‘Chip­munks had been stor­ing wal­nuts in my Porsche!’

1972 Porsche 914 Ian Allen, Lin­colnshire

Practical Classics (UK) - - YOUR CARS -

It’s very… or­ange.

And all the bet­ter for it! Ever since see­ing my first tan­ger­ine 914, I have al­ways han­kered after one.

Where did you find your car?

At the first Prac­ti­cal Clas­sics Restora­tion Show in 2014. It had lived its life in Texas, USA. The dealer said there was rust around the bat­tery tray and the boot. The orig­i­nal body pan­els were rust free and the in­te­rior was in very good con­di­tion, so it was a great car to start from.

Or so you thought?

This car is a les­son on re­search­ing ev­ery­thing in ad­vance of see­ing it. On get­ting it home, I be­gan strip­ping it down to the area be­low the bat­tery tray. I have now found out that this re­pair area is known af­fec­tion­ately by 914 peo­ple as the ‘HELL HOLE'!

Bet you were re­ally pleased!

Don’t… The rot­ten bat­tery tray ran into a rot­ten top sec­tion of a large lon­gi­tu­di­nal mem­ber, with rot run­ning into the lower en­gine fire­wall and the floor, plus a store of chip­munks' wal­nut shells along with five US dol­lars in coins. It's the most dif­fi­cult area to get into – you have to sit in the tiny en­gine bay while weld­ing. Truly a hell hole, and over 100 hours of it.

Was it hard to find the parts?

For­tu­nately, re­pair pan­els are now remanufactured to a very high stan­dard as are most re­place­ment parts. Some are even avail­able from Porsche deal­ers prov­ing the brand fi­nally em­braced the 914 as one of its own. I needed floor pan­els and bat­tery tray, and they were a per­fect fit.

How was the en­gine?

I re­built it my­self with a big bore kit and a slightly 'warm' cam. Twin We­bers were pre­ferred over the orig­i­nal Bosch in­jec­tion sys­tem and a Lu­me­ni­tion ig­ni­tion. The 914 shares some VW parts and ev­ery­thing vi­tal has been tweaked by Porsche to make the en­gine that bit dif­fer­ent to the Type 4 en­gine.

What about ev­ery­thing else?

A new wind­screen was or­dered from Pilk­ing­ton's Clas­sic depart­ment. Thanks to the Texan sun, my big­gest ex­pense was rub­ber trim for the win­dows, doors, Targa top, boot, bon­net and bumper tops with over £2k spent. The restora­tion has been both a joy and a pain at the same time. The irony is that at the Prac­ti­cal Clas­sics Restora­tion Show I was the res­i­dent ex­pert on cor­ro­sion giv­ing an ex­pert’s opin­ion on how not to buy a pup. The les­son is to al­ways do your re­search, how­ever con­fi­dent you are!

Ian and his or­ange Porsche 914 he dreamed of own­ing since spy­ing one in France.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.