Visit to Canepa Motorsport

November 15, 2019
Cameron Luther
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On the way to the Monterey Car Week we made a stop in Scotts Valley, California while traveling from San Francisco to Carmel. Canepa is known around the world for restoration, race preparation, and sales of fine european sports and racing cars. Seen in this photo is a 959 finished in guards red. Bruce Canepa the owner, along with Bill Gates, was a large proponent of convincing the US Government to allow the importation of the 959 under show and display laws.

Heres another angle of the 959. In the background there are a few Porsches which are very interesting. On the right is a 964 factory cup car, and on the left us a very special build done by Canepa. It is a G body Speedster customized with 934 flares, center lock BBS wheels, and coolest of all is the engine, it is out of a 962 Porsche factory race car. This makes this “962 Speedster” an absolute monster.

Here is the 964 Carrera RS. It is lighter and faster than the standard Carrera 2, and was popular at the Nurburgring when it was new. It was only available outside of the United states, but since they were produced many have been imported. Here in the US we got the RS America, which was lighter but not any more powerful. Behind it is a 997.1 GT3RS and a 1 owner BMW M1.

Here is the the 964 Carrera RS 3.8, which got the M491 Turbo Look option. Behind is a Mercedes 300 SL roadster with US spec headlights, a Lister-Jaguar racer, and a Ferrari Mondial Cabriolet.

Here is a Porsche 930 turbo (intercooled car), finished in PTS color. Seen behind is a Camaro Trans Am Racing series car and a Cayman GT4.

The restoration shop at Canepa is full of interesting Porsches and other things. Starting from the right, a 934 street legal car being prepared for Jerry Seinfeld(orange car on the lift), a blue Ruf CTR, a red F body 911S Targa, a 991 Targa by Ruf, a white Mk. 4 GT40 owned by the Shaughnessys, a red 930 turbo, a white 993 Carrera s, and a red 356 Carrera coupe. In the background is three 959 SC’s. The 959 SC is a standard 959 which is restored by Canepa with an upgraded engine and interior with more leather features. In the foreground is a 993 GT2RS Evolution. Its based on the 993 Turbo but has bigger turbos, a lightened body, and bolt on flares to house wider wheels.

Here is another angle of the shop which shows more of the lineup of 959 SC’s in final assembly. The closest car which is finished in Viper Green was being done for David MacNeil of WeatherTech.

One thing which sets Canepa apart from other restoration shops is their level of expertise and organization while conducting mechanical rebuild and other restoration projects. Here you can see this Ferrari 512 Berlinetta Boxer, which appears to be receiving a full engine rebuild. All the parts are played out neatly on the tables and you cannot see a spec of dirt anywhere. 

Here is the John Fitzpatrick Racing Porsche 935 seen in Canepa’s museum. It is powered by a turbo charged air cooled flat six.

Here is a 1969 Porsche 917k finished in the Gulf Racing livery. These cars were raced to success at the 24 Hours of Le mans. They were also featured in Steve McQueen’s film Le mans.

Here is a Porsche 917/10. These cars had the same chassis and basic motor construction at the 917k but feature an open cockpit body for the Can-am racing series and two turbos connected to the air-cooled flat 12 which propels this race car at 1100 horsepower. Racer and mechanic Mark Donohue was intricate in developing this vehicle with Porsche. 

Here is a 1981 Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo, which was built to try and compete with the for-mentioned Porsche 935, which was ultimately more successful.

Here is one of my favorite cars in the Canepa showroom was this 964 Turbo S 3.6. This was the last iteration of the classic 911 silhouette. This car looks particularly great in yellow and has some really neat options.

As you can see in this photo the car has color matched hard back seats and color matched seat belts.

For me there is just something about the 964 wide body on the turbo and especially this car with euro front fenders with amber side markers, and being that this car is a Turbo S it has air inlets on the rear fenders. This car has 3 piece speed line cup wheels which give it an awesome early 90s motorsport look.

And the interior gets even better. There are 3 colors which dominate the interior, yellow, black, and grey. Yellow can be seen on the airbag, shift boot, and door cards. Grey can be seen on the seats and on the steering wheel.

A big thanks to Canepa for opening it’s doors to the public for us Porsche fans to see the incredible facility!

Here is a Youtube video covering the visit.

Porsche 992 Driving Impressions

October 28, 2019
Cameron Luther
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The new Porsche 911 992 generation Carrera S and Carrera 4 S have hit U.S. dealers and a reader of the blog got a chance to drive the C4S cab in St. Louis, Missouri

Here are Sean Reardon’s initial driving impressions!

