I value a few high mileage 3.2 Carreras for Porsche agreed insurance valuation purposes, but none of them come close to the mileage amassed by this beautiful 3.2 with Freisinger restoration just arrived for sale at JZM, which has covered an incredible 680,000 kilometres from new.
I have to say I was a little disappointed by this, as it is not quite enough to go to the moon and back and not quite the million kilometres first believed when it arrived in the workshop for an engine and gearbox refresh. It is still incredible, of course, but a few more weeks clocking up mega miles would have made it really amazing. I’m no 3.2 fan but this car has really fired up my romantic streak – I just love it as a real piece of ownership history. So I was a good choice to write the sales text.
The lion’s share of this mileage was logged by its first owner: a German industrialist who had businesses throughout southern Europe. In 1986, the owner walked into his local Porsche dealership, specced up a Cassis Red coupe with sunroof delete and factory aircon (no point having a sunroof when you clock up hundreds of thousands of Autobahn kms at top speed). Once the car was delivered, he proceeded to run his businesses from the driver’s seat of the Carrera, putting 10-15k kms on the car every four to six weeks, with a full dealer service every couple of months.
As the miles wound on, the Carrera wrapped itself into shape around the driver. Like all great 911s, driving was almost no effort, so more than six hundred thousand kilometres were put on the Porsche before the decision was taken to change it – not to mention the rise of the fax machine and invention of the Internet making big miles slightly irrelevant.
Nowadays, the notion that someone would buy a car and drive 422,000 miles in it is simply unthinkable. Those days have well and truly disappeared. Notwithstanding the months it would take to accomplish this feat in an age of time poverty, the cost in fuel and maintenance would be hundreds of thousands of pounds. But cars like this prove just how the original Porsche sports cars were designed to last. Built by craftsmen from the best parts proven through several evolutions of one bodystyle, it was not unusual for cars to clock up fabulous mileages, helping their owners build empires. Having been under many newer Porsches with reasonable mileages, I’m not so sure that a modern Porsche would make it this far quite so easily.
Anyway, the Carrera’s mileage continued to increase, until one day, the car was replaced by a newer one. At that stage, the owner turned to childhood friend and rare Porsche parts guru, Manfred Freisinger, for some advice on restoration. And that’s where this car’s story gets really interesting.
Just as there are many types of car, there are many types of car restorations. At the lowest end is a quick blow-over in a back-street bodyshop and some folks believe that a factory restoration is the creme de la creme. But the finest attention to restoration detail is guaranteed by using knowledgable specialists like Freisinger or the legends at Ruf. You need deep pockets to send your cars to these boys: I hear a Freisinger restoration starts at €150k for a standard G-model 911 like this and Marcel Ruf told me that any serious SWB Ruf restoration project starts at €300k.
Previous restorations carried out at Freisinger list like a Porsche who’s who: 904s, 906s, 908s and 917s galore with a sprinkling of 962s in there, too. Countless 2.7 Carrera RS Tourings and Lightweights, 934s and four-cam 356s and one high mileage Cassis Red 3.2. When it comes to road car restoration, Freisinger does not take off, make good and refit: the team simply replaces everything with brand new parts. On this car, the list included brand new Fuchs wheels and brand new pinstripe sports trim from a 3.2 Club Sport, a complete set of suspension and brakes and many more bits and pieces.
The entire restoration was documented in a detailed photographic record. Freisinger also converted the car to 3.4-litres using a factory cylinder kit. JZM Porsche recently rebuilt the engine and transmission and both are now in as-new condition. The car has completed 300 running-in miles with 700 more to go and it is a wonderful example of how good classic Porsche can be.
Proper high-mileage Porsches rarely come to market. Cherished by their devoted custodians and handed down as heirlooms, they tend to stay in the family. This rare piece of Porsche motoring history has been fully rebuilt at great expense and is well worth a look in the JZM showroom. Priced at €79,000, I think it makes sense if you’re a romantic like me – being part of this story would be a special experience.