motors for cars competing in the SCORE off-road race series in California and Mexico.

    Ron is still also heavily involved with the world of VW drag racing, a sport in which he first became embroiled back in the late 1960s, first at the wheel of a Bug called Underdog, later in control of a legendary racer called Tar Babe. And today, he competes regularly in the VW Super Street championship in a 300+bhp nine-second Beetle. But let’s turn the clock back a way – back to the early-1970s, in fact. Having spent (who said misspent?) his youth racing VWs on the drag strip and embarrassing muscle car drivers on the street, Ron – like so many other #VW owners, then and now – began to lust after a Porsche. He bought a 911T which he proceeded to modify, with a hot 2.4-litre engine, boredout Webers, Carrera-style flares and suitably wide Fuchs wheels. It scratched the itch, but he still wanted more – more in the form of a 911S.

    In 1975, He sold the #Porsche-911T and tracked down a black sunroof 911S. Being a 1972 model, it had a 2.4-litre engine and oil-filler in the rear quarter panel. The stock engine (which displaced 2341cc) produced 190bhp at 6500rpm and was equipped with the original Bosch mechanical fuel-injection. The car already had an interesting story attached before Ron bought it. The ‘S’ left the factory in Light Yellow, destined for sale at the famous Vasek Polak dealership at Hermosa Beach, on Pacific Coast Highway. It seems that a customer came in one day and was desperate to buy a new 911S, but it had to be in black. After some phone calls, the salesman came back with the news that there were no black ones available anywhere.

    The solution? Take the Light Yellow car sat in the showroom and repaint it for the customer! Can’t help wondering how many dealers today would go that far to get a sale – and how many customers would be happy to accept a new car that had been repainted before it had even turned a wheel? Not many, I’m sure.

    With just 34,000 miles on the clock when it came into Ron’s ownership, the 911S was sound in wind and limb but, Ron being Ron, he dropped the engine out in his workshop and tore it apart to check all was OK. It almost goes without saying that it was fine after so few miles but Ron just wanted to make sure…

    However, it was perhaps inevitable that Ron’s hot-rod instincts would come into play before too long, so it was only a matter of time before he tore the engine apart and rebuilt it with a pair of SC-spec cams, which helped boost power to a very useful 212bhp – 22 more than stock and enough to keep Ron happy (for now).

    Ron’s programme of personalising the ‘S’ has manifested itself in a number of ways, some subtle, some not quite so. None, however, have done anything to detract from the character (and desirability) of this most sought after of early 911Ss. Ron likes black cars – his race car had been black, as was his old Oval-window VW street car – but to him the 1972 #911 just wasn’t ‘black’ enough. ‘When the later cars came out, with their black-anodised trim, I knew that was what I wanted,’ says Ron.

    But rather than have the brightwork around the windows and door frames anodised, he chose to have them powdercoated instead, because he’d seen how black anodising often suffered in the strong California sunshine, turning purple before your very eyes. He had the headlamp rims coated, too, along with the door handles and ‘S’ body trim. He also swapped the door mirror for one from a 1974 model as it was the smallest available in black, at the same time fitting factory-supplied tinted glass all round.

    The personalisation process didn’t stop there, though. Turning to the interior, Ron had local trim specialist, Don ‘Brad’ Bradford reupholster the seats and door panels in his trademark ‘fat biscuit’ style. This is a reference to the double-stitched pattern on the seat inserts, which many thought resembled a tray of freshly-baked biscuits! Brad’s handiwork was regarded as unsurpassable for quality in the 1970s and original examples of his workmanship are treasured today, particularly within the VW scene.

    Among other changes Ron made to the interior were to fit the passenger door card from a European-spec RHD 911 to the driver’s side door of his LHD car. This meant that he now had a proper arm rest and door pull on both doors, for greater comfort and convenience. Later, he also had Brad stitch up some new footwell mats, which included a pair of speakers so that he wouldn’t have to cut holes in the retrimmed door panels.

    Ron drove the car like this for close to 10 years, by which time the paintwork was beginning to show its age. Needless to say, he had it repainted in – you guessed it – the original black. Well, what else did you expect?

    By the mid-1990s, the car had clocked up over 230,000 miles on the rebuilt engine and showed no signs of needing anything other than routine maintenance and tyres – ‘Oh, plenty of tyres!’, quipped Ron. He drove the 911 virtually every single day to work from his home in Yorba Linda, California, and was constantly hassled by people wanting to buy the car.

    One Japanese visitor would regularly leave his business card under the windscreen wiper, while another hopeful offered Ron the sum of $25,000 for the car… Yes, we did say $25,000. That was quite a bit for an old 911 back then, even an ‘S’. But, as the owner said at the time, ‘What else can I buy that would give me as much pleasure?’ – and he was right, what could he have bought?

    And talking of prices, one of the little extras of which Ron is most proud is the factory touring kit, which he bought for the car not long after he acquired it. Consisting of all that was deemed necessary to keep the 911S on the road during a lengthy transcontinental drive, it includes a spare valve spring, a new belt for the MFI pump, a drain plug, fuses, clutch cable and a set of plugs and points. In the 1970s, it cost just $27, but it’s hard to imagine what it would change hands for on the open market today.

