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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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  •   Ben Koflach reacted to this post about 3 years ago


    With prices continually rising, getting on the #911 ownership ladder has never been trickier. We consider an underrated air-cooled classic: the 911SC, plus the #911T and #964 – all should make for appreciating classic investments in #2015 … 911SCs. Long the poor relation of the Carrera 3.2, the 911SC is now being appreciated for what it really is – a great 911. Values are rising accordingly so now could be the time to buy one – while you still can… 964 v 911T. 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…

    Living In the shadow

    Long the poor relation of the Carrera 3.2, the 911SC is now being appreciated for what it really is: a great 911. Values are rising accordingly so now could be the time to buy one, while you still can… Story: Philip Raby. Photography: Anthony Fraser.

    Did you know that Mozart had an older sister who, at the age of 12, was considered to be one of the best pianists in Europe? And then her pesky kid brother got in on the act and overshadowed her, to the extent that Maria Anna has been all but forgotten while little Wolfgang Amadeus went on to become a legend. It’s not uncommon, being eclipsed by a young brother or sister – psychologists call it younger sibling syndrome and it can lead to all sorts of conflicts, as you may well know if you have children of your own.

    It’s happened with the Porsche 911, too. For instance, the #996 today lives in the shadow of the arguably better-looking 997, while the 964 was long usurped by the curvaceous and supposedly more reliable #993 . And then there’s the 911SC which always struggled to play catchup with its golden child replacement, the Carrera 3.2. The 3.2 has long been portrayed as the perfect air-cooled 911, for first-time buyers and enthusiasts alike, while the poor old 911SC has been seen as second-best, the car you’d buy if you couldn’t afford a Carrera 3.2. I’ve always thought this was rather unfair, so now is the time to set the record straight once and for all.

    The 911SC arrived in #1978 and was significant as it streamlined the previous somewhat confusing range of 911s – which comprised the base 2.7-litre 911, the sportier (but also 2.7-litre) #Porsche-911S and the top of the range Carrera 3.0 – into one single model. If you wanted to buy a normally aspirated 911 in the late 1970s or early 1980s, your choice was made for you: an SC, take it or leave it. To create this one new model, Porsche took the bare bones of the previously range-topping Carrera 3.0, rejigged the 2994cc engine with reduced power (180hp) and a cheaper aluminium rather than magnesium crankcase, while the impact-bumper bodyshell and interior remained largely unchanged.

    The moniker, meanwhile, was never explained by Porsche. Some have said that SC stands for ‘Super Carrera’, ‘Sports Carrera’ or even ‘Special Carrera’, while others have argued that it signified the S version of the C-programme of 911 development. I once even heard someone suggest that it meant ‘Single Carburettor’! Personally, I like Super Carrera but am happy to accept the name SC for whatever it may stand for. Incidentally, the SC was a landmark Porsche in that it was the last 911 for many years to actually carry a ‘911’ badge – later cars all had a ‘Carrera’ label slapped on their rumps. It wasn’t, then, the most auspicious start to a new 911. There was nothing at all wrong with the SC – far from it – it just, well, didn’t offer anything particularly new. The engine was a peach, though, even in its original 180hp guise, as it produced more power and torque at lower revs than the rather peaky Carrera 3.0’s unit, while remaining remarkably free-revving and eager. Power on non-US cars was increased to 188hp in 1980, thanks to revised timing and a higher compression ratio. Then, the following year, the output was raised to 204hp by hiking the compression ratio further, which demanded 98 octane petrol. US-market cars, incidentally, were stuck with 180hp throughout the SC’s life – and Yank owners were incessantly reminded of this unfortunate fact thanks to a speedometer that read to just 85mph!

    For the rest of us, though, the 911SC, especially in 204hp guise, remains a lot of fun to drive. Its low-end torque makes the car a relaxed and easy cruiser when you want it to be but drop it down a gear or two and the engine really comes alive as it eagerly revs to the redline. Indeed, drive an SC back to back with a later Carrera 3.2 and it’s the older car’s engine that shines, while the 3.2 feels just a little bit reluctant (a trait not helped by higher gearing) and its extra power (the 3.2 produced 231hp) can be hard to notice next to the enthusiastic SC engine. Porsche quoted a 0-60mph time of 5.7 seconds together with a top speed of 148mph for the SC and, even today, that seems quite achievable.

