A CLEAN SLATE
A very clean 911T that just happens to be Slate Grey…
Classic Car Revivals is based in Hertfordshire and has produced a string of award-winning restorations of late. Proprietor, Dean Jones, certainly knows a thing or two about classics of all kinds, however he is most passionate about VWS and, of course, classic Porsches. He commented, ʻOver the years Iʼve owned various Beetles and vans plus a string of water-cooled VWS and a Porsche 911S, but I really had a hankering for a fresh, early 911 project this time roundʼ.
In fact, we should explain that whilst Dean has tackled the restoration and is currently driving the car, itʼs actually partowned by his father-in law, Nigel, who was also keen to get involved with a classic Porsche project, albeit with Dean at the helm. Working together, the guys calculated their combined budget and started to look for a decent base project via the usual online forums, club pages and car sales sites over in the USA – the plan being to find a nice, tidy car that required light resto rather than a total basket case.
Having enquired after a few cars, Dean eventually stumbled across a tidy-looking 1970 (registered in 1971) 911T, which was for sale at Beverly Hills Car Club in Los Angeles. Dean explained, ʻThe car was originally painted 7474 Sepia Brown but had been refinished in red some years later ʼ. He continued, ʻHowever, it looked to be solid and was a complete, running and driving, matchingnumbers car, so we requested a few additional photographs, which arrived the next dayʼ.
Even with detailed photos to hand, thereʼs still nothing like viewing a car in person but the logistics and the costs involved in flying out the States to view the car led Dean to trust his instincts and take a gamble on buying it ʻunseenʼ. ʻIt took eight weeks to arrive and I was really hoping that it was going to be as good as it looked in the photos as Iʼd been losing sleep worrying about it!ʼ The good news is that it turned out to be even better than they had hoped…in fact, it was so good that they were able to simply rectify a few minor issues in order to make it roadworthy.
By October 2015, Dean had made a plan and ordered some parts to get things started, so he took the car off the road and set about stripping it back to a bare shell. As the front wings required repairs to the headlight bowls and lower sections, he also removed them from the body before sending everything off to be media blasted.
ʻThe body was pretty good, but that didnʼt mean that it didnʼt need any welding...ʼ says Dean. Moving from the front to the rear, he found rust issues in the fuel tank support panel, both Apillars and sills, plus some perforation in the rear seat buckets, and also some corrosion around the rear torsion housings. This is where his day job stepped up to bring this project to the next level as Dean and the expert team at CCR set about repairing each and every body issue to the highest possible standard.
For instance, the outer sills were removed to gain access to the inner sheet metal and jacking points, etc. These were repaired and ʼblasted prior to being treated with a modern rust-inhibiting finish, which will ensure that this car will not suffer from rust issues in the future. Once happy with the inner sills, Dean went on to fit the outers. Looking through the restoration folder we were impressed to see that the repairs and welds were all ground back to provide a faultless finish, and that traditional lead-loading was used on seams and body joins, too.
If youʼd like to see the entire folder of restoration images, you should look up Classic Car Revivals on Facebook.com where youʼll find literally hundreds of photographs detailing every stage of the metal
“PRETTY GOOD, BUT THAT DIDN’T MEAN IT DIDN’T NEED WELDING…”
repair process… youʼll see exactly what we mean when we say that the workmanship involved is of the highest order.
With the metal and body repairs completed, the body was treated to several coats of high build primer before being left to sit for five days (ie, enough time for the 2k primer to ʻsinkʼ and settle). This was then block-sanded to reveal any high or low spots before receiving a further coat of high-build primer (and repeating the curing/sanding process once more). From here, it was a case of priming and sanding with progressively finer grades of paper culminating in a wet-sanded, 800-grit finish prior to the application of the topcoats. This was also the point at which the seams were sealed and the floor/underside was treated to a factory-style stone-chip finish.
Dean commented, ʻInitially we had planned to repaint the car in the original Sepia Brown, however I noticed that there were already quite a few brown cars around and I didnʼt want this to be just another Sepia 911ʼ. He went on, ʻIʼve always been a fan of Slate Grey, which I felt would work perfectly with fresh brightwork and a red leather interior ʼ.
The Slate Grey 2k paint was applied to the underside first, followed by the interior, engine bay and beneath the bonnet. The body and panels were then sprayed in the same hue before being clear-coated and colour-sanded to perfection. As you can see, the end result is absolutely topnotch – and Dean was right… the Slate Grey looks great!
The next step was to overhaul and reinstate the suspension and braking systems, which involved ʼblasting and repainting each and every piece of hardware, as well as replacing bushes, joints, seals, pipes, dampers and brake components throughout. As you would expect, the same level of detail was applied to the body refit, which includes all new seals as well as rechromed door window frames and various other smaller pieces.
The gearbox was in good order, hence Dean treated it to a thorough clean ʼnʼ detail session before bolting it up with new mounts and filling it with fresh transmission oil.
He then fitted up the overhauled and re-anodised 14-in
“WE HAD PLANNED TO PAINT THE CAR THE ORIGINAL SEPIA BROWN…”
Fuchs to get the project rolling once again before calling up his buddy Phil at Bespoke Auto Interiors, who went on to complete the interior trim. Phil fitted a fresh headliner and factory-style carpets prior to rebuilding the original seats, which he then trimmed in red leather. The same red leather was applied to the dash pad before Dean refitted the gauges and installed a factory-spec Blaupunkt radio, which has been modified by Chromelondon to include Bluetooth connectivity, so Dean can now stream music and make calls via his mobile phone.
By now the project was really starting to take shape and it was soon time to refit the original engine. Of course, having gone to such great lengths to assemble a superbly finished Porsche, Dean wasnʼt about to cut any corners regarding the engine, hence he called on the assistance of Jaz Porsche in St Albans. The old 2.2-litre motor has therefore been stripped and checked over before being reassembled, albeit with a few modification along the way. The original 66mm-stroke crankshaft and stock rods are connected to a set of 90mm pistons, which has upped the capacity to 2519cc and Steve at Jaz has also fitted a pair of 911E camshafts before porting and polishing the cylinder heads. With a fully rebuilt pair of Zenith carburettors and a set of SSI heat exchangers (with a stock muffler), Dean estimates the power output to be somewhere around 200bhp now. As you can see, the engine has been detailed well and now looks and sounds great – it really is the icing on a very nice cake!
As much as Dean has enjoyed building and driving this project, he has decided that itʼs time to allow somebody else the opportunity to enjoy this car. He explained, ʻIʼve loved every minute of this build, hence Iʼm itching to start a fresh project and do it all again!ʼ CP
Above: There’s no denying that Slate Grey is an attractive colour – which would you prefer, the original Sepia Brown or the ‘Steve Mcqueen’ grey? Below left: Dean Jones has a history of carrying out highclass restorations, notably on early VWS and Porsches
Below: Red insert in the dashboard is the perfect finishing touch…
Below: Engine now displaces 2519cc following a rebuild by Jaz using 90mm pistons and cylinders. Camshafts from a 911E help boost power and torque output
Above, left and right: Red interior trim is perfect with the Slate Grey exterior. Upholstery work was carried out by Dean’s friends at Bespoke Auto Interiors
Above: Good to see the car running the original 14-inch Fuchs wheels, instead of the more widely-used 15s
Below, left to right: Window frames and all other brightwork were restored and rechromed as necessary; Karmann Karosserie ID plate confirms where the 911’s body was assembled