The narrow body SC RS front bumper from our friends at EB Motorsport (as seen on the latest Tuthill project above) has proved very popular with hot rod/outlaw 911 builders on both sides of the pond. Now EB has launched a new front bumper in the centre oil cooler 3.0 RS style, to suit narrow body impact bumper Porsche 911s (SCs, Carreras etc). Here are a few pics:
EB Motorsport’s proper wide-body 3.0 RS kit is a long-time favourite with RSR builders. The brothers had received a few enquiries for a standard body version, but the high tooling costs for big parts are never easy to justify. Once sufficient interest had been confirmed to support the narrow front bumper production, it took EB a while to tool up for the new part. The first products are now out of the mould and already heading off to satisfy advance orders.
I mentioned that the EB Motorsport Porsche 911 SC RS bumpers have proved very popular amongst 911 builders and there are two smart 911s currently featured online using the EB part. First is Bring A Trailer’s 911 Targa seen below. A 2.7-litre ’77 Targa in Ice Green Metallic, the car’s short-hood front end and long-hood rear is creating some noise in the comments.
Knee-jerk remarks are easy to throw around but I think the car looks sharp enough. A few Pelicanites went for this SH/LH mix back in the good old days of cheap 911s and I always liked it. Bit too much tartan in the back for my tastes but easy to fold the seats down. That EB front bumper sits well in context, regardless.
The second SC RS-bumpered 911 is the Mexico Blue project now on Petrolicious (below). Strong colour outside, strong colour inside and seems nicely finished by Workshop 5001 (a place I have got to drop into when next in LA). Loving the slick sophistication of this one and the matching rear bumper is so smooth and simple.
These things save a huge chunk of weight and lose the corrosion-prone aluminium blades, which is another plus point for some people. Unsurprisingly for the bloke who started a website called impactbumpers.com, I like the originals, but I see why some people like the change.
No sign of the 3.0 RS bumper on the EB Motorsport shop yet, but I am reliably informed that it will be online tomorrow, along with the all-new aluminium RSR MFI pump base plate that the guys have just finished designing and machining. Work never stops up in Barnsley!
BringaTrailer and Petrolicious images are copyright of their respective owners. Shared for info.
Mrs G and I recently attended the social event of the historic Porsche motorsport off-season in Yorkshire, where a good weekend was had by all. While up north, we called in to catch up with Mark and James at EB Motorsport in Barnsley, as I heard there was lots going on.
While James has recently been helping with another little addition to the family, Mark’s been holding the fort at EB Engineering by day and spending the evenings knee-deep in Porsche projects. Both have also been working closely with a bunch of new staff including a full-time painter, new fabricator/welder and a machine operator for the three Haas CNC machines now working flat out in Barnsley. But I digress – back to Porsche.
Current EB classic Porsche projects include the 911R build (which I got some good pics of), repairing the ’65 SWB car ahead of this year’s race season (Brands Masters and 6 Hours of Spa are definite), working on the 2.1 RSR Turbo build and fitting the latest EB Motorsport parts to the Light Yellow RSR race car: these superb pressed steel rear arch flares.
Porsche 911 Steel Arch Flares
Well made steel arch flares that fit properly and look right are almost impossible to find, but the new EB flares are a superb piece of work. Requiring no hand finishing around the arch lip or torsion bar hole, they merge to meet the contours of the classic race car in a seamless curve of delight. The tyre-to-arch gap in EB’s fitting is nothing short of perfect; these steel arch flares really are magnificent creations by all concerned.
I love my 911s as narrow-body models, but steel panels of this quality make my wallet itch. The only issue is that, to do them proper justice, you need 300bhp under the decklid and 11-inch rear Fuchs to match. Such champagne tastes are not yet matched by an available budget to go wild in metal. Maybe one day.
Email EB Motorsport to discuss any of their peerless performance parts for Porsche. The brothers are excellent guys: two of my favourite people.
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One of my favourite Porsche projects of the last few years has been working with my friend Jonny Hart on the brand development of his company, Classic Retrofit. Jonny and I became online friends soon after he joined our 1974-1989 Porsche 911 forum at impactbumpers.com and it has been fun to follow his electronics magic on parts for these classic 911s, including the all new Porsche 911 air con system.