    It’s not just the engine that stands out, either. The SC retains that wonderful lightness of feel which is such a classic 911 trademark. Sure, the non-assisted steering is heavy at parking speeds (by the late Seventies the tyres were much fatter than when the 911 was conceived in #1963 ) but once on the move you can pilot the SC with your fingertips. The rack is quick and the feedback through the wheel is remarkable. It’s a car that encourages finesse as it dances delicately through the corners. Yet it’s also surprisingly forgiving, thanks in part to the relatively supple torsion bar suspension, so long as you don’t try anything silly, in which case that rear-engined bias can bite back. Get it right, and an SC can be so much more rewarding to pilot than a modern 911 with its extra refinement and driver aids which get in the way of the experience. It may sound pretentious (and it probably is) but drive an SC hard and you really do feel at one with the car, as its compact dimensions shrink around you.

    Yet despite its directness, the SC is also surprisingly refined and it makes a superb touring car. Those high-profile tyres are forgiving and don’t transmit the road noise which is a bane of modern sports cars, while the seats are supremely comfortable and the whole interior remains solid and rattle-free. It’s a car you can cruise in all day and get out of feeling refreshed – and there aren’t many Seventies sports cars you can say that about.

    It’s a tough old unit, the SC engine, too. Sure, you hear stories of broken head studs (although that’s not exclusive to the SC) but, on the whole, there’s no reason for a well-maintained example not to cover 200,000 miles without any major work needed. The slightly more stressed 3.2 powerplant, on the other hand, while also strong, is more likely to require at least a partial rebuild by around 140,000 miles (which, to be fair, is in itself good going).

    The SC is mechanically reliable in other ways, too. When new, the model gained a bit of a bad reputation for transmission problems because it was originally fitted with a rubber-centred clutch. This was meant to reduce gear chatter at low speeds but, in reality, it had a habit of breaking up so Porsche dropped it in 1981 while most earlier cars were quickly updated by conventional – and trouble-free – clutch assemblies. The five-speed 915 gearbox was carried over from previous 911s and was criticised in some quarters for its agricultural feel, plus many suffered from poor synchromeshes. However, start with a good 915, treat it gently (especially while the transmission oil is still cold) and, once you’ve mastered the changes, the ’box is a real joy to use and part of the appeal of an older 911.

    The big killer with SCs, as with all 911s from the Sixties and Seventies, is rust. The SC had a fully galvanised bodyshell when new but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. Galvanising will slow down the rust process but won’t stop it, while there’s a fair chance that most SCs out there will have had at least some bodywork damage at some point in their lives, which can break the galvanised coating and give corrosion a foothold. Indeed, it’s rare to find an unrestored 911SC that doesn’t suffer from at least some rust. And once you find some rot, there’s a fair chance that there will be more lurking under the surface, ready to hit you with expensive bills when it’s uncovered. The 911 has a complex bodyshell and proper repairs aren’t cheap – you have been warned!

    Get a good one, though, and an SC is an appreciating asset. We’ve seen prices rocket in recent years. Just six years ago, I wrote that £13,000 was top money for a 911SC and, for that money, you’d expect to get a lowish mileage example with an impeccable history, with less good but still acceptable cars costing under £10,000, which made the SC the perfect ‘first 911’ for those with a tight budget. How things have changed! Today you wouldn’t even buy a rough example for £13,000, with most starting at around £23,000 upwards. Increasingly, though, good cars are selling for in excess of £30,000 with a few exceptional ones going for over £40,000. In fact, SC prices are now generally slightly higher than those for the previously more sought-after Carrera 3.2. Despite these increases, I still believe that the SC is undervalued and we shall see further price rises. Although over 60,000 were built during its production run, which isn’t much less than the Carrera 3.2 that followed, the SC is today the rarer car. That’s because, during the many years it was unloved, many were neglected and ended up being scrapped, crashed or modified in some way. Which means that good, original 911SCs are now few and far between. That rarity, combined with people’s realisation as to what a great #Porsche-911 an SC is, and the fact that earlier (and later) aircooled 911s are still going up in price, means that they’re in great demand, in the UK and overseas.

    However, I think it’s wrong to buy a 911 as an investment. It’s far better to buy a Porsche that you can use and enjoy and, if it happens to go up in value during your ownership, then that’s a happy bonus. And an #Porsche-911SC is certainly a 911 that you can both use and enjoy, while remaining affordable to buy and to run, refreshingly rare, and more than likely to appreciate in value. What more could you ask for from a car?

