911 L 2.0 – 130 ch [1968]

This 1968 Porsche 911L Is A Solid Gold Rockstar ($150,000)

 

At a Glance

  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Seller: Jeff Suhy (co-owned by Troy Snyder) | @pynhead
  • Price: $150,000
  • Chassis: 1180533
  • Engine: Original Type 901/06 2.0-liter flat-six
  • Mileage: 74,154
  • Transmission: Original Five-speed manual
  • Color: Gold Metallic (2006)
  • Cabin: Original with dealer optional Sport Recaro Seats
  • Sympathetically restored in 2006
  • Follow the cars travel and social media history #gold911L

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AN LA ICON

The 60s – Sex. Drugs. Rock ‘n Roll.

And most importantly, cars.

The decade which saw the birth of The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix simultaneously introduced some of the greatest automobiles of all time.  We can all agree, this was quite the time to be alive.  Naturally, sports cars and Rock ‘n Roll go hand in hand, which is the case for this special 1968 Porsche 911L.  

This car’s story begins in the ever bohemian Laurel Canyon of Los Angeles – the epicenter for psychedelic rock experimentation.

At the forefront of this movement was Paul Rothchild, the original owner of this 911L, and the famous studio producer for The Doors, among other artist like Janis Joplin (a fellow Porsche owner) and Joni Mitchell. In ‘66, Paul Rothchild was working at Sunset Studies and tasked with producing a recent Elektra Records signed then-unknown four-man group called The Doors.  Rothchild’s recording talents and ability to work seamlessly with Jim Morrison and the rest earned him the nickname “The Fifth Door” – quite the testament to his craft.

 

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Shortly after the release of The Doors second album, titled Strange Days, Rothchild bought this (originally) Dark Green Metallic 911L new in August of 1968. Through the industry, Rothchild became good friends with fellow-big-time-producer David Anderle—who famously signed Frank Zappa and cofounded Brother Records with Brian Wilson, the ‘architect’ behind the Beach Boys.  The Sixties were wild times, which might explain why Rothchild gifted his beloved one-year-old 911 to David Anderle in 1969–perhaps he felt the car, like the gift of music, should be be shared?  In any case, David Anderle became the proud new caretaker of Rothchild’s Porsche, a great honor he held for more than 25 years.

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(David with Rita Coolidge | Recording with Kris Kristofferson | Studio with Bonnie and Delaney)

In 1989, a novice Jeff Suhy joined A&M Studios under the wing of the by-then-iconic David Anderle. Over many years of mentorship, Jeff and David formed a strong friendship.  A bond so great that in 1995, David tossed Jeff his Porsche key and said he reminded him of his younger self and that if he wanted to accurately follow in his footsteps, Jeff needed to be the next custodian of Rothchild’s Porsche—a day that forever changed Jeff’s life.  Again, a gifted transaction – what is it with these musicians?

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Jeff worked hand in hand with David as the VP of Artists & Repertoire at A&M Records until 1999.  In that time he was responsible for the rise of artists like Sheryl Crow and Soundgarden.  After leaving the music industry, the 911 remained a keepsake of his roots in LA music.  Some of you may recognize Jeff from his participation in the LA car enthusiast scene, most recently showing the 911 at Luftgekuhlt but also as a previous feature of Petrolicious in his beloved Citroen DS.

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(Jeff Suhy with Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers | Jeff and Soundgarden)

THE CAR

Despite their premium MSRP compared to cheaper competitors, it’s no secret the Porsche 911 has been a smashing hit since its debut at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show. With current demand for all-things-air-cooled, the desire for early longhood 911 is growing. The 911L was the most expensive 911 offered for the American market at the time since the 911S did not comply with emissions regulations at the time.  In effect, the car is essentially a base 911 featuring the 130 hp 2.0-liter engine but came standard with the superior 911S suspension and brakes—only 449 L models were made in 1968.

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CONDITION

The 2006 restoration was well done and still holding strong nearly 10 years later.  Jeff’s Porsche is simply in great condition and been well cared for since its sympathetic restoration.  

We’ve broken the car pros and cons of the car down in the following sections.

Exterior Highlights

The gold is a unique change from the typical Porsche color palette and its depth works wonders with the contrasting black Fuchs.  

  • The body is straight and the chassis is strong
  • Rust free thanks to its dry life in California, with only a few years recently spent in Oregon
  • Extremely high quality respray

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Exterior Blemishes

The exterior has a few minor blemishes primarily incurred from the car’s recent excursion from Portland to Los Angeles. The car was involved in a minor accident in early 70’s, but the unibody was not compromised by the collision. 

