• Imported from California in 2017
• Comprehensive mechanical overhaul
• Prepared to be the ideal weekend classic rally machine.
The finest evolution of the people’s car, the 911 began with the simplicity and robustness of Ferdinand Porsche’s rear-engined, air-cooled mobility wagen. It then had the classic recipe for appeal applied to it: increase the seats-to-cylinder ratio, and fit a coupe body.
With the tuneful and pokey flat-six now providing propulsion, and with the rear seats shrunk, Porsche were onto a winner; a 20th-century icon whose DNA lives on in the brand today.
This example was registered initially in January 1974 in the USA, and has covered surprisingly few miles in its lifetime.
Imported in 2017, its current owner immediately snapped it up and began a close relationship not only with the car, but also with the Oxford-based specialists Autofarm, Cherished and used in minor motorsport events in the years since, the car has now had its sale triggered by its owner’s retirement and a corresponding desire for a more sedate pace of life, thus offering the icon up to a new owner.
Although the car itself has survived well during its life on the west coast of the USA, little of its original paperwork made it across the Atlantic. However, there’s a healthy amount of history from its life in the UK, with the regular collection of invoices from the specialist comfortably reaching five-figures (and the first figure is not ‘one’). These can be seen on some of the photos of invoices from Autofarm with whom the current owner entrusted the maintenance.
The most immediately notable feature is the pair of immaculately trimmed racing seats – a recent addition and which feature the famous racing Sabelt harnesses.
Elsewhere in the cabin there is a healthy amount of wear and tear with the appropriate amount of patina for a car nudging its half-century. The headlining has a few nicks and stains, the sun visors look slightly deflated, and the carpets – whilst in good condition – curl up at the edges in places.
This does, however, make lifting them to inspect the rot-free floor very easy. The plastic trim is all correct and free from major marks, and to enhance the street-racer feel, a Momo steering wheel and navigator’s footplate have been added. For those interested in classic rallying, the all-important Brantz trip meter has been added to assist with those troublesome regularity tests.
The clean, slim-pillared looks of the 911 shine through very well and the paintwork, whilst not showroom-fresh, has been well maintained and regularly polished. There are a few blemishes as can be seen in the photographs, with a few small scuffs on the corner of the bumpers and which possibly also relate to a few panel gap misalignments on the front and rear valances.
To further evidence the car’s historical competition credentials, a pair of period-correct Cibie spotlamps have been added which – like the main headlamps – are all H4 halogen. Fittingly, the reverse lights have also had the rally treatment and have been complemented by a period reverse spotlamp. There is also a period-style OEM toolkit, though an 8-Track has been omitted in favour of a CD-player.
All four wheels are in good condition with no significant scuffs, and the spare basically looks factory fresh. The sills and underside look solid without any visible evidence of corrosion, and the weatherstrips along the windowlines are new.
Though remarkably solid and corrosion-free for its age, the left-hand (driver’s) door aperture on the rear wing panel shows some signs of bubbling around and below the striker plate, and a small blister appears on the bonnet, as can been seen on the photographs.
The powertrain really has been the apple of the current owner’s eye. After a significant full rebuild, the engine fires on the button and without any smoke.and given the history file, this is not surprising. Fewer than 5,000 miles have been racked up since the rebuild – with the first 3,000 of those being obediently held below 3,000rpm.
The engine bay is healthy level of ‘clean’ – not showroom, but free from any oil stains or dampness. The rubber components and associated hose clips look new, and there are shiny nuts, bolts and fixings galore.
Fuel lines, injector hoses and fuel metering unit for the Bosch K-Jetronic system are all clean and unblemished, as are the distributor/spark components. Underneath, it’s a similar story with the exhaust system, and it’s clear to see where the focus has been on the investment and maintenance of the vehicle – its beating heart.
At the other end of the vehicle, there has been fitted what in ‘normal’ cars would be called a sump-guard; in this case, there’s a shield to prevent damage to the fuel tank. Look closely and you’ll see blue foam sandwiched between the guard and the fuel tank itself, as per the specialist’s instructions. Rather than for noise insulation reasons, rallying experience has shown that this prevents rocks wedging themselves in the gap and puncturing the tank.
Steve McQueen’s 1971 Le Mans is probably most famous for its Porsche 917, but in the opening scenes it also features perhaps the most iconic sports car of all: the Porsche 911.
The 1970s 911s were classically simple and beautiful, free from the bulbous wings of the 80s and the extrovert styling modifications of the 90s, and remain the epitome of cool. Robert Redford drives one in Spy Game. Margot Robbie drives one in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Perhaps you can drive one in: Warwickshire.
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