Classic Porsche - - News -

ight, seven, nine, zero, oneʼ chanted a tall guy in front of the Karmann Konnection parts stand at the Phoenix Club Porsche meet in Anaheim. I in­stantly recog­nised this se­ries of num­bers to be the chas­sis num­ber of the 1960 Drauz Road­ster I had re­cently bought, and the man be­hind the friendly face was Rick Kreiskott, who had owned the car for 10 years pre­vi­ously.

ʻSo, how do you like the car?ʼ he en­quired, to which I replied, ʻI love it!ʼ We ex­changed pleas­antries and sto­ries be­fore head­ing off to look over his su­perb, orig­i­nal paint ʼ72 911, which was parked in the car dis­play on the grass.

I had ac­tu­ally pur­chased the Road­ster via Bob Camp­bell the year be­fore (2003) that meet­ing. I was ini­tially hop­ing to find a nice Speed­ster but good ones were just out of my price range. And then, Bob emailed me the de­tails of 87901 and I was ex­cited, as it sounded like it could be just my kind of car.

The mes­sage read, ʻ1960 T5 Road­ster, orig­i­nally Aetna blue with red in­te­rior, now white with tan. The car has never been taken apart and all the num­bers match (in­clud­ing pan­els, mo­tor, trans­mis­sion, wheels and hub­caps). No rust or ac­ci­dent dam­age as the car has been in Ari­zona and Cal­i­for­nia since new. Itʼs had a cheap re­spray in white (masked up/not dis­man­tled) and an older re­trim in light tan vinyl with Ger­man car­pets, but un­derneath itʼs all orig­i­nal un­der­seal and floor pans etc. The con­vert­ible top can­vas and top frame paint are good, tooʼ.

As well as all the orig­i­nal parts it came with some nice ex­tras, too. These in­cluded a tuned 1720cc 356C mo­tor, a re­built trans­mis­sion, an 80-litre long-range fuel tank, a set of five 4-in wide RSK steel/al­loy wheels, plus many NOS spares. It was priced at $49.5k for the com­plete pack­age up-and-run­ning with the tuned C mo­tor and wheels, or $40k with just the orig­i­nal parts (and not run­ning). I opted for the com­plete pack­age, which Bob kindly de­liv­ered straight to the shipping com­pany for me. Eight weeks later the car ar­rived and I was pleased to find that Bobʼs de­scrip­tion had been very accurate.

I started work on the car that week, first re­mov­ing the bumpers and fit­ting a Bursch per­for­mance ex­haust. Next I fit­ted a pair of alu­minium Speed­ster seats trimmed in match­ing beige leather. While I was work­ing in­side the car, I went on to fit a re­stored (dished) Les Le­ston wood rim steer­ing wheel along with a pe­riod ra­dio and un­der-dash face­plate, too.

Mov­ing to the body, a pair of orig­i­nal Us-spec head­lights with pe­riod, cus­tom ma­chine-turned in­serts and halo­gen bulbs were in­stalled, along with a pair of Iron Cross tor­sion bar hole cov­ers. I went on to source an orig­i­nal blue vinyl tool­bag and made up a cor­rect kit, and also found an orig­i­nal blue T5 travel kit.

I then set about buff­ing up the cheap paintjob and sunk count­less hours into re­mov­ing over­spray (due to poor mask­ing) from much of the trim. It was worth the ef­fort, though, as the car looks far bet­ter than it did upon ar­rival.

Af­ter a few days of get­ting to know the Road­ster, I de­cided to fit a fresh set of Koni dampers to tighten things up a lit­tle. I also fit­ted an up­rated front an­tiroll bar and new tor­sion bar be­fore greas­ing the sus­pen­sion (as this prob­a­bly had­nʼt been done for years!). While I was un­der the car I also checked the brakes over be­fore ad­just­ing them up, which cer­tainly in­spired a lit­tle more con­fi­dence when driv­ing hard!

I en­joyed the car for a few months but, with some over­seas ad­ven­tures loom­ing, I de­cided to ser­vice the engine be­fore book­ing a rolling road ses­sion at John Mowat­tʼs where Mick, who sadly is no longer with us, saw a re­spectable 97bhp at the rear wheels.

Its first ma­jor out­ing was to the Porsche 356 In­ter­na­tional in Deauville, Nor­mandy, and Iʼm pleased to say that the car per­formed fault­lessly. Driv­ing along some fast coun­try roads back to our ho­tel on the Fri­day with Tom Pead and John Hearn, I was strug­gling to catch up with a lit­tle blue car ahead.

