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1972

Classic icons: Porsche 911T v 911E v 911S

In issue 159 of Total 911 we compared the 991.2 Carrera, GTS and Turbo S, declaring them the “modern-day interpretations of the 911 T, E and S”. Now, we’re rewinding the clock 45 years to the classic originals. Meet the mainstream F-series range as it was in 1973, the final year of the ‘long bonnet’ before the impact-bumpered G-series arrived, a move which changed the 911’s look forever.

Why ‘mainstream’? Well, as Porsche enthusiasts, we all have ‘1973’ branded on our collective consciousness as the year of the first road-going Rennsport. The Carrera 2.7 RS is a fully paid-up icon and arguably the greatest 911 ever made, yet, then as now, it was exclusive and expensive. So, just as we excluded GT models from our 991.2 triple test, the RS fails to fit the brief here.

The three-tier 911 hierarchy was established in 1968, when the entry-level T (Touring) and mid-range L (Luxury) joined the flagship S (Super) – the latter introduced in 1967. At this stage, all had 2.0-litre engines and a 2,210mm wheelbase. The carburettor-fed L gave way to the fuel-injected E (Einspritzung) in 1969, when wheelbase was lengthened to 2,271mm. A year later, the flat six grew to 2.2-litres, then 2.4-litres in 1972. The 2.4 F-series models were thus in production for just two years, compared with 15 for the G-series.

The three cars gathered today – kindly sourced by Paul Stephens in Essex – all hail from 1973, and look near identical at first glance. Get closer, though, and it’s apparent there are detail differences, most obviously the colour of the engine shroud: black on the 130hp T, green on the 165hp E and red on the 190hp S. However, as those power outputs suggest, by far the biggest difference is felt on the road.

I start in the middle with the 911E: a model Paul describes as “undervalued”. This particular example is resplendent in Light ivory (colour code: 131) on polished 6×15-inch Fuchs. It’s the only UK car here, which explains the round door mirrors – both the T and S are US imports and sport rectangular mirrors – while the absence of optional bumper over-riders or chrome wheel arch trims results in a cleaner look.

The E being a right-hooker helps me acclimatise more quickly, yet there’s still much that feels alien about a 911 of this era. The hand throttle, a hinged choke lever nestled between the seats, is one notable quirk, as are floor-hinged pedals that force you to skew your legs towards the centre of the car. Unassisted steering and a five-speed 915 gearbox that’s obstructive when cold are further features that would confound drivers of modern machines – not least anyone accustomed to water-cooled 911s.

To read the full article on our Porsche 911T vs E vs S mega test, pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 161, in shops now and available to buy here or download.

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Sales Spotlight: Porsche 911S 2.4

When Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS values began to skyrocket four or five years ago, one of the first Neunelfers to follow suit was the 2.4-litre 911S. Arguably more practical than its Rennsport big brother, the 2.4S was the next best thing for classic Porsche enthusiasts who could no longer afford the ’73 RS’s thrills.

Over the years, prices of Porsche 911 2.4Ss (built between 1972 and 1973) gradually crept upwards reaching a point 12 months or so ago where the very best cars were sat at dealers with price tags a considerable way north of £200,000.

Now though, with a slight revaluation of the classic Porsche 911 market, these iconic Neunelfers have settled back at slightly more sensible values, as evidenced by not one but two examples currently available at esteemed specialist, Paul Stephens, both of which are priced under £160,000.

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Incredibly, both cars are from the 1972 model year, meaning that they feature the idiosyncratic oil filler flap on the right rear arch. Offered for just a single year, the ‘oelklappe’ models are, thanks to their additional rarity, especially desirable.

Paul Stephens’ two examples were both originally delivered to Italy, with the Sepia Brown 911 2.4S then travelling to the Netherlands before arriving in the UK in 2001, having covered just 50,976km (31,675 miles), at which point it was fitted with a new speedo and odometer reading in miles per hour.

Having covered an additional 18,061 miles since its expatriation to the UK, the Sepia Brown car has been kept in superbly original (and usable) condition, with the only change to its specification the fitment of some desirable period Recaro sports seats.

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The Light Ivory Porsche 911S 2.4 has been preserved beautifully over the years by the likes of Autofarm, retaining all of its original features, including its matching numbers flat six.

Having completed just 5,000 miles since the often-finicky 915 gearbox was rebuilt in 2012, the car’s current owners haven’t let the 2.4S want for anything, keeping it in fine aesthetic and mechanical fettle. Offered for sale at £159,995 it seems like a relative bargain.

If you fancy a Porsche 911 2.4S for your garage, you can see more information on these two examples, and the rest of Paul Stephens’ stock, by visiting their website now.