The peak of achievement to date is Jonny’s electric air con kit for classic Porsche 911s. Branded ‘Electrocooler’, the full kit is about to be unleashed on the classic Porsche community in its first public showing at the LA Lit Show on March 4.
I shared some pics on Classic Retrofit’s social media pages last week and they went totally ballistic: a most rewarding return for all of Jonny’s hard work. I have just sent more details out and am sure that many of my Ferdinand friends will also be interested in knowing more, so I share them below.
Email Jonny at email@example.com to discuss any of his products.
Classic Porsche 911 Electric Air Con: A/C Technical Layout
The compressor module (front centre in the picture) goes in the smuggler’s box on a LHD 911. On a RHD car, the compressor is mounted adjacent to the battery and fits with no modifications to battery or spare wheel arrangements.
The condenser goes under the front wing/fender, in place of the oversized windscreen washer reservoir on an impact-bumper car. The blower unit (top right) contains a modern fan and evaporator. All original non A/C vents now blow A/C air.
The occupants can also enjoy A/C air out of any vent in the car, including warm A/C air for rapid windscreen defogging. Our blower assembly brings recirculation capability to the 911s ventilation system and assists heated air flow for hot air without the need for footwell blowers.
Maintaining the standards of classic Porsche design, the original cabin slider ventilation controls are retained, for maximum discretion. A single pushbutton with indication is the only visible clue that Electrocooler is fitted.
Electrocooler Weight Savings and Performance Benefits
As shown in our photo, the complete kit weighs a shade over 16 kilograms (35 lbs). Combining the fitment of a smaller washer bottle and accounting for removal of the original fresh air blower, installing Classic Retrofit’s Electrocooler kit to a 911 originally supplied without factory air conditioning adds less than 7 kilograms (15 lbs) to overall weight.
For a car originally equipped with factory air conditioning, converting to the Classic Retrofit Electrocooler system results in an overall weight saving of circa 18 kilograms (40 lbs).
There is the added handling benefit of weight loss at the rear of the car by removing the substantial original air-con compressor from its elevated position in the engine bay, not to mention the increased fuel efficiency and engine power, once the crankshaft load inflicted by the archaic belt-driven compressor is removed.
The Canary Islands are volcanic isles located off the north-west coast of Africa, just a half-hour flight from the Western Sahara Desert. I first visited the Canaries in 1993 and instantly fell in love with the islands and the people. I have since returned here many times, visiting each of the islands over the years, but Gran Canaria remains my favourite.
The locals say that Gran Canaria is like a mini-continent. Divided by a mountainous centre, the south gets most sunshine, so is where the resorts are. In the north is Las Palmas, Spain’s ninth biggest city and the islands’ governmental centre. 850,000 people live on this island, including many extranjeros (immigrants) from across Europe, Africa and Latin America. This Irish immigrant has spent the last seven days here and as always, it has been a pleasure.
Thanks to beautiful weather all year around, a huge working sea port and a very busy airport, Gran Canaria welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. The mix of global influences has earned GC a reputation for tolerance and an openness to many cultures. This has certainly been my experience. I have made some good friends in Gran Canaria and am interested in possibly owning a house here, hence my frequent visits in recent months. We will see how that goes.
A Lesson in Spanish Philosophy
Canarian history goes back thousands of years and each island is truly unique in character, but today the Canaries are a part of modern Spain. Here we speak español (small e) and follow the rhythms of Spanish life and culture. There is little point in rushing anywhere, as you will only catch up to the bloke in front. Make time for life and life will make time for you is how things tend to go.
Catching up to slower moving people reminds me of the famous Spanish philosopher, José Ortega y Gasset, who believed that a person was the combination of both life and circumstance. “Yo soy yo y mi circunstancia” as he put it. To Ortega y Gasset, circunstancia meant those things forced upon us. He saw life as a constant tug-of-war between the freedom we were born with and our dictated fate.
In the fight between freedom and fate, Ortega y Gasset’s concept is the start of all art. We accept that fate will befall us but inside that acceptance, we select a destiny. Some become part of what the philosopher’s 1929 essays call “The Mass”, while some select a different path.
“The mass crushes beneath it everything that is different, everything that is excellent, individual, qualified and select. Anybody who is not like everybody, who does not think like everybody, runs the risk of being eliminated.”
