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Thread: The Canary Files: 1969 911T reworked.

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Mill Valley, CA

    The Canary Files: 1969 911T reworked.

    Well after 18 months of enjoying my yellow 1969 Porsche 911T with all it's 'quirks' I have decided to take the plunge into the deep end and revitalize the Canary.

    A little bit of history: I've always been interested in cars from an early age. As a boy I would get a matchbox car as a bribe everytime I 'agreed' to go on an all day shopping excursion with my Mum to Newcastle city center. I would build elaborate cars from Lego with suspension and engines only to drive them down the stairs and watch them smash into a million pieces so I could build another. My interest really got serious when my Father and I sat down one Christmas and watched a movie called 'The Italian Job' with Michael Caine and Noel Coward. The opening sequence with the red Lamborghini Miura winding it's way through the alps, the silver Aston getting crushed and the Mini's racing over and under Turin blew my mind! Cars are cool, I'm in!

    Growing up in an industrial town in the North East of England during the 70's with little opportunities for a working class lad was about as far as you could get from driving Lamborghini's in the Alps. Around that same time a little movie called 'Star Wars' hit the local Odean Cinema and again, mind blown! I told my Mother that's what I wanted to do, I wanted to make the Millennium Falcon fly on the screen. I spent hours in the city Library reading all I could about how they did special effects in the movies. In the 80's computer graphics started to appear in movies, I thought that looked interesting and maybe is a way into the industry. I studied Computer Animation at college and got a job in London doing mostly shampoo and tampon commercials. In the mid 90's I applied for my dream job at 'Industrial Light & Magic' in San Francisco, the company who created the effects for 'Star Wars', stupidly they said yes and I've worked there ever since. I recently accomplish my goal when I animated the Millennium Falcon doing the loop-d-loop in the new Star Wars trailer, my Mum is ever so proud!

    Back to cars: With college, London, starting a new life in the US and having two beautiful girls it never seemed the right time to buy a classic car like those I had seen in the movies as a kid. Then the prices of classic European cars went through the roof! it looked like I had missed my opportunity of owning something. About 2 years ago while animating another Spaceship this time the star-ship Enterprise my coordinator Karen saw I was browsing the interwebs for old Porsche 911's, she said her husband had an older Porsche he was looking to sell. My head popped up like a little Meerkat on guard, what year and model? It's a yellow '74 was the reply, oh that's nice and I sank back into my ergo chair. Months went by and I slowly watched the prices of early 911's go up and up, I bid on a few cars, went to see a couple on Craigslist but nothing fell into place. I was ready to give up when Karen came back into my office and said, remember that Porsche I told you about, well I got it wrong it's a '69. A beam of light hit me, I looked up towards the light and there was the little baby Jesus nodding his head. I got that feeling in my water and I knew this was the right car for me.

    Karen brought the 911T into work for me to check out and to my joy it was a very original car. It was all matching numbers with 189,000 miles on the clock. The car looked very solid, no signs of rust but the engine, suspension and interior were showing their age and mileage. The car was originally ordered in 'Canary Yellow' a special order color for '69 but this was not the original paint and it was not very well done. I knew the 'Canary' needed a lot of tlc and I needed to get the car at a good price so I could attempt to fix the issues. I talked at length with Karen's husband about the Porsche and my enthusiasm for the car got the better of him and I bought the 911 for a very reasonable price in today's crazy market. Another goal accomplished, owning a classic 911!

    More about the car. The Canary started life in Florida and found it's way to California about a decade before me. I am the 4th owner and it has been well looked after over it's life with plenty of paperwork to back that up. Looking at the COA it was a well equipt car. The options were: Leather interior, Koni shocks, stabilizers - 15" front 16" rear, 911S instrument panel and fuel tank, ignition lock, tinted glass, 15in Fuchs and special paint. There is no real rust that I can find (yet) without diving into it further. The engine although cared for (regular maintenance, Carrera chain tensioners etc) is showing signs of age. The suspension is loose to say the least and the interior is shabby.

