The average week puts me in touch with a stack of people seeking 911 projects. “I want a cheap SC/3.2/964, let me know if you come across anything.” A quick email to enquire about their plans usually leaves me depressed, as the Porsche hot rod has mainstreamed to Magnus and Singer, with most other builders going back to factory spec. Singer is by far the biggest influence nowadays.
There is nothing wrong with factory spec if that’s your bag and you do it properly, cutting no corners: a crisp early 911 is a very beautiful machine. But the idea that owners of SCs and 3.2s (and 964s and 993s) have suddenly been appointed as rolling museum curators just because values have shot up continues to be a major pain in the arse for those of us who enjoy individuality expressed through classic Porsche. There are lots of these cars in the world and plenty of nice original examples. Bring something to the car which is all about you, other than your name on the annual service bills.
Of course there are some fine hot rods in build at Porsche specialists all around the world, but those builds could be said to be slightly diluted by the professional suggestions that inevitably infiltrate the process – specialists are not exempt from the idea of conservation and what is “period correct”. Pics received from Neil this week offered some light at the end of the tunnel: people are still building Porsche hot rods to express their vision of the essence of Porsche.
Neil’s car was built by Neil, in his garage and to his taste. You might do some things differently, but individual expression is the point. Based on a 911 SC, this 3-litre has the Jenvey throttle bodies we would all like to fit to junk the ageing K-Jet intake. Neil has added DTA engine management and a straight through exhaust (I presume this is headers) into a custom silencer. The car makes 236 bhp, so there is a good chunk of budget gone, but a lot of fun added and a big leap in throttle response and fuel economy.
With more power on tap, the obvious next step was to take weight off and Neil found the answer in the EB Motorsport catalogue. Lightweight front wings and bonnet, much lighter bumpers and the rear quarter panels and engine lid have taken at least 100 kilos off the car. The diet continued with polycarbonate windows and lightened doors. The engine was treated to GRP tinware on the lighter engine (losing that winding exhaust junks a lot of heavy scrap too).
Neil hasn’t told me what his car weighs, but given the parts used, I am confident it’s less than 1,000 kilos. I’m sure it makes a great noise and he has plenty of tyre options with those 17″ Fuchs-style wheels. Of course you would do it differently, but instead of telling us all how you would go if you were building a hot rod, send us the proof that you’ve done it. Curators don’t get a say in the hot rod world.