To escape this fate, Ortega Y Gasset believed that a person must make an active decision to live a life of effort. “For me, then, nobility is synonymous with a life of effort, ever set on excelling oneself, in passing beyond what one is to what one sets up as a duty and an obligation. In this way, the noble life stands opposed to the common or inert life, which reclines statically upon itself, condemned to perpetual immobility, unless an external force compels it to come out of itself.”
The concepts of Ortega y Gasset and others were at the heart of a lively bilingual conversation I enjoyed with my friends Rafael and Jorge over coffee last night. Rafael – a Doctor of Philosophy – is a former consultant to the Swedish government and has just completed another PhD, pondering the practical applications of preventative psychology. His lifelong friend, Jorge, is a Porsche restorer. Both are living “a noble life” that Ortega y Gasset would be proud of.
Pons Vintage Cars
Based just outside Santa Brigida, here in Gran Canaria, Jorge Pons takes the idea of Porsche restoration to the nth degree. While most of the Porsche restorers I have met and worked with add their own touches, that is not the way of Jorge. Pons Vintage Cars believes that, if it is not in the manual, it is not on the car.
The Dalmatian Blue (Oxford Blue) 1973 Porsche 911 2.4T Targa seen here is a perfect example. And I mean it is a perfect example. Restored over ten months from start to finish, this superb 2.4 T Targa is immaculate inside and out. I had the pleasure of a short drive in this 911 around Jorge’s family estate and it was a delightful experience.
All of Jorge’s 911s are completed to an exacting standard. The ’73 Targa is the seventh car in as many years to come from his wonderfully pastoral workshop. Set amongst the mountains overlooking the wild blue Atlantic and surrounded by palm trees, a group of four much-loved donkeys (burros in Spain) follow progress in the glass-walled garage through wise and appreciative eyes. As a donkey- and a Porsche-lover, I think it is perfect.
Dalmatian Blue Porsche 911 T Targa
Dalmatian Blue is one of my favourite Porsche colours but it is not very common. I have only seen one other 911 in Dalmatian Blue and that was a hot rod built by my friend Gib Bosworth, eventually finished by another good friend. How many Dalmatian/Oxford Blue Targas were ever built in the final year of early 911 production (and how many matching-number examples remain) is anyone’s guess, but it can’t be that many. This could easily be the the best one available.
Anyone seeking a well restored example of classic Porsche engineering should contact Jorge Pons to discuss this car for sale. Gran Canaria is just a plane ride away and shipping is easy. Pons does not ask a fortune for his work – the projects are not about the money – but the prices are not negotiable. This one is up for €125,000, which seems reasonable, given that some dealers in Germany are asking more than €150k for similar cars that will not have taken ten painstaking months to restore. I m back in Essen in april and I have no doubt that cars this good will be into the €160k+ bracket.
Now finished the 911T Targa, Jorge has switched to a superb Irish Green 1970 Porsche 911 T Coupe. This car recently returned from the paint shop following an incredible bare-metal restoration, all recorded on camera. It is beautiful: the paintwork is a joy to behold. I leave Gran Canaria tomorrow, but am very excited to see what progress will have been made when I return to the island in May.
It’s been a great year for my friend and fellow impact bumper 911 owner, Jonny Hart, who runs UK classic car electronics company, Classic Retrofit. Having released his replacement Porsche 911 blade fuse panels last year to a highly receptive audience, 2016 saw the launch of Jonny’s CDI+ unit, which replaces the ageing Bosch CDI ignition box, bringing modern electronics to the air-cooled 911 in a plug-and-play upgrade that has been dyno proven to increase power and torque.
Classic Retrofit has now sold almost one hundred of these CDI+ units, and hundreds more of its replacement fuse panels are also in use, clocking up tens of thousands of reliable miles in classic 911s all over the world. Jonny is celebrating the success of his creations by offering the CDI+ box and the appropriate replacement fuse panels for air-cooled Porsche 911s at a discounted price of £995, saving £100 off the cost of buying the items separately.
Classic Porsche 911 Upgrades
We hear a lot about various upgrades for classic Porsches, but few really impress once you start clocking up the miles. For example, there are plenty of suspension upgrades out there nowadays, but not many that work without compromising on cabin noise and ride quality. Same for shifter upgrades: only the WEVO shifter has ever felt like a quantum leap forward on early cars to me.