992 vs. 991 (vs. 930?)
I was prepared to hate the 992: oversized, overweight, and overpriced-what’s to love? Quite a bit actually.
It seems every new 911 has a completely different, yet eerily similar feel. The G50 3.2 Carrera felt like my ’82 SC, but more refined and less hot rod(ish). My 964 felt like the ’87 G50 with better handling and lighter weight but equally telepathic steering. The white car (993) smelled like the 964 but had six speeds and felt much quicker. The 997’s felt, like, well, spaceships compared to the air-cooleds. Backing up a bit, my 930 really just drove like an SC until the carnival ride opened around 3000 rpm. Now I find a similar experience with my 991.1; nobody is home until about 4000 rpm, then all hell breaks loose. The 991 is also quite large, but doesn’t feel it.
So the 992? It is big. Parked next to a 993 it looks gigantic. The wide body form is beautifully proportioned and designed, carrying ubiquitous 911 design cues. The Ode to the Past 911 touches are neat and thankfully not too kitsch. The bumpers are fussy but blame that on water and forced induction.
Though my time behind the wheel was brief, a few things stand out. The car sounds amazing-rumbly but not offensive (much better than my 991 sewing machine). Despite the car’s bariatric nature, it also feels tight and nimble. If you could close your eyes while driving, you would know you’re driving a 911. Open you eyes, and not so much. Throwing a new Cayenne dash pad over an older S Class multi screen dash with a Mini Cooper single old school tach doesn’t work, but that’s coming from an analog 911 purist. The Remington shaver needs to go as well. Otherwise the interior is great.
The best part? That engine-it’s fast! And instantly fast. I remember being impressed with the base 991.2 improvements in low rpm response; the 992 takes that to a whole new level. The low end torque is fantastic, and additive. And loud. I wanted to keep driving it, but Leslie would have gotten fired if she didn’t bring the demo car back sometime.
Would I buy one? Not for $160k. But it was fast. And sounded great…
(Thanks to Leslie Dement at Porsche St. Louis for the seat time.)

And Thanks to Sean for his initial thoughts and analysis!

Give him a follow on instagram @reardon356

 

My 356 Has Been Shipped to McPherson by Passport Transport!

September 16, 2019
Cameron Luther
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After much anticipation my 1965 356SC Porsche has been shipped from my home state of Virginia to McPherson, Kansas! I’m in the Automotive Restoration program at McPherson College. It’s the perfect place to get the car back on the road, with so many knowledgeable professors whom I’m able to consult when I have questions or issues. Above is the car being picked up by Passport Transport.

Within a few days the truck, with my cars, was in Kansas and ready to deliver them.

The 356 and my daily Lexus lx470 were in great care throughout their journey.

The Passport driver was very meticulous in making sure the vehicles were brought off of the truck correctly.

The 356 sees the light of day for the first time in a few days and gets its first glimpse at McPherson, its home while I get it back on the road.

The car is currently not being run due to needed repairs which will be showcased in future blogs.

A lot of my fellow students were eager to help push the car into my shed, so that was a huge help.

Next came my 2002 Lexus LX470, which was much easier, as it runs perfectly.

And here she sits! I’m setting up a little shop to be able to get the car back on the road and keep it maintained. A big thank you to Passport Transport for their shipping of the cars halfway across America!

Here is my YouTube Video on the process:

 

Thank You, Alexandria Fire Department!

September 1, 2019
Cameron Luther
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These guys from the Alexandria fire department helped push the car into position so it’s ready for the Passport Transport Truck to come!

Visit to Fantasy Junction

Cameron Luther
0

This is the first of my multi-part series covering Monterey Car Week. We flew into San Francisco and so we figured we would make some stops on the way down to Carmel. The first stop me made was Fantasy Junction in Emeryville, California. I spotted this neat Dune Buggy at Can’t Fail Cafe, about a block away.

It looked really well done and I imagine it would be a hoot to drive around Southern California.

Here is is the view as you come in. Three very different Lamborghini Countach. My favorite is the earliest car, the periscopa on the right, although the white later car in the middle was neat to me because it comes from my home state of Virginia.

A stunning Alfa Romeo TZ bodied by Zagato.

An interesting combo. A 56 speedster and a 59 convertible D. On the surface they are  very similar cars but the little details like the windshield are what separates these two.

I was particularly keen of this speedster with it’s blue exterior and red leather interior.

Here us is a stunning Dino 246 gt spider finished in yellow. This is either and N or M series car, based on the turn signals and 5 lug wheels.

This speedster just had the right look, finished in black with a red interior , and a California black plate to top it off!

Fantasy Junction was originally founded in 1968, and has been in its current location since 1989. Displayed on the walls of the showroom are some of the fantastic cars which they have dealt in.

