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    / #Porsche-356 heading back towards affordability #Porsche-356A / #Porsche-356B / #Porsche-356C

    Though the less numerous earlier 356A models are holding their end up, values of #Porsche ’s 356B and C coupés have slipped back to roughly where they were three years ago.

    That interesting nugget of information may offer some comfort to those enthusiasts who thought they’d missed the boat and would never get their hands on one. And it’s easy enough to leave the 356As to the acquisitive ‘own it but don’t use it’ crowd. In reality they’re probably not really worth the 17.5% premium they currently command.

    From the driver’s seat the later cars are actually better, and it’s hardly as if they lost much of their design purity as they grew older – unlike XKs or E-types, it could be argued. Are they going to fall any further? It’s possible, of course, but given these cars’ status and the relatively low numbers available compared to later Porsches it’s unlikely to be by any kind of shirt-losing amount. In fact if there’s a further general mid-market downswing they may even outperform it.
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    Anyone can restore a classic #Porsche , but only the bravest of petrol heads have the balls to modify one!
    Words & Photos: Paul Knight

    At the recent Wanroij event in The Netherlands there was one car that really grabbed our attention. Parked by the side of the lake was this insanely-low #1960 #Porsche-356B (T5). We had to find out more, hence immediately set about tracking down the owner...

    The man in question turned out to be Marco Mulders from Eindhoven – a name we immediately recognised, as Marco is no stranger to the #VW (or Porsche) scene. Marco is a trained pilot but, when he’s not working (i.e. just recently), he takes time to tinker with ageing VWs. He told us, ‘I built my first VW around 15 years ago and have owned a whole range of Bugs, Buses and 356 replicas... all of them low, of course!’. Marco also produces fibreglass 356 Speedster and coupé body shells (clearly a clever and incredibly busy guy!), and his previous green/white 356 coupé replica with Polizei livery was a very well known car on the show circuit.

    But, replicas aside, Marco had long been hankering after a ‘real steel’ #Porsche-356 to turn into something radical hence asked a friend who restores original 356s if he’d keep his eye open for a suitable project. Amazingly, his friend explained that he had a car at his workshop, which might just fit the bill. The car in question was actually an old Dutch racecar with quite a colourful history, so Marco wasted no time and sealed the deal almost immediately!

    The car had been standing for some time and was a bit scruffy, but it had an original steel sliding sunroof (a very rare option) and Marco was keen to get involved in some metalwork, hence he sent the thing away to be sandblasted! Marco commented, ‘When it came back, it was perhaps a little worse than I first imagined, and I ended up replacing practically the entire lower 15cm of the car’. This included a complete floor and some modifications, such as a raised section of the rear transmission tunnel and some custom-made transmission mounts. We should explain at this point that Marco was planning to build a real groundscraper, hence he opted to fit a Beetle transmission, which has been raised a little higher than usual and is held in place with some custom-made mounts. You may also have noticed that the transmission shift-rod now runs above the tunnel and terminates at a custom-made shifter box, topped with an Empi trigger shifter.

    Next, a set of one-off adjustable spring plates were laser cut and a pair of airadjusted dampers were fitted via custom mounts.

    Moving forward, the frontend adjusters (factory-fitted) were modified to provide some additional travel while a pair of king- and link-pin 2.5-in dropped spindles helped to get the front end way down. Once again, a pair of air-equipped dampers were fitted, along with a simple compressor and pressure valve system, which lifts the car just enough to make it driveable at the flick of a switch!

    At this point Marco also replaced the rusted-out doors with a better set, but now he had a problem... the finish was not consistent, and it just didn’t quite look how he’d first imagined. The solution? Another trip to the ’blasters! Upon it’s return, Marco carefully painted the floors and underside in gloss black, but then allowed the body to achieve just the right amount of rust before treating it to several coats of clear to seal the surface.

    Marco was keen to retain some of the history of the car in the shape of a few scrapes and dings, which it picked up on the race track. He also made a great job of letting-in and blending the fresh steel and repairs, so is proud of the fact that car honestly displays all it’s metalwork and repairs for all to see.

    We loved the fact that the sand was still falling out of the box sections and nooks of the body, which led to a small beach forming on the floor of the car! Speaking of the floor, what better way to compliment the gloss black paint than with a pair of Hunts (USA) polished aluminium bomber seats, which were trimmed by a friend with leather Marco rescued from an old couch!

    Creature comforts are few and far between, with only an old Nardi steering wheel, the factory gauges and a couple of aluminium door panels inside. Marco explained, ‘Genuine Porsche parts are just so over-priced, hence whenever I was stuck for a part, I’d just turn to what I know best and make a VW part fit the car’. It’s a cool ethos, and we like the fact that Marco simply refused to pay the ‘Porsche-tax’ – clearly a VW guy through and through!

    This was the case when it came to sourcing an engine for the project. Porsche 356 motors are out there, but you’re looking at roughly £5k for a halfdecent used motor these days, hence Marco opted for a VW Type 1 motor, instead. The car was originally fitted with a 90hp 1600cc motor, but it now powered by a twin-carb 1914cc Beetle motor, which probably produces at least 90hp... maybe even a little more!

    Marco doesn’t know too much about the motor, except that he pulled it from a Porsche 912, which he’d driven and reported that it ‘pulls really well’. It might not be pretty, but thanks to those dual Weber 40DCNF carbs and a modified stainless steel Type 2 exhaust, it sounds great when Marco hits the loud pedal! Marco went on to complete the wiring and plumbing (and airlines!), then fitted up just enough O/E trim to make the car work. The stripped out look and lack of bumpers really suit the non-nonsense styling of the ratty-racer, and there’s no denying that it’s just about as tough as they come.

