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Thread: Modifying 911's

  1. #1

    Modifying 911's

    What are people's thought on modifying an early 911? Do you think they should remain as the factory built them since they're getting rarer every day or is it okay to upgrade suspension, body parts, engine?

  2. #2

    Violating old 911's

    Personally, I think the old 911's are worth keeping in their original condition, some more so than some of the others. The early 911S models are under valued at present and should see an increase in value over the next few years. I think an early 'S' should be considered a priority over any other early (pre '73) model simply because of the trend they started leading to the infamous Turbo models. In 1973, of course, the 'RS' was introduced and is still a masterpiece. I'm a sucker for originallity,but by the same token I do think that if you are going to spend all that cash restoring a vehicle you might as well use the original colour with a new-technology, better-quality paint.

    I'm in love with the '67 'S' models. Currently I have two originals. One is from the 'preproduction' 1966 run and the other is an actual '67 production run vehicle. The '66 is really beaten up. As such a sports car from those days was intended to be, she was a race car, a rallaye race car. She has all the dents and bruises to prove it. She has been touched up with the original ireland green but really needs to be stripped and dipped. The really marvelous thing is that the car is complete. she even has the original AM/FM/SW Blaupunkt radio with the race course mods for driver/navigator and track communications (I don't know if it works yet). The other has seen some autocross racing and needs a bit of a pull back to staright. She is on her third coat of paint and in places four. At one time she was violated with a whale tail and someone hammered out the wheel openings into flares - oh well.

    With a shorter wheel base than in later years these cars are really raw. They'll bite back at an inexperienced driver by swapping ends when cornered improperly. Personally, I like hanging the back end out. Of the about 1100 cars that were produced during the first run I'm sure a fair number have gone to the bone-yard. For a real keeper, look for a '67 'R'. Only 23 were produced as rolling test beds. Four were prototypes and then there were 19 'production' models. These cars set many records and proved the engine design once and for all. These cars had higher compression than the 'S' models and significantly more horses. It would really be a great loss if one of these were turned into an 'updated' machine. Oh well, to each his own.

  3. #3

    911 Modifications

    To answer your question... I am a bit of a purist and don't beleive in making changes to cars that will lose value if specific changes are made. The changes that I have made on all of my early "S" cars are as follows: chain tensioners, turbo tie rods, shift linkage, front oil cooler (factory original only) but under no circumstances have I made body mods to my cars.

    Of course, these are personal preferences, but the intrinsic value of the car will be compromised if non-factory items are added. Pimped out cars will bring substantially less value than a bone stock car, especially since these cars are getting rarer do to rust, accidents, etc. If the car is a "T", then knock yourself out and have a ball. Great car, but very plentiful in the marketplace taking it away from collector status. The "E" is, in some cases, rarer the the "S", so this too has serious potential to collectors.

    Hope this helps.

    Best Regards,

    Marc Weintraub

  4. #4

    Father Porsche knows best!

    I am a huge fan of the early 911. I believe that statement says it all. If you don't really like what your car is intended to be, you are not really a fan of the early 911. If you wish it was something other than what it is, or that it looked like something that it isn't, once again you are not a true FANATIC of the EARLY 911!
    By the way, I just finished an exhausting search for an early car to make a track car with CORRECT flares! These 911 T's that we take for granted as being so plentiful are getting very tough to find. Any decent T has an asking price in the 9k range and I live in So Cal where these alleged plentiful and "cheap" cars are a dime a dozen. Granted, the S is very rare and the E is just as rare but the "everyday" T is disappearing now too. It has fallen victim to rust, time, accidents, heavy exporting, super heavy modification, "oh it's just a T" no big deal. I ended up paying 5k for a good paint, minimal rust, hideous interior, wrong (2.2 T zenith ick!) motor, wrong 901 4-speed (double yuck) trans, engine fire, salvage title 72 911T. Before you think that was too much, keep in mind that I looked from San Diego to San Fernando and this was the best for my purpose. I WILL NOT "ruin" a nice, straight, unmodiFied (9K +) car, and I will build a semi period correct 2.4s race car. I will not be like the HORDES of guys with early cars with RS flares that are commonplace at PCA and POC events.

