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Porsche 911 Modified

Porsche 911 Modified

Coupé, 1978

Highlights

  • Grand Prix White
  • Ready to drive!
  • A true wolf in sheep’s clothing!

Porsche 911 `Sleeper` by Redtek

As you will no doubt know, here at Paul Stephens, we are no strangers to the notion of a modified 911. Since the early noughties, we have been creating our own PS Autoart reiterations. With this experience, we can spot a nice piece of engineering when we see it and are happy to stock and sell well built examples from other companies. And this is a perfect case in point. It’s a 911 that’s well known to us: a 911 SC, first registered and supplied in January 1978 by Lancaster Porsche, Ipswich, but now with an added twist to its specification. As a very early 911 SC, in its original form, it featured the 3.0 litre, 180bhp flat-six power unit and in ‘Sport’ spec, front and rear spoilers, Bilstein dampers, 16in Fuchs wheels and Sports seats. A bulging history file comprehensively documents careful and caring ownership going right back to the very early 1980s, with all MOTs present and correct and those strange round things, that we called ‘Tax Discs!’

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The vehicle in detail

The point at which this ‘78 911 SC had its substantial makeover was around 2008, when well-known Porsche engine man and specialist, Nick Fulljames of Redtek, acquired it and reasoned, that unlike so many SCs now, it was remarkably solid and just happened to be finished in the classic colour scheme of Grand Prix with black leather interior, his preferred colour choice for this project. The inspiration for the styling came from the earlier 1974 2.7 MFI Carrera and once fully stripped down, only new front wings were required along with the addition of a classic ducktail, fog light delete and anodised frames. Grand Prix white was also a standard colour for 1974, so once repainted in its original hue, the correct period Carrera decals and original 74 engine lid badge were applied together with a set of original 7”x15” and 8×15” Fuchs wheels, finished in black with anodised out rims and centre caps. For the eagle eyed amongst you, we have recently sold an original Carrera in this same combination, and the two cars externally are virtually indistinguishable.

However, this is where the similarity ends as Mr Fulljames took his own path for the mechanical specification.

Chassis wise the suspension and running gear were rebuilt and renewed with new Bilstein dampers and lowered torsion bars. Brakes are uprated Boxster 987 four pots at the front, plus Carrera 3.2 discs, with standard SC callipers at the rear.

The big story, though, is the sting in the tail. Far from being standard, the 3-litre engine has been taken out to 3.2-litres, with a 98mm bore and Mahle pistons and barrels, with a compression ratio of 10.3:1. The cylinder heads are modified, whilst PMO 46mm downdraught throttle bodies supply the fuel and a twin-spark ignition system lights it up. RSR cams open and close the valves, while the crank assembly is fully balanced and held together with ARP rod bolts. Power is now a very healthy 285bhp. To put this into perspective, that is 105BHP more than the original SC it is based on and still 75BHP more than the Carrera MFI it purports to be.

The Type 915 gearbox has been fully rebuilt with standard ratios, and a Quaife limited slip diff was fitted to ensure that extra grunt is safely deployed onto the tarmac. A lightweight sports clutch assembly and flywheel improves pick-up and throttle response.

Inside is largely stock, but with new carpets, black leather clad sports seats and a dished Momo steering wheel. Condition wise, this modified 911 presents well, and has been the star of features in Classic Porsche magazine and GT Porsche. Currently it is sans the Carrera script along its flanks, but that could easily be rectified.

ON THE ROAD

Obviously, all the Porsches at Paul Stephens undergo a full road test and quite often recommission before sale. In this instance though, that road test extended to a 500-mile drive from Southern Ireland back to PS HQ.

That’s plenty long enough for any niggles to become apparent, not to mention if you are going to get thoroughly exhausted and hacked off from a noise and comfort point of view. What’s exciting for a few miles, or a quick dash to the ‘cars and coffee’ meet, can often be a different matter over the long haul.

Your long-distance driver (that’s me) can confirm that this restomod took the journey in its stride with just the right ratio of excitement/comfort/driveability. It’s rowdy when you want it to be, but the exhaust tails off at cruising speed. Likewise, the engine mixes top-end bite with tractability, that will see it pull from next to nothing in fifth. The ride, while lower, is compliant and the seats are as comfortable as any Porsche perch.

Closer to home, on local roads that Lotus use for chassis development and the handling is inspired. Its rides over the average UK B-road with ease, with steering and turn in that encourages rapid progress, as do the Boxster derived brakes. Typically, the Type 915 ‘box isn’t for being rushed, but the methodical approach is all part of the driving experience and besides, if you need to hang onto a gear, the Redtek built engine is happy to be extended.

IN SUMMARY

Externally it carries off its 1974 styling with conviction, but this is a 911 that doesn’t just talk the talk, it really walks the walk. No, it doesn’t have the legendary ’73 RS sourced 2.7-litre MFI engine in the back. Charismatic as that 210bhp donkey is, we would argue that this short stroke free revving 3.2 twin plug motor with 285bhp, from one of the UK’s best known engine builders, adds a whole new layer of performance and dynamics to the lightweight and highly revered experience of an original Carrera MFI or RS.

A true wolf in sheep’s clothing then and all for a fraction of the outlay required to enter the exclusive club of genuine period Carrera ownership.

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Specifications

Year of construction: 1978
Model: 911 Modified
Body: Coupé
Series: 911 Backdate/Modified
Mileage: 95000 mi
Cylinder capacity: 3,2 Liter
Steering: right
Transmission: Manual
Drive: Rear drive
Fuel: Gasoline
Interior color: Black
Interior material: Leather
Exterior color: White
Manufacturer color code (exterior): Grand Prix White
New / used: Used car
Ready to drive: yes
Car location: GBUnited Kingdom

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