For­ward-dated SC

Back­dates may be to­day’s pop­u­lar mod­i­fi­ca­tion of choice, but To­tal 911 rewinds to a time when for­ward-dat­ing was all the rage…

Total 911 - - Contents - Pho­tog­ra­phy by Rich Pearce

Think back­dates are all the rage? We re­mind you of a time when for­ward-dat­ing was firmly in fash­ion

The road ahead is de­serted, its twist­ing Tar­mac to­tally bereft of traf­fic. A thick wall of trees lines the road­side, their den­sity will­ing us to keep mov­ing our 991 to­wards the set­ting sun. A look in the rear-view mir­ror re­veals much the same story be­hind us. The high­way is empty, save for two hazy yel­low lights in the far dis­tance. How­ever, as the min­utes tick by, those lights be­come more prom­i­nent. Glanc­ing briefly at the road ahead, my eyes re­turn to the 991’s rear-view mir­ror, fix­ated on those yel­low lights com­ing quickly to­wards us. There’s a red hue vis­i­ble be­tween them now. A bon­net. A roof. A wind­screen. It’s a car.

The rate at which this car is clos­ing in on us is as­ton­ish­ing. It surges up the stretch of road be­hind us, re­veal­ing more de­tail with each pass­ing sec­ond as its fea­tures be­come ever larger in our mir­rors. A 964, I think to my­self, catch­ing its chunky front PU with in­te­grated side lights. Then, roar­ing up be­hind us, the 964 pulls out and shoots past, glid­ing back in line and charg­ing up the road ahead. Now the con­fu­sion sets in: re­plete with one-piece bumper, full-width rear re­flec­tor with clear ‘Porsche’ script, a dis­tinc­tive tea tray spoiler and wheels with the lip and pro­file of Cup-spec al­loys, the vis­ual cues give this car away as a 964 3.3 Turbo. How­ever, the me­chan­i­cal howl of that flat six as it shot past cer­tainly wasn’t akin to the noise of a 911 with an ex­haust tur­bocharger bolted on. So, what on earth has just over­taken us on this ru­ral stretch of Swedish as­phalt?

Luck­ily, we don’t have to wait too long to find out. Not 20 min­utes later we pull into a gas sta­tion and there, sit­ting by the pumps in front, is our mys­tery Porsche 911, be­ing fu­elled by its joint owner, An­dreas. Orig­i­nally a 1982 SC, the car was con­verted to a 964look of sorts be­fore An­dreas and co-owner Len­nart bought the car, though closer in­spec­tion of that one-piece Strosek front PU shows it to be more 944 than 911. We’re also told the rear bumper mim­ics that of a 3.0 RS. A peek in­side re­veals the car’s true age, its Pasha in­te­rior an ob­vi­ous give­away. Not that this car is try­ing to hide any­thing: An­dreas and Len­nart have even left the ‘SC’ let­ter­ing on the car’s deck­lid.

In our con­tem­po­rary world where back­dat­ing a

911 is all the rage, the idea of a for­ward-dated 911 makes for an odd con­cept, but one which, in a by­gone era, was a pop­u­lar con­ver­sion. Due to the large spec­trum of in­ter­change­able parts on air-cooled 911s, many found favour with the idea of swap­ping a few pan­els to make an older model look just like one which had only just rolled off the pro­duc­tion line at Zuf­fen­hausen. Much like back­dat­ing, how con­vinc­ing the car looked de­pended largely on how far you were will­ing to go, or how much you were will­ing to spend. So what of the car we’ve caught up with?

An­dreas tells me he and Len­nart bought the car in its cur­rent guise, com­plete with ‘teardrop’ wing mir­rors com­monly found on later 964s. “We found favour with how dif­fer­ent it was com­pared to other SCS, and es­pe­cially liked how it drove,” An­dreas tells me as he re­places the fuel hose and tight­ens the 911’s filler cap. So did An­dreas and Len­nart ever con­sider con­vert­ing the car back to stan­dard, or back­dat­ing it – as is cur­rently in vogue – to a long­hood, preim­pact bumper 911? “No, be­cause a lot of work had gone into con­vert­ing it to 964 spec. For ex­am­ple, the rear re­flec­tor on a 964 sits at a slightly dif­fer­ent an­gle to the G-se­ries cars, so get­ting this to fit re­quired the pre­vi­ous owner to make some mod­i­fi­ca­tions to the rear wings. We be­lieve this is part of the his­tory of the car and shouldn’t be changed,” comes An­dreas’ re­ply.

The some­what unique look of this SC will quite ob­vi­ously not be to every­body’s taste, but it has to be said, we quite like it. Its charm is that it’s so dif­fer­ent from what you’ll oth­er­wise see in Porsche cir­cles to­day and, kudos to the pre­vi­ous owner, it’s been done well. Aside from the rear re­flec­tor panel, the SC’S front and rear im­pact bumpers have been re­placed with one-piece PUS, while its 16-inch

Fuchs al­loys have been re­placed with 17-inch ‘Cup 1’ wheels. A tea tray wing has been sourced to sit atop the Guards red deck­lid, and matte-black wheel arch pro­tec­tors give the nar­row-bod­ied car a wider, Turbo-style ap­pear­ance. Aside from the 964’s ‘teardrop’ mir­rors, which An­dreas and Len­nart did swap out in favour of the SC’S orig­i­nal elec­tric ‘ele­phant’ mir­rors, that’s all that was needed to up­date and up­grade this 1982 SC into a 964 Turbo-es­que 911 of a decade or so later.

Fu­elled up and ready to go, An­dreas and Len­nart re­veal they know a dis­used air­field nearby, if we’d like to test out this SC’S per­for­mance cre­den­tials. Re­call­ing how the car had rip-roared past us so im­pres­sively on the high­way not half an hour ago, it doesn’t take too long to of­fer a pos­i­tive re­sponse.

