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forward-dated 911 SC: back to the future

The road ahead is deserted, its twisting Tarmac totally bereft of traffic. A thick wall of trees lines the roadside, their density willing us to keep moving our 991 towards the setting sun.

A look in the rear-view mirror reveals much the same story behind us. The highway is empty, save for two hazy yellow lights in the far distance. However, as the minutes tick by, those lights become more prominent. Glancing briefly at the road ahead, my eyes return to the 991’s rear-view mirror, fixated on those yellow lights coming quickly towards us. There’s a red hue visible between them now. A bonnet. A roof. A windscreen. It’s a car.

The rate at which this car is closing in on us is astonishing. It surges up the stretch of road behind us, revealing more detail with each passing second as its features become ever larger in our mirrors. A 964, I think to myself, catching its chunky front PU with integrated side lights. Then, roaring up behind us, the 964 pulls out and shoots past, gliding back in line and charging up the road ahead. Now the confusion sets in: replete with one-piece bumper, full-width rear reflector with clear ‘Porsche’ script, a distinctive tea tray spoiler and wheels with the lip and profile of Cup-spec alloys, the visual cues give this car away as a 964 3.3 Turbo. However, the mechanical howl of that flat six as it shot past certainly wasn’t akin to the noise of a 911 with an exhaust turbocharger bolted on. So, what on earth has just overtaken us on this rural stretch of Swedish asphalt?

Luckily, we don’t have to wait too long to find out. Not 20 minutes later we pull into a gas station and there, sitting by the pumps in front, is our mystery Porsche 911, being fuelled by its joint owner, Andreas. Originally a 1982 SC, the car was converted to a 964-look of sorts before Andreas and co-owner Lennart bought the car, though closer inspection of that one-piece Strosek front PU shows it to be more 944 than 911. We’re also told the rear bumper mimics that of a 3.0 RS. A peek inside reveals the car’s true age, its Pasha interior an obvious giveaway. Not that this car is trying to hide anything: Andreas and Lennart have even left the ‘SC’ lettering on the car’s decklid.

In our contemporary world where backdating a 911 is all the rage, the idea of a forward-dated 911 makes for an odd concept, but one which, in a bygone era, was a popular conversion. Due to the large spectrum of interchangeable parts on air-cooled 911s, many found favour with the idea of swapping a few panels to make an older model look just like one which had only just rolled off the production line at Zuffenhausen. Much like backdating, how convincing the car looked depended largely on how far you were willing to go, or how much you were willing to spend. So what of the car we’ve caught up with?

Andreas tells me he and Lennart bought the car in its current guise, complete with ‘teardrop’ wing mirrors commonly found on later 964s. “We found favour with how different it was compared to other SCs, and especially liked how it drove,” Andreas tells me as he replaces the fuel hose and tightens the 911’s filler cap. So did Andreas and Lennart ever consider converting the car back to standard, or backdating it – as is currently in vogue – to a longhood, pre-impact bumper 911? “No, because a lot of work had gone into converting it to 964 spec. For example, the rear reflector on a 964 sits at a slightly different angle to the G-series cars, so getting this to fit required the previous owner to make some modifications to the rear wings. We believe this is part of the history of the car and shouldn’t be changed,” comes Andreas’ reply.

For the full feature on forward-dated 911s, including a how-to guide from specialists, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 171 in shops now. You can also order your copy here for delivery to your door anywhere in the world, or download to an Apple or Android device of your choice. 

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Porsche 911 3.0l SC Backdating – Signée MCG Propulsion !

La Porsche 911 3.0l SC n’est pas foncièrement la plus cotée de toute. Et ça tombe bien, car du coup, on a beaucoup moins de scrupules à lui faire faire un tour dans le passé… Un Backdating dans les règles de l’art. Un voyage dans le temps qui, au contraire de ce que beaucoup peuvent […]

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2018 Porsche Monterey Auction Results

RM SOTHEBY’S
RM / Sotheby’s held another exquisite sale this year in Monterey, selling a number of high-end Porsche examples. While the headlines were taken by the World-Record Ferrari 250 GTO sale (at a whopping 48.4 million dollars), there was plenty to see in Porsche land as well. The 550A Spyder shown above sold for nearly five million, making it an exceptionally high, if not record price for a car of its type. The 2004 Carrera GT, lot 118, sold for nearly one million, getting as close to that mark as I’ve ever seen the mid-2000s V10 supercar sell. It wasn’t all that long ago that we were surprised to see Carrera GTs selling in the 500,000 dollar range. The 908 Kurzheck going unsold was certainly a surprise.
 
