If there remains one fly in the ointment it’s those pesky brakes – or still the lack of them. They do work after a fashion – if not, I wouldn’t have ventured out – but even some basic remedial work has failed fully to free up the linkage, and you need such a monumentally hard push on the pedal that you can never quite lose yourself in the performance, and cease to worry about slowing down again. Fine by me, though. It means I get to go back to PIE again for another how-to story and, if I play my cards right, another even longer drive. As I said to proprietor Chris Lansbury – and I genuinely meant it – even as the car stands today I would have been more than happy to drive it home to Oxfordshire. And one day, perhaps, to take it back…
There was one other benefit to accrue from this visit. Quite by chance the car’s owner, Duncan Lang, arrived shortly after me, for his own very first trip in it, and as the man ultimately paying the bill was plainly just as impressed. (It is obviously not his daily driver, or anything approaching it.) And that gave me the opportunity to quiz him about the smartly and distinctively tartan-trimmed seats the 964 is now proudly sporting, thanks to the clearly talented team at his trimming company in Colchester, DSD Automotive Interiors.
As a result that firm, too, is going to be the source of a number of how-to stories for the magazine, I hope, and as the owner of also a 924S with the now all too common cracked fascia (a car that has been in this magazine at least once before; it’s a small world), Duncan is naturally keen to show how it might be retrimmed in leather or some other fabric. I was all ears, as the saying goes, and I am sure many other transaxle owners will be, too.
Back in February the lack of brakes during Horton’s test-drive was compounded by a faulty idle control valve, which meant that the engine, now working on a completely different ECU and induction system wouldn’t, well, idle. That has since been fixed, and the engine pulls strongly and smoothly from as low as 30mph in fourth gear. Seats – back in February the worn-out standard 964 jobs – have since been beautifully retrimmed in leather and tartan by Duncan Lang’s company in Colchester – see panel above