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Thread: Date codes, how close is close enough?

  1. #1

    Date codes, how close is close enough?

    Hello All!
    Just beginning to restore my 71 T. It will not ever (while I own it anyway) be concours judged. But I would like it to be restored as close as I can afford to original, should the next owner decide to have it judged. Iím not building it to sell, but eventually Iím sure it will change hands down the road. Iíd rather not have anything that I do to it during the restoration be a hindrance to the value later on.

    My car was built 12/70 according to the VIN sticker on the B pillar. When it comes to parts that were outsourced by the factory, what kind of variance could one find? My cylinder heads are dated 5x at 10-70 and 1 at 11-70. What kind of date range would be acceptable for the wheels? Iím guessing it would be in the same 2-3 month range???

    Thanks for your guidance. Iíve only been a member here for 2 months and have already learned a lot!

    Dan
    1971 911T project
    1999 Boxster

  2. #2
    Senior Member raspritz's Avatar
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    Nobody is going to pull heads or wheels to check date codes at concourse. Furthermore, with all due respect, a restored '71T will never be invited to be shown on the lawn at Pebble Beach. I restored my '69T with almost all NOS parts, which was quite heroic given how many are one-year-only. My mechanic marveled that I certainly have the "newest" '69 911 on the planet. But at a certain point I had to get realistic.
    Rich Spritz

    1959 BMC Huffaker Mk1 Formula Junior racecar
    1967 Porsche 911 racecar
    1969 Porsche 911T
    1973 Merlyn Mk24 Formula Ford racecar
    2007 Porsche 997C4 cab (totaled by an idiot running a stop sign)
    2014 Porsche 991 TurboS cab

  3. #3
    Rich, thank you. I appreciate your response. I guess my question is more aimed at a potential buyer down the road, rather than a concours judge.
    1971 911T project
    1999 Boxster

  4. #4
    Senior Member ejboyd5's Avatar
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    For most people any part that is appropriate to your car's year and type, i.e., a 1971 911T, would suffice. That would include parts dated after your car was built as long as the part did not change in design or finish from what was available as of the build date. Other more picky folks might be looking for items dated prior to the build date of the car, but they would make up a small number of potential buyers. When questioning the "lag time" between when a part was made and when a car was assembled, you are embarking upon a very slippery speculative slope best left to the Corvette fans who seem to really care about such inconsequential matters. To argue 50 years later whether a part could have made it from a subcontractor to a final assembly plant in one day, or one week, or one month, seems rather pointless as there are too many variables to ever attain a consensus. On the other side, what about that box of three year old parts that were never installed on cars, were just discovered, and Porsche didn't want to discard. If they were the same as the present production part (or close thereto functionally) they would simply be thrown into the hopper and would become attached to a much newer vehicle even though their dates were way in the past. Don't obsess, drive your car and enjoy it.

  5. #5
    EJ Perfect! That’s what I was looking for, but didn’t know how to ask the question properly.

    I highly doubt my restoration will get the attention of the “picky buyer” crowd, although I will do my best to bring it back properly. within reason. (A $5000 set of matching date coded wheels, compared to, as you say, the correct wheels that would have been available on the same made range, but dated later and/or random dates)

    As for when it is finished, I truly look forward to driving/enjoying every mile I possibly can!
    1971 911T project
    1999 Boxster

  6. #6
    Nobody will ever tell the date codes of your wheels when they see it. I wouldn’t worry about it at all as said above. I obsess over some cases but only when valuable and all original.
    The early Sís...

    1967 S sport kit
    1969 GT-S werks
    1973 RS (an honorary S?)

    My real passion are 356ís

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I bought a numbers matching, Sepia Brown, 71 911T with a sunroof and tan interior in August of 1973. I have since changed the engine 3 times, swapped the transmission for a 915, added RS flares, swapped the rear wheels for a pair of 8 X 15s, gutted the interior and added a pair of dark brown Scheel-Mann seats, removed the sunroof, traded the bumpers for plastic RS stuff., added H4 headlights, added an oil cooler, removed the side decos, swapped the front suspension for one from a 86 Carrera, changed the radio at least 6 times, threw away the original door panels, and God only knows all the other stuff I have done to this car. It still has it's original Sepia Brown color and the glove door box is still the original one. I like it much more now! I don't give a rat's a** about resale as it will be staying in the family till it rusts away to oblivion (not likely).

    Regards

    Jim
    PS: Oh yea, the muffler isn't original, either
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  8. #8
    Senior Member ejboyd5's Avatar
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    Jim: What a fantastic collection of exhaust tips. Show us more.

  9. #9
    Haha Jim, I love it!

    Funny part is, I'll be doing the exact opposite of what you've done. Mine has a fiberglass widebody kit on it now ( poorly installed many years ago) so I'm going back to the narrow set of fenders/quarters. It currently has a 2400cc VW drag racing motor installed, but the pleasant surprise when I went to pick it up was the original motor was all there (completely torn apart, but there) and the seller forgot that he had it!

    I've always wanted an air cooled 911, had the red cabriolet poster on my bedroom wall in the early 80's. An odd series of circumstances, some would call it providence, led me to this one and a very low price made the 20 hour round trip worth the effort. My iPad won't let me upload any pics (invalid file format) so I'll post a pic from my computer later.

    Thanks to all that have shared their knowledge over the years. I've been reading the various threads on your restorations and have enjoyed and learned from them. Maybe as I get farther into my build, I'll start my own build thread. This will be my first restoration, but not my first build. I'm coming in to the 911 hobby from the hot rod world as a parts manufacturer/fabricator/machinist. Hence my user name.

    Dan
    1971 911T project
    1999 Boxster

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Great story. Just make it what you want and enjoy it. I’ve loved every minute of my ownership, well, almost every minute.

    Regards

    Jim

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