    You can’t own a car for this length of time and not have some stories to tell, particularly if you’re a hot-rodder at heart. Ron still smiles when he recounts his two favourite tales, one being of the time when he was heading across the desert on the way to a show. Feeling the need for ‘refreshment’, he spied a sign stating that the next service station was 143 miles away. As his needs became more urgent, he planted his foot to the floor and rolled into the gas station within the hour…

    The second story is one of those which are best enjoyed around a fire with a beer or two to hand. Ron and a friend were on the way to New Mexico, rolling along at a steady 130mph, or so, when they were spotted by a member of the Highway Patrol who took a rather dim view of the 911’s rate of knots. Pulling the Porsche over, clearly the officer thought it was his lucky day as he took out his notebook and wandered over to speak to the anxious driver.

    Ron, knowing that the safekeeping of his licence lay in the balance, immediately launched into a tall tale that he hoped would appease the officer’s obvious wrath. When asked why he was driving so fast, his reply was to the effect that the car was suffering from serious fuel-delivery problems, thanks to the belt-driven fuel-injection pump. ‘I need to keep the engine rpm as high as I can, or it won’t run at all!’ he told the patrolman. ‘If I leave it in low gear, it overheats, so I need to drive as fast as I can to keep up the airflow.’ he said.

    The officer gave Ron a sideways look and asked if he thought it was possible to reduce the speed just a little. ‘Would a hundred be OK?’ asked the driver, to which the officer mumbled something which Ron took to be in the affirmative, at which point the black 911S headed off down the road, with one very relieved owner at the wheel.

    In more recent times, Ron has continued to make changes to the car, the most evident of which is a swap to 16-inch wheels, which have been detailed to resemble the earlier style of Fuchs (the original 15-inch rims are tucked away safely in the garage). This has broadened the choice of tyres and also helped to sharpen the handling. In addition, Ron carried out another engine rebuild, swapping the cams for new grinds from WebCam, who also supply camshafts for his drag race motors.

    Today, the black ‘S’ competes for Ron’s favour with his beloved rag-top #VW-Beetle , with which it currently shares garage space. He’s taken the ‘S’ on R Gruppe ‘treffen’, and frequently visited the late lamented Cars & Coffee at Irvine – he’s even lent it to yours truly on several occasions. But it doesn’t get used as much as he would like, so Ron occasionally talks about how maybe he should think about selling the 911.

    Sadly, the way the market is now, it’s too valuable to drive every day in rush hour freeway traffic, and he can no longer simply park it outside while he dives into his favourite sushi bar for fear of theft or damage. But selling it would leave a Porsche-sized void in the garage which he would struggle to fill. And anyway, how could anyone bring themselves to sell a member of the family?
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    The Next Level #Porsche-911T vs. #Porsche-911-964 . Got a little more cash to splash on a #911 ? Two decades apart, the E-Series and 964 proffer alternative prospects for around £35k-50k… Got a little more cash to splash on a 911? Although two decades apart, both the #Porsche-E-Series-911T and the #964 offer alternative prospects for around £45,000… Story: Simon Jackson. Photography: Gus Gregory.

    There’s a simple and realistic question everyone should ask themselves prior to purchasing a vehicle of any kind. This question cuts through all the hype, drastically reduces any hastily pencilled list of pros and cons, and immediately delivers a sense of serene clarity, and that question is: ‘What am I going to use it for?’. It seems indisputably obvious but it’s not always the first thing a passionate petrolhead considers before embarking on an excitable, sometimes emotional, car shopping journey.

    When it comes to Porsches, in particular over 50 years worth of #Porsche-911 variants, asking yourself this question is absolutely imperative. This argument is clarified here with two 911s available for around the same price, both of which are fantastic in their own right, yet which on paper offer very divergent ownership prospects. Indeed, choosing between them could well be a case of deciding exactly what you plan to use them for…

    964 C2
    The 964’s transformation in fortunes is almost entirely complete now. Today it’s virtually impossible to purchase one of these post-1989 911s for under £20k, with the exception of the odd rogue convertible or #Targa version perhaps. Once the abhorrent black sheep of the 911 family, today the 964 stands tall as a cherished 911 with a strong following – and rightly so. But despite this reversal in favour the 964 still has some headroom to grow, and prices reflect this steadily rising as the cars become older and good examples become more sought-after. As such, anyone looking above the SC and 3.2 Carrera for a classic yet useable 911 could do far worse than considering a 964 as their #Porsche of choice.

    This #1991 #Porsche-911-Carrera-2 , finished in Mint green, is for sale at 4 Star Classics in Hampshire. The lefthand- drive model has been imported from Japan at some point during its lifetime, has covered just 46,000 miles and features the ‘love it or loathe it’ controversial Tiptronic gearbox. As you might imagine given the mileage it’s in exceptional condition, and is offered for sale at £39,995.