Here is the Hurley Haywood driven 962C which recently sold on BringaTrailer for 960 thousand dollars.

Here is the link to my YouTube Video on Fantasy Junction https://youtu.be/kPyUGgVhmoY

Off To McPherson!

August 10, 2019
Cameron Luther
0

Packed up and heading off to McPherson College to study Automotive Restoration, stopping at Monterey Car Week on the way. This metal sign came out of an estate in Fairfax, Virginia. The sign promotes Camel GT with a Porsche 935 IMSA race car.

I was going to drive the Lexus LX470, and pull the 1965 Porsche 356SC on a trailer, but a 22 hour drive can be hard on a 17 year old SUV (even an awesome Lexus in great condition). So we arranged to have Passport Transport bring the two vehicles out. My dad has used Passport for over 30 years, and they treat cars with ‘kid gloves’.

Here I am with a Passport Transport truck at the Bonham’s Auction at Quail Valley Lodge, just a couple days before the Quail show was held nearby. I’ll be posting pics of the loading of my cars and their arrival at the sheds in McPherson, Kansas. www.PassportTransport.com

 

The Little Brown Porsche, Part 1

August 3, 2019
Cameron Luther
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This is my little brown Porsche. It is a 1965 356 SC sunroof coupe. Here is the brief story on the cars history, and my plans for the cars future.

 

We bought the car from a man in the Washington DC area that had owned the car since 1972. Larry was a bit eccentric, but he loved his Porsche. More details on that coming in a future blog.

At the time I was working at a Porsche repair shop in Gaithersburg, Maryland so the logical thing was to take it there and revive the car mechanically, it had been sitting for a few years due to an issue with the petcock.

I worked with Matthew De Maria of Stuttgart Performance Engineering to free up the break calipers, replace the rear axle boots, put a correct petcock on the car, and do a few other things to make the car a little more road worthy.

The car came from the factory finished in ruby red with black leather and was cosmetically restored to this champagne brown paint with ivory leather in the 80s by Stoddard. More on that in a future story. The car retains the factory gauges, steering wheel, clock, period correct radio, and the electric sunroof.

Here are some neat vintage car club medallions which I fitted to the dealer installed bumper guards.

The leather is supple, and the interior retains a factory look. The previous owner had always kept sheepskin covers on the seats.

Under the front bonnet sits the factory date coded 1965 spare wheel, and the leather strap has been swapped for a canvas belt. Notice that the factory plastic cover is still present, an item which can often be separated from the cars or broken.

After I got the car back on the road, I drove it around quite a bit to our local Cars and Coffee, and on weekend drives.

Here is the car at the 36th annual Deutsche Marque Concours d’ Elegance in Vienna, Virginia. This annual event is put on by the Potomac Region of the Porsche Club of America, the National Capital Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America, and the Greater Washington Section of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America.

The car has performed fairly well but the dual Weber carbs are worn and cannot be tuned properly as such, so they will need to be rebuilt. Tim Berardelli, who is a 356 marque expert took a look at the motor an discovered corrosion on the valve springs, meaning there is moisture in the motor.

My plan for the car is to perform a mechanical restoration while I attend the McPherson College of Automotive Restoration. The rebuilding of the motor and the freshening of the brakes and suspension will be documented in a multi part series on this blog and in YouTube videos.

911s and Historic Race Cars of PCA Parade 2019

July 31, 2019
Cameron Luther
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Here are some of the Porsche 911s and Porsche  race cars featured at the 2019 PCA Parade Concours. This is a Viper Green GT2RS Weissach Package, brought by Champion Porsche. One detail which I find interesting is the red Alcantara headliner and other interior bits finished in the same material, which makes for a neat spec. Behind it is the new 992 Carrera4S, finished in GT Silver.

This is a neat IROC RSR look build, with what seemed to be a 3.6 litre Varioram motor.

The proportions on this car looked great, and I’m a big fan of the look of the smaller diameter, more period correct looking wheel, rather than a 17 inch wheel in favor of modern rubber. This car looks great finished in blue.

This Euro 930 Turbo is a triple white time capsule from my local region, and has is in really remarkable shape inside and out.

The dash and steering wheel are the original white leather, which I have never seen on one of these and I assume to be ordered through the Special Wishes Program.

You can tell it is a euro or “grey market” car based on the amber side markers, the smaller rear bumper guards, and the rear fog light.

Here is a Kremer built 930 cabriolet, which looks pretty menacing with the larger rear deck lid which I figure is used to hold a larger Intercooler.

The car is sitting on BBS Basketweave wheels which complete the 80s look.

