Either I am following most of the Californian Porsche population on Instagram, or everyone else is at the first Werks Reunion at Carmel on the Monterey Historics weekend. My feed has been a parade of 356s, early 911s and latest Magnus Walker video exploits for the last few days.
Not seen many pics of this little beauty, though. It’s Joey B’s 1977 Porsche 911 S in Minerva Blue, which I shared a few weeks ago. Joey has now applied his meticulous attention to detail to what was already quite a nice car, and created something quite remarkable.
“Hey Johnny, hope you are well,” says his email. “Just wanted let you know this middie (what we call a ‘mid-year’ Porsche: post-1973 and pre-SC) is all buttoned up & ready for the prom this Friday at the 1st Werks Reunion in Carmel. Hope you approve of the changes, some more subtle than others.”
Changes obviously include a coat of wax! I spy 15″ Fuchs (of course), some period sounds and a retrimmed steering wheel. That Cork & Pascha interior is just right – makes me think I’d love to see some tan suede or Alcantara centres on early impact bumper Recaro sports seats.
Outside, that no-sunroof narrow body looks sharp with the black H4 headlamp trim rings and single door mirror. “I decided to stay with the 2.7-litre CIS engine with 10k miles on the rebuild,” says Joey and looks like a great decision to me. I see some yellow fog lamp bulbs, too. What a superstar classic!
Who has more pics to share from the Monterey Porsche Werks Reunion? Owner driver Porsche pics like this suit me perfect – we’re not about the garage queens. Drop me an email via the contact page.
Ferdinand Magazine’s favourite digital artist, Guy Allen, has just released a new print for summer 2014. Celebrating a famous 911 win at the 1973 Daytona 12 Hours, Guy has created a striking Porsche 911 artwork that does justice to the hard-fought Sebring showdown.
Porsche 911 RSR Sebring 1973
Veteran race fans may recall how, in 1972, the Sebring 12 Hours was struck off the World Sportscar Championship calendar due to the state of the track. IMSA decided to include the circuit on its 1973 GT racing calendar and set the stage for a brutal test of survival.
A pair of Corvettes led from the start, but an unmerciful race pace around the airfield circuit took its toll. On lap 86, Porsche seized the lead. The Porsche 911 RSRs of Haywood/Gregg/Helmick and Minter/Keyser did battle to the flag, with Dave Helmick’s Light Yellow RSR coming home first.
Those lovely people at Gunnar Racing carried out a full restoration on the original RSR back in 2000 – see the Gunnar Racing 911 RSR restoration thread. At the time, it was owned by a gentleman living in Oxford, just down the road from here. No doubt this is an important 911: great to see it on a Guy Allen print.
Produced on archive quality heavyweight paper and available in a strictly limited edition of 100 prints, this is a large format A2 print: 594 x 420 mm. Each print is signed and numbered. Mine is number two – not sure where I’ll hang it yet, but it’s a really nice piece of work.
How Sebring Changed the Face of Racing
What I like about this story of the 1973 12 Hours of Sebring is how it changed the face of US racing. Gunnar’s website quotes Sebring historian Ken Breslauer’s summary of events around that time, following the FIA’s refusal to certify the circuit for 1973.
“For 1973, an upstart group known as IMSA added Sebring to its Camel GT series, and the race lived on, though radically different in appearance. The entire event was more informal, but no less competitive than previous years. In retrospect,the 1973 race was one of the finest gatherings of GT production race cars ever in North America. Entries totalled the second largest ever at Sebring.
“There was no race the next year, 1974, due to the OPEC oil embargo and resulting fuel crisis. Nevertheless, on the third weekend of March ’74, about 2,000 race fans showed up anyway. The Sebring tradition simply would not die.”
No race and a fuel crisis, but two thousand race fans “turned up anyway.” Way to go, America!
The sun has set on another great Silverstone Classic: an event that is maturing into a laid back petrolfest of epic proportions.
Silverstone is local to me: only fifteen minutes from home. I’ve never previously considered local events as being world class, and I am not alone. Talking to some Le Mans locals at a previous Le Mans Classic, they viewed Goodwood Festival of Speed as a better event. Away from cars, when we visited Venice, the locals said Florence was more impressive. As Joseph Addison put it: “when a man becomes familiar with his goddess, she quickly sinks into a woman.”