    Stepping inside the 964, one is reminded of how this model really does bridge the gap between what you might interpret as a true ‘classic’ 911s and more modern versions such as the 993 or 996. The driving position and dashboard layout owe more to Porsches of old than we might have first realised when the car was new back in the Nineties, and this projects a familiar and tangible ‘modern classic’ environment.

    With the weather doing its utmost to hamper progress and dampen the day during our photoshoot, the 964 presents a delightful safe haven – it feels old enough to be special, yet current enough to offer the touches of modernity a day like today may require. Heating to effectively and quickly clear the screen, door rubbers capable of keeping copious amounts of rain water at bay, plus a reliable and tractable drivetrain. It all feels wholly useable.

    Out on the road that persona remains as the driving experience is exceptionally friendly. This isn’t a Porsche that fights you at every step, rather one that wishes to make life as smooth as possible. In combination with the four-speed Tiptronic gearbox, the engine offers relatively sedate progress, belying the book figures of 250hp produced by the 3600cc flat-six. But when pushed a touch harder the C2 will pick up pace accordingly. For all intents and purposes this is a 911 you could happily use 365 days of the year.

    Steering is light yet offers progressive turn-in bite and a depth of feel often missing in more modern machinery, so perhaps the only real flaw here is that often-loathed Tiptronic gearbox, which certainly doesn’t deliver as urgent or progressive a driving experience as a contemporary #PDK system. However, despite how our first choice would undoubtedly be a manual ’box in this generation of 911, the Tiptronic cog-swapper is perhaps not the malevolent piece of devil engineering it is depicted as by some. Worse things happen at sea.

    In many regards, for me, the 964 is of a period just prior to the over-indulgence of technology in cars, when form followed function to just the right degree, cars were more lithe and simplistic offering the perfect balance of driveability, comfort and convenience, and straight-talking sex appeal not electronic dominance. For me, the 964’s legacy will be that it was the last truly classically-styled 911, offering a driving experience that looked ahead to the future, while taking a leaf from the book of the past. Personally I can’t think of another 911 I would rather use everyday, but perhaps the 964 has now become too precious for that kind of thing?


    As you’ll no doubt be all too aware, early 911s of all variants are incredibly sought after today, so it’s little wonder that even the more basic models which used to offer plausible entry-level 911 ownership not so many years ago, are now becoming pretty expensive investments. The 1970s 911T is one such model that is going through a rapid acceleration in asking prices, and as such it makes a very plausible case for purchase to anyone in the market for a £40,000 (and upwards) classic 911.

    The car you see here is an E-Series, available in #1971 - 1972 , with it came a new 2341cc engine which resulted in these cars being commonly referred to as the ‘2.4-litre’ 911. The E-Series boasted Bosch mechanical fuel injection over the carburettor alternative, and is noted for its oil tank (and subsequent filler flap) located between the right-hand door and rear-wheel arch – a feature dropped in the summer of #1972 to avoid owners filling their oil tanks with fuel.

    This Light yellow car, offered for sale by 4 Star Classics for £49,995, is a 1972 911T and has covered 81,000 miles from new. It might seem a world apart from the aforementioned 964, but with its five-speed manual gearbox, ventilated disc brakes and mechanical fuel injection system, it is effectively just as useable as its 1990s equivalent – if a touch more precious.

    Firing the 911T into action is a smile-inducing experience, as the sound of that traditional aircooled flat-six greets one’s ears. There’s just something so infectious about that tuneful clamour. Moving from the 964 into this 911, two decades its senior, you’d quite rightly expect a level of shock at your basic surroundings to befall you, but thanks to the 911’s gentle evolutionary nature this car doesn’t feel as ‘night and day’ compared with the 964 as you might first expect. Typically period pliant seating offers levels of comfort a few modern machines could learn a thing or two from, and the steering wheel and gear knob provide chunky tactile points of contact for the driver. Pure Seventies. Engaging drive is a characteristically air-cooled procedure, matching revs for take-off doesn’t take one too long to master and there’s a reassuringly consistent disposition to all the vital controls – unlike some classic cars of the era which can provide a temperamental driving experience to say the least. Once in motion, as with all classic 911s, the gearbox can take some getting used to, but once mastered and when handled with the correct level of aptitude and care, the change between gears is a satisfying process. Turn-in is a weightier affair than with the 964, but it is direct and confidence-inspiring, allowing the driver to get back on the throttle at his or her earliest convenience. It really is an enjoyable drive.

