Progress continues on my 1977 911S coupe, and some interesting discoveries have been made. As I have been going through the process of disassembling all the exterior trim, I have been stockpiling supplies to strip and refinish the paint. The second owner of this 911 always referred to its original shade as Sepia, so I never bothered to check the factory color code, stamped into the drivers side door jam, until now. As it turns out, the non-metallic brown offered in 1977 was Bitter Chocolate, or Cockney Brown. With this in mind I had a batch of solvent based single stage paint and primers mixed using the factories color codes. One thing I wanted to do off the bat was to remove all of the air conditioning components. This is a dealer installed unit, and therefore it will remain on the shelf, this will lighten the car a considerable amount and it will present closer to the way it was originally configured at the factory in 1977.
My only experience in G-model 911 trim disassembly prior to this moment was removing the front bumper and lower facia from another 77, an Irish Green Targa for repainting when I was 16 working for Tag Motorwerks. I definitely learned a lot of things about these cars through this process, and the condition of mine in particular. Lots of trim needs to be refinished, repaired, or replaced, but I didn’t get into this project to complete it to a standard less than that which I am capable of, so it will be done correctly no matter how long that takes me.
Another positive surprise was the abundance of areas which, when cleaned up, reveal factory Chocolate paint. These included the inner fenders as well as the engine bay, and certain sections of the door jams and window frames. I did find a few minor areas which need metal work related to isolated rust and small damage, but nothing which can’t be fixed.
The next steps will be to remove the sunroof and other small components prior to masking all openings and chemical stripping, which I was originally going to do to the floors as well, but will now be leaving them alone because of the level of originality which they exhibit. I have link a Youtube video below documenting the process. If you have a similar car I would love to hear its story and I am always interested in purchasing vintage sports and racing cars, so email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is my 911, it’s a 1977 Porsche 911S coupe which was finished from the factory in sepia brown with a cork full vinyl interior. It is a US spec car, although it was fitted early on with European specification heat exchangers and amber Euro taillights. I fitted Bosch H4 headlights and a Bursch sport muffler, as it had a stock style Dansk unit fitted and I am on the hunt for a factory Bischoff 74-77 Euro muffler. What attracts me so much to a 77 is the weight. 77 is the last year of both the magnesium engine and transmission case, as well as the final year of the narrow fender square wheel offset cars. This combination gives the car such a nimble feel.
The car had AC installed by the dealer, and as I want it to be configured how the factory built the car, I will remove the unit, document it and shelf it. I chased this car while working in a Porsche independent shop throughout high school, and finally was about to purchase it in December of 2019 while attending my freshman year at the McPherson College of Automotive Restoration. After getting the car running and fixing the brakes I was off! I drove it out to Kansas from Alexandria, Virginia.
This car means a lot to me because it was owned since 1981 by the man who mentored me and taught me everything I know about working on vintage Porsches. When the time came to pull the engine for a look at the top end, I decided that if I was ever going to return it to its original specifications, the time was now. I don’t intend to do anything half way so the body and the whole undercarriage will be refinished in sepia, after being chemically stripped by hand to bare metal. Because of this I decided to acquire a Stoddard Body cart and spent an afternoon with A Lot of help from my classmates, getting it mounted.
The next steps will be removing all the trim and stripping the body panels, all of which will be documented here through blogs and videos. If you have a car like this or any other interesting vintage sports or racing car I would love to hear it’s story. Contact me anytime at email@example.com Photos courtesy of Mason Duffy and Porsche Club of America.
This is a 1968 Jaguar E-Type roadster, commonly known as a series 1.5, differs from a series 1 in its headlights, center switches, and some minor mechanical details. These cars present an interesting bridge in the gap between the series one and two.
Still being powered by the same 4.2L inline six as the 4.2 series ones, produced between 65 and 67, this roadster is arguably the most quintessential E with a full synchro 4 speed gearbox and British racing green paint.
This Jag belongs to a friend who has entrusted me with carrying out a mechanical restoration. The car was bought out of an estate with unknown mechanical history, and the engine is locked up. Over this series of blogs we will be disassembling the car, restoring most mechanical components, and reassembling with the intention of perfect mechanical operation.
With any E it is highly helpful to remove the bonnet in order to get access to the engine and front suspension, but it is important to note it is a steel panel. This makes it massively heavy and so it should be done with at least one other person.
For storage purposes it is best to put it on on its end and make sure all the edges touching the ground are protected.
Removing this massive cast iron inline six was certainly a change of pace from Porsche engines which can be taken out in a day or less, but I have learned so much already and really love XKEs so the more I can understand about their mechanical workings the better.