I con­tin­ued to push on, de­ter­mined to show this mod­ern car what a clas­sic Porsche could do but, as I came along­side to over­take, I spot­ted the large Gen­darmerie let­ter­ing on the side, hence I jammed on the brakes and tucked in be­hind him. I saw him smile and guessed he was think­ing ‘Stupide Anglais!’ I later heard that the lo­cal Po­lice


had been briefed about the meet­ing and had agreed to be very tol­er­ant in the name of tourism!

The next big trip was to La Sarthe to at­tend the Le Mans Clas­sic gath­er­ing. This was a mem­o­rable trip for many rea­sons…in­clud­ing a few cases of food poi­son­ing, some­one steal­ing our cham­pagne, Jez Par­sonsʼ mad 911-pow­ered Volk­swa­gen Deluxe Bus, and the Geoff Tur­rell and Delwyn Mallett com­edy duo.

The Road­ster was loving the long, straight French roads and Geoff clocked us at 125mph as we came along­side his GT3 (with the Road­ster ʼs tacho firmly in the red!).

I had a set of Empi five-spoke split-rim wheels on the car at this time, which had been clear­anced to fit over the B brakes, and were fit­ted with some old (read ʻhardʼ) Miche­lin ZX tyres. Af­ter a cou­ple of un­nerv­ing 90mph slides in the wet (!), I de­cided it was time for a change, hence I fit­ted the gen­uine RSK steel al­loys with Avon CR road/race tyres, which in­stantly improved the han­dling and safety (although it has to be said, these rare, pe­riod rims did re­quire some fairly large bal­ance weights).

An­gela and I at­tended a few more 356 In­ter­na­tional meet­ings in the car, which in­volved driv­ing to Hol­land, Bel­gium, Italy and also a tour of Ger­many, which in­cluded the pic­turesque Black For­est re­gion. There re­ally is­nʼt any­thing like a grand road trip in a clas­sic Porsche, and the Road­ster cer­tainly proved to be re­li­able, ca­pa­ble and a blast to drive on the open roads.

An­gela then bought a ʼ58 Speed­ster, which be­came our main trans­port to many 356 and clas­sic car meet­ings in fol­low­ing years. In­ci­den­tally, there was no real rea­son to re­tire the Road­ster from reg­u­lar ser­vice other than the fact that we wanted to en­joy driv­ing the Speed­ster for a change!

It was about this time (circa 2009) that I was con­tacted by a pre­vi­ous owner, Dick Mcnulty, who had owned the Road­ster back in the 1980s while liv­ing in Ari­zona. He told me that when he pur­chased the car some engine spares had been left in­side and had spilled some oily de­posits on the car­pets and trim. There­fore, he re­moved the seats in or­der to clean the in­te­rior prop­erly, which is when he found a small metal plate with the chas­sis num­ber 87901 stamped into it, which he kindly sent to me. It was painted Aetna blue and had a hole drilled in the cor­ner so it could be tied or at­tached to the car. I de­duced that per­haps ev­ery Porsche of that era may well have had a sim­i­lar tag whilst on the pro­duc­tion line to en­sure it was painted the cor­rect colour, and that these were typ­i­cally re­moved on com­ple­tion/ fi­nal in­spec­tion. Has any­one seen this be­fore? Iʼd cer­tainly like to hear from you if so.

The T5 Road­sters weigh about 850 kilo­grams, and I have light­ened this one by about 100 ki­los in to­tal. Cou­pled with the ex­tra power of the 1720cc mo­tor, it re­ally is quite quick – in fact, Iʼd gauge the per­for­mance as be­ing some­where be­tween a 911T and a 911E. The han­dling and brakes are very good and it is nim­ble and great fun to slide around! Like Speed­sters, the Road­ster is best driven with the top down, although the vi­sion through the glass wind-up win­dows is much bet­ter than the Speed­ster plas­tic side cur­tains. All in all, these re­ally are great fun cars. Like most Porsches, you ei­ther like them, or RE­ALLY like them!

Af­ter a five-year so­journ, we be­gan recom­mis­sion­ing the Road­ster around three years ago and now it is reg­u­larly used for out­ings to Clas­sics at the Cas­tle, the King­shead Klas­sik and other meets – of­ten with our son, Char­lie, at the wheel. I would like to do a few more Eu­ro­pean trips in it and maybe even re­store it to orig­i­nal spec one day, as I do like Aetna blue (es­pe­cially with a red in­te­rior). For now, Iʼm just en­joy­ing this sur­vivor while I pon­der over these plans for the fu­ture… Here's to an­other fun 15 years! CP


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