A CLEAN SLATE

A very clean 911T that just hap­pens to be Slate Grey…

Classic Porsche - - Contents - Words & Pho­tos: Paul Knight

Classic Car Re­vivals is based in Hert­ford­shire and has pro­duced a string of award-win­ning restora­tions of late. Pro­pri­etor, Dean Jones, cer­tainly knows a thing or two about clas­sics of all kinds, how­ever he is most pas­sion­ate about VWS and, of course, classic Porsches. He com­mented, ʻOver the years Iʼve owned var­i­ous Bee­tles and vans plus a string of wa­ter-cooled VWS and a Porsche 911S, but I re­ally had a hanker­ing for a fresh, early 911 project this time roundʼ.

In fact, we should ex­plain that whilst Dean has tack­led the restora­tion and is cur­rently driv­ing the car, itʼs ac­tu­ally par­towned by his fa­ther-in law, Nigel, who was also keen to get in­volved with a classic Porsche project, al­beit with Dean at the helm. Work­ing to­gether, the guys cal­cu­lated their com­bined bud­get and started to look for a de­cent base project via the usual on­line fo­rums, club pages and car sales sites over in the USA – the plan be­ing to find a nice, tidy car that re­quired light resto rather than a to­tal bas­ket case.

Hav­ing en­quired after a few cars, Dean even­tu­ally stum­bled across a tidy-look­ing 1970 (reg­is­tered in 1971) 911T, which was for sale at Bev­erly Hills Car Club in Los An­ge­les. Dean ex­plained, ʻThe car was orig­i­nally painted 7474 Sepia Brown but had been re­fin­ished in red some years later ʼ. He con­tin­ued, ʻHow­ever, it looked to be solid and was a com­plete, run­ning and driv­ing, match­ingnum­bers car, so we re­quested a few ad­di­tional pho­to­graphs, which ar­rived the next dayʼ.

Even with de­tailed pho­tos to hand, thereʼs still noth­ing like view­ing a car in per­son but the lo­gis­tics and the costs in­volved in fly­ing out the States to view the car led Dean to trust his in­stincts and take a gam­ble on buy­ing it ʻun­seenʼ. ʻIt took eight weeks to ar­rive and I was re­ally hop­ing that it was go­ing to be as good as it looked in the pho­tos as Iʼd been los­ing sleep wor­ry­ing about it!ʼ The good news is that it turned out to be even bet­ter than they had hoped…in fact, it was so good that they were able to sim­ply rec­tify a few mi­nor is­sues in or­der to make it road­wor­thy.

By Oc­to­ber 2015, Dean had made a plan and or­dered some parts to get things started, so he took the car off the road and set about strip­ping it back to a bare shell. As the front wings re­quired re­pairs to the head­light bowls and lower sec­tions, he also re­moved them from the body be­fore send­ing ev­ery­thing off to be me­dia blasted.

ʻThe body was pretty good, but that did­nʼt mean that it did­nʼt need any weld­ing...ʼ says Dean. Moving from the front to the rear, he found rust is­sues in the fuel tank sup­port panel, both Apil­lars and sills, plus some per­fo­ra­tion in the rear seat buck­ets, and also some cor­ro­sion around the rear tor­sion hous­ings. This is where his day job stepped up to bring this project to the next level as Dean and the ex­pert team at CCR set about re­pair­ing each and ev­ery body is­sue to the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dard.

For in­stance, the outer sills were re­moved to gain ac­cess to the in­ner sheet metal and jack­ing points, etc. Th­ese were re­paired and ʼblasted prior to be­ing treated with a mod­ern rust-in­hibit­ing fin­ish, which will en­sure that this car will not suf­fer from rust is­sues in the fu­ture. Once happy with the in­ner sills, Dean went on to fit the out­ers. Look­ing through the restora­tion folder we were im­pressed to see that the re­pairs and welds were all ground back to pro­vide a fault­less fin­ish, and that tra­di­tional lead-load­ing was used on seams and body joins, too.

If youʼd like to see the en­tire folder of restora­tion im­ages, you should look up Classic Car Re­vivals on Face­book.com where youʼll find lit­er­ally hun­dreds of pho­to­graphs de­tail­ing ev­ery stage of the metal

“PRETTY GOOD, BUT THAT DIDN’T MEAN IT DIDN’T NEED WELD­ING…”

re­pair process… youʼll see ex­actly what we mean when we say that the work­man­ship in­volved is of the high­est or­der.

With the metal and body re­pairs com­pleted, the body was treated to sev­eral coats of high build primer be­fore be­ing left to sit for five days (ie, enough time for the 2k primer to ʻsinkʼ and set­tle). This was then block-sanded to re­veal any high or low spots be­fore re­ceiv­ing a fur­ther coat of high-build primer (and re­peat­ing the cur­ing/sand­ing process once more). From here, it was a case of prim­ing and sand­ing with pro­gres­sively finer grades of pa­per cul­mi­nat­ing in a wet-sanded, 800-grit fin­ish prior to the ap­pli­ca­tion of the top­coats. This was also the point at which the seams were sealed and the floor/un­der­side was treated to a fac­tory-style stone-chip fin­ish.

