greggearhead
greggearhead Reader
1/8/18 9:08 p.m.

So, over a year ago, my uncle made me an offer to sell me his Porsche 911.  I don't see him very often, but pretty much at every family gathering, we would at least spend some time in a dark corner away from other people and talk gear head stuff.  He doesn't live near the car anymore, so can't enjoy it, and didn't really want to sell it, and knew I would love it and already know a bunch of the modifications (there are more mods on the car than not) so it just seemed logical - right?  

Well, the extremely generous offer was contingent on me getting to California to get the car and bring it back.  No biggee - I tow cars on my trailer all the time.  However, the stars went waaaay out of alignment, and seemed to work against me.  I bought a newer shop/truck tow vehicle than I have ever owned before, in better condition, too.  Shortly after I bought it, and before i was supposed to go out and grab the car, one of the cylinder heads on the shop truck cracked.  I instantly fell down the slippery slope of improving while replacing (351W got new alum heads, edlebrock intake manifold, manifold replacccement headers, cold air intake, 3" exhaust, etc).  This process took months and months - it isn't a VW or Porsche, so I'm not an expert on it.  When done, the truck ran great.  For a short while.  Then it didn't run great.  For the last two plus months it has been at a local specialist, where they have found a number of things, but it still isn't done.  

What's a guy to do?  Rent a truck.  Hmmm.  Considering the options - I could rent a small box truck and a tow dolly or a trailer.  Tow dolly is out - Porsche is low and that would be a little rough for it's trip back home.  The trailer - OK, but it's out in the elements, people can see it, adds a lot of cost...   Well,  hypothetically, you could fit a car *inside* a box van, if you added some tie downs.  Since they disapprove of that, I'm not gonna say that's what is going to happen, but I have a close friend that moved out to Colorado in 1997 and brought his 1976 VW Rabbit Project out with him that way...  

So, a 16ft truck would allow the car to fit inside with about a foot on either end, and a 2000lb Porsche is well under the 4300lb payload, and it's really not that expensive.  If you were going to put some tie downs through the floor and metal crossmembers, it should be totally fine.  Also, if you put some 2x4s around the tires to help keep it from moving, should help even more.  

Like I said, *I've* never done this before, but I've read about it on the interwebs.  

Anyway - bright and early tomorrow morning, I hit the road to Mesquite, NV for a night in a hotel.  We'll see how the 2017 GM Van does tomorrow.  

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
1/10/18 1:02 a.m.

 updates!

greggearhead
greggearhead Reader
1/12/18 7:47 a.m.

Sorry for delay.  

 

Porsche retrival trip - Update #1.

So, I am headed to California, in a rental truck, to retrive the Porsche 911 that my uncle built.

Left the house just after 5am this morning, in the 16ft box van. It is a 2017 GM, with an LS V8 - I love these engines. More on that later. Ran into light snow near the tunnel on I70, but the rest of the way was simply fog, sleet, rain and snow that didn't stick. Happy for that.

Driving through Glenwood Springs, I heard the radio DJ on "The Goat" radio station apologize for the news not playing correctly. I love driving cross country and getting tiny glimpses of small towns.

So, today I drove through Colorado, through Utah, and cut through a tiny bit of Arizona and ended up just across the border in Nevada.

Tomorrow - San Diego, and to see and load the Porsche!

A few pics from behind the dash, along the way today.

 

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greggearhead
greggearhead Reader
1/12/18 7:49 a.m.

Porsche retrival trip update #2 & 3.

I'm combining these because I didn't do an update on Wed night - was just too tired. Anyway, I got to San Diego, and found the car sitting in the garage on jackstands, dusty and dirty, as any good barn find should be. Quickly aired up a few tires (multi-piece BBS wheels notorious for leaking over very long periods) and got it on the ground, hooked up the jump box and ranked it over. Didn't start, but I don't think it will take much work.

Called a flat bed tow truck, and started pulling out the extra parts out of the basement. Woah - lots of extra parts! Almost didn't have enough room. I have some BBS Wheel halves in the cab with me, and some other parts but it all fit!

The tow truck driver was surprised and humored that I was putting it *inside* the box truck, and was a great guy to work with. Got the car inside very easily, strapped down and 2x4s blocking in all 4 tires so it simply cannot move.

Back on the road and made it to Barstow,, CA to spend the night.

The next morning, left, and at the first stop, fueled up and checked the load. Someone had tried to break in the night before! There are 3 cut marks on the padlock where they tried, but were unsuccessful. I had backed the truck up to a wall, so I'm surprised anyone could even FIT back there, but thieves are thieves. Glad I had a good padlock.

Anyway, drove through Nevada, corner of Arizona, and Utah to Grand Junction. Had the pleasure of having dinner with the owner of Flyin Miata, an aftermarket company building parts and Miata performance cars - great guy and great dinner.

Home tonight!

 

 

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yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
1/12/18 8:40 a.m.

How'd you tie it down? This gives me ideas!

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
1/12/18 11:18 a.m.

In reply to greggearhead :

The car looks beautiful!

greggearhead
greggearhead Reader
1/12/18 6:51 p.m.

