I’ve been keeping tabs on a Porsche 911R hot rod build by Tim Walker out in North Carolina via email for the last few months. The project flightpath is pretty cool: having bought a 959 replica unseen and found it wanting throughout, a fortunate fender bender offered Tim the opportunity to put things right. Here’s his story:
“I bought the car in January 2016 on Auto Trader. Advertised in Idaho, the car was listed as as a 1984 Porsche 911 (959), but it turned out to be a 1971 911E. Auto Trader’s listing tool does not allow a year older than 1984, so that’s why the age was posted incorrectly. I swapped a few phone calls with the vendor and we agreed a deal. I then had the car shipped to my house in North Carolina.
“I drove the car for about two weeks after it arrived. It was horrible: the oversteer was the worst I have ever experienced. The 959 body kit was really heavy, especially in the rear. I wasn’t sure what to do about it. While considering my next step, a friend asked if I could take him and his young daughter to a father/daughter dance and give them a grand entrance. It sounded like a fun thing to do, so I had the car cleaned and filled it up with gas. On the way over to pick them up, I was cut off and hit a car that had turned in front of me. That was the end of the dance ride, the end of the 959 and the start of something else.
“The obvious decision was to bring the car back to its narrow body days, but little did I know what horrors lay beneath the 959 body kit. At some point the car had been slid into a pole, so the chassis was seriously bent. The torsion tube was cracked, the passengers inner rocker was way out of shape, floors were surprisingly rust free but they had suffered years of neglect. The whole front end of the car was so poorly repaired that I ended up replacing both inner front fenders.
“Taking the 959 stuff off and repairing the damage left us with a lot of panels to replace. The upside was we had a blank slate to work with. I liked the early look, so I decided to do a 911R recreation. That allowed me to use a 1972 oil tank in the quarter panel: we just had to cut the hole and extend the oil tank filler neck, modifying the passenger rear quarter panel to house the proper sheet metal to hold the oil console.
“All the undercoating was removed by hand with a wire brush, and the chassis was repaired on a jig to make sure it was straight. I’m happy that the car is 100% rust free. I put a lot of hours into the preparation, but I also have to send a big thanks to my friends at Carolina Coach Crafters in Mooresville, North Carolina for great work on the body.
“Another company I had read good things about was EB Motorsport in Barnsley, England. Their products are distributed by Rothsport Racing in the USA: another very respected shop. I chose to use EB’s Porsche 911R panels to give my R the authentic look. We used the bonnet, bumpers, front wings, doors and engine lid from their range.
“It took a while to decide on a colour. The original factory colour was Albert Blue, but I wasn’t sure that would be right for a 911R. Everyone paints them white, so I wanted something different. When a Porsche 356 came to the paintshop finished in an optional colour – Continental Orange – the decision was made. The body was painted and I think it looks great.
“The 911E came with its original transmission and a twin-plug 2.7-litre engine from a 1975 Carrera. Running on Weber carburettors, that was serviced and left alone, but we refurbished all the suspension, brakes, steering and so on. I was planning on refitting these parts myself, but the shop gave me a good price to get it back on its wheels, so I let them attend to that before it was trailered home.
“The finishing touches such as refitting the glass and doing the interior – including fitting some restored hardback Recaro sports seats I managed to find – is all being done at home. We’re more than 90% of the way there now so it is all nearly done. I just love how it looks and can’t wait to drive it!
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Offered for sale (now sold) is this original RHD 1972 Porsche 911, bought new by a PCGB founder and former president and recently reworked by one of the most famous names in air-cooled 911s to create a superb modified Porsche 911.
This turn-key 911 is offered ready to be driven and enjoyed. Registered as an historic vehicle, it is both tax and MOT exempt. Most recent work includes two new rear tyres and a new twin-plug rotor and distributor cap. A substantial sum has been spent in building and maintaining this 911. The sale includes the cherished registration that has been on the car since new.
In stark contrast to run-of-the-mill RSR builds based on tired American imports, this original RHD 911 could not have better provenance. Bought new in March 1972 from John Aldington of AFN Porsche by then-President of Porsche Club Great Britain, Bill Goodman, the car enjoyed a long and successful hillclimb career with Bill until his passing in 2004. It was subsequently owned by a family friend, before landing at the famous Tuthill Porsche workshop in Oxfordshire, where it was transformed into a beautifully modified RSR-style 911 with a rebuilt 911/83 2.7 Carrera RS engine on high butterfly throttles with twin plug ignition.