My issue with Goodwood is it’s all a big car show. Fine if you like looking at cars, not so great if you want competitive action. Le Mans Classic has plenty of racing, but there’s a feeling of exclusion in the field. If you haven’t got something ACO approves of, stay home. That long course is great for the drivers who can be bothered to lean on the loud pedal, but spectators hardly see the older cars, each lap is so long.
Silverstone Classic Porsche
Silverstone is a different affair. A huge mix of cars go racing on the 3.6-mile GP circuit: everything from early F1 to ’90s GT cars. There is not too much properly old stuff – and what old stuff there is runs a reasonable lap time and is absolutely terrifying to watch, let alone drive. I watched an early GP car in practice on Friday and, every time it braked into Luffield, the rear wheels bounced up and down at least a foot off the ground for three or four seconds, driver sawing away at the wheel but getting straight back on the throttle as soon as it turned in. Hardcore!
Yes, much the same faces win every year, the later F1 cars will always go quickest and nothing can touch a Lola T70. But, behind the front runners, everyone else is racing hard too. The EB Motorsport 911s fought a range of other machinery this weekend: Ferrari Daytona, Corvette and Chevron. A classic McLaren raced that gorgeous Ferrari 512M, and GT40s had a proper grudge match in the thirty-degree heat. With track temps past forty degrees, the old cars worked like ovens all weekend.
Still the drivers thrashed on: a quick walk around the paddock showed some serious racers. Big motorhomes and race transporters parked up next to single-trailer set-ups with tents and barbeques everywhere. Hoorah Henrys seemed less prolific than in previous years, although I did see a punch-up between drivers in the paddock.
A bit silly maybe, but no doubt these guys take the racing seriously, as they should. It’s the most serious racing this side of Oldtimer GP and the Spa 6 Hours. There is no doubt the FIA Masters Historic Sportscars race could have run longer: most drivers I spoke to wanted to race on for at least another hour (the race was sixty minutes). It will be interesting to see how the programme develops over the next few years.
Good fun to have a concert at the venue too. Coming into the circuit at 4pm one evening, loads of old cars were leaving but lots more people were coming in to share the music and atmosphere. As I left the track at 10pm on Saturday, the place was packed, and rocking to the sounds of Bonnie Tyler. Not my kind of music, but it was still a great weekend. Congratulations to Silverstone on another sterling effort, and many thanks to whoever is organising this weather!
Edit: RIP Denis Welch. Just heard via Octane’s David Lillywhite that the respected Healey specialist has died in hospital from injuries sustained in a crash this weekend. Sad to hear the news: at least he went out doing what he loved.
My last post was about Gavin’s Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 Targa. This is the car that inspired a business: hiring Porsche 911s for scenic drives around Sydney, Australia.
“Seven years ago, we moved to the scenic coast and highlands area south of Sydney,” says Gavin. “I soon realised that there were some fantastic driving opportunities in our back yard. I put two and two together, and ended up with five Porsches! We offer drives & lunch through spectacular scenery. There are eight full climbs & descents, with over 200 kilometres of driving, in a range of Porsche 911s: a 1977 3-Litre Carrera, 993 Varioram, 996 Carrera 4S, 987 Boxster 2.7 and 997 Carrera S.
“We’ve set all of our cars up quite differently: each offers a specific experience. The Porsche 993 Varioram Tiptronic is in original condition. The 996 Carrera 4S is set up quite aggressively in terms of suspension, wheels, geometry and exhaust. Both the 987 and 997 are original spec. We opened the doors in February this year and took our first clients out in March: so far it’s been perfect.
“We’re less than an hour south of Sydney by either train or car and we take in the best sights in the region via back country roads. Guests swap amongst the vehicles throughout the day, so they get a chance to drive each of the fleet on different roads. All of our overseas/interstate guests have been wowed by the variety of scenery and roads on offer. We’ve got the route right, so with a good Porsche hire fleet and some fun stops for refreshment, it’s impossible not to have a great time.
