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    In 2012, Julien Borne’s father died suddenly. This event – in tandem with the birth of his daughter – caused Borne to pause and take stock of his own life and priorities, an episode of reflection that ultimately led him to a sad-looking #1967-Porsche-912-Coupe and a dilapidated house in the French countryside / #1967

    Borne had been racing in the French Supermoto series for years, so he was no stranger to risk but his decision to move into his grandparent’s long-vacant farmhouse in a village on the outskirts of Paris and devote himself to rebuilding classic Porsches nevertheless required a new level of gumption on his part.

    Borne has since focused his energies on the #Porsche-912 , a car long dismissed by #Porsche enthusiasts as being little more than a tarted up Volkswagen, a poor substitute for the more desirable 911. Yet, as Borne points out, this black sheep is beginning to get its revenge, slowly gaining adherents for its lightweight nimbleness and relative accessibility in a time when early 911s have appreciated beyond the reach of the average enthusiast. Indeed, the 912’s lack of pretense is at the heart of its appeal.

    “The #1967-Porsche-912 is closer to a barbecue car than to a golf course car,” says Borne. “It’s not a car to show off, it’s a car to enjoy.”
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    “That car isn’t just me, it’s all the people I’ve interacted with to get to this place,” says John Benton. “I bought this car at 23 years old, I didn’t have all the answers…My car is the result of all those little journeys, here and there…”

    Now, John has his own shop that caters to classic Porsches, but it’s really about how he got to this point—a journey happened in his beloved #Porsche-912 .

    “I’ve heard people say that my car is me. You know, when they see it, when they drive in it, they’re like, ‘Man this car’s you, it’s so obvious’,” he says. “That wasn’t my intent, but it’s neat to hear from people - even strangers - you know, ‘you built this car, it’s so obvious’,” he says.

    His car had been found, driven, taken apart, repaired, restored, and loved over his many years of ownership, and the 912 really was his companion. “It was my daily driver…and weekend race car…” with modifications to suit both. Now, its heart is a “Very high-revving, twin-spark 1.7-litre, fuel injected 616 motor…” but to list off specs would do a disservice to Benton’s passion for these machines.

    “Everything I know put into a car…” he says. The only thing missing is his friend and former business partner, John Coffee, who died earlier this year…but not before completing his opus, a Datsun 240Z prepared for the Peking-To-Paris Rally. “John just hit a home run,” says Benton “…it’s his legacy.”
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    This 550-horsepower #1968-Porsche-912 is getting all of its power from an unexpected source: the electric motor from a #Tesla-Model-S-P85D . It was made by two Southern California shops, #Zelectric-Motors and #EV-West , which convert old Volkswagens and Porsches into modernized electric cars. It’s a new way to rescue aging vintage cars — though not everyone is happy with the idea.

    / #Porsche-912 / #1968 / #2019 / #Porsche / #Porsche-912-Eelectric / #Zelectric-Motors / #Porsche-912-Zelectric-Motors / #Porsche-911
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    Joe Williams
    Joe Williams updated the group cover
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    Joe Williams Weymouth, UK

    Model #Porsche-912 / #1967-Porsche-912-Coupe / #Porsche / #Porsche-912-Coupe

    Year #1967

    Acquired April 2017

    2018 for me is all about participation: say ‘yes’ and do as many things as possible. For cars that means more events, more track days, more road trips, more driving and of course… this column. Porsche for me was a natural progression from my younger days being obsessed with all things classic Volkswagen. Similarly to those VW days, Porsche bites you with the same bug! Any genuine Porsche enthusiast in my opinion knows that it is so much more than just a brand. It’s an ethos, a movement and even a way of life that stays with you.

    My 911 story started with a 996 Targa with the Tiptronic ‘box that changed gears… eventually! It was heavy and cumbersome, but still fairly fast and handled how a Porsche should.

    After only a year of ownership (and a cheeky deal), a 997.1 C2S Cabrio followed. It felt light years ahead of the 996 and was a pleasure to drive in every way. I’m not normally a fan of any Cabriolet, but that car almost converted me. I next made the mistake of visiting my local OPC only to find myself having a test drive in a 991.1 C2 GTS Coupe. As it turned out, the demo car was available and, well, that was that. I bought it. I loved that car; it was great in every way and genuinely special to drive. I don’t mind admitting I didn’t actually realise how special it was until it went.

    Then came the flutter with a GT4, which nobody can argue with as being a great driver’s tool and a special piece of equipment. It was so precise, but for me it just didn’t have that special something that I’ve come to associate with driving a Porsche, and so I moved it on. Then came the 912. Having missed something ‘old’ in my life for so long, I decided it was time to ill that gap. Coming from someone with four-cylinder, air-cooled roots, the 912 seemed like a fun way to get that back. The bit I’ve missed out is that I buy cars as daily drivers, not weekend or sunny day garage queens. The 912 is, therefore, driven very regularly. I can’t explain how great that little car is: I think it’s a keeper. Perhaps everyone should go back a few years and reconnect with what made Porsche so special.
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