After some investigating it looks like the head gasket was replaced without resurfacing the block or head and so it never stood a chance as far as sealing properly. Luckily everything looks to be in nice original shape so the goal is to make it look like no one has messed with it, but have it running as it did when new, if not better. A video of the disassembly is linked below. If you have an interesting of vintage sports car I would love to purchase it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This 1965 356SC “Pink Pig” was raced in the 1994 La Carrera PanAmericana by its constructor, Klaus Selbert. I met Klaus and purchased the car from him last winter, and have been working to get it roadworthy since.
Klaus took the car to La Carrera and a few other driving events and since the late 90’s it was stored inside.
I rebuilt the fuel and braking systems, but I was having some issues with the car going lean from 4-6 thousand rpm. Luckily I was able to bring it into my schools open shop and diagnose it with professor Curt Goodwin, and my friend Cole Miller
With the float height readjusted and main jets cleaned we were off to the races, Viva La Carrera! If you have an interesting sports car I would love to know the story about it and purchase it, email me at email@example.com. Video below
This year’s Amelia Island Concours was an absolute success, it was definitely an amazing effort by Bill Warner and the team who put it on because it is really the first major car event post Covid and it was no small feat to be certain. I was super glad to be a part of it and thankful to the McPherson College of Automotive Restoration for allowing me to come along on the trip. One of the features was a class of 935s and included in that class was this 934.5 belonging to David MacNeil.
In the days prior to the Concours itself, there are forums, auctions, and other smaller shows occurring so it is definitely worth coming a couple days before Sunday for those events. Incredible things can be seen around the Ritz and in this case in the parking garage with an alpha 6C and a 56 speedster.
Something which made this Amelia Island particularly stand out from others was it was also the start of my summer internship with Revs Institute in Naples Florida. They brought seven cars to the event and I was able to work with the team that was on site there and had a fantastic time meeting them prior to starting at the museum. Here I am with Pedro Vela, a member of the Revs team who is super active in caring for their cars at events as well as restoration and preservation work on the museums Automobiles. Here we are in the McLaren F1 022 which was shown at the cars and coffee and the concour. It was incredible to experience a car which has played such a large role in automotive history and one which is so different from anything else offered today as far as supercars.
022 was featured at the McLaren dinner Friday night and so we were tasked with putting it in the ballroom which was quite an interesting process to be a part of.
Here is a really special Corvette both to enthusiasts of Corvette and enthusiasts of sports car racing due to its significant race history at the 1960 24 hrs. of Le Mans under Briggs Cunningham. It is owned by Lance Miller, who, with his father Chip put on Corvettes at Carlisle and have been collecting rare Corvettes for many years. Unfortunately his father passed away a few years ago but his legacy is carried on through Lance showing car .
Prior to experiencing chassis 022 I had been aware of the McLaren F1 and had many friends that saw it as their dream car. I knew they were special cars but really learning about one and experiencing it in person definitely shifted my understanding and appreciation for the engineering and design that went into them.
One thing I was really looking forward to seeing in person was the sale of this 1960 Corvette. It is related to the above number three car in that this is the number one car which Briggs Cunningham campaigned at Le Mans, and the car which he piloted. Like the number three car it was converted back to a road car by Bill Frick after the race, though unlike the number three car, it was then heavily modified over the years. It no longer retains its engine or transmission but the important thing which it retains is it’s chassis tag as the bodywork and interior are so altered that the next owner will be affectively restoring the car around that tag. This car is also particularly interesting because it was discovered by Lance Miller and was initially bought by Kevin McKay the authority on Corvettes, who had discovered number three for Chip Miller. So they had somewhat of a promise that if they found the other car Kevin would receive it. The unfortunate thing is that legal battles ensued over ownership of a third-party someone who claimed their father had owned the car in the 70s and that it was stolen out of his driveway. The interesting thing about that is that all those legal battles and controversy were covered in articles in Sports Car Market and so it was very publicly known in the vintage car world. Despite this none of that was mentioned in the auction catalog or any of the press releases before the auction. Luckily, rumor is the new owner is the grandson of Briggs Cunningham and the car will be correctly restored and the Cunningham family will have an heirloom returned to them after so many years. It sold for $685,000 which was well under the one to $1.5 million estimate, so I am happy that the buyer was able to get a deal on the car but I feel bad for the two people who owned it prior to the auction that fought over it in court for many years and I’m sure spent far greater than the sale price of the car trying to claim ownership.
