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Addressing the Patina Question with a 356B


With everything gained by a factory-perfect restoration something inescapable is lost. With age, the cumulative effects of regular use build up on every car. Whether they’re scuffs over the scuttle from loading luggage, or pock-marks accrued from entering in Le Mans, a car’s wear is part of its history. Porsche themselves still display the 1987 Le Mans-winning 962 wearing the marks of its victory. As lovely as perfectly restored cars are, this quality is lost with the patina. For fans of Man in the High Castle, this is what Robert Childan would refer to as wu; a form of truth in authenticity.

This 1961 356B spent its life in California, apparently living a gentle life. When it arrived in Germany and met its new owner it was nearly free of rust. The Ivory paintwork was virtually intact, and even the transmission matched the Kardex. Rather than embarking on a factory-perfect restoration, the owner opted to preserve the car’s patina.

To be clear, this car never raced- at least, not that we know of. The faded racing stripes, numbers, and hood straps are additions by the current owner, and were applied in an effort to mimic the condition of the original paint underneath. Upon closer inspection it’s clear that the 75-horsepower engine has been refurbished. The interior, once red leatherette, is now brown. The original patina is merely a vehicle, not the raison d’etre for this 356.

We’re not here to decry the owner for what they’ve done- the car has not been defaced for all time, by any measure. It sounds like the natural wear in the finish is helping them to enjoy the car freely and without fear of every scratch or stray stone. Though different to Mark Pribanic’s unrestored car, this 356 affirms that patina is not for 17th century oil paintings and rust-free 60-year old farm trucks any more.

For more on this 356’s journey, find the recent special edition of Porsche Klassik magazine 70 Years of Porsche Racecars, or follow this link.

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This ROCS Palo Alto 911 Is The Antithesis Of Singer

If, as the the saying goes, the devil is in the details, then this 1977 Porsche 911S is positively satanic. Every inch on this Porsche is festooned with a detail you would never notice if it wasn’t pointed out. In the same way that Singer re-imagines every single component of their customized 911s for ultimate perfection, New Jersey shop ROCS has done the same thing, but in a completely opposite way. Instead of making every little bit as perfect as possible, ROCS has crafted a unique look at a fabricated past that didn’t actually happen. This Porsche is styled to look like a Carrera Panamericana Mexican road racer. It’s been backdated, seriously lightened, custom fabricated, and hopped up in every way imaginable. It’s equal parts brand new and 1960s with a unique visual flair. A different kind of perfection if you will.

The team started with a mid-year 911 chassis, because they’re still plentiful and reasonably priced, then stripped it down to nothing. Very few of the original components were added back over the course of the project, as the exterior was backdated to the popular long-hood look with largely low-weight fiberglass components. The chassis itself was squared up, seam welded, and caged to make sure the suspension would do its job properly. Said suspension is stiffened with thicker torsion bars, as well as stronger 930 components, and offers dozens of points of adjustability. The Palo Alto, as this 911 is named, needs a lot more chassis stiffness, too, as it’s been fitted with a mind-warping, custom-built 3.8-liter carbureted engine built up from a 964 base. The transaxle is an internally reinforced 915-based race box with an awesome Hargette Racing shift assembly to the right of the driver.

Outside of the obvious performance benefits of a huge engine and wild race-derived chassis tuning, this Porsche’s most obvious asset is its custom hand-painted livery with perfectly distressed faux-patina. The details here are too innumerable to list, but if you watch the video above (you’ll love it when you hear the origin of the number on the front bumper), or check out some of the photographs in the gallery below, you’ll see some of them.

The hidden aero tricks of this car are without doubt our favorite detail. By hand-forming an aluminum lip for the front of the Porsche, it gains some motorsport-heritage visuals that the project needed. The owner didn’t want the Porsche to have a wing on the back, so ROCS custom assembled a pop-up spoiler using a 964 decklid and some custom formed sheetmetal. It gives the 911 a unique aesthetic with the wing stowed, while providing the high-speed stability the Porsche needs with it deployed.

 
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1987 Porsche 959 Refresh of a Well-Used Example

This 1987 Porsche 959 arrived at TuneRS Motorsports in Florida straight from Germany after being recently purchased by it’s new owner. He requested it be freshened up mechanically and cosmetically inside and out, top to bottom, and seeing that this is the same shop that built this 1995 993 RS clone, we have no qualms about the quality or ability of their work. The 47k kilometer super car appears to have been well used by it’s previous owner, who looks to have rode it hard and put it away wet, not that there’s anything wrong with that. We’d rather see them having been used as intended than never driven. Back in ’87, these vehicles were technological marvels far ahead of their time with twin turbos, all wheel drive, tire pressure monitoring sensors and slippery futuristic aerodynamic styling allowing a .31 drag coefficient. They were originally produced for Group B homologation purposes before the race series was ultimately canceled for being deemed too dangerous because of too many deaths of both drivers and spectators. While most existing examples of the rare road version models have been pampered and rarely driven, it’s nice to see one that has been properly used throughout the past […]

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Survivor: 1979 Porsche 930

The subject for today’s Survivor is this all original 1979 Porsche 930 with only 15,624 miles from new. It had remained in one family it’s whole life until it’s recent sale and still possesses all of it’s original paperwork and equipment, down to it’s silly federally mandated 85 mph speedometer that the U.S. required at the time. We have no idea what the government was thinking back then, maybe that it would be less tempting to drive fast if the it looked pinned at 85? Whatever the case, that didn’t stop most 911 Turbos from being tossed off the road backwards because of drop throttle oversteer caused by the pendulum effect in full swing (pun intended), a fate that this one fortunately escaped. Come take a closer look at this museum piece with us on the following page as we check this particular car out and touch upon the subject of their current value, amongst other related rantings… When new, the original owner of this vehicle payed $15,000 over MSRP for the opportunity to own the black on black 3.3 liter 300 hp turbo 4 speed Porsche exotic, and who would blame him? We like the cut of his and his grandson’s jib, […]

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Survivor: 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight

This 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Lightweight was the subject of a sympathetic restoration by the Porsche marque experts at Autofarm in the U.K. What came to be known as the “Beirut RS”, we cannot fathom a truer poster child automobile that defines the term “survivor” better than this. During the war in Lebanon in the mid 80’s, a mortar shell hit the building that this rare car was being stored in and part of the structure fell on top of the car. The car was entombed until it was more recently resurrected by property developers who contacted the original owner’s family asking what they wanted to do with it… During the war, the car had been put away but it’s owner but he never returned from his volunteer work driving an ambulance. The family had since moved out of the country, but the car remained until one day the building was being rebuilt and it’s developers wanted to know what they should do with the unearthed car. So, after some ridiculously insulting low ball offers, a friend of the family was contacted and he informed them of what the car was really worth. He ended up purchasing it himself […]

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