“There’s something new for most people, regardless of their driving experience. People are always surprised at the performance offered by the air-cooled 911s and the Boxster (poor man’s Porsche & all that). Many of our guests are in the process of moving out of other European performance cars – mostly M-cars and AMGs – and it’s interesting to see their reaction as they exit each of the 911s. While lower in outright horsepower, they never fail to talk about the sound, feel and dexterity of the cars compared with their current drives.
“I’m in love with our own product and it’s got to be one of the best jobs in the world watching the smiles just get bigger and bigger. People usually ask me which is my favourite car over lunch, and I really enjoy watching them struggle to answer the same question when we get back to the garage at the end of the day!”
Sounds like a dream come true to me – not been to Australia yet, but I’ve got a busload of mates down there now. Gavin promises a day to remember when I eventually get down to Sydney. The website is www.driveporsches.com.au.
Fellow Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 owner Gavin emails from Australia, where he’s just launched a new Porsche for hire business in Sydney, helping Porsche fans to explore the landscape beyond this great city from a 911 driver’s seat.
Gavin and I have been friends online since 2006, when he was amongst the first to join our impactbumpers.com Porsche forum. His Talbot Yellow C3 Targa is one of my favourites.
“The C3 was my first Porsche.” says Gavin. “I originally went looking for a fun convertible, following a bunch of modern performance sedans that were fast, but not as much fun as I thought they’d be, particularly in normal driving conditions. Interestingly, I started looking at older Alfa Romeos, but stumbled across a 1975 911 Targa (which was a tub) and happily found that I had to move the seat forward and that my head didn’t stick out above the windscreen.
“Following this, I found a local SC, took it for a drive & fell in love with the sound, smell & overall experience. That was the end of the Italian turn and from there it was just a case of finding the right 911. The Carrera 3.0 ticked all the boxes for me at the time. Aside from SSI heat exchangers and 9″ x 16” Fuchs on the rear, it’s in original spec and has been a thrilling & reliable drive over the years.
“I must be a bit strange because I preferred the classic Porsche 911 Targa to both the Coupe and Cabriolet, particularly in the black and Talbot Yellow combination. Once I got married in the car (cunning move that one) and later discovered how much kids love it, I thought that it would probably be a forever car for me. I’ve had it for 11 years and, while tempted to swap it at times for others, nothing seemed to match the raw feel that the Carrera 3.0 offers. If we had to wrap everything up tomorrow and keep only one car out of our fleet, the C3 would be it.”
Gavin’s ‘Rent a Porsche in Australia‘ fleet is a nice selection – more of that in Part 2.
Another pair of low mileage collector Porsche 911 models has come up for sale. The prices have already started online tongues wagging, but that is no bad thing when the cars concerned are rare and ooze quality.
Porsche 996 GT3 RS Low Mileage for sale
If someone had told me this time last year that prices for 996 GT3 RS would touch £150,000 within twelve months, I’d have grown a second pair of eyebrows to raise in response. But this low mileage Porsche 996 GT3 RS now on sale is priced just off that.
It’s brave pricing but, with just 9,300 miles on the clock and apparently no track use in its past, this could be a last chance for serious collectors to grab a mint RHD 996 GT3 RS in their ascent towards air-cooled 911 Carrera RS price levels in thirty years.
Before you slam the keyboard, I’m not saying the two are comparable or that 996 GT3s will ever hit half-a-million quid a piece: I’m just throwing it out there. I’m already dazed by current 911 Carrera RS prices, so who knows what is possible for the water-cooled classics.
Porsche 993 Turbo S Low Mileage for sale
In the same used Porsche showroom as the low-mileage Porsche 996 GT3 RS is this rare Porsche 993 Turbo S for sale. Amongst the rarest of the rare air-cooled Turbos, the black-with-tan Turbo S has done just 17,100 miles from new and is offered at a price I am scared to say out loud.
I like 993 Turbos – really like them – but they are one of those super-capable Porsche 911s where, no matter what you do, the car will generally sort your mess out. It is hard to hoon around in a 993 Turbo and seriously scare yourself. In any case, this 450 bhp Turbo S cannot be hooned or used to frighten the driver. The value is in its rarity and low mileage, so no point spending all that cash on a car to go crazy in.
That said, there is more money in the world that I can comprehend, so these two could be gone by the weekend.