In reply to yupididit:

I used 2x4s screwed into the wood floor to keep the tires in place, and had 4 large D-rings that were drilled through the 1" floor and metal crossmembers.  Between the two of them, it worked great.  

 

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greggearhead
greggearhead Reader
1/12/18 6:53 p.m.

Thanks Pete - it's a little rough around the edges, but that's exactly what I like about it.  It will continue to get used.

 

Porsche Retrival Update #4.

The eagle has landed. The car, and I, have made it home, safe and sound. Not without incident, but nothing too bad.

Last night, I got to Grand Junction, Colorado and had dinner with Bill Cardell, the owner of Flyin Miata. Great guy, and great car and motorcycle talk. This morning, I stopped by and he gave me a tour of the business, and I got to drive the 520hp LS3 powered Miata. What a blast - and super well integrated. Driving it, you wouldn't guess it didn't come like that from the factory!

I intended to take I70 West, just like I had come East, but there was a big storm that closed it near Vail, so I headed South to miss it. I took Hwy 50 and went through Salida to get home to Colorado Springs. There wasn't supposed to be any snow on Monarch Pass, but there was! Chain law was in effect, but since I wasn't a commercial truck, they just waved me through! It got pretty bad near the top, but I lucked out following a snow plow, and didn't slip or spin a tire once. I almost can't believe it.

Tomorrow I'll unload the car at Cars & Coffee and pull it inside and start looking over what needs work.

So happy to be home, and so happy have this new old car.

 

 

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thedoc
thedoc New Reader
1/14/18 10:24 a.m.

Great story, can't wait for the rest!

greggearhead
greggearhead Reader
1/14/18 11:16 a.m.

Thanks - you and me both.  

I showed the car to my step son yesterday afternoon after returning the rental truck.  Hooked up the jump box to try cranking it again, and it tried to run, on a couple cylinders at least.  I'll put in some fresh fuel, and try it again this week, and give it another once over.  Then to get plates and drive  it!  

 

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
1/14/18 11:58 a.m.

Oh man I feel like ill never find myself in an air cooled 911.

greggearhead
greggearhead Reader
1/14/18 12:20 p.m.

They are out there - but man, you have to look hard to get a deal - everyone is looking.  

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
1/14/18 1:16 p.m.

I can't afford even "deals" in this market lol. 

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
1/15/18 9:56 p.m.

Awesome.  I love 911s.  What are the details on yours?

greggearhead
greggearhead Reader
1/16/18 9:47 a.m.
Cotton said:

Awesome.  I love 911s.  What are the details on yours?

 

Heh.  It's pretty cool, but purists need not apply.

 

Started as a 1972 Porsche 911 E.  My uncle wasn't very impressed with the 165hp from the 2.4L engine, so sourced a 3.0 SC engine, which made around a190hp with carbs and better exhaust.  Better, yes.  Impressed?  Not really.  My uncle was also into WWII piston engined aircraft engines.  So his next logical step?  Buy a 3.3L Turbo engine.  

However, in for a penny, in for a pound - he disassembled it and rebuilt it as he thought it should be.  Larger Mahle pistons and cylinders to make it a 3.4L with 7.5:1 compression, machined the heads for two plugs per cylinder, SC cams, K27 turbo, Raceware head studs and rod bolts, standalone EFI from Datafast, larger intercooler and water-methanol injection.  Aftermarket headers and muffler - not sure of brand.  Probably makes around 450hp on a conservative tune.

The turbo cars cam with 4 speeds instead of 5 speeds because they were built stronger to hold up to the torque of the turbo engine.  My uncle preferred a 5 speed, so built up the 915 trans to be as beefy as he could, including a Quaife limited slip differential.  You could still break it if you are brutal, but if you are sensible, it should last and give 5 closer spaced ratios.  

The brakes have been upgraded as well - the fronts have Boxster 4 piston calipers and crossdrilled rotors, I believe from an SC but need to check.  The rears have crossdrilled rotors.  I have rear Boxster calipers to add.  The front upper strut mounts are spherical bearing, front struts are Bilsteins with raised spindle location, Weltmeister sway bar, and later aluminum crossmember.  The rear banana arms are also later aluminum versions with a weltmeister sway bar, and Konis that feel stiffer than standard issue on compression, but we'll see.  I strongly suspect polyurethane bushings, but haven't had a chance to crawl around that much yet.  

Interior has Sparco buckets with harnesses and a roll bar, Momo prototipo steering wheel.  The outside has been updated to later style fiberglass bumpers of 1974 IROC style, with a center mount front oil cooler, 930 style flared fiberglass front fenders, fiberglass 930 rear flares and decklid whale tail (to make room for the intercooler).  

Um, yeah.  It's basically a totally built-up 911 that only needs a caring owner that understands it and maybe some TLC on some of the small stuff to iron out some wrinkles.  I couldn't be happier.  So many places on this car, I would think,"Hmm, I should price a short shifter (or whatever)" and then go look closely, and find out it has already been upgraded exactly how I would have done it.  

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
1/16/18 6:44 p.m.

Awesome,  incredible story and really great car.  I have an 87 930 with the 4 speed and I can see why your uncle wanted the extra gear.

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