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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  •   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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  • The #1981 #Porsche-911SC

    With winter seemingly having passed only moments after it arrived, in the south at least, I was enjoying the decision to use the #Porsche-911 more regularly, for the sake of the battery. The warmer weather meant that starting and getting going was easier than it had been for a while. It is nice to sit for a moment and listen to it chuntering away, warming up ready for the off. Even with the standard exhaust the SC is a little noisey so I prefer not to wait too long if it’s an early start.

    I am sure that some of you are wondering where the joy is in commuting and why use the SC for that. Well, the old 911 is an event, a joy to drive on any occasion and not one I feel I need to limit to weekends or special outings, and perhaps that is one of the joys of the car not being low mileage or in mint condition. In the crazy world of 911 prices, at the moment having one that is not worth a great deal means it is not too precious to use whenever I want. Besides, I live in the countryside a reasonable distance from work so the road is interesting and the hours I keep mean that I am rarely stuck in traffic. There are occasions when I am caught behind someone driving just that bit slower than I would like, but then that gives me the chance to open the throttle, make some noise and ease past. In some ways the odd slow driver actually makes the drive more interesting. About the only thing to spoil my commute is the driver behind the slow one who is reluctant to overtake and leaves all behind them dawdling along. I’m getting a lot better at just pootling and enjoying the car. All else aside, the 3.0 air-cooled engine is a great antidote to a hard day.

    That is not to say that I have been having it all my own way, one rarely does with classic cars, although the payoff is worth it. Not too long ago, at work, I finished up a long call, took some lunch orders and hopped in the car. The engine fired on demand and I sat for a moment as the idle settled. I departed the car park with ease; people always seem happy to let the SC out at junctions. Anyway, a few hundred yards later I reach the traffic lights and wouldn’t you know it, the car stalls just as the traffic stops from the other direction and I’m seeking out first getting ready to move off. The engine cutting out when the car’s cold isn’t unheard of but it normally happens when the car’s just started and I’ve done something stupid. At the same time, there isn’t a lot of ‘normal’ with the SC – every time I think I have part of it sussed it does something different.

    I tried to start the engine again, but it died. This is nothing new if the car has stalled, it likes a moment to gather its thoughts before being set for the off. The traffic lights turned green and I calmly waved the other cars round me knowing I’d catch the next set. Each time I tried the engine it would fire momentarily and then stop. That was something new. I checked the battery contacts, despite the fact that the starter was working okay, all in order there. Looking at the engine all seemed well, but obviously was not.

    Once I’d determined I was going nowhere I put a call in to the office for someone to walk down and give me a push. A couple minutes later I took my head out from under the bonnet to see my colleagues approaching… well the ones that didn’t pretend to be on the phone the moment they realised there was a car in need of pushing.

    Despite being light, compared to a modern car, the chaps seemed to make hard work of pushing the little 911 the short distance back to the office. I got out to help at one point, which, while the car is moving, is far harder than Hollywood would have you believe! I had to give up the driver’s seat to Simon to park the last bit, he’s advancing in years and I was concerned he might have a coronary. Paul appeared to have put in a good effort, although showed some signs of fatigue. Chido, on the other hand, was far too sprightly – he claimed fitness, but we suspected a lack of effort and a whole bunch of pretending to push. They did leave hand prints on the back of the car, though, something I really must address before the next time.

    I set to looking for the starting problem and not too long after I began I found it: the fuse for the fuel pump. I had checked it before and it wasn’t broken, or so it appeared. When I removed the fuse I noticed that it had corroded at the top. Just a guess, but I think when the engine was off, the fuse contact was enough; the pump running giving enough fuel to the engine to start. Once it fired I think the vibrations broke the contact enough to cut the pump and starve the engine of fuel. A new fuse fixed it and that evening I monstered it home, to charge the battery, naturally.

    The following day I didn’t even make it out of the car park. The fuse was my first stop, but it was in good order. I then noticed that the wires into the fuse had also corroded. Removing them I stripped it back and taped it directly to the fuse; the terminal was jammed and I was unable to remove the screw to get the cable itself out. It seemed to do the trick, enough at least to see me home. As the wiring issue was a potential fire hazard I had to confine the 911 to the garage until further investigation; an ignominious end.

