Australian 911 SC restoration: Big Rubber Love

I recently made the acquaintance of Nick Diggens in Victoria, Australia and his sweet 911 SC in Copper Bronze Metallic. The introduction came courtesy of fellow SC owner, Jonny Hart at Classic Retrofit. We’re all members of the period SC appreciation society, so Nick’s SC was worth sharing.

The first pic I saw was the one above, showing the newly-restored 911 on cookie cutter wheels, wrapped in 195/65 15 and 205/60 15 tyres front and rear respectively, which I thought sounded much bigger than standard. The day before, I had been swapping emails with another mate who has just bought a 911 SC Coupe at auction. He wanted to know what wheels to buy to replace the boat anchor 964 Cup replica wheels it came on, so Nick’s pic came at quite an opportune time.

The big question with wheel sizes nowadays is: what tyres can you get to fit the wheels? I have 7″ x 16″ front and 9″ x 16″ rear Fuchs on my car and finding tyres to fit can sometimes be a drag – I use Conti SportContacts – but the pain of 15″ rubber is even worse again. The ideal choice for 15s (7s and 8s) might be something like a 195/55 front and 215/55 rear, but try finding a matched set of those for sensible money.

You can get Toyo rubber, but the thin Toyo sidewall does the 911 no favours. I like the chunky side profile of the Pilot Sport Cup, but the holographic tread and short lifespan is not for everyone. Pirelli P7 Corsas are available in 15″, but they are not cheap. No one wants to put cheap-brand tyres on their old 911, but these are pretty much all the options for wider 15″ wheels.

This car shows an interesting choice of rubber for the SC. I expected the standard size rear tyre to be a 55 section at most, but going by original sales receipts, the 8″ rears had 215/60s as standard and they look pretty cool to me. Standard fronts were a 185/70 15, so quite a different look. If one was currently using a 205/55 on the rear, a 215/60 R15 tyre would be a just under one inch taller and less than 3mph faster at 70mph. So while it may seem that the rear tyres are substantially taller than a standard size, online tyre size comparators say otherwise.

I will share some more about this car later on. It is currently having Nick’s second Classic Retrofit air con kit fitted and has the full range of CR products already in place, including the fuse panels and CDI+ ignition unit. Nick’s mate, Rohan Little, runs an operation called Skunkwerks and looks after Nick’s cars: sound like they have quite a bit of fun with them. Victoria is currently enjoying ambient temperatures circa 35 degrees C, but the Electrocooler A/C is producing a steady 8 degrees at the vents. That is pretty impressive.

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