PORSCHE 911E 2.2 SPORTOMATIC 1969 ‘G’ 22,725 MILES £109,995

911 Porsche World - - Practical Porsche -

This white, nar­row bumper 911 was a US car, but seem­ingly has lit­tle doc­u­mented his­tory un­til about 2001 when it was im­ported to Great Bri­tain. To judge from the sheaf of in­voices for spares and en­gine parts over the next ten years, the buyer’s in­ten­tion, largely un­ful­filled, was to re­store the car; in 2016, on be­half of a sec­ond UK owner, Strasse in Leeds re­built the en­gine and trans­mis­sion. The fol­low­ing year Adam Haw­ley who runs Theon De­sign ac­quired the 2.2E and un­der­took a full bare shell restora­tion. He es­tab­lished that this was an orig­i­nal ‘match­ing numbers’ 911, ob­tained a Cer­tifi­cate of Au­then­tic­ity and in re­ju­ven­tat­ing the 2.2 he was punc­til­lious about main­tain­ing this orig­i­nal­ity so, for ex­am­ple, the car is re­sprayed in the fac­tory light ivory and the cabin re­trimmed in black leatherette. Dur­ing the restora­tion, no new metal was ap­par­ently re­quired ex­cept for a door hinge plate. The re­fur­bish­ment ex­tends to the dash­board and, with new char­coal grey tufted car­pet, the in­te­rior feels al­most like a new car. The orig­i­nal fixed seat belts have been steam cleaned and re­in­stalled; both boot and en­gine com­part­ment are spot­less.

The 2.2 fires up with im­pres­sive smooth­ness. Then, for those un­fa­mil­iar with the Sportomatic, there is mo­men­tary in­de­ci­sion about what to do next in the ab­sence of a clutch, just a wider brake pedal, and a gear knob with mys­te­ri­ous L and D mark­ings. Your cor­re­spon­dent re­called Hans Stuck’s re­mark when Bott told him he was to race the ex­per­i­men­tal 962 with PDK: “This I will not like.” Hap­pily, here the op­po­site oc­curs: the Sportomatic proves sur­pris­ingly in­tu­itive: chang­ing gear merely in­volves lift­ing the throt­tle foot to stop the en­gine over revving and mov­ing the light, pleas­antly me­chan­i­cal gear­lever from D (L is sim­ply for park­ing ma­noeu­vres) to D2 as in chang­ing from sec­ond to third. D ap­par­ently runs up to 75mph be­fore max­i­mum revs are reached, D2 about 100mph, and top speed is ob­tained, log­i­cally, in D3. Af­ter half a dozen ‘clutch­less’ shifts the driver’s con­fi­dence is such that he or she can start to en­joy the rest of what this nicely re­newed 2.2E has to of­fer, which that won­der­ful im­me­di­acy and con­nec­tion with the road a prop­erly set-up vin­tage 911 does so well. Vis­i­bil­ity in all di­rec­tions is so much bet­ter than in modern cars, yet the pre­ci­sion of the steer­ing, author­ity of the brakes all im­bue a sense of con­trol which is far from vin­tage. The trans­mis­sion does not en­cour­age ‘on the door han­dles’ cor­ner­ing, but nei­ther is it an au­to­box: its ma­nip­u­la­tions do call for thought and add to the in­tense sat­is­fac­tion of con­duct­ing this clas­sic, prefer­ably away from the main high­ways. The an­cient static seat­belts could use­fully be re­placed (still with stat­ics) and a door pil­lar hook to stow them tidily, oth­er­wise this very like­able Sportomatic 2.2 is one col­lec­tor’s 911 you really would want to climb into and drive as of­ten as pos­si­ble. PW

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