REDTEKʼS 3.4-LITRE 300BHP ʼBAHN STORMER
ʻIsaw the yellow 911 at Nickʼs Redtek premises and I was absolutely sold on the colour.ʼ The 1975 Carrera was also left-hand drive, an important consideration for Robin Ellis who wanted to use it for continental touring. A successful professional, after many years of work and family, he purchased a Lotus Elite and investigated the track day scene.
After a couple of seasons he decided he would prefer a car in which he was better protected than the Lotus and looked at air-cooled 911s, finally selecting a relatively highmileage left hand drive 993 RS. ʻIt cost about £10,000more than the 993s I had been looking at, none of which impressedme, so I took the RS. At the time I didnʼt quite realise what Iʼd bought and I was enthralled when I found out! I kept that car for ten years and sold it because I wanted a lighter car that was easier to drive.ʼ
Ellis is far fromthe sports car fan who buys on a whim: a seasoned tourer, he has also driven extensively on the track and races a tiny Lotus 6 against Jaguar XKS in historic competition; another feather in his cap is co-driving a 2.0 SWB 911 in a recent Spa six hours. He does then have a fairly clear idea of what he is looking for and this brought himinto the orbit of air-cooled specialist Nick Fulljames, aman who cut his Porsche teeth working forautofarmover twenty years ago.
As it happened, Nick had been developing a specification which might have been devised with Robin Ellis in mind. This
was a 1978 SC, the ʻwhite carʼ for the purposes of this article. Nick acquired this in 2008 in part exchange for work he had carried out on a clientʼs 911. Bearing in mind its low mileage he decided to transform it into a 1974 Carrera. ʻI like the look of these very much and 1974 was an especially bad period for corrosion – Porsche wasnʼt galvanising then and that year used inferior Soviet steel…the upshot is very few 911s remain from this model year.
ʻOf course had I been doing the job today, I would simply have restored it to its original state, but ten years ago I wouldnʼt have got my money back, so I decided to create a retro 911 with all the driving attributes I like in these cars – an engine which is easy-going in traffic, but really opens up when you want it to, a suspension which doesnʼt damage your kidneys and an exhaust note that is pleasant right the way through the rev range.ʼ
Anyone acquainted with Nick Fulljames knows his modus operandi usually involves increasing the bore, doubling the sparking plugs and using a proven fuel-injection system, such as a PMO set-up here controlled by Canems management. The latter technology was not of course available 40 years ago, but Porscheʼs race engines were generally twin-spark ignition and increasing the bore was the other competition favourite. In fact between 1979 and 1981, Porsche built about 300 production SCS, called SC-LS, a model bored out to the 3.3 Turboʼs 97mm which gave 3122cc. This was a very discreet model, never advertised as such, but available as a dealer order on a new 911.
Porsche was concerned about the business the stock 180 bhp SC was losing to tuners such as Max Moritz and Alois Ruf who both offered to bore out your SC to 98mm which made a swept volume of 3185cc and which, with other modifications, developed 204–210bhp. Time and technology march on, though, and although the Fulljames version also uses a 98mm bore, with modern electronic injection, competition
camshafts and a sports exhaust the output is a rather more impressive 285bhp.
A Fulljames-prepared 911 is a proper job and this white SC has a rebuilt 915 gearbox with strengthened internal parts coupled to a limited-slip differential. Handling matters are addressed with a Bilstein suspension kit and adjustments to the torsion bars which lower the car about 38mm, but the 911 retains the original 15-inch wheels and tyres because Nick believes it is too easy to spoil the ride with wider rims and bigger tyres. Braking is assured by four-piston 986 calipers and discs from the heavier Carrera 3.2. The interior remains standard with Porscheʼs tombstone sports seats, but with replacement lightweight carpets and sports steering wheel. A Redtek 10,000rpm rev counter is a distinguishing touch.
Although Nickʼs intention had been to keep the car for his own use, he was soon persuaded to sell it and new owner
Andrew Morris ran the back-dated SC for a couple of years before returning it to Nick: its next owner was Robin Ellis. Although it was right-hand rather than left-hand drive, in all other aspects the white former SC suited Robin: a good 100kg lighter than his 993 RS, he says that over his three yearsʼ ownership it has certainly lived up to Nick Fulljamesʼs claims of driveability yet responsive performance.
On his trips to Monaco and Pau for the historic meetings the retro-sc easily kept up with pals driving more modern sports cars with rather more cylinders and horsepower. And he might have left it at that, but then in 2017, bringing his Porsche to Nick for routine attention, he spied the yellow Carrera.
Striking in its mid-yellow, this 911 began life as a 1975 S, a 2.7-litre K-jetronic car originally sold to Japan. Interestingly, it is a left-hand drive: there was apparently some kudos attached to having a left hand driver in Japan.this also did no harm to its resale value as it later found a home in the US. In more recent years the 911S had been sold at auction and imported to the UK. Its owner had brought it to Redtek for a tuned engine to be fitted. The 911S had at some point been modified with wider SC arches.
ʻIn fact,ʼ says Nick, ʻthe bodywork was very good – evidently it had been restored at some point and the car must have been stored because apart from the odd patch there was no corrosion and we could still see the spot welds in the floor.ʼ
“THE PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE IS, OF COURSE, THE ENGINE…”
The owner, perhaps underestimating everything that needed to be done, elected to sell the project to Nick. ʻThis was where Robin came in,ʼ Nick goes on. ʻAfter three years with the white car, he determined he wanted a left-hand driver that he could use on “spirited European trips” – in other words a similar specification to his SC.ʼ
Whereas the original interior of the white SC was in very good condition and would have been a pity to change, the yellow car was less appealing which allowed some period liberties, such as Rs-type door cards and pulls. The standard tombstone seats have been nicely retrimmed in black, with the rest of the cabin, and the overall effect is highly convincing.
Once again, a Bilstein suspension kit is combined with a suspension lowered by about 38mm which, in Nick Fulljamesʼs view, is far enough: ʻThere are so many cars Iʼve been asked to map where someone has overdone the suspension and spoiled them.ʼ Though on 16-inch wheels, the Carrera retains the 7J front and 8J rear rims. A lightweight rollcage with modification to make door access easier was fitted at Robinʼs behest: he is willing to trade the additional weight for the greater security the cage brings; ideally he would add a four-point harness as well.
The pièce de résistance is, of course, the engine. Robinʼs
instruction was to ʻgive it the engine it deservesʼ, and Nick duly obliged with one of his favourite upgrades, the 3.2 Carrera bored out to 3.4-litres: ʻThis is a straightforward process: the cylinders are rebored and replated with Nikasil and new pistons are inserted. The 3.2ʼs crank is quite strong enough to cope and the great advantage of this mod is that it saves £2000 from the cost of the rebuild as well as being entirely reliable.ʼ
Then the engine was prepared much as with the white SC. Nick fits his own twin-plug ignition, which incidentally uses the distributor cap from the V12 Jaguar, a Pmo-based fuel-injection with Canem mangement, and a sports exhaust. On this car he has fitted a lightweight RSR fan shroud with trays adapted to provide cabin heating. A rebuilt 915 gearbox has the turbo clamp plate to resist the additional torque of the 3.4 and a limited-slip differential completes the upgrades.
ʻThis gives an easy 300bhp,ʼ claims its creator. ʻItʼs a balance of performance and useability. The engine revs to 7500rpm which is comfortable and assures longevity: these engines will rev to 8000rpm, but performance gains are negligible and it shortens their lives.ʼ CP