  • Two paint nicks near antenna
  • One paint nick near driver side door handle

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Interior Highlights

  • Dash and headliner are immaculate
  • Carpets, though not original, are in very good condition
  • All interior electronics and buttons are functional

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Interior Blemishes

  • Slight patina on center of steering wheel and lip surrounding instrument gauges 

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Mechanical Highlights

  • Engine restored @ 47k miles, meticulously maintained since (all records available)
  • Flat-six motor and five-speed are numbers matching (Porsche Certificate of Authenticity)
  • A recent pre-sale inspection by Dorian Valenzuela at DV Mechanic’s confirmed a clean bill of health
  • Car completed drive from Portland to Los Angeles without issue in June 2015

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Mechanical Blemishes

  • While well maintained, the engine is not polished cosmetically

Underside

  • The underside is all original, freshened and in great condition
  • No surface or structural rust

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ORIGINALITY

Shortly into his tenure, David Anderle, perhaps unsurprising considering his line of work, installed an AM/FM radio—which is still equipped. In June 1970, while dining at the Continental Restaurant, a valet damaged the paintwork on the left door and rear quarter panel. Upon taking the car in for repair, Porsche informed David the car’s factory green paint was no longer available. By August of that year, David had the car completely resprayed in “Laguna Grey.” In August 1970, the car returned to the dealership for upgraded Sports Recaro Seats—a rather rare option. According to records, David had the side markers shaved and, again, had the car repainted in 1977.

With the exception of the stereo, new carpet, and dealer installed Recaro buckets, the interior is in great condition and was restored using OEM materials.

Although not the original to the car, the OE special order metallic finish is not something you typically see on Porsches. 

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Vehicle Color History

Circa 2000, Jeff had the heater box removed and a performance exhaust installed for a little more grunt and mechanical audio. Speaking of, Jeff also added speakers in the door cards and a hidden amplifier—after all, this car should probably have a decent stereo.  

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In 2005, Troy Snyder (co-owner) proposed splitting restoration expenses in exchange for partial ownership of the car, to which Jeff agreed. With tired, near 30-year-old paint, the body was in need of re-freshening, so it went back to the paint booth. This time around, Jeff and Troy went with a factory Metallic Gold, which was an OEM special order color in 1968. 

Non-Original Items Recap

  • Upgraded Sports Recaro Seats
  • Gold Metallic color (period correct)
  • Sports exhaust headers
  • Speakers in doors

Documentation

The car’s history is fully documented including Paul’s initial invoice and window sticker from Siegfried Motors in New Jersey and David’s maintenance and repairs at Bob Smith Porsche in Hollywood.

  • Initial Invoice
  • Window Sticker
  • Original Owners Manual
  • Original Toolkit
  • Service Records
  • Restoration Receipts
  • Porsche Certificate of Authenticity 

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Ownership Timeline

  •  Paul Rothschild | new-1969 | Los Angeles, CA
  •  David Anderle | 1969-1995 | Los Angeles, CA
  •  Jeff Suhy | 1995-present | Los Angeles, CA
  •  Bob Suhy + Jeff Suhy | 1998-2005 | Chicago, IL
  •  Troy Snyder + Jeff Suhy | 2005-present | Portland OR + Los Angeles, CA

2005 Restoration

The car was completely disassembled and the body was taken down to bare metal for a complete respray and ground up restoration.  After the metallic gold was applied and sealed with ample layers of clear coat, the car was painstakingly reconstructed with all new rubber components throughout, to include window seals and squeegees, suspension bushings, and engine mounts. 

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The collaborated restoration between Troy and Jeff was completed in 2006 and has since only been driven on occasion. The suspension was overhauled in 2006 and Jeff notes the car drives as close to a factory fresh ‘68 911 possible—the suspension has only seen a few thousand miles since the rebuild with $5k in additional mechanicals refreshed in 2012.

 After completing the restoration, Troy and Jeff briefly returned the freshly rebuilt 911 to David Anderle for old time’s sake before he passed away.

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Our Thoughts

If you are looking for an early 911 to win an originality trophy at a concours, this is the wrong car for you – this car has had way too much fun in its life for that.  This is, however, a low mileage turnkey car you can enjoy immediately.  Aside from its musical ties, each owner has loved this car and it shows.  We all remember when these cars were worth next to nothing, but here it is sitting proud and ready for its next chapter.

Jim Morrison once said “A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.”  We think the same applies to cars. Our fire is lit, is yours?

Meet The Seller

This car is for sale by Jeff Suhy (IG: @pynhead).  You can learn more about him in this previous episode on Petrolicious.