    And if all that isn’t enough to convince you of the SC’s worth, here’s something else to chew on. It could just well have been the car that saved the 911 from extinction. You see, back in the 1970s, Porsche’s then boss, Ernst Fuhrmann, thought that the 911’s days were numbered – it was just too old fashioned and not advanced enough to lead the company into the 1980s, so he commissioned the 928 – a larger, more sophisticated front-engined car – which would eventually take over from the 911. The #Porsche-928 made good inroads but the SC was always the better seller (in #1983 it sold in double the numbers of the 928), a fact that wasn’t lost on new chairman Peter Schutz, who also realised that the 911 was the only model #Porsche was actually making any money on, so he made the sensible decision to keep it in production. For which we should be forever thankful.

    So there you have it. The 911SC has at last been dragged out from the shadow of its little brother, the equally talented in its own way #Porsche-911-Carrera-3.2 . Now it’s time to let it flourish and thrive as the great Porsche that it should always have been.

    OPEN AND SHUT CASES

    The SC was the first ever 911 to be offered in three body styles. First there was the evergreen Coupé, which today remains the most sought-after choice, for its classic looks and rigidity. Then, as with previous 911s, there’s the Targa with its distinctive roll-hoop and clever lift-out roof panel which folds up and stores in the boot. Finally, you have the Cabriolet, which was a first for the #911 and wasn’t introduced until #1982 ; in fact, just 4096 SC Cabriolets were built before the model was replaced by the Carrera 3.2.

    Despite its directness, the SC is also surprisingly refined and it makes a superb touring car.

    A GOOD SPORT

    A popular option for the SC was the Sport package which comprised a whaletail rear spoiler, rubber front lip spoiler, driving lamps, 16-inch Fuchs alloy wheels (up from the standard 15-inch) with #Pirelli-P7 tyres, firmer #Bilstein (instead of Boge) dampers, Sports seats and an improved stereo. Ironically, though, tastes have changed and few people now want the big rear spoiler, preferring the pure lines of a standard engine cover. If the whaletail is removed, though, you should really also take off the deeper front lip spoiler to ensure balanced high-speed aerodynamics, although not many owners bother.

    The SC retains that wonderful lightness of feel which is such a classic 911 trademark.
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  •   Darren Tompkins reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Porsche 911 SC RS The Bastos-liveried 911 had a stellar rallying season in 1984. We take it for a drive in its native Belgium – and quickly find out why it left so many rivals trailing in its wake. In 1984 Porsches were really smoking them off – specifically, the tobaccosponsored #Porsche-911SC RS rally cars. Johnny Tipler tells the tale of this short-run competition car and samples the real thing on its Belgian home turf Photography Antony Fraser. Archive pics courtesy Johan Dirickx.

    Let there be light. I flick the dashboard switch and the battery of Cibies bursts into life, illuminating the Belgian countryside. I’ve come to Kontich, home to 911 Motorsport, to drive the #Porsche-911SC-RS , a short-run hybrid competition car that stalked the stages in the European Rally Championship in the mid-Eighties. The car basks in the livery of Bastos, a Belgian cigarette brand, from an epoch when fags and motor sport worked hand in glove.

    Fire up the engine and the stripped-out cabin is a very noisy place. My forward view from the left-hand driver’s seat scouts beyond the rounded wings and the 911 headlamps, but I’ve also got the four semi-circular humps of the spotlamps in front of me. I’m strapped tightly into the low Recaro race seat by a five-point harness, and I’ve got the dished Sparco steering wheel pointing back at me. I’m surrounded by the roll cage, beneath a bare white roof graffiti’d with signatures, including that of original owner Jean- Pierre Gaban. The tachometer redlines at a little less than 8000rpm. The transmission whine and engine noise are deafening. The gearbox is difficult to engage when cold and the racing clutch is ferocious. My feet pass one another on the pedals and all hell breaks loose. It’s as if a bucking bronco has been released into the rodeo ring and I’m the cowboy struggling to hold on to the reins. Acceleration is immediate and the shift of the 915 transmission is surprisingly compliant rather than the wrestling match I’d anticipated. The roar of the flat-six, the howl of the transmission and the bonk of the suspension on the Belgian pave are raw and immediate sensations. Bystanders hear its approach a long way off, backfiring and popping on the overrun. The set of the steering wheel is off-centre and there’s a prevailing tendency towards understeer as I rush into bends.

    Next thing I’m fighting oversteer too. It’s sensory overload and a rush of bewildering impressions at first – because it’s not much like any regular 911 that I’ve driven.

    Then I begin to get used to the idiosyncrasies of this Porsche’s rally car nature. It’s not like a race car – it seems less sophisticated than that, tauter and more hardcore and it sits higher on its pins than a low-slung racer. I force myself to relax into it and take a calm overview. The further I go, the more I understand its foibles; once I get the hang of it, the monster is not so monstrous after all.