    In pursuit of the 964, the 911T provides perhaps its biggest shock – its level of performance. It feels brisk, in relative terms, fooling the brain into believing that the (over) 100hp deficit to the penultimate aircooled 911 ahead must be some kind of misprint. Unlike the cosseting more modern 964, this car encouragingly feels like a true classic sports car, one you could enjoy on the back routes or on your local track in equal measure. My only complaint is that I wish I was driving this car on a beautiful summer’s day – hardly the fault of the car! The 911T feels like just the right mix of classic Porsche, not too precious that you won’t want to push it from time-to-time, but not too quick that you’d feel the need to rinse it for every tenth of a second just to invoke a thrill through the controls. In many respects it seems to currently occupy a 911 sweet spot…


    Of course it goes without saying that these two 911s are very different. The 19 years that separate them may visually represent a typically mild Porsche evolution, but psychically under the skin it’s more of a revolution. So you might be expecting me to tell you that the comparative result is that today they do entirely different jobs, but I’m not going to – because I’m not sure they do…

    Given the sought-after nature (and not forgetting their asking prices) of these two variants of 911, both the 911T and 964 have morphed, seemingly in parallel, into Porsche 911s which you probably wouldn’t want to use on a day-to-day basis, and in a way that defines this duo. Deciding which one to buy really does come back to that question we discussed earlier: ‘What am I going to use it for?’.

    If you’re looking for a financial investment opportunity that will only appreciate in value, then based on historical evidence either of these cars offer value for money and should be almost bulletproof in terms of depreciation. If you buy the right example you probably can’t go wrong there. If you want a Porsche for high days and holidays, a car to roll out of the garage a few times a year when the sun is shining or for the annual pilgrimage to something like the Goodwood Revival, again, the world’s your oyster with this pairing – just take your pick. Want to drive your 911 to work once a week or enjoy it strictly during your leisure at weekends? Guess what – a 911T or a 964 would make for the perfect partner too. And, if you’re a strictly dedicated enthusiast there’s certainly an argument that either could be used on a day-to-day level.

    Of course you might be thinking that there are other Porsches, other 911s perhaps which display this all-round ability, and you might be right. But as the star of both these cars rise up the classified listings in harmony, it’s clear that choosing a 911 in this price bracket has never presented a tougher decision.

    Firing the 911T into action is a smile-inducing experience, as the sound of that air-cooled flat-six greets one’s ears.

    Comparing 911s from different eras, which in essence offer completely different ownership concepts, is no easy task. In reality there’s nothing wrong with any of the prospects we have examined here; the #Porsche-911SC would make the perfect starter air-cooled 911, and those with a little more cash to splash might consider a 911T or a 964 – two already popular versions of Stuttgart’s icon, but cars which can still be acquired for a reasonable outlay… well, reasonable in Porsche terms anyway.

    Naturally there are many other variants of 911 which could sit alongside our selections here, most notably the 3.2 Carrera, and undoubtedly you’ll have your own ideas. But the message is clear; whichever path you choose you’re sure to end up with a 911 you can cherish and use in equal measure, and which, in theory, should not lose value. Of course, that’s not why the majority of enthusiasts purchase Porsche cars in the first instance, but it’s certainly a nice silver lining to owning one of the world’s most iconic sports cars, right?
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago

    Classic Porsche visits Hexagon, Londonbased Porsche specialist. Hexagon sold their first Porsche over 40 years ago. They’re still doing it! Words and photos: Paul Davies.

    I have a list of Porsche dealers dated October #1972 here on my desk. Covering the whole of London there is just one main dealer – AFN Ltd., which can still be found as Porsche Guildford – plus three retail dealers. Two of these are no longer around but the modern child of Hexagon of Highgate is very much alive, and in business less than a mile down the road from where it was born. Now Hexagon Modern Classics is firmly established as one of the country’s leading showrooms for prime condition, previously-owned Porsches. It would be derogatory to refer to the 50-or-so cars in the building behind the grey fence on Fortis Green road, in the London borough of Haringey, as ‘used’. Here we are talking about the absolute tops, low mileage classic Porsches, in as new condition.

    It’s no longer an official dealer – that status ended in the late seventies – but there’s a common denominator between the Hexagon of 1972 and the company of today; founder Paul Michaels.

    From a motor trade family, Paul started selling cars way back in 1963 in a London mews and became a successful dealer of classic sports cars, the likes of Marcos, Lotus and Aston Martin, as well as Porsche. An oil ‘crisis’ in 1973 prompted by the Yom Kippur war (oil shot up from $3 a barrel to $12, would you believe!) knocked the performance car market for six, and left dealers such as Michaels vulnerable; he recalls selling 28 Aston Martin V8s at the London Motor Show of that year and then having all but one cancelled.

    The result was for Porsche GB to seek representation in west London rather than the northern location of Highgate which, in effect, ruled out Hexagon. Not that Paul was down for long – he soon began an association with BMW as an official dealer that ended (at Paul’s request) only a few years back. But, with a long-term love for Porsche that stretches back to the #1967 911S he owned, he set up the current business just over two years ago.

    So, what’s a classic #Porsche in the minds of Paul Michaels and sales manager Jonathan Franklin? Almost anything air-cooled we’re pleased to note, although the pair are not averse to adding later top-model versions of the 911 if the right car comes along.

    There’s a leaning towards the performance end of the family, with RS and Turbo models from early #Porsche-911 through to 993, particularly welcome at Fortis Green, although the wider criteria seems to be that condition and low mileage are all-important. Which explains the presence of a #Porsche-911SC-Cabriolet , an early 911S Targa and several Carrera 3.2s in the showroom alongside the exotica.