Dean com­mented, ʻIni­tially we had planned to re­paint the car in the orig­i­nal Sepia Brown, how­ever I no­ticed that there were al­ready quite a few brown cars around and I did­nʼt want this to be just an­other Sepia 911ʼ. He went on, ʻIʼve al­ways been a fan of Slate Grey, which I felt would work per­fectly with fresh bright­work and a red leather in­te­rior ʼ.

The Slate Grey 2k paint was ap­plied to the un­der­side first, fol­lowed by the in­te­rior, en­gine bay and be­neath the bon­net. The body and pan­els were then sprayed in the same hue be­fore be­ing clear-coated and colour-sanded to per­fec­tion. As you can see, the end re­sult is ab­so­lutely top­notch – and Dean was right… the Slate Grey looks great!

The next step was to over­haul and re­in­state the sus­pen­sion and brak­ing sys­tems, which in­volved ʼblast­ing and re­paint­ing each and ev­ery piece of hard­ware, as well as re­plac­ing bushes, joints, seals, pipes, dampers and brake com­po­nents through­out. As you would ex­pect, the same level of de­tail was ap­plied to the body re­fit, which in­cludes all new seals as well as rechromed door win­dow frames and var­i­ous other smaller pieces.

The gear­box was in good or­der, hence Dean treated it to a thor­ough clean ʼnʼ de­tail ses­sion be­fore bolt­ing it up with new mounts and fill­ing it with fresh trans­mis­sion oil.

He then fit­ted up the over­hauled and re-an­odised 14-in

“WE HAD PLANNED TO PAINT THE CAR THE ORIG­I­NAL SEPIA BROWN…”

Fuchs to get the project rolling once again be­fore call­ing up his buddy Phil at Be­spoke Auto In­te­ri­ors, who went on to com­plete the in­te­rior trim. Phil fit­ted a fresh head­liner and fac­tory-style car­pets prior to re­build­ing the orig­i­nal seats, which he then trimmed in red leather. The same red leather was ap­plied to the dash pad be­fore Dean re­fit­ted the gauges and in­stalled a fac­tory-spec Blaupunkt ra­dio, which has been mod­i­fied by Chromel­on­don to in­clude Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity, so Dean can now stream mu­sic and make calls via his mo­bile phone.

By now the project was re­ally start­ing to take shape and it was soon time to re­fit the orig­i­nal en­gine. Of course, hav­ing gone to such great lengths to as­sem­ble a su­perbly fin­ished Porsche, Dean was­nʼt about to cut any cor­ners re­gard­ing the en­gine, hence he called on the as­sis­tance of Jaz Porsche in St Al­bans. The old 2.2-litre mo­tor has there­fore been stripped and checked over be­fore be­ing re­assem­bled, al­beit with a few modification along the way. The orig­i­nal 66mm-stroke crank­shaft and stock rods are con­nected to a set of 90mm pis­tons, which has upped the ca­pac­ity to 2519cc and Steve at Jaz has also fit­ted a pair of 911E camshafts be­fore port­ing and pol­ish­ing the cylin­der heads. With a fully re­built pair of Zenith car­bu­ret­tors and a set of SSI heat ex­chang­ers (with a stock muf­fler), Dean es­ti­mates the power out­put to be some­where around 200bhp now. As you can see, the en­gine has been de­tailed well and now looks and sounds great – it re­ally is the ic­ing on a very nice cake!

As much as Dean has en­joyed build­ing and driv­ing this project, he has de­cided that itʼs time to al­low some­body else the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy this car. He ex­plained, ʻIʼve loved ev­ery minute of this build, hence Iʼm itch­ing to start a fresh project and do it all again!ʼ CP

Above: There’s no deny­ing that Slate Grey is an at­trac­tive colour – which would you pre­fer, the orig­i­nal Sepia Brown or the ‘Steve Mcqueen’ grey? Be­low left: Dean Jones has a his­tory of car­ry­ing out high­class restora­tions, no­tably on early VWS and Porsches

Be­low: Red insert in the dash­board is the per­fect fin­ish­ing touch…

Be­low: En­gine now dis­places 2519cc fol­low­ing a re­build by Jaz us­ing 90mm pis­tons and cylin­ders. Camshafts from a 911E help boost power and torque out­put

Above, left and right: Red in­te­rior trim is per­fect with the Slate Grey ex­te­rior. Up­hol­stery work was car­ried out by Dean’s friends at Be­spoke Auto In­te­ri­ors

Above: Good to see the car run­ning the orig­i­nal 14-inch Fuchs wheels, in­stead of the more widely-used 15s

Be­low, left to right: Win­dow frames and all other bright­work were re­stored and rechromed as nec­es­sary; Kar­mann Karosserie ID plate con­firms where the 911’s body was as­sem­bled

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