    I decided to not rush into anything straight away, just drive it as it is, enjoy it, get to know the car for all it's good and bad. So for the past 18 months that's what I've done, I found the car leaks oil at an alarming rate, clouds of blue smoke follow me where ever I go and there are some questionable noises coming from all corners but I don't really care, I just love driving it! I love the way it sounds and the way it smells, it makes me feel like that Italian bloke driving his Miura through the Alps with his cigarette hanging out the corner of his mouth.

    Now I have that out of my system it's time to take the next step and breath new life into the Canary. The plan is simple, fix what needs to be fixed and add a bit of flair to make it my own. I have a limited budget so I need to be smart and spread the love around. The Elephant in the room is the engine, I plan on dropping the engine and taking a look. Hopefully I can do a top end rebuild to fix the issue and get a few more enjoyable miles out of the Canary without blowing the bank. The transmission shifts well and will get some upgraded fluid and new throw-out bearing, I will replace the clutch while I'm in there.

    I made a little video to show some of the finer details of the car and introduce myself (go HD!). I am no mechanic but very willing to try so I will be asking a lot of sometimes stupid questions. I plan on posting more videos and pictures of the work as I go along. I'm very excited to start the transformation of the Canary, thanks for listening.


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    Last edited by kav; 11-24-2017 at 08:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 72targa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    SF/Bay Area, CA
    Looking forward to your progress!
    Peter Kane

    '72 911S Targa
    Message Board Co-Moderator - Early 911S Registry #100

  3. #3
    It looks like you've got a fun project ahead of you! It'll be fun for us to track your progress! Thanks for sharing!
    -Chris Mohr

    S Registry #1978

  4. #4
    Welcome Paul,
    Looks like a good project. Nice video...
    Come by EASY on the first Saturday of the month and introduce yourself....

  5. #5
    Welcome, Paul!

    Thanks for that excellent introduction and sharing your adventure with the car here.

    You will get lots of support I'm sure.

    I look forward to your future posts!

    - Bryce
    1969 S Coupe #761
    Early S Registry #1624

  6. #6
    I'm not so far from you in San Rafael with a 72T and 69 912. Not sure if much translates with your car, but at least it might make for fun pictures someday. I know we're spoiled for good mechanics in the area but for your vintage I'd recommend you talk to Votz at Proshop if you get stuck !
    72 911T - 74 Alfa GTV

  7. #7

    Thumbs up

    Excellent thread Paul... welcome....

    I go up to your part of the world almost every year.... might know some of the same peeps in 'the bis' .... we'll talk

    Chuck Miller
    Creative Advisor/Message Board Moderator - Early 911S Registry #109
    R Gruppe #88

    TYP901 #62
    '73S cpe #1099 - Matched # 2.7/9.5 RS spec rebuild
    '67 Malibu 327 spt cpe - Period 350 Rebuild

    98 Chevy S-10 Utility
    04 GTI Commuter

  8. #8
    aka techweenie Eminence Gris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    West Los Angeles
    Welcome Paul, i just pinged my friend Eric in Mill Valley - he's a couple of years ahead in a similar project, so you may have an instant neighborhood support group.

    My parts fetcher: 2016 Chevy Volt | My 'other car' '04 Turbo

  9. #9
    Senior Member almostblue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Mill Valley, CA
    Not much better than the drive from Mill Valley to the top of Tam near closing.
    Others spotted in Mill Valley:
    Irish 912 (on a daily commute over the GG Bridge), Light Yellow Targa, GPW 72 911, Red 69 911 with 3.0, Sand Beige 912 Softy, 964 Speedster, Grey 65 SC outlaw, Signal Orange 914, Blue 356C, and about 120 SC/Carrera Targsa!

  10. #10
    Early S Reg #1395 LongRanger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    High Desert, Area 53
    Hey, Paul . . .

    Cool way to bring-up your project --- that little video. Looks like a solid-enough car to start with, too, but --- with all that smoke . . . that one Poor Guy walking musta gotten a lung-full

    Love that color, too

    Here's another 'yellow' project . . .

    . . . and some fresh color --- for inspo . . .
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