    CHASSIS 010’S 1984 SEASON

    BELGIAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
    Snyers/Colenbunders 1st overall
    Boucles de Spa (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 3rd
    Circuit des Ardennes (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    TAC Rally (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    Rallye de Wallonie (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    Ypres 24-Hours (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 2nd
    Circuit de Flandres (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    EUROPEAN RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP
    Snyers/Colenbunders 3rd overall
    Ypres 24-Hours (Belgium), Snyers/Colenbunders 2nd
    Madeira Rally (Portugal), Snyers/Colenbunders 1st
    Rally du Vin (Switzerland), Snyers/Colenbunders 6th

    Relatively unknown today, the SC RS was a rallying force to be reckoned with 30 years ago.

    With the exhaust flaming and popping, you hear the SC RS coming long before you see it.

    ‘Suddenly all hell breaks loose – it’s as if a bucking bronco has been released into the rodeo ring and I’m the cowboy struggling to hold on to the reins’

    The Prodrive-built 911 feels unruly at first.

    300kph (186mph) speedometer is from the 911 3.0 RS.

    ‘Good to see you again’ – the 911 with a reproduction of Jean-Pierre Gaban’s period Ford Granada support car.
    In-period action with Patrick Snyers and Dany Colenbunders.

    I form two conflicting views about how to drive this car – either with brute force and ignorance, or as smoothly as possible. The answer lies between the two, because it does react to being bossed and also responds to a smooth hand. It much depends on the scenario; doubtless a firm grip is needed on a timed rally stage, but it’s nice to know it can be placid on the transit sections.

    We’re familiar with the #Porsche-911 SC in production form, but what’s this RS version? Here’s the background – in 1983 Porsche was in the ascendant with the Group C 956 and 962 sports racing prototypes, but it was also in the throes of launching four-wheeldrive projects including the 961 Le Mans car and the 959 supercar.


    Fearsome Group B cars such as the Ford RS200, Audi Sport quattro and Lancia Delta S4 dominated theWorld Rally Championship. Porsche couldn’t compete against them even with the 3.3-litre 930 Turbo because in Group B spec the Turbo would have incurred a severe weight penalty. So Porsche’sWeissach competition department sought a more down-to-earth machine that could use existing components to give both factory and customers a realistic chance of international rally success.

    Weissach guru Jürgen Barth had driven the 1982 Monte Carlo Rally in the Alméras brothers’ 911 SC, coming ninth overall and second in Group B. By coincidence Rothmans, sponsors of Porsche’s works Group C team, had just asked the factory to produce a rally car for the 1984 season, so Barth and workmate Roland Kussmaul got the go-ahead to build a rally-spec 911. A loophole in the FIA homologation rules allowed 20 cars to be produced provided they were based on a redundant model, and since the standard 911 SC had just been superseded by the 3.2 Carrera that was the ideal starting point. Accordingly, the SC RS was constructed at Weissach from 1983 and was competitive until 1987. Five cars went to David Richards’ Prodrive-run Rothmans WRC squad, 15 were delivered to private customers, and a single car was created retrospectively at Weissach from leftover components, making 21 SC RSs in total.

    Of the privateers, Belgian tobacco companies Belga and Bastos bought two and one respectively. The Bastos car was chassis number 10 and is the car featured here. It was originally bought by Porsche racer Jean-Pierre Gaban for Patrick Snyers and Dany Colenbunders to contest the 1984 Belgian National Rally Championship, which they won. One of the Belga cars, chassis 12, of Robert Droogmans and Ronny Joosten, was runner-up that year. Then Pascal Gaban, Jean-Pierre’s son, won the Belgian National Rally Championship with the Bastos car in 1986.

    When Johan Dirickx discovered the car in France a few years ago it was in poor condition, so the engine, gearbox and chassis were rebuilt and overhauled at his 911 Motorsport workshop at Kontich, incorporating new-old-stock components personally supplied by Jürgen Barth out of Weissach, while the original Bastos exterior livery was faithfully reproduced at the same time.

    The 911 SC RS was no ordinary 911. Aluminium front wings and welded-on aluminium extensions, and bulging steel rear wings with welded-on steel extensions covered Fuchs 944 Turbo wheels fitted with 225/50ZR 16s on the front and 245/45ZR 16s on the back, and a polyurethane whale-tail spoiler from an early 930 Turbo. The spec was different enough to warrant its own factory type number, 954. There was no turbocharger – the SC RS’s flat-six was a 3.0-litre 930/18 SC, fitted with the preceding Kugelfischer injection and special fuel pump instead of the standard SC’s K-Jetronic system, plus air pump for more efficient exhausting. Compression ratio rose from 9.8:1 to 10.3:1, with reprofiled forged pistons, high-lift camshafts and valve timing adjusted accordingly.