This is a great 935 which was restored a couple of years ago by Kevin Jeanette and his team at Gunnar Racing and debuted at the last Rennsport Reunion. It presents fantastically as all their restorations do and I loved the touch of the pink pig livery car cover.
The is quite an interesting car, it’s a Ferrari 275Gtb competition speciale which was raced by the Scuderia Ferrari team at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1965 and then went through a couple of private owners after that, the last of which being Preston hen who owns the swap shop in Florida. This car is been on display there as have many others for many years. He recently passed away but his wife is still showing the cars which is great to see, and this car is also maintained by Gunnar Racing.
On the surface this Corvette may look like stock stock 56 with a cool preserved 60s custom paint job, but in addition to that it is quite a special factory experimental car to develop the Rochester fuel injection for the street cars. It raced as well in the Bahamas speed week and the factory applied white with blue stripes is below the gold paint so the owner is having the gold paint effectively surgically removed to expose the original liverie.
Speaking of special 275Gtbs here is a four cam model with many unique features optioned through the factory, and the coach work of course in this case custom being carried out by Pinnin Farina. This car is cared for by Paul Russell and Company and is presented in largely original condition with its perfectly worn green leather interior just begging for its owner to hop in and take it down an interesting road, also worth mentioning is the color combination overall of this champagne color with green which I’ve certainly never seen on a Ferrari let alone any sports car so it is welcoming to see, as unique colors are just a bit more interesting.
I achieved a dream of mine during Amelia Island with help from McPherson College as well as Revs Institute which was being in a car at a Concours as it took the awards stand, and in a McLaren F1 no less it was a surreal experience. In this picture we are flanked on the right by Cam Ingram and his client in a split window Pre A 356 with tons of unique features to the 1952 model year. Cam operates Road scholars in Durham, North Carolina, one the finest Porsche Restoration facilities in the world.
Rolling on to the Concours field is the 1929 Mercedes-Benz S Barker with a stunning body which is evocative of prewar boats and planes. This particular car achieved best of show at the 2017 Pebble Beach concour and for good reason it is elegant sporty and restored to perfection with respect to being correctly done.
On my way out of town I was able to visit Dan Davis at The Brumos Collection. Brumos Porsche has played such a large role in the history of Porsche and particularly in their competition within the United States. The facility is modeled after a Ford plant it is a beautiful brick building with large windows, but don’t be fooled by it’s vintage looking exterior the interior is completely state of the art and the cars are in an ideal climate. This is really the ultimate home for any car collection but especially for a group of Porsches which are tied to such a long legacy of racing in America it is an example to be set in the execution of a publicly shown collection or museum.
This was a fantastic event and it makes me that much more excited for the Monterey Car Week and The Pebble Beach Concours because of how seamlessly this event was put together despite the year which COVID-19 has occupied. Below I have linked my video coverage from the event. I am super interested in vintage European sports cars and vintage competition and racing cars and I’m always looking to buy and collect them. If you or someone you know has one I would love to discuss it with you. Shoot me an email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the items that needed to be addressed on this 356 and any car that has been sitting for multiple years is an overhaul or rebuild of the braking system. In this case it is a custom set up of Ate 924 front calipers, stock 356C rear calipers and an Ate dual master cylinder for what I believe would be an early short wheelbase 911/912.
Necessary tools for this job are a synthetic lubricant for reassembly, WD-40 or something similar for cleaning up caliper piston cylinders, a grease gun or hydraulic gun of some sort which can transfer hydraulic pressure, a set of caliper kits, and ideally a tray of some sort to retain any liquid which comes out of the calipers as you disassemble and reassemble them.
Part of the reason why this 356 features 924 front calipers is that it has a 924 front steering rack. This was so that when it was running the 2000 mile La Carrera PanAmericana race the stock torsion bars would not become compromised, and instead it has McPherson strut front suspension. Attached below is a video of the whole process. If you or someone you know has a car like this or just an interesting old sports car or a vintage car be sure to shoot me an email at email@example.com.
These are a set of Italian built Weber IDF downdraft carburetors which are mostly seen in Porsche four-cylinder applications. They belong to a 1964 356C, but are not factory items on this car. This is a custom built car for the La Carrera PanAmericana race in Mexico and part of that is that it got these Webers for increased performance on this 2000 mile endurance race. The car ran the event in 1994 and has largely not been driven since that time. I am bringing the 356 back to roadworthyness and part of that is going through and disassembling, cleaning, and re-gasketing these carbs.