    Matt is enjoying using his #Porsche 911 on a daily basis but it hasn’t been without some technical hitches.
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  • Long-term fleet #1981 #Porsche #911 SC

    One Friday, having been awake since 4am and in the office well before 7am, keen to get home and enjoy a curry, I left work just after 5:30pm. The SC was running a low on fuel, but showed halfway between empty and a quarter of a tank on its logarithmic gauge.

    Enjoying the drive in the countryside section of the commute I turned into a lane and put my foot down in second. The engine made an unfamiliar noise just before I put the clutch in for the upshift. I wondered if I’d changed too late and the centrifugal rev limiter had cut in. I eased off a little and proceeded at a modest pace.

    Not long down the road I was slowing for a 30mph limit. Coming to a stop behind a car waiting to turn right, thus removing the obstacle from the next stage of open road, I pulled away and the car stalled. Nuts. The biggest problem with staling the 911 is that it needs a moment to compose itself before it’ll turn over, so I was not surprised when the car wouldn’t start immediately. I waived the following cars around me, and waited. A few minutes later and the engine gave me nothing. I needed to get out of the way so pushed the car off the main road, a chap stopped and helped. He offered to help further but I assured him I just needed time and would soon be under way again. Two minutes later, and sure enough, nothing.

    I turned the key in the ignition and watched the needle on the fuel gauge flick back up to an eighth of a tank. It was low but definitely indicating I had fuel. I then pondered whether the problem was with the gauge. On a hunch that it was, I locked the car and made for the petrol station in the next village.

    I walked and ran. I made reasonable time but not enough; the garage was closed when I arrived. I considered calling someone to come and help, but everyone I know locally had finished work for the week and would be home with the kids, I didn’t want to drag them away to take me to buy petrol only to find that was not the problem. I was now a couple of miles from the car. Uphill miles. I would have had to get back to the car, check where I was and then call the RAC. As a chap with a #Porsche-911 I would be low down their priority list, and if it was fuel I needed I would have been paying a penalty. Alternatively there was a petrol station a few miles down the road, but it was a potentially fruitless six-mile round trip.

    My final option? I was about six miles from home, I could collect the #924 , some tools and petrol. It was probably the final sunny evening of autumn and not a bad walk so I set off. I passed a sign for a footpath, away from the road, pointing toward home, and followed it. I was stopped by a man on a tractor. Suspecting I was about to be run off his land, I tried to avoid eye contact as he was shouting at me but it transpired he’d marked out the footpath wrong and was offering guidance. The rough direction was across his ploughed field, marvelous.

    A mile or so later, when the footpath ended a road ran left and right, home was directly ahead. I noticed a chap outside his house and went to enquire about a possible path and less circuitous route, I simply asked: “Excuse me.” The chap, who would not have looked out of place on the Pequod, turned to me and demanded: “What’ve you done?” I felt I best not mentioned the Porsche. He gave me very specific directions and far more than I would remember. I had got 20 yards and he shouted after me: “Next time, bring a map!” I wasn’t having that, so went back…

    Back on track I came across an isolated house. There were three very large dogs outside the front gate. I forced myself to walk calmly on. The dogs held their line. A small yapper dog then came steaming out of the front door, through the gate and passed the big dogs toward me, yapping. At this point the big dogs figured something was amiss and set after me. The yapper dog stopped but the damage was done. In a place where no one would hear me scream, I held my arms just out of biting range of the lunging beasts and eventually they relented.

    Despite the fear and adrenalin it still took until 8pm to get home. I decided to take my bike, and get this done in one trip. It felt a little odd parking a push bike at a petrol pump. In the darkness I was amazed how much better the bike light was than those on the #Porsche-911SC . Around the halfway stage, though, the light went into power saving mode. No matter what, this was now a one-way trip.

    When I reached the car I dismantled the bike, putting the frame in a cover on the back seats and the wheels in the boot. I then tried the engine, it didn’t fire. I added the petrol and tried again, victory! And yet, also, dammit!

    But, here’s the thing; after a 4am start I was already tired (and grumpy) and had then walked and run until my feet and legs ached, been chastised and then set upon by the hounds of the Baskervilles. This was enough to test any man, but as the engine burbled away behind me, not only was all forgiven, but I couldn’t stop myself smiling a little. Had I more than five litres of fuel and not promised myself a takeout, I’d have probably gone for a drive. In cars as in life, character goes a long way. Well, character and petrol.
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