    Time now, I think, to get something straight. As we said, Hexagon deals in the highest-quality Porsches (and the occasional something else that takes the owner’s fancy) and a look around the showroom, or glance at the web site, will reveal that quality does not come even slightly cheap. There’s a tag of £42,995 on that SC Cabriolet, and £53,995 for an 1989 Carrera 3.2 Targa. These are prices you might do a double-take on, even alongside the more likely £130k for a 1989 LE ‘flatnose’ Turbo, or a fiver under £200k for a Ninemeister-modified 964 RS.

    The underlying theme is quality, and Paul Michaels is not apologetic about the figures on some of the cars. Quality, he says, demands an extreme high level of preparation. It’s not unknown to spend the equivalent of £10,000, and many hours, getting a car to the level he and Jonathan consider right for sale. That SC Cabrio had some £30k-worth of restoration completed just before it came to Hexagon, but even so it went through the usual preparation process in the workshop. The top-price 3.2 Targa has completed just 35,000 miles in 26 years.

    Hexagon has a large workshop alongside the showroom dedicated purely to sales car preparation and commissioning. The company does not take in servicing or other work, and sends its own vehicles to trusted specialists when mechanical or major bodywork is required. Needless to say, every purchase comes with a full 12 months warranty, including breakdown.

    The success of the business confirms that condition and originality clearly overrules price as far as customers at Hexagon Modern Classics are concerned. Many purchasers know exactly what they want and see their acquisition as an investment, says Jonathan. Possibly a shrewd move at a time when interest rates are low and values of significant cars of many marques are rising. Many customers own more than one classic car; a few count their collections in double figures. Cars have to be – as they say in the concours world – 100-pointers.

    Chatting with Michaels you learn more about the man. A few yards from us is the Leyton House-liveried 962 Group C car he’s owned since 2003. It’s an ex-Kremer machine that did Le Mans in 1987 (finishing 4th) and 1988 (8th) and just one of a collection of significant cars the Hexagon chairman owns.

    On the walls is a display of photographs from his days as a car owner and entrant, including the Jaguar D-type and Lister-Jaguar raced – amongst others – by Willy Green, Gerry Marshall and Nick Faure and, most famously, the wall-art showcases the John Watson connection.

    After a season in British Formula 5000 with Watson, Hexagon took the Ulster ace into Grand Prix racing in 1974 with a privately-owned Brabham, the driver scoring six points in the season. Plans for a further year of Hexagon in Grand Prix were dropped when a sponsor changed its mind at the last hour. Paul Michaels says the decision to concentrate on Porsche in 2013 was, apart from that deep-rooted personal preference, because he considers the marque to be most usable of all the quality classics. They are, as he puts it, ‘proper cars’.

    But the fact a Porsche can be a daily-driver produces problems, namely that mileages tend to be higher – and growing all the time. ‘Eighteen months ago we reckoned our ideal top mileage was 50,000, now it’s more like 70,000’, says Paul. It’s becoming even harder for Hexagon (who employ a number of specialist buyers) to find the cars they want, and consequently prices are increasing.

    What does a man with half a century in the car sales trade think about the trend in Porsche values? Despite the stratospheric levels achieved by certain models (Carrera RS anyone?) in recent times Paul doesn’t see any ceiling to prices. ‘We’re more likely going to see peaks and troughs as certain marques and models come in and out of favour’, he says.

    You get the impression Hexagon can cope with price increases, but what is causing Paul Michaels more worry is the ‘faking’ of high-level Porsches, and the desire that every car should have matching chassis and engine numbers. He’s seen more than a fair share of RS and RSR clones presented as original, and now will not buy high-price cars unless he knows and can trust the seller. Mere supposed history or documentation is not enough nowadays.

    ‘It’s relatively easy to fake a Porsche and it’s getting more and more difficult to know the real thing’, he says. The need for cars to have matching numbers is a trend that Paul believes comes from the USA. Whereas he appreciates that a genuine car should have its original chassis number, he points out that it is quite likely a competition or high performance car will have had an engine change in its lifetime. That famed 2.7-litre unit of 1973 was not always totally reliable!

    An hour with the Hexagon boss confirms he’s an out and- out enthusiast for the performance car, and Porsches in particular. He says his personal favourite, and daily drive, is his #Porsche-911-Turbo-S-993 , and admits more than a soft spot for the oft-ignored 928 grand tourer of the eighties and early nineties. Its day is fast approaching, he says. Take note from someone who should know after over 40 years of selling Porsches.

    Hexagon Modern Classics boss Paul Michaels is a great fan of the 993. This Strasse-modified RS Club Sport is the rarest of the rare – and a future classic without any doubt.

    Pre-impact bumper 911s are leading the price rise, hence a tag of just under £160k on this low mileage 1971 911S 2.2-litre Targa.