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Porsche Classic restores genuine 911 ST for 2016 Techno Classica

Today marks the opening of the 2016 Techno Classica, the annual historic automotive celebration held in Essen. To coincide with the opening of the show, Porsche Classic has unveiled its latest completed project: a perfectly restored, Porsche 911 2.5 S/T.

Just 24 genuine 911 S/Ts – based on the Porsche 911 2.4S road car – were built in period, with this particular car having enjoyed a class victory at the 1972 24 Hours of Le Mans with none other than Jürgen Barth at the wheel.

Despite its incredible history – including appearances at Sebring, Nürburgring and the Targa Florio in 1972 – this particular Porsche 911 was found by a US collector a few years ago in what Alexander Fabig, head of Porsche Classic, describes as “a really dilapidated condition”.

Porsche 911 ST before resto

Costing 49,680 Deutschmarks in period (a 61 per cent hike over the standard 2.4S), this Porsche 911 2.5 S/T had, at some point in its life, been updated to G-Series specification and had also suffered accident damage, crudely repaired by a previous owner.

Like many classic Porsche 911s, the dreaded rust worm had also set in, eating away at the rear arches. The body shell, therefore required extensive work by Porsche Classic, Zuffenhausen’s restoration arm having to carefully repair the rare flared arches while fitting new panels where appropriate.

To protect the newly rebuilt shell from further corrosion, Porsche put the 911 2.5 S/T through the same process as its latest production cars using cathodic dip painting to protect the body before the shell was finished in the original Light Yellow (paint code 117 for those, like us, who find that sort of detail fascinating).

Porsche 911 ST Le Mans period

The end result looks truly stunning but, as Fabig points out, the project was not just a showcase of Porsche Classic’s skills. “This project is unparalleled and of great historical significane,” he explains.

Much of Porsche’s reputation has been built on its racing successes, with the lessons learned on the Porsche 911 2.5 S/T directly feeding into the development of the original Porsche 911 Carrera 2.8 RSR.

In turn, the 911 RSR breed has continued to accrue myriad international victories since its inception while also allowing Porsche to transfer the knowledge it gains on the track into its road cars, like the latest 991 GT3 RS.

In issue 130, we got behind the wheel of genuine, factory-built Porsche 911 2.5 S/T. To read our high-octane test drive in full, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device now.

Restored Porsche 911 ST running

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Super 911s: 1967-72 Porsche 911S group test

These are the 911Ss. For six years they topped the 911 range; the fastest, the most luxurious, the most expensive. Then the RS was unveiled to an enthralled Zuffenhausen faithful in 1973.

The S remained ‘Super’ for one more year but, as the 911 headed into the impact-bumper era it was usurped again, with the 911 Carrera 2.7 becoming prince to the Carrera 3.0 RS’s king.

In 1978 the 911S died out altogether, amalgamated with the Carrera bloodline to form the SC. Its return to global-production 911s would take nearly two decades, with the launch of the 993 Carrera 4S in 1995 reviving the tradition of this smoothly snaking Latin letter.

Porsche 911S 2.2

As of now, each generation of water-cooled 911 has featured at least a single Carrera S in the range.

Thanks to its turbulent history post-1973, all pre-impact-bumper 911Ss enjoy a special place in Porsche folklore, reflected by today’s astounding classic values.

12 months ago this mouth-watering, air-cooled triumvirate could have graced your collection for the price of a single 1973 Carrera RS. Now your £300,000 budget is unlikely to even secure two of these 911 icons, such has been the surge of interest in this famed variant.

Porsche 911S 2.0

The 2.7 RS may often steal the plaudits, but it owes its fabled reputation more to the track than the road; it was the S that took on the responsibility for cementing the 911 legend during those formative years.

Yet, with production of this classic halo car spanning seven and a half years (resulting in 2.0-litre, 2.2-litre and 2.4-litre variants), which series of 911S should you set your sights on?

To read a full history of the pre-impact bumper generation of 911S, including a comprehensive road test of each, pick up Total 911 issue 120 in store or online now. Alternatively download your copy for up to 30% off.

Porsche 911S driving

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Seven stunning photos that will make you want to go on a road trip

As we head into autumn and winter, the weather is becoming less conducive for spirited driving. However, in the latest issue of Total 911, we were lucky enough to head on an incredible road trip to the south of France at the wheel of a classic Porsche 911 hot rod.

On the way to discovering driving nirvana in the mountain passes of the Alps and Pyrenees, we found some stunning scenery. After checking out these seven superb photos, you’ll just want to down tools, forget about the weather, and head off on your own epic journey.

To read more of our incredible trip to the south of France in a classic 911 hot rod pick up a copy of Total 911 issue 119 in store or online now. Alternatively, you can download a copy immediately to your digital device.

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