We take a classic 911 from a rusty bucket to polished beauty.
Just over a year on from opening up our shop we take on a dream challenge that we’re hoping will become the crowning achievement of everyone at the garage.
Think ‘Porsche car’ and most people will automatically think 911. Its the car that defined an era of motorsports and broke new ground on how a sports car should be built. Although the design of this German classic has undoubtedly changed a lot since its 1963 incarnation, every 911 has an unmistakable quality which makes it immediately recognisable. Thanks to its rear-mounted flat-six engine and independent suspension, this vehicle has become a mainstay in many forms of automotive competitions, not to mention becoming a collectors item in the process. Over a million Porsche 911s have been manufactured in Germany, but not all of them have remained in good hands.
Our little team project was first spotted in a junk yard outside Burnley by one of our apprentices, Alex.
“I’ve always loved wandering around junk yards, it’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon and you’ll never know what you might find. I’d been visiting family over the weekend and had been covertly Googling for junk yards throughout my time in Burnely. I’d found the perfect yard which specialised in recycling and selling on chassis; so after I said my goodbyes to my family, I tapped in the details into my GPS and set off for a day of scrap trawling.
At first glance this yard didn’t seem to be any different than any other. Same smell of rusting iron, same friendly northern repairman with greasy blue overalls. However, after a few minutes of wandering round I soon realised that I’d stumbled upon a treasure trove of forgotten sports cars. Behind the typical towers of tyres and long abandoned copper wire was hidden a huge number of chassis, neatly arranged as if they were ready to be driven off a forecourt.
My mind started racing, there was so much potential in what I could see before me that I could easily fill a decade of restoration work, but where to start? A tidy 2CV chassis was tempting initially, and a battered Clubman called out to me as well, but when I saw the smooth, unmistakable outline of a Porsche just behind I knew that I needed to call in to work.”
Alex called me on a Sunday afternoon at around 4pm which had me assuming that I’d be a man down on Monday morning, however I quickly found out that there was something else afoot. He was breathless with excitement, but I soon understood why. I can’t think of many mechanics who would happily walk past a Porsche 911 restoration project for sale, and Alex was clearly enamoured with it. I told him to calm down and get as much information about the chassis as possible: what model was it? What year was it from? How long had it been sat in the yard for? All of this information would help us to determine whether or not it would be a good purchase.
I thought I knew how my Monday morning was going to work out, but it turns out that even after 15 years in this business, there’s still time for a few surprises.