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The soundtrack in this film in tribute to David Anderle and was crafted by Adam Franklin, of the band Swervedriver, and an artist signed and managed collectively by Jeff Suhy and David Anderle.

Written by Andrew Golseth

 

Photography by Nima Salimi

Drive Tastefully

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Lux: Porsche 911L test drive

‘L’ must be one of the least exhilarating letters in the automotive world – and especially for those who appreciate Porsche 911s. After all, ‘L’ usually refers to long-wheelbase models, but letters such as S, R, RS, GT or GTS, well, enthusiasts pay more notice to those!

There has been one L in the 911 range and, as it happens, it adorned a car with pride of place in the 911 lineage.

In the days leading up to our drive in the 911L, social media was abuzz as the world’s motoring media descended on the new, improved Kyalami circuit in Johannesburg, South Africa, to attend the international launch of the 991.2 Turbo and Turbo S (see issue 137).

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This morning, before Porsche’s fastest production 911s set off on their hot laps, the track’s management allowed us to grace the newly laid tarmac with a special 911 from the 1960s – a model never before featured in the pages of this magazine – the 911L from 1968.

As is the case today, back at the start of the 911’s production life, Porsche didn’t wait too long to update the range. By the end of 1966, the firm introduced the 911S for the 1967 model year.

By the end of that year, Porsche changed the 911’s range again, adding the T (Touring) as well as the L. The L featured several of the S’s features, but not its more powerful engine (the former still offered 130bhp at 6,100rpm). This was partly owing to US regulations but it did, however, feature the S’s ventilated disc brakes.

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By 1968 the 911 range comprised of the T, L and S. But, even though Porsche had little experience in terms of its customers’ demands, the firm was learning quickly with every passing year.

The L was another chapter, albeit a very short one, with the company testing the proverbial waters in the European and US markets. For the American market, Porsche made a few changes to the engine to comply with the emission requirements.

Compared with the European engines, these US-specification units featured a V belt driven air pump, which blows air into the exhaust manifolds when the throttle is closed. In line with Porsche’s aim to offer a luxury version of the 911 with a softer ride, the front anti-roll diameter was also reduced from 13mm to 11mm.

To read more of our Porsche 911L test drive, pick up Total 911 issue 138 in store today. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

IP Porsche 911L 061

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Porsche 911 2.0-litre: ultimate guide

As the Porsche 911 gets bigger, faster and evermore luxurious, it’s easy to forget that there was once a much simpler way. Nothing epitomises that more than the car featured here.

A 911 shorn of the electronic driver aids and the clever aerodynamic enhancements we’ve become used to seeing with every new generation, scrolling back half a century brings us to this, the short wheelbase (SWB) 911.

Back in 1964, when the 911 was finally launched to an expectant public, this was a sports car that looked impossibly pretty. Delicate and with a purity of line that, some argue, has been lost in the race for ballistic performance and the ability to brag about lap times, the simplicity of Porsche’s approach was more than a little breathtaking.

Porsche 911 2.0-litre interior

And that simplicity extended to a two-door coupe body shell that was constructed – beautifully, it should be said, and with traditional attention to detail – as a straightforward steel monocoque.

Little was needed by way of embellishment, certainly no ungainly spoilers or other aerodynamic protuberances, just the slimmest of bumpers and with chrome surrounds for the windows and delicate grilles adjacent to the sidelight/indicator units.

Chrome was also used for the small door mirror and handles, and the whole effect was one of neatness and understatement. This was truly a case of function over form, and the earliest 911 was all the better for it.

Porsche 911 2.0-litre engine

A Targa model would appear in 1967 with its now-iconic steel roll hoop and a zip-out plastic rear window, although this latter feature proved fiddly and 1968 saw a fixed-glass item offered as an option.

But whatever the body style, the dimensions too were somewhat less than we’re used to today, a SWB car measuring around 30 centimetres shorter overall and 20 centimetres narrower than a current 991 Carrera.

To read our full Porsche 911 2.0-litre ultimate guide, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 123 in store now. Alternatively, order it online for home delivery or download it straight to your digital device.

Porsche 911 2.0-litre rear

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1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427, 1968 Porsche 911L in Head 2 Head

1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427 vs 1968 Porsche 911L - Motor Trend WOT We determine whether a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427 is better than a 1968 Porsche 911L in this new Head 2 Head.

This week’s episode of Head 2 Head kicks off at Neptune’s Net, a popular seafood restaurant located off Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu,Calif., and it’s not because host Jonny Lieberman was craving some fish n’ chips. It’s because he had the1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427 and 1968 Porsche 911L on his hands, so he thought it’d only be appropriate to showcase the two vintage cars at a classic Southern California location. But one of the cars is better than the other. Which is it?

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