It would be impossible to list every upgrade and improvement brought to this desirable 1972 911 with sought-after side oil flap since its most recent change of owner. Wonderful history dates back to the purchase invoice and includes bills for more than £150,000 spent with Tuthill Porsche since October 2014. Note that this does not include the purchase price! This car was created by the owner as a money-no-object vision of his ultimate road-going RHD 911. The headline spec list looks like this:
Bodywork: Full body restoration including inner and outer sills, A and B-posts, kidney bowls, parcel shelf repairs, scuttle and windscreen aperture repairs, front slam panel replacement and more. Complete steel-arch conversion to RSR spec. Full repaint in original Tangerine.
Interior: All new trim including Recaro Pole Position seats trimmed in leather with black Alcantara centres, new headlining in black, RS carpets and rear seat pads, new sound deadening, custom dash with 10k tacho, bolt-in roll cage, new inertia reel seat belts and Tuthill harnesses.
Engine: A genuine 2.7 Carrera RS 911/83 twin plug engine with mechanical fuel injection, rebuilt by Tuthills with usual attention to porting and blueprinting. Kevlar engine shrouds, twin Classic Retrofit mappable ignition spark boxes, custom SSI exhaust (including cabin heat) with bespoke silencer and fitted rear bumper.
Transmission: Custom Tuthill gearbox with WEVO shifter, limited slip differential, 930 clutch fork and more.
Suspension: Full Tuthill Porsche EXE-TC adjustable suspension, all suspension components replaced or rebuilt.
Brakes: Full Tuthill Porsche braking system including adjustable twin master cylinder Tuthill pedal box and billet aluminium 6-pot front/4-pot rear calipers.
Wheels and Tyres: 9-inch and 11-inch BZ Classic rims in RSR finish, wrapped in Pirelli Corsa Classic 235/45 and 305/30 R15 tyres (rear tyres are new).
Option to purchase: Optional additions include a car set of super-rare genuine 9-inch and 11-inch Fuchs wheels, a set of Cibie Pallas light units in body colour and smaller round ‘Durant’ mirrors.
The current owner is a private individual, so has asked me to help market the car on his behalf. I will be attending to all viewings and facilitating any inspections. The final payment will be a bank transfer direct to the owner.
This is a straight sale: no part exchanges, thank you. I am happy to work with overseas buyers keen to take advantage of the current exchange rates.
The asking price of £134,995 is substantially less than the cost to build and an attractive price in this market given the history, provenance and high-end nature of all modifications. Any inspection is welcome.
Porsche 911 CD 6299 History
In March 1972, Porsche enthusiast Bill Goodman bought a brand new RHD Porsche 911T in Tangerine from the late, great John Aldington at AFN/Porsche Cars Great Britain Limited for the all-in sum of £4167. This event in itself was not greatly significant, save for the fact that, in March 1972, Bill Goodman was the President of Porsche Club Great Britain: a position he occupied from 1968 to 1974.
Bill was one of the original group of Porsche owners who met at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham in 1961, to discuss the foundation of a British Porsche club. The club was duly established and Bill was made Chairman in 1964. He worked tirelessly in that role to set out the foundations of what is now one of the world’s most respected Porsche groups, becoming President in 1968. Holding the presidency for six years, Bill remains fondly remembered by all who knew him.
Registered as CD 6299, the car was Bill’s first 911, following six 356 models in succession over fourteen years. As Bill himself would later say: “I have never been one to keep the same car – even a Porsche – for very long, and it took a 911 to interrupt that habit.”
Painted in sought-after Tangerine (also known as Blood Orange), Bill’s 911 was a simple original specification. The car was chosen for its notable torque at low revs and low weight as standard: two qualities which bode well for competition.
Bill was a keen driver and motorsport competitor and his 911T was soon spotted on the hillclimb circuit. The first major modification came in the form of an engine swap, the flat six from his wife’s 2.4S Targa finding its way into the back of the T. His best times came down a bit, but it was not a long-term solution.
The big change came following a conversation with Josh Sadler of Autofarm fame, who suggested building a high performance 3.0 Turbo engine that would offer the same power to weight as some of the single-seater race cars of the time. A change to later 3.0 RSR style accompanied the new engine, with AP brakes and a long list of associated modifications.
When Bill passed away in 2004, the car was handed down to his son, who kept it until 2009. Thereafter, it lived in and around the UK midlands until 2014, when it popped up for sale Tuthill Porsche in Wardington, Oxfordshire.
