Joe Williams Weymouth, UK
912 Model 1967 Year April 2017 Acquired
With the weather on the turn I’ve started chasing round some little jobs. Being over 50 years old, the 912 requires some maintenance! The swing arm bushes were looking pretty tired so I entrusted the old girl to Matt at ZRS Engineering who’s been looking after a few local cars for some time now, and has built quite a reputation for being the secret specialist. Matt has a sort of obsession with technical information
and researches model-specific parts like no one else. This resulted in chasing a few more bushes while it was on the ramp. The end count was over 20, which included the rear trailing arms and a complete rebuild of the front end too.
The other little job I asked Matt to have a look at was to fabricate some custom steel 1970s Rs-style rear exhaust pipes. The 912 has a very odd and oversized corner bumper exit pipe that just looks a bit wrong. As with most things at ZRS these got more attention than I had expected – beautifully Tigwelded stainless items which were then hand polished just enough to match the chrome of the rear bumper and perfectly balanced, utilising the Dansk original outlets. These pipes look very OEM; a custom yet subtle addition.
The big question was if all this effort replacing bush after bush was really worth it. After Matt did some final fettling and set up the suspension so the car sat perfectly level, I picked her up for that first drive. It was incredible, like a brand-new car. The 912 had always been a pleasant surprise and a great drive, but this had transformed it into what Porsche had intended over 50 years ago. It’s now sharp, focused and much more responsive. The body roll you come to expect and live with on classic cars was all but gone. It certainly opens the discussion for how advanced and ahead of their time Porsche really was. The entry-level, poor-mans 911 of the 1960s was probably the best handling and best-value sports car of its time.
Sporting her new pipes and handling like she should I took her up to Canford Classics for their yearly Saturday morning pull in. Asked to hold back as I arrived, we were given a prime front-row space. I would guess 100-plus classic Porsche arrived for coffee and a breakfast roll, with some amazing examples of stunning cars that are actually driven. And when you get talking you realise that the passion still runs deep… this is where it all started and when the magic was created.