20 Dec 2019

The Twelve Builds of Christmas 2018: Part 8

Twelve Builds of Christmas Part 8: restoring this 1965 Porsche 911 2.0L as a road legal race car was a challenging but highly rewarding project.

The eighth instalment of our 2018 Porsche project build review looks at another 2.0L Porsche 911 race car build, which debuted this year and served as the safety car for the Goodwood Revival.

12 Builds of Christmas 8: Ruby Red 1965 Porsche 911 2-litre

It’s a sad fact that early short wheelbase Porsche 911s no longer grow on trees, so prospective buyers of one of these rare 911s for restoration must be prepared to compromise on condition to obtain one. We’ve worked on many rusty 2-litre shells in recent years but this shell was one of the worst we have seen to date.

The 911 has taken many forms over its half-century in production, but the bodyshell of an early car was not too different from models up to 1989. Consequently, many early 911s were updated to the impact bumper style and that is how this one arrived with us: dressed in a fibreglass bumper kit and with a later interior which gave it the appearance of something newer. A quick look under the bonnet showed it to be a much earlier 1965 example and our customer wasted no time in buying it.

The first job on arrival was to strip the shell and send it for media blasting to get a true feel for condition. It was pretty bad, with rust in the front pan, floors, inner wings, all exterior panels. New parts were ordered before the shell was fitted to one of our Celette chassis jigs and braces were welded into place, to ensure the shell remained straight during the renovations.

The final panel list was one of our longest ever, with everything along the bottom of the car from the front pan to the engine bay replaced with new items. Having come in dressed as a short hood/impact bumper, the car needed a new bonnet, front wings, doors, rear quarter panels and engine cover, along with new steel bumpers. We carried out our usual chassis strengthening and fitted the ’65 roll cage.

With the shell repairs finished, the car went to the bodyshop for preparation and paint. The exterior panels were rubbed down by hand and covered in primer before we turned to the interior panels and began the ling process of flatting everything by hand and preparing them for a full paint in satin black.

Everything under the skin was painted in black, requiring several stages of masking. When the internal areas were done, the body was flatted once more and painted in Ruby Red: quite different to the original Irish Green but a wonderful shade in the simple ’65 shape.

Once the paint was finished and a new headlining had been fitted, the shell was rolled into the competition workshop for assembly. While some of the original parts were refurbished, a long list of new parts were fitted, including a modern wiring loom, new fuel, oil and brake lines, new lights, new wood dashboard, new seats, new suspension, twin master cylinder pedal box, brakes and more. It had a full interior retrim, including sound deadening and rear seat pads. The owner already had a 2-litre engine and transmission from a Porsche 904 to use, which we fitted to the car.

Debuting late in the 2018 season, the 911 enjoyed several race outings and served as safety car for the Goodwood Revival. We look forward to more race weekends with this wonderful example in 2019!