Guide to buy­ing a project

Restor­ing a clas­sic 911 can be re­ward­ing – and po­ten­tially prof­itable, too. Aut­o­farm founder Josh Sadler ex­plains what to look for…

Total 911 - - Contents - Writ­ten by Tim Pitt Pho­tog­ra­phy by Alis­dair Cu­sick

Love the thrill of a build? To­tal 911 ad­vises you on the dos and don’ts of tak­ing on a 911 project

How brave do you feel? Buy­ing a project 911 isn’t for the faint-hearted; we’ve all heard tales of run­ning re­pairs that snow­balled into ful­lyfledged re­builds. But for those with suf­fi­cient time, pa­tience and money, restor­ing a car can be an ed­i­fy­ing and en­joy­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

Here we round up what you need to know and look out for, with help from Aut­o­farm founder Josh Sadler and his 911 2.7 Spor­tomatic.

Money is, of course, the ele­phant in the room. Parts avail­abil­ity for clas­sic (1964-1989) 911s is at its best since the late 1990s – one positive side ef­fect of ris­ing val­ues – but many com­po­nents are ex­pen­sive, and some still need to be custom made. Also, since most of us don’t pos­sess the skills to re­store a car our­selves, the task usu­ally in­volves pay­ing a spe­cial­ist. With labour rates typ­i­cally around £60 to £100 per hour, costs soon es­ca­late.

It’s there­fore best to ap­proach most projects as a labour of love: a chance to save an ail­ing 911 from the scrap­yard, rather than a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity. Un­less the car you plan to re­store is a spe­cial model, such as an RS, you may find it hard to make a profit – even in the cur­rent, still-buoy­ant Porsche mar­ket. Work out how much you’re will­ing to in­vest be­fore you start, not for­get­ting the cost of the car it­self.

Josh’s 1976 2.7 Spor­tomatic is a per­fect ex­am­ple of a project-in-wait­ing. On the plus side, it’s a very orig­i­nal, three-owner UK car with a ver­i­fi­able MOT his­tory and no ob­vi­ous struc­tural rust. Less pos­i­tively, it’s cov­ered 183,000 miles and hasn’t run since 1999 due to an un­di­ag­nosed en­gine problem. Josh wants £30,000 for the 911 and es­ti­mates it would cost a fur­ther £30,000 to fully re­store. If you feel fired-up af­ter read­ing our guide, please con­tact Aut­o­farm on +44 (0) 1865 331234 or visit on­line at aut­o­farm.co.uk for more de­tails.

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