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    911E restoration

    I've been meaning to start a thread on my restoration of an early series 911 but never seemed to get round to it. I started out by buying a 1973 911T targa that was painted in Blood Orange but I subsequently discovered was originally finished in Light Ivory.

    I did some research into potential restorers and looked into the possibility of using the factory Porsch Classic service but discovered they were quite expensive and had a lengthy waiting list for taking on new business. They were very helpful and gave me some good advice on the 911. I then found a very highly regarded UK restorer who has produced some outstanding work and got in contact with him. He also had a waiting list but gave me some more encouraging ball park figures for things like engine rebuild, suspension rebuild, body repainting, interior retrim etc. He also advised me on the likely areas of potential rust on an early car and an indication of cost involved to rectify them.

    Armed with this info I set about looking for a car. Very few suitable examples seemed to come to market and then I spotted the targa. It seemed ideal but my first serious mistake was not to view the car in person due to the distance it was from me but to send a friend in the motor trade to view it on my behalf. He reported that it definitely required a full bare metal body restoration and that there was corrosion visible on several panels but the car seemed to drive well enough. There was a lot of interest in the car at the advertised price so I had to make a quick decision as I had first refusal. I phoned the restorer and he said to go for it as if I didn't he had three other clients who would.

    My plan was to return it to it's original factory spec and I booked it in with a well respected restorer here who only works on the 911. He was very busy so I had to wait nearly a year for my restoration slot to open up and work begin.

    Here is the car I bought. It looks quite respectable in these photo's.





    All I can say is never trust a photo! The true horror of what lay beneath was not revealed until the strip down . The restorer was shocked at the extent of the corrosion and had never seen a car this bad before.

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    The restorer had never seen this before - rust so severe that it had eaten away the dash!

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    It seems that Porsche made little to no attempt to provide any sort of corrosion protection on the early 911 models. Being a monocoque construction means that rust can quickly become a serious structural issue so anyone contemplating a purchase of an older 911 needs to take great care when checking a car over. Rust will be hiding unseen somewhere on the shell.

    The estimated labour involved just to get the rotten metal work cut out and replaced was 900 hours. This made the project a financial disaster and I had little option but to cut my losses and do a deal to sell the various parts of the car. The restorer was pretty good and took a degree of responsibility for suggesting I go ahead with the purchase of the car. He had a 1973 911E coupe awaiting restoration which he offered to do for me on a fixed price basis and agreed a price to take the targa off my hands in part exchange. I agreed as I would end up with a more desirable coupe model with a higher performance fuel injected engine.

    Here is the car I agreed to buy awaiting it's turn in the restoration queue. It was taken off the road in 2007 but is in fairly good overall condition. I'll apologize in advance for the quality of the photo's here on in as they have been taken by the restorer, not by me, and are very inconsistent. These pictures were taken in early November 2012.

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    The restoration progress on this car has been a lot slower than what I've achieved restoring the old Ferraris. Updates will doubtless be slow as the process is taking what feels like an eternity Smiley


    Re: 911E restoration

    Woohoo finally! 

    I have been anticipating this thread for a long time, but I remember you mentionwed the project was not going well at all, so didn't want to ask for it. Looking forward to future posts!


    Porsche, seperates LeMans from LeBoys

    Re: 911E restoration

    Work on stripping the car down began in January last year. The car's original colour of Signal Yellow is clearly visible on the shell. At some point yellow obviously was considered unfashionable and the car was repainted into black. As I am not afraid of lively colours it was agreed to return it to it's original colour and restore the interior to ex factory spec of black vinyl with black corduroy centres on the front seats.

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    The original body number marked on the dash during production is clearly visible.

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    The rear parcel shelf was nice and solid.

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    Nothing nasty lurking at the back end either.

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    Re: 911E restoration

    Great !! I had been waiting for this thread too but was on the same mind set as Joost, didn't want to ask about something that you said was going bad. but hopefully things will get better and (even at a slow pace) get done the right way. 

    Re: 911E restoration

    Well, the Targa were well known to be more leaky than a open water tap, so the rust is not really a shocker. One of the reasons Porsche discontinued that model a long time ago and replacing it with a different configuration Targa all together.

    But seriously Ian, it seems you have the restoration bug and just can't stop restoring cars :)





    Re: 911E restoration

    Looks like a fun project.indecision

    Might you be thinking of bumping the engine to 2.5 liters and or adding some chassis stiffening to the rear wheel well area?

    Did it have the Boge nivomat self leveling or optional S suspension/brakes? There are so many ways to upgrade these older models that its mind boggling.

    Good luck with it. I'm sure you will enjoy it immensely when finished.kiss

    Re: 911E restoration

    It's a 2.4E model Jim so has the S suspension already I believe. It is being kept standard.

    Here is the gearbox casing after disassembly and cleaning back to bare metal.