We hop back in the 991 and fol­low its flat six fore­fa­ther for ten or so miles to the dis­used air­field deep in north­ern Swe­den’s coun­try­side, be­fore park­ing up at its base. “As you may have guessed, it’s no stan­dard SC to look at and it’s no stan­dard SC to drive,” An­dreas says with a smile as he lifts the deck­lid. The Typ 930 flat six’s 11-blade, red-painted fan meets our eyes first, though it is the SC’S fac­tory in­duc­tion which is most no­tice­able by its ab­sence.

It’s been re­placed with RSR in­takes and an Autronic (or elec­tronic) fuel in­jec­tion sys­tem, al­low­ing for bet­ter con­trol of the car’s ig­ni­tion, fu­elling and engine man­age­ment, this be­fore the ar­rival of the Motronic sys­tems Porsche fit­ted to the 3.2-litre 911 Car­rera from 1984 on­wards.

The engine has also been up­rated to a ca­pac­ity of 3.2 litres and boasts high-com­pres­sion pis­tons and high-per­for­mance cams. We’d bet­ter drive it and de­cide how all of th­ese mod­i­fi­ca­tions stack up.

Tak­ing my place at the wheel, any 964 Turbo con­no­ta­tions pre­vi­ously at­tached to the car are gone. It’s pure SC in here, its crazy Pasha in­te­rior a glo­ri­ous re­minder of the psy­che­delic 1970s.

Turn­ing the key in the SC’S ig­ni­tion, I’m sur­prised by how quickly the engine catches and the flat six fires into life. Sure, it’s al­ready been suit­ably warmed by An­dreas’ ear­lier an­tics, but I still ex­pect the same whirring and splut­ter­ing usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with try­ing to get a 930/10 flat six to catch. There’s a slightly more rau­cous note to the car, ex­ac­er­bated with a press or two of the throt­tle. Push­ing the clutch pedal in and slot­ting the SC’S kinked shifter into first, I bring in the gas and let go of the clutch and, easy enough, we’re away.

Left-hand-drive 911s just feel more nat­u­ral to drive, even for a Brit. The ped­als are dead ahead of the seat, with no funny off­sets that you have to get used to with right-hand-drive cars. It takes mo­ments to set­tle into the car and, with noth­ing but a mile of beau­ti­fully crisp, straight black­top ahead, I de­cide it’s time to turn this SC up to 11.

Blip-shift­ing back from third to sec­ond, I bury the ac­cel­er­a­tor and the car takes off, rak­ing back­wards onto its rear wheels. There’s cer­tainly no lag here, nor­mally as­so­ci­ated with the car it’s in­tended to mimic, its engine un­wind­ing en­er­get­i­cally the mo­ment that far-right or­gan pedal is pushed to the floor. It pulls so well, with no­tice­ably more pick-up from lower down the rev range. That mid­dle band on the tacho is im­pres­sively strong, which has al­ways been pre­mium ter­ri­tory for the SC’S power­band, but now there’s more of an ur­gency to the top end of this Franken­stein flat six too. The SC’S tra­di­tion­ally long gear­ing hasn’t been changed here, but so quick is that nee­dle to whip round the tacho that I’m chang­ing up in no time. The throw go­ing up the ’box is fluid, aid­ing a quick shift be­fore I can get back on the gas and head for what feels like ter­mi­nal ve­loc­ity down this sprawl­ing run­way. It’s an ab­so­lute hoot to pi­lot.

On this long, flat sur­face there’s lit­tle chance to re­ally put the SC’S sus­pen­sion to the test, but it rides well nev­er­the­less, its steer heavy yet typ­i­cally ex­cel­lent from an unas­sisted sys­tem, pro­vid­ing tele­pathic feed­back. It feels sta­ble too, no doubt helped by those wider, Turbo-spec Cup 1 wheels wrapped in chunkier tyres. And it sounds ab­so­lutely mar­vel­lous, a throaty ex­haust note un­der­pinned by a won­der­ful me­chan­i­cal thrum from the nat­u­rally as­pi­rated 930 flat six.

It’s a bril­liant lit­tle car to drive. An­dreas and Len­nart aren’t sure of the true horse­power fig­ure of their Guards red rocket, but this SC un­ques­tion­ably has more punch than the 3.2 Car­rera which re­placed it at Zuf­fen­hausen.

As great as the engine is in this SC, its ap­pear­ance is un­doubt­edly the prime source of its charm. 911s just don’t look like this any­more; in an age where every­body is clam­ber­ing for a backdate, a for­ward-date build makes for a strik­ing, if some­what ironic throw­back, to a time when Porsche trends were quite lit­er­ally in re­verse. Who knows, maybe like the best trends, for­ward-dat­ing will one day come back into fash­ion, but it’s only pos­si­ble on th­ese G-se­ries and 964 gen­er­a­tions – imag­ine the fab­ri­ca­tion work re­quired to make a 996 look like a 991, for ex­am­ple!

Test drive over, I re­turn the keys to An­dreas and Len­nart, who of­fer their good­byes be­fore con­tin­u­ing their jour­ney in the SC. We fol­low its tea tray out of the air­field be­fore the car dis­ap­pears off into the dis­tance once more, leav­ing us to our own de­vices in our 991. Back to the fu­ture? Ab­so­lutely, though the past wasn’t so bad at all.

RIGHT Orig­i­nal Pasha in­te­rior is re­tained, al­beit with MOMO Pro­totipo wheel

RIGHT Cup wheels, tea tray rear wing, and wheel arch pro­tec­tor: could this be a 964 Turbo?

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