CHAMPAGNE AND CAVIAR
A SHINING EXAMPLE OF SOPHISTICATION MIXED WITH THE RAWNESS OF PORSCHE’S MOTORSPORT PROWESS — INTRODUCING VINCE’S AIR-COOLED, FLARED-OUT, AND HUGE-FOOTED ’78 911 SC
We like to imagine that, back in the day, all ’80s Porsches lived a life of luxury and debauchery at the hands of wealthy Wall Street execs. Vince’s own version of the classic 911 mixes that aura with the rawness of the brand’s motorsport prowess, thanks to a few standout features that are sure to piss off the purists.
You’ve got to appreciate the finer things in life, and, back in the early ’80s, there would have been nothing better than a wealthy company exec railing a line of Columbia’s finest off the dashboard of a brand-new Porsche 911 SC while on the way to a company-bankrolled ‘party’. That’s the quintessential American dream that many a European sports car has become associated with over the last few decades, anyway, though the description is a scene more likely to be found in a Hollywood film than in the real world — such ideas don’t come out of thin air, though … Well, Vince Pieterse is not a company exec, nor does he attend company-bankrolled parties after railing lines from the dashboard of his ’78 911 SC. He’s spent the better part of his involvement in cars and motorsport at the other end of the spectrum, frequently found piloting the likes of Silvias, as he has a severe soft spot for vehicles of the Japanese variety. A self-confessed serial seller, he tells us that, after selling up whatever car he had when the urge to push away from the rough-and-raw door-to-door proximity of drifting grew, he began eyeballing luxury European cars. A fan of the sleek 911 since his childhood, Vince couldn’t help but buy one of his own, and went through three other examples before obtaining the car you see before you.
“The first lot were already modified, and I spent a lot of time reverting them to stock,” he says. “They are getting to be quite valuable cars, so, each time I finished one, it wouldn’t hang around for long, and I wanted to buy a stock one to modify it in my own way.”
This car had been on his radar three years prior to purchase but hadn’t been within his price range. When it was the right time, Vince had to hunt the owner down through an old work email, and, as he had changed jobs twice in the interim, the car was hard to find. When he finally found it — the kicker being that the seller had lived only 500m from Vince the entire time — he discovered that it had been deregistered and rust had formed. After that ordeal, modify one he did. He tells us the plans were much to Porsche purists’ disgust — Porsche owners are a very specific bunch of enthusiasts, and there was much discussion about the ‘overly ambitious’ choice of feet and the huge guards that encompass them. The special-order Work Meister 3Ps measure in at 18x9.5-inch (+12) up front and a massive 18x12-inch (-20) down back — needless to say, the old boys were
Vince says that when he consulted a few Porsche enthusiasts about his plans, he was told the wheels would never work and that he was a fool for trying. What those folk didn’t count on was the huge 930 flares he also planned to run
less than convinced that such sizes were even possible to put on the ’70s-era chassis. What they didn’t count on, though, was that Vince planned to chop into the factory metal and replace the tiny rear arches with the much larger 930-style flares, along with carbon 930 front guards, bonnet, and boot lid. It seems he’s a Jack of all trades, as he also grafted a custom front-bumper blade with a 934 valance on top of the factory option and added an RSR rear bumper and RSR 964 carbon wing down back for good measure. Adam from C’s Garage lent a hand with the front-bumper support and oil-cooler mount to ensure that Vince didn’t destroy the one-off bumper.
While that was underway, attention was also turned towards the interior, which had seen far better days. The idea was to go big on the exterior and stay refined on the inside, so all the factory kit was retrimmed in black, and the dash was recovered in suede by Midnight Upholstery.
Ask anyone who has worked on a car’s interior and they will no doubt tell you about the hordes of downright weird things that appear from the crevices during a retrim, but Vince wasn’t expecting to remove the headlining and have two American $20 bills fall out onto his lap — perhaps that wealthy company exec was interrupted
The 1978 car’s 3.0-litre heart features the era’s pinnacle of fuel injection technology — Bosch K-Jetronic. This fueldistributor system is controlled by airflow, which determines how much fuel is sent off to each injector — cutting-edge stuff back then, not so much today
Values for originalcondition 911s of this period have skyrocketed in recent years, and, although figures state that nearly 60,000 units were sold, many have been claimed by rust, which makes this a much sought-after chassis
mid-champagne session and had to stash it up in the headlining to avoid some heat … Believing the notes to be part of the car’s character, Vince kept a bill for himself and dated the other, before returning it to where it had been found.
Drug paraphernalia aside, the interior also features slick custom carbon door cards and RS door pulls, while a wooden Nardi steering wheel transfers the driver’s input. With each piece of the puzzle underway and the exterior panels still adorned in their mismatching paintwork — a lovely mix of grey on red on carbon — Vince picked up the gun to lay down some new colour — luscious coats of VW/Audi white. Knowing that he didn’t want to spend time dicking around with multiple occasions on the gun, the front suspension was stripped out and sent off for plating before returning for its lick of paint then installation alongside the new set of Bilstein Sport shocks and hollow torsion bars.
Not to forget the car’s heritage, the engine remains all-but stock. To put it simply, you just can’t beat the sound of a ’70s-era air-cooled 3.0-litre screaming its way along a windy country road with the sun blaring down on the car’s fresh paintwork, big hips, and massive amounts of dish, and we can’t blame Vince for making that call at all — that’s the dream, right there.
HEART ENGINE: Porsche, 3000cc, flat-six (air-cooled) BLOCK: Factory HEAD: Factory EXHAUST: Two-inch serrated stainless system FUEL: Bosch K-Jetronic injection IGNITION: Factory ECU: Factory COOLING: Front-mount oil cooler
SEATS: (Drivers) Parts Shop Max STEERING WHEEL: Nardi 330mm INSTRUMENTATION: Factory EXTRA: Carbon door cards, RS door pulls, new headliner, retrimmed interior, dash recovered in suede by Midnight Upholstery
PAINT: Bare-metal respray in VW/ Audi white (X3344) ENHANCEMENTS: Porsche 930 front guards, bonnet, and steel rear quarters; custom front-bumper blade with 934 valance; RSR rear bumper; RSR 964 carbon wing
DRIVER PROFILE DRIVER/OWNER: Vincent Pieterse AGE: 25 LOCATION: Auckland OCCUPATION: Business development BUILD TIME: Three months LENGTH OF OWNERSHIP: One year
THANKS: Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie
GEARBOX: Porsche 915 five-speed CLUTCH: Factory FLYWHEEL: Factory DIFF: Factory
STRUTS: Bilstein Sport, (F) 23mm hollow torsion bars, (R) 32mm hollow torsion bars BRAKES: Porsche two-pot