Tuthills had a raft of customers interested in the rare RHD 1972 911: an original non-sunroof car in factory Tangerine with the distinctive side oil flap. Some wanted to restore it to original specification, but that was not in tune with its original owner. Run as a modified 911 since its earliest days, the ideal custodian would continue that trend and do justice to its legacy.
A candidate soon emerged, a price was agreed and a project was drawn up that would see a significant sum invested to create the car you see today. Featuring all of Tuthill’s expertise in building modified 911s for the ultimate driving experience, this 911 has covered just a few thousand miles since the build was completed. It is now for sale as the owner is streamlining his collection.
My most recent visit to EB Motorsport in Barnsley revealed a slightly sorry looking ’74 RS-style 911 sitting in a corner of the workshop. Brought in on 17″ wheels and with a weird exhaust setup which was neither one thing nor the other, the new owner wanted a set of EB’s 15″ RSR wheels and a 2.8 RSR bumper painted and fitted. Mark’s just sent me some pics of the finished project, which showed quite a transformation!
EB RS project begins
Offering the bumper up to the car, the exhaust was an issue. The tail pipes spaced at an odd distance from the centre obviously did not fit in the moulded bumper cut outs but, more importantly, the rolled exit tips were of quite a small internal diameter which was probably hurting performance.
After some consultation with the customer, the decision was taken to remake the exhaust silencer and mould a custom 3.0 RS-style rear bumper to suit. The fabricators centred larger diameter stainless tail pipes on the original muffler with some internal mods, also repairing some damage to the rear panel while the exhaust was on the bench.
With the new exhaust fitted, the bumper mould was mocked up and vents added to the underside. A plain reflector panel was also prepared and the panels were moulded in composite. The completed parts were then finished in body colour of Grand Prix White in EB’s own paint shop.
The RSR wheels were fitted with Pirelli Corsa Classic tyres and a geometry setup was carried out, based on the team’s proven 3.0 RS race settings with a bit less camber for the road. The engine was serviced, including new plugs, a rebuild and re-jet for the Weber carbs and new set of plug leads reviving the 3-litre’s view of the world. The finished item looks a lot better than the unloved 911 I first saw a few weeks ago!
Amongst many Porsche announcements this week was news of the impending arrival of Luftgekühlt in the UK. The Californian classic Porsche expo’s UK debut at Bicester Heritage on July 29 has got those who like Porsche meets somewhat excited.
Luftgekühlt is the brainchild of Porsche works driver, Patrick Long, and creative director, Howie Idelson. Revolving around Porsche air-cooled cars from the first 356s to the last 993s, Luftgekühlt describes itself as “an experiential car culture event centred around a tightly curated list of historically significant or interesting cars, both race and street”.
Luftgekühlt translates as air-cooled, and air-cooled Porsches are the stars of this ticket-only show. Air-cooled Porsche cars attending LuftGB are invited to park in the main event space. In addition to the ticketed parking within the Luftgekühlt display, there is a designated Porsche-only parking zone. Ample general admission parking is included in the ticket price. Those aged 15 and under go free, with adult tickets priced at £12.50 each.
“We are thrilled to announce that Luftgekühlt will be crossing the Atlantic and landing at Bicester Heritage, Oxfordshire, UK on Sunday July 29, 2018,” says the press release. “LuftGB will be our first overseas event and, together with our motoring and racing friends from across the pond, we will be channeling the informal, fun spirit of the early versions of Luftgekühlt to tell a new Luft story.
“The venue is Bicester Heritage, a former WW2 RAF Bomber Training Station. As the only hub for historic motoring of its type and scale in the world, and with over 35 specialist motoring businesses onsite, Bicester has a lot of heart. Its aesthetic, grit and heritage will frame the Luftgekühlt story in a perfectly British way.
“Like past shows, our first overseas foray will feature a blend of curated, invite-only rarities and ticketed enthusiasts’ cars. There will be a limited number of slots to fill within the venue, and they will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.
Despite July being a busy month of Porsche meets, with Classic Le Mans this weekend and Goodwood Festival of Speed straight after, the Porsche crowd is likely to turn out in force for the first-ever UK Luftgekühlt gathering. I spoke to one of the organisers on Tuesday and was told that the meet was already one-third of the way to being sold out. Anyone who would like to attend had better get their skates on. You can buy tickets here.