    Ratios in the 915 gearbox were shorter than standard, so acceleration was brisker at the expense of top speed. A dedicated oil cooler was housed within the rear wing mounting on the engine lid, a safer location for its rallying objectives. The road car’s final drive ratio was 8:3.1, with shorter 8:35 and 7:37 competition versions available, together with a 40 per cent limited-slip differential.

    Brake discs and calipers were gleaned from the #Porsche-930 , and although coil springs would have been ideal they were not homologated until 1985, so the SC RS ran with larger-diameter torsion bars, 22mm front and 27.5mm rear, replacing 19mm and 26mm items respectively. A simple but effective modification involved holes adjacent to the damper turrets through which the suspension was harnessed by cables to preclude the wheel cambers from going mega-positive as the car took off on the jumps. Archive photos of it poised in mid-air show the wheels hanging vertically, instead of tucked in at the bottom.

    With no turbocharger the SC RS achieved its performance largely through weight reduction. It has lightweight body panels, and all the sound deadening and rear seats were stripped out. There’s no heater and the window glass is thinner than standard. The front wing extensions are welded-on aluminium flares and the rears are steel, welded on to the narrow SC bodyshell. The crossmember rearward of the engine was reinforced and filleted to save weight, and the bodyshell seam-welded with extra reinforcement around the damper towers. The glassfibre front and rear bumper panels and valances were unique, though the rear one was very similar to the 3.0 RS. The SC RS weighed 980kg compared to a standard SC’s 1160kg, which – given a 280bhp power output at 7000rpm coupled with short gearing – makes for rapid acceleration. At 5.0sec dead, it’s 0.2sec quicker to 100kph than the 3.3-litre Turbo, running out of steam at 244kph (152mph), while the 930 speeds on to 260kph (162mph).


    Cabins varied in detail across the 21 cars, but a bolted-in, crossbraced roll cage, competition seats, period steering wheel and fly-off handbrake were ubiquitous. Thinner carpet covers the floor, while door panels are slim cards with thong-pulls to open, with wind-up windows. The tachometer winds to 10,000rpm.

    The zenith of the SC RS’s career was the #1984 European Rally Championship. Rothmans/Prodrive engaged Henri Toivonen for the task, even though Lancia also booked him to do theWorld Rally Championship in the 037, so the Finn campaigned both cars. With SC RS victories in the Ypres 24 Hours, Milles Pistes, Costa Smerelda and Madeira rallies, Toivonen had a commanding lead in the European Championship until he was forced to pull out after an accident in a WRC Lancia 037, ending up second in the final European standings despite missing some rounds.

    The car here contested the Belgian National Rally series, vying with main rivals Robert Droogmans and Ronny Joosten in the Ring Auto Service-run Belga-sponsored SC RS. Patrick Snyers and Dani Colenbunders emerged victorious in the Bastos car, after placing third in the Boucles de Spa, first in the Circuit des Ardennes, first in the TAC Rally, and first in the Rallye deWallonie. In the Ypres 24 Hours, which counted towards the European title, they finished second behind Toivonen’s Prodrive SC RS, helping them towards third overall in the Euro series. Droogmans and Joosten in the Belga SC RS were runners up in the Belgian championship.


    The 911 SC RS may be relatively unknown now, but 30 years ago it was a force to be reckoned with on the provincial rally stage. And it’s great that Johan Dirickx’s enthusiasm is ensuring it’s not forgotten today. Though he’s unlikely to put the Bastos car at risk on Goodwood’s arduous Forest stage, he will probably take his other SC RS, Belga chassis number 12. If so, watch out for another Turbo-look rally car in red-and-white livery. One thing’s for sure – you’ll hear it coming first.


    TECH DATA PORSCHE 911 SC RS

    Engine: Rear-mounted 3.0 flat-six, aluminium block, aluminium ’heads ex-935
    Fuelling: Bosch #Kugelfischer injection
    Power and torque: 280bhp @ 7000rpm; 184lb ft @ 6400rpm
    Bodyshell Seam-welded, lightweight aluminium wings, doors, front and rear lids and roll cage; glassfibre front and rear panels, valances
    Suspension Front: wishbones, MacPherson struts, torsion bars, gas dampers. Rear: semi-trailing arms, torsion bars, gas dampers, anti-roll bar
    Performance Top speed: 152mph; 0-60mph: 5.0sec
    Weight 980kg (2160lb)
    Chassis number WPO ZZZ 91Z ES 110 010
    Engine number 63E9 003
    Gearbox number 73E9 00002

    911SC RS offers understeer and oversteer at will.