  5. #5

    Modifying early 911's

    The early 911's should be keep original. The early cars with
    lots of chrome, clean lines, date themselves in a good way.
    I'm in favor of upgrading chain tensioners, tie-rod ends, rubber,
    and cams, but don't touch the body. Paint should be kept to
    a factory color for that particular year. These cars are classics.

  6. #6

    Modifying early 911's

    I agree with racea911. If the reason for modifying an early 911 is to make it more like a later car, sell it and buy a later car, save the old original cars for those who love them as they are. But things that add performance and reliablity are worth doing, such as pressure fed tensioners, tie-rods, shocks, better tires, etc.
    Oh and the "R" is definately THE ultimate early 911 IMO. Light, short wheel base, and the 906 engine, awsome!

  7. #7

    modifying 911's

    Saving any 911 is a good thing. When I bought my 911s for $1200.00 and a cal. Look VW. The 911 was barely drivabl. After welding in a front 1/2 pan under suspension, inner and outer rocker panels, a torsion tub, stripping it to bar metal and new paint by myself, I had a car. Then over the next 20 years I have fixed every thing else on it. It ant a concours machine but its paid for and not in a Junk Yard! LGrover

  8. #8

    Re: modifying 911's

    I agree with the prior posts. Rest assured that these cars are disappearing fast. (At least, clean, unmolested ones.) Even good T's are getting harder to find. Each month there are fewer and fewer cars for sale in all of the classifieds. I spent the first half of 2000 looking for an early 911. My search covered most of the eastern US and I was amazed at the lack of quality cars on the market. I looked at several cars in my area and finally found an original, clean 1973.5 911T for now. (I know it isn't an S but it is a great car in it's own right.) Most of the cars that I looked at were modified in some way. I am not opposed to period correct enhancements but think that they should be kept to things that can be undone. If you must modify your car, keep several things in mind. First, remember that you probably won't be the last person to own it. Save the original parts for the next guy. He may not want a whale tail or blacked out trim on his early 911. Second, consider the simple fact that Porsche just isn't making them anymore.

  9. #9

    modi discussion

    O K....I observe that most protagonists have spoken. The unofficial consensus is in and all early original 911's should not be harmed in they're natural habitat, therefore we will officially be creating a sanctuary for these "type" cars calling it PCA. BTW...make sure you all watch or "rollback" the odometers to consevre your investment dollars OR you can trailor in your cars to any gatherings so that the tires and rock chips won't devalue a car "that was meant to be driven hard and fast".....NEXT......anyone for bridge????

  10. #10

    Modifying 911's


    I don't think that was the point. Everyone is entitled to do what they want with their respective cars, but these cars are getting very rare. This is not to say that they shouldn't be driven, but as the miles add up, so does the wear. I guess it all depends on what you want from your car... if this is your primary driver, and if you care about the collectability of the car. Ultimately the choice is yours, but as someone else had said in a prior response they wanted to add flares and change out the engine, etc. Well, why butcher a car when you could by a 74 or later with flares and a bad engine for considerably less money. Change out the engine and build it out the way you want.

    The Porsche, especially the early 911"S" is rare to begin with and getting rarer. If you follow any of the collector cars, such as Jaguar XKE's, MGA's, Lotus, some Ferrari's, a few Maserati's and you compare value, production numbers, and reliability, the Porsche wins handsdown and they can be driven daily if kept up. The European markets have recognized the value of the early "S" cars and their respective values have been going up over the last year. The more original the car, the more they have been sold for.

    Still, I understand your point and I beleive these cars should be driven. They will actually last much longer if they are. Without question, they are a dieing breed and should be preserved. If I am very lucky I will have the only one left with original paint, interior, engine, etc. and it will be worth that much more.


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