2 years ago today I picked up the 911. It was a strange night. I was nervous to hand over all that cash for a car I hadn't yet seen in person.... but I did. The guy picked me up at the airport and we drove to the bus station. I dropped him off, gave him all the money, and drove away. I distinctly recall standing there with the key in my hand. I must have looked like a national monument honoring a starstruck American, stone still in a stance of disbelief.
It was a brisk and clouded night in Virginia. I really had no idea where I was really... I drove down the streets of Richmond following the glow of my phone. Eventually I saw the Washington Monument blink past as I made my way to Annapolis to stay the night with family. I was too nervous for photos. I didn't want to arrive too late, and besides, I was sweating even with the windows open. I regret not taking the time to document the pickup of the car a little more.
In harrisburg, I stopped to visit a friend. Nothing encourages hooning like bringing a newly acquired 911 to a friends house. Tom and I terrorized a flat river valley with echoes of a bit of flat six rock and roll. It's the sound of these cars that keeps me coming back for more. Since this video, I've replaced the muffler with a standard sport muffler. Mistake. I'm on the hunt for another M&K muffler, so I can be obnoxious and ridiculous again.
Early the next morning, I started the long leg home. I thought I would end up stopping somewhere, but I didn’t. I missed my wife, and to be honest, the car was just alright to stay in for hours. It had a bit of a misfire on light cruising throttle. I now wonder if that's due to a bad cylinder, which eventually caused an entire rebuild later on... The last couple years with the car have been fantastic. Another rebuild taught me more about the chassis, engine, and strengthened a friendship.
Long road trips and short afternoon just because jaunts have taught me about the dynamics of the car. The worst part, is the values have gone through the roof making parts I'd like to have unattainable. There's so much yet to do, and learn. The 911 is now tucked away in the garage with a leaky oil line. I may take my daughter Irene out for one last little spin around the block, but the season is over.
To celebrate this anniversary here is a bit I wrote 2 years ago.. I've added some hindsight notes, which you can see in bold. Enjoy.
The Porsche world is just as much of a fashion show and social circus as anything other hobby in life. From remote control boats to poundcake baking competitions, our hobbies define who we are. Our tastes and how we present what we love to others is a defining part of how we are perceived within the hobbying and collecting culture around us. Social approval may not be a primary goal for everyones hobby, but when it’s missing, we often feel dejected, or that we may be doing something wrong. The internet itself has changed how car owners interact irrevocably. Gone are the days where building something in your garage with a small group of friends was the extent of your daily reach. Going to shows used to be the primary way of showing what you’ve built to others. The scene has become revolutionized. You can now instantly share your work with others, garnishing immediate feedback. Peer approval is more important than ever before. Shameless self promotion has supplanted humble ascendence. Being a legend is more about forum clicks, and less about what you’ve built.
People struggle to be unique in a world where value is often based on factory original cars, and matching serial numbers. The Porsche world is not immune to owners with bad taste. The hot rodding movement has gone from a few guys doing unique things to their cars to a full blown culture. Where’s do you draw the line of “gone too far”? Are you the guy who resprayed over a beautiful vintage color 911? Did you slap cheap driving lights on it? Perhaps you thought a ducktail, some bumpers and some carrera RS stickers on a narrow body T would impress your local or internet car club friends. Did you sin even worse than that? If that’s you, you are the previous owner of my new 1972 911T.
I feel a little bad in hindsight throwing people under the bus with the condition of the car when I bought it. We all have our own tastes and if the car had been exactly how I wanted it when I bought it, I'd have sold it by now out of boredom. The only things that bother me now, are the grossly negligent things that were done to seatbelts and etc...
When I first started looking for a 911, and before I bought the white SC you’ve seen in previous updates, I wanted an early car but would have taken almost any 911. At the time my budget was around $10-15,000USD. Unfortunately for me the year was not 2006 when long hood 911’s were reasonably priced. What was a $15,000 car 10 years ago is now worth $75,000. I can’t think of anywhere in any market that I’ve put my money that has appreciated in such a way. I saw the prices of classic 911’s, laughed and resigned myself to getting an SC.
I had no idea the cars would go insane like they have even over the last 2 years. I sold my SC for $25,000. I bet that thing is worth $35,000 now. It was a really nice car. I miss the refinement of it sometimes. It didn't need anything. I think thats why I eventually died inside and had to sell it. The big issue now is that the prices on the early cars have gotten so insane, that I can't afford any of the parts I want. Everything has apparently ground to a halt due to how much I didn't study in high school and college. Then again, I'm sitting here in my underwear working. That's not altogether too bad either.
My grand prix white ‘83 911 SC was a good car. I learned a lot working on and driving it. In the end the car was too nice for me. Dirty thoughts about cams, pistons, and carburetors kept me tossing and turning at night. I just wanted a little bit more. I wasn’t sure what more was. It was probably a mix of more power, and more individuality. I felt lost in a sea of stock 911SC’s. I decided to sell the car to someone who would sleep well at night knowing they had their ideal car in the garage. My taste had evolved. I went from wanting almost any nice 911 that had a roof, to being embroiled in a longhood lust that my wife would probably compare to some sort of compulsive disorder. Once the seed is planted in my mind that I want something new, I can’t fight it off. The SC sold, and I started looking for a longhood to be naked and alone in.
It started with wanting something with an original patina. I couldn’t find something that didn’t need a complete restoration. I moved on to finding a hot rod in good condition. I could care less about chassis and case numbers. I just want to drive the car. I looked for something that had a 3 liter SC swap. Somewhere down the road when I win the lottery I thought I’d build a short stroke 3.2 liter with carbs and some more spark plugs. I found a 1972 911T that looked like bad taste barfed on and in the car. A misguided owner had made the decision to take a 911T and put Carrera RS stickers and bumpers on the car. I’m not sure who they were trying to impress, but it certainly wasn’t me and anyone who would know what a Carrera RS is would know it wasn’t one. While tribute cars are generally done well, with an overall theme cohesive to what it’s attributed to, this car was a mess. I decided to take on the task of bringing the car back. After being passed around from owner to owner many times, I decided to save it, and finally give it the attention it deserved. I flew out to Alexandria VA and bought the car from a nice gentleman there. To avoid embarrassment for a 17 hour and 1200 mile drive home, I removed the fog lights and peeled off the stickers that depicted the car as a Carrera RS. Maybe NOTANRS would be a decent vanity plate...
After owning the car for a month or so I still am not sure the direction I need to take. It needs new bumpers, new wheels. new seats, new steering wheel, new everybushinginthecar, new horn grilles, less stickers, a new deck lid, and of course new paint. It needs front pan work. It was hit in the front, and I presume thats when the car was resprayed to Midnight Blue over the original, and beautiful Albert Blue. In the end I hope to build a car thats a good compromise to originality, with a little hot rod flair. It may take some time. Stay tuned over the winter for what may I hope may be a couple of big updates...