Jonny’s parts are developed to a similar level. The replacement fuse panels bring modern blade fuses and blown-fuse LED indicators to the seriously outdated ceramic fuse panels which cause so many problems on old 911s. Ceramic fuses are no longer available: these fuses are now plastic. The old fuse panel connectors are riveted together and that connection degrades over time, increasing resistance and heat. The heat melts the plastic and the fuse shortens, intermittently interrupting the connection and driving you mad trying to fix it.
All of my impact bumper cars have had this problem and Jonny’s fuse panel cures it completely. It also adds upgraded headlamp relays for brighter lights, with current running away from the switch a much safer option. The panels are a total no-brainer: a must-fit on all 911s. I have a pair of fuse panels ready to go on my car once I get my alternator back from rebuild and finish converting the electrics to run without a separate regulator.
Bosch CDI Modern Electronics Upgrade
As for the CDI+ units, one of these boxes has just completed a six-week, 10,000-mile trip across the USA on the Pan-American Friendship Rally. Tuthill Porsche has used trouble-free CDI+ units in a number of new car builds, and Neil Bainbridge at BS Motorsport has also used them on a number of cars to great effect. They are super reliable and a simple plug-and-play fitment using the original connectors.
I only run older cars and reliability is non-negotiable for me. Every year, I spend a small fortune repacing parts and future-proofing reliability on my fleet of old classics. Having suffered breakdowns at the hands of burnt-out Bosch CDI units and disintegrating fuse panels, I can’t recommend these parts highly enough. I’m delighted to support this bona-fide air-cooled enthusiast via my impactbumpers.com Porsche forum and also here on the Ferdinand blog. We’re also working on some other projects together: all quite (very) exciting, but more on that later.
See full details of the Ultimate Upgrade Package for Porsche 911 on the Classic Retrofit website.
Shakespeare once wrote that “the course of true love never did run smooth”. The timeless wisdom of this observation was proven yet again today, when I tackled a Porsche Cayenne rear spring replacement on my 2004 V8 Cayenne S: a.k.a. The Big Pig.
I took the Cayenne for MOT (annual safety inspection) last week and it was en route to passing with flying colours, until we got to the back end, where one spring had a cracked coil. Instant fail. I priced up genuine Porsche springs at £200 each plus the VAT, or Kilen springs made in Sweden from an eBay seller (the worryingly named “Octane Motorstore”) at £65 delivered for a pair. I wanted to change the pair of rear springs, so £400 versus £65 was a no brainer.
The Cayenne has now clocked up 159,000 miles, with 42k of those in my ownership. Despite all the grief that this high maintenance German car has caused compared to my six previous trouble-free Subaru Legacy station wagons, I’m still quite keen on it, so I do like to keep it working properly and do as much of the work as I can myself.
Rear spring repacement is a pretty easy job on these: the hardest part is finding the time and a dry day to do the work, and jacking the Cayenne up to get underneath it. Working on this thing on the ground is a pain in the arse as it is so heavy. I go with a belt and braces approach to supporting the car as I am always working on my own. You are not coming out in one normal-size piece if it slips off a jackstand while you’re underneath it, so I use substantial (heavy) underpinnings.
Eventually I got it up in the air, well supported with the rear wheels off and sized up the job. The rear suspension looks complicated, but it’s pretty simple: Pelican Parts has a great how-to on removing the rear suspension. The spring and damper assembly is a complete strut just like the front, so, once the anti-roll bar droplink is out of the way and the bottom shock nut is off, you just undo the four bolts holding the top mount to the chassis and drop the whole thing out. Then it’s easy enough to get spring compressors on the strut and break it all down into component pieces.
Everything went smoothly enough. Undoing the strut top bolts was a mother of a job but, with a mishmash of extensions and breaker bars, they all eventually came undone. Taking it apart was easy (another win for air tools), but of course my doubts about the eBay springs were well founded: completely the wrong size and shape. They’ve got to go back and the dubious seller is being pretty tight about paying for the return, even though they sent the wrong parts. I had a strong feeling that it was all too good to be true.
There are very few affordable options for uprated damper & spring kits on Cayennes, so to give myself more time to research what is out there and get the car back on the road in the meantime, I ordered a low mileage used rear strut assembly from a breaker friend of mine and will put that on to get the Cayenne through the MOT.
While I have the thing up in the air, I pulled the rear bumper, relocated the LPG filling point on to the chassis, jet washed everything and sprayed it all with some rustproofing wax.