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issue 130

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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Klagenfurt to Sankt Veit an der Glan, Austria

Sitting by the enchanting Lake Wörthersee in southern Austria, the relatively small city of Klagenfurt may well be far removed from the country’s more famous great routes such as the Grossglockner Pass. However, pleasingly there’s still a driving treat to be had from its roads.

Beginning on the ring road that encapsulates the 97,000 inhabitants of Klagenfurt, turn off at Sankt Veiter Straße, located to the north. Minutes after you leave the centre of Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, the road rids itself of its urban flavour, revealing a backdrop of mountains across the fields that bless this pretty Austrian landscape.

The two roads making up our route – officially called the L71a and L72 – test a plethora of your car’s characteristics including handling, braking, grip, performance, and steering response, as well as your own attentiveness at the wheel.

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This countryside jaunt of flowing, open road is broken up nicely with a hairpin left corner as you enter the hamlet of Hörzendorf. This hairpin is good for second gear while carrying good speed around the bend, but look back and beyond the barrier (if you dare) and you will be treated to a glorious view overlooking the entire, sweeping valley.

From here you can quickly change up to third and on passing the last of the large, traditionally-styled houses, you’ll witness the road becoming enthralled in the open landscape, with just a barn on your left to distract you from the vista of the road ahead.

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A delicious half-mile straight awaits you, so plant your right foot and enjoy the sound of that flat six reverberating through the valley, mildly lifting for the 60 miles-per-hour right-hander only.

Pass the Jacques Lemans Arena on your right as you bring your Porsche to a calm pace once more, before approaching the junction with the 94 running through Kraindorf to complete the route. Sure, it may only account for some 20 minutes of driving, but it shows that no matter where you are, an exhilarating driving route can be had.

From Kraindorf you can either make your way north-east in search of the Grossglockner or, if time is of the essence, you can simply turn around and do the route all again.

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Sales debate: Five things first-time Porsche 911 buyers should do

After buying a house, buying a car is normally the second biggest purchase that you will ever make. Of course, a Porsche 911 is no ordinary car and while that makes buying one even more special, it can also make it a daunting experience. What should first-time buyers look out for? With the help of two independent specialists, Total 911 endeavours to find out.

Both Charlie Abbott from independent specialist, Paul Stephens, and Mikey Wastie, proprietor of Autofarm, agree that the first step is identifying what you want to get out of your 911 ownership experience: “Is it for commuting, track days or just polishing?” asks Wastie. “It’s important to choose the right car that matches your needs most closely.”

From this, Abbott points out that you can then narrow down which generation of 911 you would ideally love, while considering if your choice falls within your budget.

From there, research is key, with both specialists placing it high on the to-do list. Wastie explains that it’s vital to “look for weaknesses” in your chosen generation, identify “the versions that are most popular and learn when upgrades or items were changed in the specification.”

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This will enable you to narrow down your options to a specific model and specification, which you can then start searching for on websites and through dealers. The added benefit of this, Wastie explains, is you can then “see which cars keep popping up for sale and which ones are hanging around”.

Abbott explains that even once you’ve chosen which 911 to buy and researched it, you should still be patient and wait for the right car to come to market. “Don’t rush into a car that doesn’t fulfil your needs.”

When you have spotted an example that takes your fancy, both Abbott and Wastie feel that getting the car checked over by a respected inspector is a safe move. Alternatively, the former points out that buying from a specialist negates this need.

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For their final step, the two experts differ in their approach. Wastie feels that “joining an owners’ club and meeting the owners of the car you want” is a useful endeavour as you can “draw from their experiences.”

Meanwhile, Abbott explains that, even after following these steps, remaining grounded is important: “Be realistic if you are buying a classic Porsche; even though they are extremely well built, they still have their classic car characteristics.”

By heeding their advice, the proposition of buying your first Porsche 911 should be made as simple (and exciting) as possible, all while ensuring you get your hands on a great example of your chosen model.

For market advice on any generation or style of Porsche 911, check out our full selection of sales debates, where we ask the 911 experts the pertinent market questions so you don’t have to.

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Evolution of the Porsche 911 Targa

There was always an open-top Porsche: Ferry’s first model was an open barchetta and if production realities soon dictated a closed design, it was only a couple of years before a convertible 356 appeared.

This was a vital model, especially in the US, for which Porsche’s gung-ho distributor Max Hoffman persuaded Zuffenhausen to build the Speedster, as featured in issue 128 of Total 911. By the late 1950s, consideration of the 356’s successor was in full swing at Porsche.

Between the competing designs of Erwin Komenda (Porsche’s long standing body engineer who saw himself as carrying the beacon for the late Professor Porsche), Ferry’s son Butzi who represented the first generation of automobile stylists, and Ferry’s own preferences, little thought was given to an open car.

Original 911 Targa

Moreover, high development costs of the 901 Coupé meant there was little in the way of budget left to invest in a convertible model.

The other concern at that time was the controversy in America, stirred up by Ralph Nader, about whether car manufacturers were putting users’ lives at risk with fundamentally unsafe cars.

In particular, the Chevrolet Corvair (a flat six rear engine design) had been singled out, as had the VW Microbus. In the general uncertainty, it was also unclear whether the US authorities were going to ban open cars. It was dissuasive enough: Porsche would develop an alternative to the Cabriolet which would be the birth of the Targa.

Porsche 991 Targa

Porsche’s experiments with open prototypes had already demonstrated that some sort of ‘roll hoop’ did manage to restore rigidity. Therefore, the ‘alternative cabrio’ would have this roll hoop and it became a question of what it would look like and how it would be incorporated.

Schröder, who had built 356 cabrios at Karmann, said that the most important detail at this stage was “to make this roll bar look right.” Having agreed on the aesthetics, they could then strengthen it as much as necessary.

To read the rest of our Porsche 911 Targa history, pick up issue 130 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device.

Porsche 911 Targas

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Top ten photos from Total 911 issue 130

£1.5 million is the (conservative) estimate placed on the 901 prototype that graces the latest issue of Total 911. But, despite its astronomical price tag, it isn’t the only intriguing neunelfer to star in our tenth anniversary special.

Inside you’ll find a 997 GT3 RS vs GT2 Clubsport head-to-head, as well as a history of the 911 Targa and a guide to suspension geometry. For the full photographic rundown, check out the gallery of shots below. Enjoy:

Don't worry, we do get these two out the garage and onto the track for an adrenaline-filled head-to-head.

We head to the beach to chart the history of Porsche's open-top Targa concept.

Our man in South Africa got to spend two days with the 991.2 for an in-depth look at the new Porsche 911.

Wide body, big wing and Speedline alloys. It can only be the 964 Turbo 3.6. Read our ultimate guide in issue 130.

We get behind the wheel of Porsche's first homologated racing 911, the lost legend that is the S-R.

Bernd Kahnau - 'der Elfer Macher' - talks about his incredible career that spanned six generations of Porsche 911.

Do you understand the importance of suspension geometry? You will after reading our latest technology feature.

Go behind the scenes at Poole Accident Repair, one of an illustrious band of Porsche-approved body shops.

A view you won't see very often. This open-topped 901 is the star of the show in our tenth anniversary edition.

For all of this, and much, much more, pick up Total 911 issue 130 in store now. Alternatively, order your copy online for home delivery, or download it straight to your digital device.

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