A legendary classic sports car that shines when judged by period standards
My car has unknown mileage, but the engine was rebuilt by my mechanic and now has about 19k miles on it. The car needed a lot of other maintenance, however. This is a rolling restoration.
One surprise was that a few of the finger springs on the clutch pressure plate somehow bent, and I had to replace the clutch, clutch fork, and fork release sleeve. The clutch had been previously replaced, so maybe it was a defective part.
It backfires a bit until warmed up. Maybe it's a cold start valve. I haven't checked yet.
The brakes lock up prematurely, but I think it is due to the old brake lines or possibly a caliper. The car sat for a while before I bought it, and it is almost 30 years old. So, I am replacing the brake system as part of maintenance.
After years of sitting on the fence on whether to buy a 911 to go along with my 944 Turbo and 968, I came across a deal that would let me get into the car at a lower price and restore it.
The car is small, with little headroom for people above 6 feet tall. Seating position is awkward, too; I need to recline the seatback so my head doesn't rub the headliner, but this puts me out of comfortable reach for the gear shift. So, I have to move the seat forward more than I would like, resulting in a cramped footwell.
I'm sure the chassis has over 100k miles, but the car is still very solid. It handles pretty well with the old suspension, but I plan on lowering it and adding upgraded parts along with brakes before I push it very hard. I took it to a parking lot and induced power oversteer, which was awesome! It's a tail heavy car, but not uncontrollably so.
It's not as quick as I imagined. My US spec car has 172hp, which is pretty weak today. Even for a 2600lb car. I believe my BMW E30 is a little faster; it has a very similar power to weight ratio.
I guess these cars really come from an era where exotic cars required compromise. This car requires you to adjust to its seating position and respect its rear weight bias. In return, it offers looks like no other car, and a great engine soundtrack. I removed the sound insulation in the rear of the car, which saves about 30 lbs and lets in more engine noise and it's great! The car sounds angry going down the road. Like a race engine... only the pace is much slower.
I expect my maintenance upgrades to the suspension and brakes will transform it into a track worthy weekend warrior. For now, it feels like an antique sporty car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th December, 2009