Not Your Average Porsche Specialist

Background

The Porsche 911 needs no introduction to sports car fans, continuous development over the last 60 years has ensured it remains one of the most desirable cars for an enthusiast to own and with `Hot off the press` editions like the new 911ST, the company makes sure the deep and illustrious history of the model remains. However, what about the original 911ST? the car where latest edition has taken its inspiration from?

That too has an interesting history, probably more so due to its genuine competition linage.

During the era of early 911 production, Porsche were continuously developing their road cars for competition, and with great success. Keen to see customers using their cars in the same manner, they created a series of performance accessories that could be ordered directly from the factory to upgrade a standard car either after, or during production. In 1969 a race-oriented version of the 911 was launched known internally as the ST (the name stood for Sport Touring). The original was based on the 911 T with a 2.3 litre engine, whilst the later 2.5 was usually based on the 911S and internally known as the SR, however, most are referred to as a 2.5 ST today.

Interestingly, unlike the 73 RS that followed, there is no particular defining characteristic for an S/T, each could be made with different combinations of racing components offered by Porsche to suit the intended use. Whether it was for rally or race, your new 911 could be equipped accordingly.

S cams would usually be preferred for rallying, whilst peaky 906 cams could be specified for the most powerful short-stroke, twin-plug, fuel-injected 2.5 motors, often producing circa 270BHP at 8000 rpm. Impressive stuff for the early Seventies. There were also a number of gearbox options with ratios for different scenarios, as well as plastic and steel fuel tanks, and a host of different other upgrades for racers around the world, and all were detailed together with setup guides for the 911 in the `Sports Purposes` booklet. Sometimes these special components were installed by the factory, and in other cases, they were installed retrospectively by dealers or racing teams. By the early 70s, this allowed privateer teams to compete with effectively works specification cars. Some early examples could be seen sporting Minilite rear wheels instead of the classic 911 Fuchs alloys, and most S/Ts featured a number of thinner steel, aluminium or fiberglass parts to keep weight down, often in different widths and profiles too.

That’s what makes it so hard to define an S/T. It’s not a specific set of components, rather a combination of special components. And as these were race cars, that were extensively modified and rebuilt in period without any mind toward their status as future collectables.

Fast forward five decades and the modified Porsche scene looks very different today. Singer is possibly the most prolific with its reimagined ST style wrapped around a later 964 platform, whilst Tuthill have recently launched their interpretation called the 911K, this time based on an earlier platform clad in carbon fibre panels and fitted with a bespoke engine that revs to an eye watering 11k RPM. Lastly, an area that has always been present, which we feel is having a resurgence, enhancing original cars to a period upgraded specification, which brings us neatly to the car below.

This Example

Originally supplied by AFN in the UK, this matching numbers 1971 911T remained in largely original specification, save for a comprehensive restoration in the late 90s, before being sold by us to another specialist Dave Dennett of DSD Motorworks in 2010 for conversion into a period specification ST.

During the build, any modifications he made were period correct, his aim being to acquire FIA competition papers when completed. This included the steel arches being replicated from period photographs, hand beaten to accommodate 7” x 15” front and 9” x 15” rear wheels, and a lightweight interior being fitted. The original matching numbers engine was retained, however currently fitted, is another engine built from a genuine un- numbered 7R magnesium case. This engine was fully built around these cases to short stroke 2.3 ST specification. This included the following: Cases shuffle pinned and gas flowed, 2.2 crank 66mm, Porsche S nitride rods, JE pistons, Mahle barrels, twin plug heads with new guides 3 angle valve seat and enlarged ports, titanium valve springs, new race valves, ST twin plug distributor, S specification cams, uprated and rebuilt MFI pump, uprated oil pump, 1”5/8 race headers and lightweight aluminium flywheel. The brakes were upgraded with aluminium RS spec callipers and vented discs all round, whilst period Koni adjustable dampers and uprated roll bars were fitted in addition to the rebuilt suspension. A lightweight clutch was fitted and a Tuthill adjustable pedal box. Wheels are 7×15” refurbished Fuchs on the front and 8”x15” Magnesium Minilites were fitted on the rear. Also fitted were upgraded Bosch twin fuel pumps, plumbed in fire suppression system and Schroth 5 point harnesses.

As is often the case with these projects, it was sold before being totally finished to the current keeper in 2019 for £125,000, who continued the journey of personalisation during his custody to the tune of an additional £150,000!

Northamptonshire based Oshe Automotive, recent runners up in the Historic Motoring Awards were charged with the build for its current specification and to continue the journey of getting the car fully FIA certified, so it could be raced on Sunday, yet able to take a lucky youngster to school on Monday.

They started with a full strip of the bodyshell, before entrusting some familiar historic Porsche motorsport names including Tuthill, CageCraft and Normandale to complete the technical requirements and preparation of the bodyshell for rebuild. The stripped shell was placed onto a Cellette jig and sent to CageCraft for one of their full FIA weld in roll cages and further period chassis/ suspension mount strengthening being carried out at the same time. Tuthills then water blasted the underside before the top was media blasted by Normandales who then carried out the remaining metalwork and bodywork, including colour changing the car back to its original hue of Signal Orange. Additional engine and transmission work was carried out by BS Motorsport, including the fitment of a new LSD and Centre Gravity provided a fast road suspension set up.

If applying for FIA papers, you need a specific class and build the car to correct period specification. As this is a genuine 911 2.2 T upgraded to 2.3 Litres as in period, the class for G2/GTS21 Competition GT car was chosen. Both Jurgan Barth Jeff Moyes assisted with the accreditation and once the FIA papers had been acquired, Oshe Automotive continued with the personalisation programme. This included fitting steel bonnet and bumpers in place of the fibreglass items, electric air conditioning, hidden sound system, electric heater together with sound proofing (ear defenders are normally required for stripped out race spec 911s). They also trimmed the interior to the customers exact requirements including additional padding for the period design D`Eser seats. In all, over 2,500 hours went into creating this car to the owners exact specification.

What Do We Say?

Sitting today on 7” Fuchs and 9” Minlites, this 911 looks purposeful and on the road it’s a hoot to drive. The twin plug heads, S spec cams, and correctly set up MFI ensure it pulls eagerly low down and sounds fantastic as the revs climb. The rebuilt 901 gearbox and road biased set up, together with the TB 15 Michelin rubber, ensure this is a friendly and confidence inspiring companion and with a fully sound insulated interior, surprisingly civilised too.

By now you are probably wondering if its capable of getting you to the front of the pack in its current configuration, and the answer is no.

However, if you are looking for a genuine period car with period `Sports Purposes` upgrades, together with a nicer interior than a stripped-out racer, then this car certainly has a good deal more kudos than a backdated later example and you will be THE coolest guy on a Porsche track day!

And what happens if you want to take things a bit more seriously? Remove the fripperies, put the fibreglass panels back on, install a pair of current FIA seats and this car will be ready for the Tour Auto or Modena Cento Ore – Just remember to take your ear defenders!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *