In February 2006, I started a website called Impact Bumpers. Based on a suggestion by my mate, Tripe, it was a forum for Porsche guys into aluminium ‘impact bumper’ 911s from 1974 to 1989: what we quickly christened the ‘IB’ 911.
Back then, the cars were unloved by Porsche clubs and there was no place outside Pelican for owners to congregate. My aim was to get twenty guys together who liked working on their own cars and would do a few events every now and then (I had a secondary agenda of lifting regard for the 911 SC, but that’s another story). Eight years later, impactbumpers.com is still going strong, with thousands of Porsche fans online every month.
Just as the SC was looked down on back then, so the 911S also suffered. Built pre-SC with narrow rear quarter panels, the S has a lowly 2.7 litre engine, strangled by K-Jet and emissions exhaust, normally making just 165 bhp. Without the SC’s RS-style arches, it was neither fish nor foul – no pretty early bumpers and no chunky IB rear. On the cusp of full galvanising, many 911S bodyshells rotted away and were not worth repairing. No doubt the narrow body had style: but its moment to shine would just have to wait.
That moment has arrived in 2014. As a mark of its rising regard, two R Gruppe friends have each bought impact bumper 911S models in the last seven days and both plan to keep the appearance as-is. They’re not the first narrow IBs in an R Gruppe garage, but it goes to show what people are up to.
1977 Porsche 911 S
The car seen here is Joey’s in Northern California. “I just got this rather pedestrian narrow body US version 911S coupe,” says Joe, “not normally on my radar but what got me off the fence was the color combo of Minerva Blue with Cork interior. Also it’s a full delete package from the factory: sans sunroof and power windows, with driver side-only manual mirror.”
I love that Joe thinks poverty spec was an option (!), but what a cool 911. My first 911 (SC) was almost going to be the same colour combination, as it really pings in the metal. Joey is looking at mods that will keep it low-key: a bit of a sleeper. 3-litre power is likely, with SSIs adding a bit more grunt.
Personally I would fit modern air con, take weight off stealth-style with aluminium panels, lightweight bumpers and run it as-is, but it’s not my project to build: I’ve got my own narrow-body Porsche 912E project waiting for that. But this 911S looks a beauty! I’m looking forward to having a drive myself sometime soon.
Got a new/old 911 you want to share? Send us some pics: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll feature the best ones.