Monday, 22 October 2012

911T Project; Paint Envy

At the end of April I headed over to Banbury to collect the 911 from Tuthills.  The country was drowning under weeks of biblical rain, but this particular day was dry, even warm, and I was looking forward to a drive back to the south coast in my 'new' car.

It was waiting for me in the yard's car park, looking shabby and neglected. But I'd said I wasn't worried about the cosmetics, hadn't I? After paying a bill that made my eyes water, my ears bleed and gave my cheque signing hand palsy, I jumped in the ready for the off. Richard wandered over to give me a briefing, and we messed around fitting pedal rubbers. His final words were "Well we've done what with we can with the fuel injection system - its still not perfect but see what you think". He may have mentioned some tips for cold and hot starts too.

I didn't listen to a word. 

After months of planning, dreaming and waiting I was finally driving my own old 911.

I'd picked a route along the old Oxford Road and then cross country via Abingdon, Ascot, and then down the familiar route through Petworth to home. 

In the sunshine I had a ball. Sure, the car was noisy, smelled of oil and the gear change needed gentle persuasion for find a ratio, but the steering was light and chatted away, the engine did its air-cooled buzzy thing, and the sunroof even opened. The ride on the fat 60% aspect ratio Continentals we'd selected was fine once you were up to speed, cornering was flat and the driving position was perfect  

It was a great drive, I even called ahead and arranged to meet a friend for a pub lunch. And I took a photograph:

Five minutes after this picture was taken I broke down. The motor span, the engine caught, but didn't run. Luckily my friend was gone and missed out on my humiliation. All I could do was call Tuthills and see if they could suggest anything. 

The fix was easy, and something I became very familiar with over the next few months. When attempting to start the warm engine I'd used a little too much throttle; the cranky CIS system had then produced a backfire with enough energy to unseat the air box, and the resultant air-leaks leaned off the mixture to the point where it wouldn't run. Refixing the air box (using the two highly engineered rubber straps) brought about movement once again, and a couple of hours later I parked up in the garage at home. 

I then spent a lot of time staring at the car. You know the scruffy matt yellow paint  job that wasn't going to bother me? 

It did. 


As did the holes left by the previous owners attempt to add a whale tail to the rear, the chunk taken out of the front spoiler, the scratches on the bonnet, the rubbish extruded plastic sill trim, the sandpaper rough 'finish' on the door shuts and bumpers and the stone chips on every panel.

I spent the evening admiring the stunning paint on the R-Gruppe cars I so badly wanted to emulate and came up with a plan.


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