    But, of course, it’s those huge Fuchs replica rims that really set things off. Marco bought the rims already modified and painted in flat black and decided that they’d work well with a custom coat of metallic gold paint.

    The rears are regular Type 2 bolt pattern 7x17s but the fronts have been narrowed and now measure 5.5x17. Fitting them to the car involved re-drilling the rear brakes to the Bus 5x112mm PCD and simply fitting up a set of 5x112mm CSP discs to the front spindles.

    The end result is one truly gobsmacking outlaw rat-ride!! However, Marco is the kind of guy that loves to build a car, but soon feels the need to fire up the grinder and start a fresh project just as soon as he’s completed the last. Hence, if you’re interested in this car and have a cool €50k to hand, it could be yours.

    In closing, Marco stated, ‘I would prefer to give the car away to anyone who can provide me with a full-time pilot-job – and that’s not a joke’... so there you have it, a free car if you can sit Marco in the hot seat of an aircraft!

    Left: The rear section of the transmission tunnel has been raised to provide clearance for a ‘Freeway Flyer’ Bug gearbox Below: The gold-painted Fuchs replica wheels measure 5.5x17 up front and 7x17 at the rear. Slammed on the deck, this car looks as hard as nails and drops jaws at 50-paces!

    1. The floors have been painted in black to contrast perfectly with the rusty exterior. Note the sand in the footwells, which is left over from the double sandblasting this car has been subjected to!
    2. The steel sliding sunroof is a rare option, which makes this T5 body quite desirable amongst Porsche collectors. Fortunately, this sunroof is complete and in working order – very cool indeed!
    3. Under the bonnet is a race fuel cell, a sealed battery and an air-compressor (feeding Monroe air-shocks)
    4. Aluminium bomber seats were supplied by Hunts in the USA and leather-trimmed by a friend.
    • patina porsche
      Marco Mulders is no stranger to cool rides... here’s his latest creation, an all-steel, slammed 356 on huge Fuchs-replica rims!
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    Not a lot of people know this, but the reason why & Sports Car was added to our masthead when we launched this magazine 33 years ago was because we never guessed that the passion for classics would climb to today’s massive worldwide levels. We felt that it would be safer to cover current sporting models as well, to build circulation and advertising revenue. After all, most owners of old cars also drive a daily modern. But as interest in classics mushroomed, our readers wanted us to fill the magazine purely with cars of the past: rare or common, trend-setting or offbeat, awe-inspiring or comical, complex or simple – and affordable as well as unaffordable. Which is why, in what is now the best-selling classic car magazine in the world, we seldom include copy about newer machinery.

    Indeed, most of the editorial staff put their money where their mouths are by using one of their classics every day, and rarely drive a car less than 30 years old. So forgive me if Throttle goes against the flow this month and moves briefly into the & Sports Car area.

    Over the past 46 years, my choice of daily driver has always gone in threes. When I find something I like, I stick with it. As a young editor on Autosport in the late ’60s I had three Fords in succession, all with plenty of performance per £: a Cortina II Lotus and two 3-litre Capris, Mk1 and Mk2. Then I had three Jaguar XJSs, the third of which, thanks to Brian Lister and Laurence Pearce, became the very first Lister-Jaguar XJS. Next came three Porsche 928s: an S4, then a GT, then a GTS. They’re not everybody’s cup of tea, but I think 928s are brilliant, and they’re now seriously good value.

    Then I moved on to the real Porsche, the 911. I had a 996, the first of the water-cooled cars; then a 997, which has served me superbly for 10 years. But it was going to start costing me money soon, so it was time to turn the piggybank upside down and shake it hard for my third 911. A lowmileage ex-demonstrator 991 Carrera S now gleams on the Throttle driveway.

    You can keep your Ferraris and McLarens: this is a supercar that you really can use every day. It’s happy sitting in a London traffic jam while you play the 12-speaker hi-fi and issue bossy commands to the voice-recognition system. And when you do find a winding country road, it approaches perfection. If you want to keep your licence, zero to 100mph in 8.7 secs and a 187mph top speed are of no legal relevance unless you go to Germany (I am making a pilgrimage to Zuffenhausen next month). But even at legal speeds its responsiveness and overtaking ability are beyond compare. This one I intend to keep for another 10 years. My Porsche roots run deep. When I was a schoolboy, my father interspersed his Bristol 401 and his Jaguar XK140 with a VW Beetle. He decided that he liked rear-engined air-cooled flat-fours, and bought a new #Porsche-356 B . The press loan 356B was registered 80 XMF: ours was 81 XMF. I wonder where it is now.

    The Aldington brothers built Frazer Nashes in a tiny factory in Isleworth, and before WW2 they also imported BMWs, badging them #Frazer-Nash BMWs. Making 80 or so post-war Frazer Nashes can’t have made much money, so in #1956 they repeated the #BMW trick, becoming the official UK Porsche importers. As 356s and then early 911s became ever more sought-after, the business grew until John, son of HJ Aldington, sold out to #Porsche Cars GB in #1986 .

    The sharp-suited young salesmen at Porsche’s West London showroom clearly speak the same language as the sharp-suited young bankers and property dealers who no doubt make up much of Porsche’s market nowadays. But also working there is Richard Lane, who has sold Porsches for 33 years, having started at Isleworth under John Aldington. Richard gives straight answers, offers unbiased advice and knows what his customers want. He was happy to send me off in the car I was lusting after “for as long as you like”. And he’s a proper chap: he drives his beloved MGA to the Goodwood Revival every year. He almost made handing over my cheque a pleasure.

    ‘After a #VW-Beetle he decided he liked air-cooled flat-fours, and bought a new #Porsche-356B
    Porsche’s 356B UK press car, just like Throttle’s dad’s. Inset: #Porsche-911-991-Carrera-S is its spiritual successor.
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