    ‘There’s a tendency towards understeer as I rush into bends. Next thing I’m fighting oversteer too. It’s a sensory overload and a rush of bewildering impressions’

    Signatures above writer Johnny Tipler include original owner Jean-Pierre Gaban’s.

    ‘With no turbocharger, it achieved its performance through weight reduction... At 5.0sec dead, it was 0.2sec quicker to 100kph than the 3.3-litre Turbo’

    Cabins of the 21 SC RSs differed, but navigators all got a map light and some had Halda trip meters.
    Wheels hang vertical in mid-air thanks to cables preventing the cambers going mega-positive.
    3.0-litre flat-six is ‘basically a 935 engine without the turbos’, says owner Johan Dirickx.

    The 911 got Jürgen Barth-supplied NOS components when it was restored a few years ago.

    DRIFT AWAY

    Belgian #Porsche aficionado and 911 RS expert Johan Dirickx loves nothing more than drifting his cars on track days, and has raced them at Laguna Seca’s Monterey Classics and Le Mans Classic as well as Goodwood’s exacting Festival of Speed rally course with the Bastos SC RS.

    He has owned this car for six years and is compiling a history of all 21 SC RSs. ‘They took 20 SCs off the line and built them into turbo-look cars,’ he explains. ‘Basically the chassis is like a 930 turbo, with bigger brakes, and the engine is something different because it’s really a 935 engine without the turbos and an ’85 rally exhaust. It’s amazing how they brought things together from different cars and made it into something new. That’s unique at Porsche, especially if you go into the race cars. It makes sense because you’re not going to start a production line for 20 cars.’

    ‘They were pretty fast machines, faster than a turbo at the time because they were light. You have the lollipop seats that are typical for the 935s plus the complete aluminium roll cage, which isn’t allowed any more. ‘Apart from that it’s actually a sweet drive with a little understeer, and you go on the throttle, doing four-wheel slides. You need the power on to do it, and with a little bit higher revs it starts to go a bit. There’s nearly 300 horsepower, so it is bloody quick.’
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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?

    911T

    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…

    CONCLUSION

    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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  • SMILE FACTOR

    Our man reckons the #Porsche-911-Carrera-3.2 is the best classic #911 to have as a daily driver. Well he would do, he’s owned one for nine years. Words & photos: Paul Davies and KPB photography.

    My first #Porsche was a #Porsche-912 . You know, the 911 with the #356 engine that outsold the six-cylinder version in its first two years. Real classic, nicely balanced, performed a lot better than it did on paper, and – when I bought it back in #1989 – pretty cheap. But daily driver? No.

    On back roads it was fine, but motorway work had Fiestas roaring past, the drivers grinning mockingly, and getting it started was a matter of tickling the Solex carbs until the engine ran steady – although that might have been my particular car.

    So, I needed something a bit more, as they say, userfriendly; I reckon if I’m trolling around the country on Classic Porsche magazine business the least I can do is turn up in the right make of car. Also, wouldn’t it be nice to take the Porsche on the annual holiday run to northern Spain, without holding up 2CVs on the back roads of France?

    The question was how to replace the 912. An early 911, even way back in 2006, looked pricey and a bit too precious. I looked at a nice #1976 Carrera 3.0 but it was expensive, and the later SC at that time was a no-no in the credibility stakes – although it’s getting up there now with the best. The Carrera 3.2, manufactured from 1984 to 1989, seemed a no-brainer.

    I always like to bring my long-time co-driver (Mrs D, that is) into car buying decisions. Then, if it all goes horribly wrong, it can’t all be my fault. Driving early cars – like the Carrera 3.0 and the #Porsche-911SC – revealed a couple of basic problems in the daily driving department, namely the agricultural feel encountered with cog-swapping through the 915 gearbox, plus the amount of leg muscle required to depress the cable-operated clutch.

    The revised #Carrera 3.2, built from #1987 model year with hydraulic clutch and easy-shifting G50 gearbox made by #Borg-Warner , was the answer. Eventually I found one, a two-owner Targa that passed muster, for sale with Coventry specialists PCT, or at least Autobahn as the sales outlet then was. A deal was done, which even included a six-month warranty, and I drove off. On the M5 motorway, the fresh air blower running at full blast to counter a stinking hot summer day expired in a cloud of smoke and the acrid smell of a burnt-out electric motor!