    Hexagon Modern Classics
    90 Fortis Green
    N2 9EY
    Tel: 020 8348 5151
    www. hexagonmodernclassics. com

    Hexagon rates the 3.2 Carrera as the first 911 that’s a daily-driver. Club Sport is the ultimate; this is one of 53 cars made in right-hand drive and has covered just 40,900 miles.

    The 962 Group C sports racer was a high finisher at two Le Mans. Now it’s part of Paul Michaels’ collection and is centre-piece of the Porsche display in the Hexagon showroom.

    The Hexagon workshop carries out extensive preparation work before any car is offered for sale A price tag a whisker under £43k for a 911SC Cabriolet may sound high, but please note this car has had a £30k restoration and has just 35,000 miles recorded on the clock.

    Paul Michaels was a Porsche dealer back in the Sixties. Now, as the chairman of #Hexagon-Modern-Classics , he sells quality used Porsches Attention to detail: marks show where this Carrera 3.2 has been checked over for paintwork blemishes and stone chips.

    “There’s a leaning towards the performance end of the family, with RS and Turbomodels welcome…”
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  •   Andy Everett reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Widebody backdated 911s Retro Spex. Backdating with style - retro 911s take on ST and RSR styling cues, but with a modern twist. Going back in time with your 911 necessitates a target model or an era to pitch it at. We sample two different takes on Porsche’s halcyon racing days of the early ’70s, but are they fit for the heroes who drove them back then? Words: Johnny Tipler. Photography: Antony Fraser.

    It’s amazing how much #Porsche 911s changed in the space of a couple of years. In 1972 they were long-bonneted, unspoilered, and in 1974 they’d sprouted wings, air dams and impact bumpers. Our two retrospectives this month were built to order by Specialist Cars of Malton, starting life as a 964 and a 3.2 Carrera, yet both project Porsche 911 racecar styling from either side of that major visual revamp. But what exactly are we being asked to believe we’re seeing? The pale grey car could be an ST along the lines of 1972’s European GT Championship contenders, and the yellow peril looks like nothing so much as a 3.0 Carrera RSR comps car from #1974 .

    Paradoxically it’s the later donor car that portrays the earlier longbonnet look and the earlier one that comes across as the 1974 IROC racer.

    So why would you want to ape an ST? Though never officially documented as such by the factory, that was the designation it was given in the race shop by the guys who built it. Following on from the hot 911R of 1968, Porsche supplied racing and rallying customers with the homologated 911T, fitted with the 911S engine and described it as a 911T Rally or TR, in effect a 911S lightweight. Then for #1970 they built a 911S lightweight as a homologated production model, basically a 911T with an S engine, so the factory called it an ST. For the #1972 racing season a number of 2.5-litre 911 S coupés were built, incorporating new anti-roll bars, harder Bilstein shocks, and a half roll-cage in the rear of the stripped-out cockpit. The shape of the swollen steel wheelarches is peculiar to the ST, and except for the front spoiler the rest of the body panels were in steel. The blueprinted 2.5-litre flat-six ran with Bosch fuel injection, racing camshafts and pistons, polished intake and exhaust ports, and twin-spark ignition, developing 270bhp at 8,000rpm. The ST was the first 911 available from the factory with the potential to score a class win at Le Mans, as Erwin Kremer did in 1970. Björn Waldegård won the Monte Carlo Rally in 1970 in a works ST and, moreover, John Fitzpatrick won the 1972 European GT series in a Kremer-built ST. ‘The 911 was the best rally car at that time, no question,’ declares Waldegård.

    Between 1970 and 1972, the factory made 18 ‘STs’ (J. Barth) with sufficient componentry manufactured for customers to build an additional 30 complete cars, plus the relevant parts to upgrade a further 100 cars to ST spec. And that makes doing a replica ST an attractive proposition indeed. There’s also comfortable scope for ambiguity, since the ST was itself abstruse, spanning two years and two fairly significant evolutions. If nothing else, it’s more esoteric than a 2.7 RS rep.

    Which brings us onto the yellow 3.0 RSR lookalike that we’ve got here, replicating the invincible European GT Championship winning car from 1974. In fact from 1974 to 1977 the 3.0 Carrera RSR was the staple Group 4 racer, with 17 of them running at Le Mans that year. Production of the 3.0- litre RS series began in Autumn 1973, and the first 15 units went to the States for the IROC (International Race of Champions) series, to be swapped amongst a bunch of elite drivers from F1, USAC, NASCAR, IMSA, TransAm and Can-Am competing against one another in mechanically identical, though individually wildly coloured, cars – the first 911 racecars with the new raised ‘impact bumper’ look and huge whaletail wing. Of the 109 RSRs made, 59 were road-registered, and just six in right-hand-drive.

    The 3.0 RS and #RSR were wellestablished midfield runners in the 1974 World Championship for Makes endurance events, and John Fitzpatrick lifted the crown in the European GT Championship with five class wins in the Gelo Racing 3.0 RSR. ‘I think the nicest 911 race car was the 3.0-litre RSR,’ Fitz proclaims. He’s not alone: Hurley Haywood’s career took off with the Brumos RSR: ‘In 1973 the factory gave a 3.0-litre 911 RSR Group 4 prototype to Peter Gregg and myself, and we won Daytona and then Sebring, so that car pretty much had me going.’ That was even before it had been homologated as a GT car. In 1975 Gijs van Lennep shared a 3.0 Carrera RSR at Le Mans with John Fitzpatrick, placing 5th overall.