Here’s the car. I will do a full length feature on its backstory and the man who conceived it. Below is a link to a YouTube video in which I rebuild the carburetors. If you or someone you know has an interesting vintage sports car or any vintage car with a cool story be sure to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This past Sunday we had perfect sunny weather in the middle of December, so it was the perfect day to take out the 365SC for a drive up the GW Parkway to the cars and coffee held in Potomac, Maryland.
Part of what makes an event like this fun are the roads on the way to and from and surrounding them, winding twisty sections perfect for a Porsche or other european classic sports car like this Mercedes 250SL.
After the event I drove the car around the area pretty much all day and it served as a great reminder of the durability of the 356 as a classic car. The car exhibited the exotic handling and a great sound of the fairly simple pushrod flat four on its factory Solex Carburetors.
I was able to ride in a friends Ferrari 308 which had a lot of similar traits to a 911. It felt light and nimble in corners, it was not supercar fast on paper but was very visceral in reality, and especially with the targa panel removed the stock exhaust tone, these added to the overall quick feel of the car.
I was also able to ride in a Lamborghini Countach in amazing untouched original condition with wear and patina in all the right places. I got the full experience with this Italian Bull as you will see in my latest Youtube video linked below. If you have a car similar to the ones mentioned in this blog I would love to buy it or even just hear the story on it. Feel free to email me any time, email@example.com.
This Summer in addition to maintaining and reviving some other European sports cars, I performed some maintenance on our 1965 356SC Sunroof Coupe. The first thing I did was rebuild the front hubs, and installed new Ate brake pads and rotors, which gave the car a smoother ride and has improved pedal feel.
Another thing I did was install these period style racing lap belts. I like everything about them except the size so I may install a smaller set but I will drive it more first and see if they grow on me.
Lastly I did a valve adjustment and tuned the timing and factory Solex carburetors, and the car is running better than ever. Future plans for the car are to keep driving it, install new tires, and fit a period correct VDO rally pack, which I think will go well with the 60s sports-purpose vibe of this 356.
Below is a Youtube video on the car which includes a short driving segment in the woods of Northern Virginia. Be sure to check it out. I am always interested in exchanging stories about old sports cars and would love to buy more like this one. Feel free to shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. https://youtu.be/YOp6b2mlkKE
Over the Summer I have been getting this 1977 Porsche 911S back on the road. My plan when I bought the car was to make it roadworthy in order to drive around in college in McPherson attending the Automotive Restoration Program. It is a factory Sepia Brown final year S which I bought from the 3rd owner, who had owned the car since 1989, last December. The 911 was stored inside the owners garage for twenty years and needed quite a bit of bringing back mechanically..more on that in a future blog.
My trip from Virginia to Kansas was conducted over three days with stops in Columbus, Ohio and St. Louis, Missouri, with some vintage car related stops along the way. Above, I stopped at the first stage of the Blue Ridge Mountains in order to let the car cool down a bit and check the oil level. It was late August at the time and as it is a 77 S there is no front mounted oil cooler, so it didn’t love the heat especially in the mountains with their thin air.
The benefit of going on this route was the picturesque views, both from the drivers seat and many scenic stops. I really enjoyed the duality of the 911 both as a capable sports car and usable road trip highway car throughout this trip.
At my stop in Columbus I initially parked outside of hotel but decided to move to the garage when I spotted this red Lotus Evora in the background. I swear it wasn’t just for the photo op!
The drive between Ohio and St. Louis was fairly uneventful due to the flat straight roads. Upon arriving downtown my classmate, who was also driving from the East, and I met up and checked in to the hotel and grabbed dinner.
The next day we stopped at Daniel Schmitt & Co. They are a dealer in vintage sports and luxury cars that have been in the mid west for over 40 years.
In one of their showrooms sat this stunning 356 Cabriolet, with a twist. This a factory 4-Cam powered Carrera 2. It looked to have a very presentable restoration. These Carreras featured very early annular disk brakes, which the standard pushrod cars wouldn’t get until the 356C/SC in 1964.
It was really neat to see their showrooms, workshops, and studio. They use this are to photograph cars in their inventory to list them on their website. This is a space which myself and friends see all the time online as the background to pictures of spectacular vintage cars so too see it in the flesh was quite and experience. (My mask was only removed briefly for this photo and was worn the rest of the time that I was there).
Finally at about 1 am the next morning we arrived in McPherson and started our Fall semester.
If you have a classic Porsche or other interesting sports car I encourage you to shoot me at email@example.com. I collect and trade in them and love to hear stories about interesting cars and would love to discuss yours with you.
Be sure to check out my Youtube Video of the Journey below.