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    And here it is after being put back to the original factory finish.

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    And rebuilt awaiting fitment back on the car.

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    Various refurbished components...

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    Re: 911E restoration

    The Bosch MFI system stripped, cleaned, refinished and ready to be fitted back to the car.

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    The wheels part way through the restoration process.

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    Re: 911E restoration

    The engine stripped down.

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    Re: 911E restoration

    Cylinder heads ready for the engine rebuild.

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    Re: 911E restoration

    Progress on various items.

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    Re: 911E restoration

    Meanwhile the body was media blasted and put into primer ready for it's trip to the bodyshop for the metal work repairs to begin. Slightly more rust than anticipated was discovered but there was nothing serious thankfully.

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    Re: 911E restoration

    Onto the chassis jig and the process of removing rusted metal and replacing it begins.

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    Re: 911E restoration

    I love those pictures and I love to follow the process - many thanks.

    Another awesome project!!! kiss

    Re: 911E restoration

    With the rust tackled on the shell it was time to start fitting the panels back on to test the fit and ensure even panel gaps and applying seam sealer and rust protection treatments.

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    The external oil filler - unique to the '73 model year.

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    Re: 911E restoration

    And now the exciting bit could begin where the car starts to begin to resemble it's final look..... painting the bodyshell back to Signal Yellow.

    Primer goes on.

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    Followed by the first colour coats.

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    The finished painted shell waiting for the exterior panels to be re-fitted.

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    Re: 911E restoration

    And this is the current stage of the project. The shell is complete with the various body panels re-fitted and the rebuild will shortly start. I'll update the thread as and when I have any new photo's. Hopefully these threads may inspire other to join in the restoration fun/madness (delete as applicable according to your own preference Smiley). It is very satisfying to see these old cars given a new lease of life and they provide a lot of driving pleasure when properly set up and overhauled.


    Re: 911E restoration

    Gorgeous!! You can go look for a job at Singer! smiley

    Re: 911E restoration

    Fascinating photos! Another painstaking and wonderful effort!


    997.1 C2S GT Silver/Cocoa, -20mm/LSD, PSE, short shifter, SportDesign rims, Zuffenhausen pickup, BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Sterling Grey/Red

    Re: 911E restoration

    absolutely amazing - speachless - but I would be scared of the total bill - however, those are real keepers ! kiss

    Re: 911E restoration

    Amazing projet, keep the good work!


    1987 911 Carrera 3.2 - 1992 964 Carrera 2 - 2012 Cayenne Diesel - 2013 Mini Cooper S - 1995 BMW318ti

    Re: 911E restoration

    There´s nothing like an old classic car look , smell and feel like new, what a wonderful project Thanks for sharing, looking forward to follow this thread.


    Re: 911E restoration

    great set of pictures to capture this rebuild IS.


    2013 Lotus Evora S/ 2008 Cayenne GTS Manual

    2012 991 C2S -PDK / 2010 997.2 turbo cab manual, sold //2008 RS 60 sold /04 C4S sold - 08 Cayenne Turbo PDCC sold

    Re: 911E restoration


    stunning progress and a joy to look through these pictures. Also remember the trouble you hinted at a while ago. Happy to see it finally turns out well, the color is magnificent and perfect for this car. kiss

    Not sure whether you can watch it from the UK but there has been a restoration of a 1972 911 Targa in Signal Yellow on television several years ago.

    Re: 911E restoration

    Iain, wow. What horrow with the Targa, but you live and learn. Enjoy the ride on the Coupe. You will love it. Personally, I would give the engine the full S treatment indecision Anyway, I love the color!!


    Enjoy in good health,


    Off enjoying my car...

    Re: 911E restoration

    Thanks Ferdie. Unfortunately I can't view the videos here but could see they were of a Signal Yellow targa. At least that one could be saved kiss

    Thanks Thomas wink  Although the targa episode cost me money it could have been a lot worse so I'm quite happy the way things worked out. As values rise buyers are tending to be more selective about modified engines etc so I'm going to play it safe for now and keep the car as a standard E model.

    Re: 911E restoration

    I love the colour, and really enjoy reading about and seeing the works.


    Re: 911E restoration


    Thanks Ferdie. Unfortunately I can't view the videos here but could see they were of a Signal Yellow targa. At least that one could be saved kiss

    The tv show is not the most intellectual but the car should resemble yours very closely in spec. Smiley


    Re: 911E restoration

    Another fantastic project - thanks so much for sharing !!! SmileySmiley

    Blueflame Smiley

    Re: 911E restoration

    Awesome work as expected from you Iain. 



    THE BEST CAR EVER smiley

    11 E92 M3 CP - 09 Audi TTS Coupe - 07 997 Carrera S - 05 M3 Coupe - 03 M3 Coupe - 96 M3 Coupe EVO (PASS TIME HISTORY)




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