A 1972 911T Targa arrived at the shop on a rollback early in May 2011.
An accompanying telephone call informed us that the Porsche had been in storage since 1994, and had been towed to Zuffenhaus to be returned to use.
The Targa’s VIN was not in our database, nor was there any record of previous visits by the owner – this was unusual, as new clients rarely send their Porsches to service provider without at least setting foot in the facility!
More interesting was the condition – aside from a color change and carburetor install, the Targa was VERY original (albeit very dusty,) fairly well ‘S’ optioned, and low mileage (57k).
Being the vintage-minded RGruppers we are, a follow up call was placed to the client to get some background on the car, history of ownership, and more or less just chat about old 911s.
What resulted was a passing of the keys.
The (now previous) owner had brought the car to us to prepare to sell. He very much liked the car, having in fact pursued the original owner until he was able to purchase it years ago (more on that in a second) but felt that it was time for it to belong to someone who would use it more frequently (at this time it had been stored for 15 years.) During our conversation I was offered the 911 at far less than the valuation I’d given. We advised him of the current value of the car versus the potential value after addressing some items and allowing the market to recover a few years. The offer stood.
Full service history and receipts had been sent with the car – almost as if he’d known I’d need them – and during our conversation (via telephone, mind you) I learned that the car and its owner had moved from Texas to North Carolina in 1994. In 1985, it had been purchased from its original owner in Dallas. Coincidentally, the original owner and I share a surname. (also interesting, the original owner shares my uncle’s full name). I found this to be interesting and amusing, particularly in addition to my being a 1972 model myself, but it wasn’t until a call to my partner in Texas that I began to realize the scope of coincidence.
In the course of that subsequent discussion I noted that the PO had purchased the 911 from his previous employer (after some persistence) and had serviced the car several times at EDS Vehicle Repair Center in Dallas – a facility specifically for employees and families of EDS. My partner immediately recalled the 911’s original owner, and in fact, the car itself. As it turned out, both my partner and the PO retired from the same company, and had – in different years – pursued the same car. (my partner had been first, but unsuccessful.)
Of course I accepted the PO’s generous offer and purchased the Targa (finally meeting the owner face-to-face to complete the paperwork.) – It would have felt wrong to not do so!
I’d thought the Employee Pass decal on the windshield was worthy of only passing interest because it mirrored my high school mascot. Instead, it represented the link between the original owner, my business partner, and the fellow that passed the car on to me – it will stay indefinitely now.
My plan was to do a quick clean-up, just general servicing of fuel and brake systems – make it run and drive it. It would be a nice diversion from the coupe project.
Of course, that didn’t really happen.
I started with the fuel system, pulling the tank to have it stripped and recoated, inspecting the in-chassis hard lines and replacing the soft ones.
The tank came out and revealed a messy, not-quite finished color-change:
That is the smuggler’s box. It seems there was no time for measuring, marking and proper cutting during the hectic schedule of a dealer technician in the early 70s. In addition, the factory vent louvres for gas-heating (side of smugglers box/wheel well) were hacked out and long gone.
(lucky for me we do a little welding from time to time and have a handful of 911 donors around here.)
In addition to the body damage, two of the chain case studs which secure the air conditioning compressor bracket to the engine broke during removal.
Out comes the engine.