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A Special 964 for a Porsche Matriarch

Though it might not look like anything other than a strangely pristine 964, this silver Carrera holds a special place in Porsche history. As the last birthday present gifted to Louise Piëch née Porsche, daughter of Ferdinand and sister of Ferry, it is the last car of a matriarch with a unique flair for life.

This special Porsche now belongs to Clemens Frigge, a dedicated Porschephile. Unfortunately, the previous owners simply didn’t realized the true value of Ferry’s last gift to Louise. In fact, the 964 stood around for a whole year at a dealership!

Massively understated, simple, and elegant; Louise’s last Porsche blends in effortlessly into the Westphalian landscape.

The history of this Porsche is remarkable. During her final years, she dedicated plenty of time to touring through the picturesque surroundings of Lake Zell, where the gifted artist parked this silver 964 when inspired by a particularly beautiful vista, sketched the scenery, and returned to her jaunt. These artworks later became much sought-after collector’s items among the Porsche workforce. Louise liked to use these miniature paintings as Christmas cards for the company’s employees. What an incredible way to spend one’s twilight years after a fruitful life.

From 1952 onwards, the mother of four acted as the managing director of Porsche Holding in Austria. “Resolutely straightforward and not afraid of causing offence” according to her former colleagues, she was known for her inimitable motivation and leadership skills, extreme prudence, and business know-how.

Custom Tailored

Custom tailored to Louise’s liking, this understated 964’s seats are upholstered in an unusual fabric that’s both bizarre and beautiful. Instead of all-leather seats, a mottled mother-of-pearl fabric was chosen—highly reminiscent of a 1970’s office curtain—and was indeed employed as such in the office rooms used by members of the Piëch and Porsche families.

An odd choice of fabrics inside is divisive, but appealing in its own way.

While the subtle purple shimmer to the paint, and the white leather accents inside might turn some stomachs, they are an intriguing set of design choices from an appropriately intriguing woman.

Louise in 1987.

 
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30 yearsof 964: C2 v RS and Turbo v Turbo-look

Modernity is what the 964 brought to the 911, it arriving on the cusp of a new decade and would, in the then-CEO Heinz Branitzki’s words, “be the 911 for the next 25 years.” It never was, nor, admittedly, was it intended to be, but in the six years it was produced the increase in technology, as well as the proliferation of models, set the template for how the 911 would evolve into the model line we recognise today.

Its massively revised structure and chassis was able to incorporate necessities like power steering, driver and passenger airbags, an automatic transmission and also four-wheel drive. It was tested more rigorously on automated test beds, was built using more modern, cost-effective production techniques and brought the 911’s look up to date, without taking away from its iconic lines.

Such was Porsche’s focus on four-wheel drive it was launched as a Carrera 4, the Carrera 2 following it into production in 1989. Over the six, short years that followed the 964 would proliferate into a model line-up including Targa, Cabriolet, Turbo and RS in the regular series models, with specials like the Turbo S, RS 3.8, 30 Jahre and Speedster models all adding to the mix. It came at the right time, too, replacing the outdated 3.2 Carrera and boosting sales for Porsche when it needed them, the Carrera 2 and 4 selling 63,570 examples, those specials and the Turbos and RSs adding around 10,000 sales on top of that.

It was a successful, important car for Porsche, but just how does it stack up today, and which one to go for? The 964 is the car that introduced the 911 conundrum, one which, in part at least, we’re going to try and settle here today. We’ve four 964s here: a Carrera 2, an RS, a Carrera 4 widebody with its Turbo-aping hips, and a later 3.6 example of the 964 Turbo. The Carrera 2, naturally, is the most available, with some 19,484 sales globally, the RS selling some 2,405, the widebody being very limited (numbers are hard to come by) and the Turbo 3.6 finding 1,427 buyers for the year it was produced.

For many the Carrera 2 is the obvious choice, but take all the numbers out of the equation and things get a little bit different. To digest it there’s a natural split, the narrow and widebody cars, which is why I’m jumping first into the slim-hipped Carreras, and specifically that big-selling Carrera 2.

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