This is a Brumos Racing 917/10, powered by a twin turbocharged flat 12 producing 950 hp.

Here is a Brumos 935. The Porsche 935 is one of the most successful Porsche race cars built. The fan wheels on the front of this particular car are really neat and functional, which aid in cooling the brakes.

This is the iconic T-Bird Swap Shop 935, formerly owned by 935  aficionado, Van Zannis.

A few things which really make this car stand out for me is the great mix of colors and the body work on this particular car, especially the front fenders which have a neat looking ridge, which helps the front end straight at high speeds on straightaways.

This 935 was raced at the Nurburgring and the Le Mans 24 hour race. It was most recently restored by Gunnar Racing, and driven at this past years Rennsport Reunion by Rod Emory.

This Löwenbräu 962 was driven to victory in 5 IMSA gt races at the hands of Al Holbert and and Derek Bell, being in the presence of this car was like a religious experience as a fan of Al Holbert and Holbert Porsche+Audi.

The 962 was sat center stage in the historic Porsche racing car room.

Here is an East African Safari driven long hood 911. Note the white wall tyres, hood and fender mounted rally lights, and spare wheel wrapped in a snow chain.

Here is the new 991.2 speedster! This is one of 1,948 produced and they are all sold. It features the naturally aspirated 4.0 litre flat six and 6 speed manual transmission from the 991.2 gt3.

Speaking of rare 911s, here is a 964 turbo 3.6 flatchbau  one of just 76 ordered with the x88 package.

This is Porsche’s newest track only car, the GT2RS ClubSport, based on the 991 GT2RS, but with an even more stripped out interior, full racing cage, and Porsche Motorsports suspension and drivetrain.

It features an even larger wing and less restrictive exhaust than the street car. Many of the body panels come from the factory finished in raw carbon fiber.

This 73 Carrera RS looked stunning in the Florida sun just after winning an award in its class. Note the horn grill mounted driving lights.

This car received a full restoration by Gunnar Racing and was a highlight of the concours.

79 928 review and diagnosis

July 29, 2019
Cameron Luther
0

I took a look at this 928 at the owners home to buy the car or sell it on consignment, but decided to pass on the car based on the unoriginality and mechanical issues which rendered the car non-roadworthy. The car was originally black with black leather, bought new by a semi-professional basketball player.

In in an interesting turn of events, the car was trucked to the Porsche shop which I work at, T.A.G. Motor Werks. The owner wanted us to diagnose the mechanical issues.

The car was repainted yellow when new, but still retains the rear spoiler, which was only available for the European S model in 1979, but could have been ordered directly from Porsche or through the U.S. dealers.

The interior features Recaro style front seats finished in black cloth, and an aftermarket Momo steering wheel …..with yellow highlights!

The top of the motor looks tidy at first glance, but with a closer inspection you can see that a few of the ignition wires have cuts in them. The “strut bar” going across the motor is finished in chrome rather than the factory black.

The finish of the yellow color change shows fairly well, although there are many chips and cracks, as well as some bubbling in the bottoms of the doors.

This 928 is sitting on period correct aftermarket HRE wheels. I prefer the factory phone dials, but these go well with the 80’s custom style of this particular car. It has aftermarket window tint applied to the rear glass.

Upon our inspection of the car, we found the power steering pump is not functioning, the oil pan has a crack in it which has been filled in with epoxy of some kind, and the transmission is leaking from its seals and hoses. The exhaust system is rusted away and has been welded over many times. The timing belt has a huge amount of deflection in it, and the car has leaky front engine seals.

This 928 needs a lot of TLC, but someone will end up with a great driver, or Radwood style cruiser.  If you have an interest, shoot me an email at CameronSLuther@gmail.com and I will put you in touch.

356s of PCA Parade 2019

July 24, 2019
Cameron Luther
0

This week I attended the PCA Porsche Parade Concours in Boca Raton, Florida, and saw some pretty neat 356s there.

This super 90 roadster looked stunning finished in what looked to be Aetna Blue, and I’m a definitely a fan of those stone guards on the headlights, which give it a sporty look.

The interior of this car was interesting as well, with a Les Leston wheel which looks great along with black piping, which I’ve never seen in a Porsche of this era.

This  convertible D  is finished in Meissen blue with tan  vinyl, and the quality of this restoration was shown greatly in the Florida sun.

The judges of the Concours are very diligent looking the whole car over. Note the dark blue convertible top, which I feel completes the car.

Next to the convertible D there was a 64 Sc coupe, a car which I studied carefully. The cleanliness and quality of this restoration gives me some inspiration of some things to do when I rebuild the motor on the 65 SC coupe.