    To be fair, PCT replaced the unit straight away – and also re-fitted the rear anti-roll bar which had been knocking on the transmission casing because, at some stage in its life, it had been fitted upside down. From then forward I can report the Carrera 3.2 has proved a worthy buy. Yes, I’ve had a few problems – in general just what you would expect with an ageing Porsche – and consequently have spent money to keep it up to scratch through the 48,000 miles it’s covered so far.

    But it’s been worthwhile. The family #BMW 3-series is a very good car, which is what you would expect, but get in the Porsche and you only have to go a couple of miles down the road before the smile factor sets in.

    Driving the Carrera 3.2 is like driving a modern car without the bad bits. The non-assisted steering is heavy on parking because of the 205-profile front tyres, but once you’re on the move it has a precise feel that’s hard to match with a modern – especially those with electric PAS. The suspension – still torsion bars, of course – is firm, but you truly feel connected with what’s happening. Yes, the brakes are borderline if you’re cracking on, and they do need to be kept in top condition.

    The engine, that’s the gem. This, you need to understand, is to my mind the ultimate expression of the original #Porsche-911 air-cooled flat-six. It’s not the final configuration but it retains the attribute of the original Porsche concept of ‘less is more’, with just about the right amount of modern technology. The #964 and the #993 that followed were also air-cooled, but much revised and not necessarily better.

    In 1984, when the 3.2 first appeared, Porsche was seriously getting to grips with clean air legislation, especially in the USA, and that’s one of the good things about the 3.2 motor. The company’s first stab at electronic management, via the Bosch Motronic system, for the first time accurately controlled fuel flow relative to such things as throttle position, engine and ambient temperature, and ignition. The end result is a superflexible engine that delivers fuel economy which owners of carburetted or MFI-equipped cars will die for. On those long trips to Spain and back I’ve taken the trouble to do long-term fuel checks, and 27mpg overall is the result. Not bad, I reckon.

    I can’t fault the way my Carrera 3.2 drives, although I’m conscious of the fact it’s still on its original dampers. I’ve fitted Super Pro synthetic bushes to the front suspension (back end coming soon) but I think a set of new Bilsteins, or similar, would be the icing on the cake. Even so, it’s a good top-gear motorway cruiser (bit of wind rush from the Targa top over 80mph) and on back roads third gear seems to be the place to be, the super torque of the engine taking you from almost nothing to well over the legal limit. Smile factor again.

    Inevitably we get the big question. No-one, well not me anyway, said Porsche ownership was cheap (in fact if you think that way, don’t buy one), but although there is most definitely a constant cost factor involved, you’ll come out smiling just as long as you keep on top of things. Francis Tuthill (who’s built more rally Porsche than most) once told me – talking about the 912 actually, but the same implies – that the best way to deal with Porsche ownership was to drive it, enjoy it, and fix it when it breaks.

    That’s not to say you don’t indulge in regular maintenance, I think Francis was referring to not being dragged down the full restoration route. I’ve had it fixed if it broke, changed the oil, spark plugs and things like that and had the bodywork attended to when rust threatened.

    Before I bought the car, at 55,000 miles, it had had an engine rebuild after the oil pump failed (don’t know why) but during my ownership, from 62k and nine years, I’ve spent just over £10,000, excluding tax, insurance and fuel. Biggest expenses? A year into ownership, Gantspeed took a good look and replaced the clutch, updated the clutch-release mechanism, rebuilt the rear brakes and suspension, and gave the engine the ‘works’ (£3,500). PCT fitted a new dry-sump tank (new one from Autofarm £500) when the original leaked, and also fitted a stainless-steel pre-silencer (both jobs £1400).

    Jaz (I spread my favours) did a mega-service and fettle before one of my Spanish trips that totalled £1200 and included new handbrake cables, a wheel bearing, driveshaft seal, and electric motor for the driver’s seat height adjustment. Recent work at Specialist Vehicle Preparations has included replacing a broken suspension arm, those Super Pro bushes, and new front brake calipers, all for around £1,800.

    Attention to rusty bits has so far totalled £1500, but I know there’s another (bigger) job on the way before long: tyres, I’ve replaced six (excellent) Avons during the time at a cost of around £550 but I’m due for a new set before I do much mileage this year.

    That’s it really. It may sound a lot but add the costs to what I paid for the car back in 2006 (£12,000) and then take a look at the current sale prices for late-model Carrera 3.2s. I reckon I’m breaking even – and I’ve had a lot of smiles on the way.

    Finally, that Targa top. I know everybody thinks they’re for sissies and not the true 911 look, but it’s highly practical for a car that doesn’t have air-con (of course not!) and anyway the co-driver likes it. I drove a Cayman recently – you know, the Boxster with a roof for grown-ups – and I have to admit it was mind-blowing, especially in the handling department. But, hey, it’s already on the downward spiral of depreciation that modern, mass produced Porsches suffer. I couldn’t be that daft could I?
    • Porsche bb 911 Turbo Targa - I must say I found Retro #Porsche : Part II to be an absolutely brilliant bookazine – it provides a lot of history. IPorsche bb 911 Turbo Targa - I must say I found Retro #Porsche : Part II to be an absolutely brilliant bookazine – it provides a lot of history. I own a 1976 Slant Nose 911, so I’m curious about them, particularly the period modified versions from German tuning houses like Rinspeed and bb, so I particularly enjoyed the bb 911 Turbo Targa feature.

      I wondered where the initial idea for the bb-style 911, adapting a #Porsche-911 to look like a #Porsche-928 and #Porsche-959 , came from, as you don’t see a great deal of them around anymore. God only knows who modified these cars in the Eighties – like the article’s author I ran into brick walls everywhere during my own research on the cars, and I eventually gave up looking.

      Not a lot of people have time for Rainer Buchmann’s creations, but it was good to see this car. It certainly wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but cars like this are still a part of Porsche history, even in a small way.
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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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  • The #1978 #Porsche-911SC - long-term fleet

    With the SC home and on axle stands I decided the first thing to do would be to give it a going over and to create a list of everything I needed to buy and do. Well, the list became an Excel spread sheet which ballooned into a personal technical resource where I could save links to parts, specs and technical guides as well as track the projects progress; can you tell my day job is in engineering…?

    As a newcomer to #Porsche-911 ownership I’ve been soaking up as much advice and information as I could from the web and I’d recommend both Pelican Parts ( http://forums.pelicanparts.com/ porsche-911-technical-forum/) and the Impact Bumper forum (www.impactbumpers.com) – both great resources full off like-minded hands-on enthusiasts.

    When it came to insuring the 911 I wanted to make sure I had the right cover. This car has been a sizable investment for me so should the worst happen I wanted to make sure I wasn’t heart broken and out of pocket. So I got in touch with John Glynn from ImpactBumpers.com who was able to appraise the car and provide me with a written valuation for a mere £35 which was accepted by my insurers.

    Anyway, paperwork and internet procrastinating out the way it was time to get stuck in. The car had seen little use with the previous owner having only covered 600 miles in the last year, so things were generally stiff and dry. I started with replacing all the cables in the car and cleaned and greased all the runs. Basic but necessary and less embarrassing than arriving at a weekend hotel destination only to have the luggage compartment release snap and spending the trip with only what I’m stood up in. It was all straight forward with the exception of the fuel filler release; the spring that secures the lid closed had dislodged itself. Sounds simple, but no. To remove the catch you need to remove the wing. To remove the wing you have to disturb all the body seals around it and I’m confident the door would have had to come off too. I wanted to avoid this so made a ‘special tool’: a 6mm spanner with an allen bit pressed in. With this, some choice language and the loss of most of the skin on my knuckles I was able to remove it. Phew! With all-new cables fitted I spent some time aligning all the panels and latches. It may have been detail work but it makes a difference to the looks and functionality of these key touch points on the car.

    The next area of attack was the damper tops. The factory underseal was cracked and signs of surface rust were starting to show. On removing the topmounts it became clear they were past their best and snapping a stud sealed the deal for a replacement. I contacted Design 911 (www.design911.co.uk) and ordered everything I needed, from the mounts themselves to the spreader plates, bolts and washers. The company have everything you need and it’s all selectable from parts diagrams and filtered by your vehicle spec. This is great as I’m used to owning cars that are impossible to get bits for, so to have what I need, OEM or OEM quality, delivered to my door next day was a luxury. With the old paint removed I ground back and treated the surface rust, zinc primed and painted the tops before reassembling the whole affair with correct torques and lashings of underseal in the turrets.

    I’ll have to revisit once the car is back on its wheels to check and adjust the geometry, but I’m planning on adjusting the ride heights and playing with settings at a later date anyway. For now I’ll just enjoy the fresh paint and shiny bits and the warm sense of this project starting to gain momentum!

    Rob made a special tool to prevent having to remove the car’s wing…
    Fitting OE, or OE quality, parts was essential. Rob turned to Design #Porsche 911 and was impressed by its service.
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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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