    ‘That was the best Le Mans ever,’ says Gijs, who twice won the event outright, ‘as all we had to do was put a bit of oil in, clean the windows, put petrol in, change the front brake pads once, and that was it. Refuelling was very slow and you could work on the car and do the petrol in one go. We spent just 17 minutes in the pits in the whole 24 hours, and that seems to be a record too.’ Even we could do that! Jürgen Barth campaigns one these days on Tour Auto and declares that the competition 911 he would always come back to out of sheer dependability is the #Porsche-911-3.0-Carrera-RSR . ‘It wasn’t as quick or as powerful as the 935, obviously, but it was a great all rounder.’ So that’s what all the fuss is about. Pretty beguiling, emulating the legends in such an iconic shape, isn’t it?

    Bent on indulging in a bit of hero worship ourselves, we head up to the wilderness beyond Pickering: this is Heartbeat territory, but will my heart beat faster? There’s a fabulous 360 degree panorama from up here, surrounded by heather and limestone boulders, gorse, grouse, sheep and lambs, though the climate’s fickle. Sunny to start with, we manage to avoid a dousing, and back off the moor it’s summertime again.

    Let’s go with the pale grey car first. Prior to the transformation, the donor #Porsche-911-964-C2 was not at all in good shape. Allegedly every panel had something wrong with it, the paintwork was dreadful, the wheels were disposable, the interior was quite hideous. Then a visionary with a penchant for early ’70s race cars saw it and decided it had a brighter future. There’s a curious ambiguity about that too.

    The cabin interior is stripped out like a race car and partly trimmed like a limousine, so there’s bare metal showing all the lines where the panels have been welded together. Conversely, there’s leather trim along the bottom of the dash, the door cards are clad in quilted Alcantara, and along the top of the dash it’s also swathed in Alcantara. Ooh là-là! All very well executed, but somewhat theatrical for a parody race car, wouldn’t you say? There’s an aluminium strip along the central tunnel that suggests it could be a four-wheel drive transmission tunnel, hungover from the 964 structure, with the gear lever poking through that. It’s got footrests in the shape of drilled plates for the passenger/navigator and for the driver’s left foot, and then behind the pedals. It has a Momo Prototipo steering wheel, and the gauges are in pale grey, matching the colour of the car, and the computer aspect of the rev counter is blanked off, while the rest of the instrumentation consists of specially trimmed 964 switches. It’s all very nicely finished, but it does smack of an identity crisis. The dinky little streamlined door mirrors don’t do much, and I twiddle with the faces in a bid to find some rearward vision down the flanks. Seats are period-style sports buckets embraced by Schroth four-point harnesses, and a Safety Devices half roll-cage occupies the back of the cabin, rigged for driver/navigator intercom.

    Externally, the ST look has been achieved by swapping the 964 panels for 911 E-programme ones, trading short bonnet for long, impact bumpers for classic. I look underneath the wheelarches. The flaring technique is dimly discernable. They’ve cut off the original milder 964 flares, overlapped the classic arches slightly, pinned and welded them on, filling up any imperfections. At Specialist Cars, the painting process involves stripping everything out, engine, suspension, wheels, trim, interior, then it’s put on the spit, which holds the front and back ends so the shell can be tilted onto its side for the bottom to be prepped.

    Then it receives a primer base coat, which is flatted back, and the topcoat is applied. This is the two-pack method (as opposed to water-based with lacquer coat), with the shell oven-baked to make the chemicals harden off. Pale grey with understated racing stripes (painted on, not stickers) is extremely cool. The closure panels and wings are painted at the same time, and then fitted along with the rubber inserts. In the process it’s lost the 964 sill covers, and the front and rear bumpers are fibreglass, appropriate for the E- and Fprogramme 911. All window surrounds and door handles are in chrome. The 964 roof, doors and windows, plus the powertrain and running gear are retained. I reflect that the STs ran in 1972 without ducktail spoilers, which helps pin down the era it purports to represent more specifically; by 1973 aerodynamics had moved on a notch and they mostly had ducktails. Those deep-dished Fuchs, shod with Toyo Proxes, complete the picture, though in period the STs mostly ran Minilites at the rear as Fuchs did not produce any 9in rims at the time, and Porsche used Minilite ninespoke magnesium wheels. These Fuchs lookalikes are made by Braid in Spain, and it’s when I look at the hubs more closely I see why they fill out the wheelarches so amply.

    It’s because it’s fitted with 10mm spacers on the front and two – an 8mm and a 10mm – on the back. It’s all about the look, though, because to fill those arches up you’ve got to have wheels a long way away from the hubs.