The latest Ruf CTR (AKA Yellowbird) was a guest participant on the recent Mille Miglia. Jonny Hart’s Electrocooler electric A/C system was tasked with keeping Alois Ruf and wife Estonia cool on the run down to Brescia for the start of the rally and over the three days of driving to Rome and back.
With almost five hundred cars on the start list and what often seems like the same number of corporate sponsors on board, the modern-day Mille Miglia is a bit of a glamour puss. But no doubt some of the drivers are there to give their cars a reasonable thrashing and Alois falls into that camp. The primary job of any Ruf creation is to take the experience of driving to another level, so the factory does not spare the testing miles. Mille Miglia might have been part marketing trip, but the lessons learned over several thousand kilometres behind the wheel will all be fed back to the Ruf engineers.
“I’ve returned to Germany for several technical liaisons since you and I first met the Ruf guys almost a year ago and it’s wonderful to work with such a professional engineering group,” Jonny Hart tells me. “The team responsible for this car know their stuff, so there would be no way to bluff my way through this opportunity.
“It goes without saying that Alois is a very cool guy, even without the help of our electric air conditioning. Hearing his appreciation for how well everything works when fitted to the car is such a huge buzz. He’s been great about keeping us informed on progress and recently gave me a call just to express his appreciation for our involvement and for delivering such a reliable product. What a class act! Few people of this stature would bother to make a call just to say thanks. It is a real dream come true to have our products fitted to this awesome machine.”
Ruf recently shared a “Making of the 2017 CTR” video on their Youtube channel and you can watch it below. The video predates the first fit of the Classic Retrofit air con and HVAC, so I love the air tube pointing at the windscreen in a 934 style. These guys are super laid back.
“One thing I really like about being part of this project is how up for it everyone is,” says Jonny. “No one batted an eyelid when we were working on some of the system integration in Pfaffenhausen and Alois suddenly arrived in the workshop. A customer had turned up unexpectedly and the boss politely asked if he could take the chap out for a drive, assuming it was not an interruption. Five minutes later, the panels had been refitted, tools were out and the CTR was ready to go: no tantrums, no egos and no complaining. Just calm professionalism and a very cool car.”
Main pic courtesy of Ruf Automobile on Facebook
Ferdinand blogs my freelance adventure with Porsche at the centre. To support the blog or engage with me in other ways, you can:
I went back to doing some magazine work earlier this year, with my friend Simon Jackson at GT Porsche magazine. Having run a few of my features through 2017, Simon asked if I fancied writing another regular column and I was happy to say yes, so the January 2018 issue has at least one page written by me.
Elsewhere in the latest issue is the story of my road trip to Ruf Automobile Gmbh last July. I made the trip as a passenger in Jonny Hart’s Delphi Green 911 SC, to demo the Classic Retrofit air conditioning system and give Alois and team a tour of the other Classic Retrofit products. The visit was a great success: so much so that the stop-off at the Porsche Museum the following day was a slight anticlimax. When a genuine Porsche hero takes you to lunch, the experience is hard to beat.
Ruf CTR versus Singer/Williams
After our trip, Jonny became part of the project team on the new Ruf CTR and has been working away on the development of the heating and ventilation system for this incredible car. I’ve seen lots of progress photos and they are pretty exciting – such a brave project from Ruf. No chance to share anything for the minute, but they will all come out eventually.
Jonny is also working on the new Singer, as are a few more of my friends, and that is another quite interesting project. Comparing the two from a static driver’s seat is interesting. The Ruf is built on a completely new body shell, all in carbon and with slightly bigger dimensions from the original, while the Singer retains much of the 964 floorpan with additional composite elements. Having seen both up close and sat in the Ruf, the slight shifts in scale give a different feeling from one driver’s seat to the other and that will be interesting to compare on the road. I probably won’t get to drive either of them, but no doubt the big boys will have much to discuss.
GT Porsche: my Tyre Kicker column
I first started working with GT Porsche editor, Simon Jackson, back in 2009. At the time, Simon was running Retro Cars magazine and my creative partner of the time, James Lipman, had already done a few features with him. The three of us went on to do a few bits together and I really enjoyed being in that magazine.
Like all good editors, Simon is easy to work for: he is not shy about speaking his mind on certain contradictions in the world of classic Porsche and is happy to let his contributors just go and get on with it. I like what he is doing at GT Porsche, especially given the operational pressures all magazines face nowadays. Check out the latest issue if you run across it.
Ferdinand blogs my freelance adventure with Porsche at the centre. To support the blog or engage with me in other ways, you can:
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