    What’s the reality? The flat-six blares from the specially designed twin-pipe exhaust box, an ecstatic paean to 911 racers, prompting high revs and taunting bystanders in equal measure. Throttle response is sharp, the needle zinging right round the rev counter. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun in a 911 in an urban context for a very long time!
    Much of this has to do with the noise it’s making, which is a really outrageous amount, though on a long journey it could be quite painful on the ears. As it stands there’s a question mark over the comfort factor too.

    The seat is fixed, and I would alter the angle of the squab as I’m more perched on it than nestling in it. Out on the open road I’m a bit wary as it’s skittish over the bumps, unpredictably oversteering then understeering, and the ride is a tad harsh. The brakes are sharp, though, providing instant rallentando, and I can keep it under control by using the throttle to make the front end turn in and duck out, and giving it its head. It’s one feisty car, this, and lots of fun in a frivolous driving situation.

    Following the yellow car up to the moors, it looks for all the world like an IROC racer, a wide- bodied 3.0 Carrera RSR, sporting a huge whale tail wing, the top V of the roll cage visible through the back window, and a couple of vents in the trailing ends of the front wings to let the heat out, with corresponding ducts in the leading edges of the rear arches to aid cooling. It’s a plastic fantastic: the side windows are perspex, the doors, wings and roof are fibreglass, though front and rear windscreens are glass. The fibreglass wings are bonded in place with a flexible sealant called J-B Weld. The original 3.2 wings are unbolted, slots cut in the shell and the new ones slide in place, accompanied by the bonding medium.

    After the main painting process the rubber trims and seals are inserted, and when the bumpers are bolted back on they nip up the rubber. It has a matching rev counter, but mustard rather than rape, if I can use that hue, because I’d say the external colour is more of a rapeseed yellow. The ensemble is set off by lattice BBS wheels, and the Carrera graphics are a nice period touch too. This is the one that gets most stares in town. It’s got GT3 seats with Sabelt harnesses and a comprehensively welded-in roll cage, which just happens to be one of the most difficult roll cages I’ve ever had to get my leg over to get into a car.

    Plus there’s a bar right across the front of the cabin where your knees are. The top of the dash has been upholstered in a flock material, there are canvas door pulls, and the Kevlar pattern is revealed in the underside of the roof. The interior is so dominated by the vibrant yellow submarine effect, the Beatles would feel right at home living in here.

    There’s much more of a go-kart feel about the driving position, and I’m absorbing every last little bump on the road surface through the steering wheel, which is wriggling away like a mad adder.

    I’m traversing the fast moorland up on Blakey Ridge and the car bounces on the bumps, the suspension’s that hard. The brakes feel like they are of the period, needing firm pressure on the pedal to slow it down, while the 915 shift is the old fashioned pattern with reverse down to the right. I take advantage of those broad tyres, leaning hard on them in fast corners. On smooth new country lane blacktop, everything starts to make sense with the yellow car, and with no undulations to disturb it, it’s a fast, rock-solid performance car. Going back in time with a pair of 911s doesn’t mean they’re slower.

    The grey car is a 3.6, so there’s no question that’s a quick car. And despite its raw and rascally attitude, the yellow peril’s running un-modded 3.2-litre power, which means it’s more relaxed than racetrack revvy. It does sound the part, and a 231bhp flat-six in a largely fibreglass panelled body has a decent amount of get-up and- go to complement its radical looks. My driving accomplice on our shoot, Phil Robson from Specialist Cars, whangs the grey car while I yank the yellow, and we enjoy a hooley of a drive along the back doubles from Pickering to Malton, scudding around the corners in unison and blaring down the tree-lined avenues, pedal to the metal, great fun, really using the revs. A memorable blast, and he’s a brazen biker so he keeps it together.

    The conversion work has been accomplished superbly and each car looks the part. They deliver aesthetically, they turn heads, show a fair turn of speed on the blacktop, and they demonstrate they do go bloody well in the cross-country chase we’ve just had. But are they any better than the chassis they purport to replicate? After all, one of the points of backdating is to end up with classic looks and more modern running gear. Both boxes ticked. They have the looks and the performance, giving us a couple of contenders to indulge in some non-specific historic road rallying. Being John Fitzpatrick and Björn Waldegård.

    John Hawkins Specialist Cars of Malton
    York Road Business Park
    North Yorkshire
    YO17 6YB
    Tel: 01653 697722
    Email: Sales and Underwrites - [email protected]
    Sales – [email protected]

    Below: Engine is unmodified, but 3.6-litres is enough in this lightweight, stripped out shell. Intercom is essential!

    Grey ST-alike is based on a #Porsche-911-964 , while the yellow #Porsche-911-RSR clone is #Porsche-911-Carrera-3.2 derived. Both take the ‘clone’ look with a pinch of salt. These aren’t faithful replicas but look the business none the less. We particualrly like those lattice #BBS bad boys.

    “I don’t think I’ve had so much fun in a #Porsche-911 for a very long time. Much of this has to do with the noise: Outrageous ”

    Modern and retro mix together for a different take on the backdate look. Below: On the move and it all comes together.
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