Locking Down Project 912SiX

That’s right boys and girls, I bought a Porsche. Surprise surprise, right?

Seriously though, this couldn’t have been a more predictable outcome after selling my R32 Skyline GT-R. I mean, I’ve only been advocating for the classic Porsche since the day I started contributing here, so you can’t really blame me for going this route. And almost everyone I know called it the minute I posted the Instagram video of the GT-R leaving my parking lot back in June.

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Needless to say, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. After having generous amounts of seat time behind various models of the 911 thanks to some loving friends, I had my mind set on building the Porsche I never knew I needed.

Conversion

The journey began prior to even letting go of the GT-R. I recall the morning quite well, actually. My buddy G messaged me asking if I’d care to join him for a morning drive through the North Bay, with me piloting his 993 TT, and him in his ’67 SWB S. I believe the invitation was something along the lines of: ‘I’d be happy to convert you to a 911 guy,’ which I’ll admit, was not something that I thought could happen. This was partly due to the fact that I always felt the 911 was an overrated Volkswagen with the engine in the wrong place.

But here I am, two years later, with a P-car of my own…

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From that morning on, whether I like to admit it or not, the Porsche bug bit me, and although I still kept my GT-R for the year following, every time I drove it, I couldn’t help but feel like it was missing something. Add the fact that I was surrounded by nothing but Porsches, and you’ll understand why I became quite keen on selling the Nissan and giving in to the best driver’s car to ever exist (naysayers need not proceed).

I know, many of you would argue otherwise, and I can’t discredit anything you guys say, nor do I think I can change your mind. There are unlimited proper driver’s cars out there that may suite your hunt for speed better than a Porsche, but the fact of the matter is, until you drive a Porsche – and I mean really drive one – you wouldn’t be able to understand.

Put simply, there is nothing in the world that drives like an air-cooled 911.

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By no means is it the fastest car ever made, or the best looking, or even the best handling. But the one single variable that makes a P-car special is the distinctive experience you get when you’re behind the wheel. And the crazy part about it is that the mysterious formula can be found in any 911, no matter how old or new. It might slightly differ depending on model and packaging, but the general concept remains the same throughout. I can’t really think of any manufacturer that can promise that same claim.

The Hunt

With the end goal in mind, I drafted out my plans. The first step was letting go of the GT-R. I parted the car completely back to its stock form, slapped on a for sale sign, snapped a few pics, and listed it in the local classifieds. With the help of a few friends spreading word around the community, the car sold to a happy local owner (who still owns it, and loves every bit of it as much as I did). Now, the big question was which Porsche do I buy?

My biggest obstacle here was that I realized how spoiled I’d become after piloting so many of the special 911s over the last couple of years. That is indeed a first world problem, I know. But aside from that, the issue was that there would be no way I could afford buying any of the special 911s I wished to own, especially since my plans weren’t to stop at owning a Porsche. So when budget becomes an obstacle, the only smart thing to do is to buy a project and tailor it to my driving style.

I’m giggling a bit writing this, because ‘budget build’ and Porsche don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Add to that by having a ’73 RS as your ‘ideal’ inspiration, and you’ll be laughed at by any Porsche aficionado. After all, that is the holy grail.

I digress…

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With an ideal project in mind, I looked for a classic 911 for months, passing on countless cars, and even contemplating changing direction by going with a G-body car or even a 964 or 993. I was starting to give up hope, because every single classic 911 I came across was either a complete pile of crap or totally overpriced by the ridiculous amount of flippers and dealers slanging these things. Sometimes, even the competitively priced projects would get picked up almost immediately after being listed for sale. Then of course, the flippers would re-list them at a premium. I think in total I lost out on probably 12 to 15 good deals.

But just before I caved in, as fate would have it, I stumbled across a local add for perhaps the ugliest Porsche I’ve ever seen for sale…  It was the one.

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Alarmingly, the advertisement was up for over three weeks. I was actually surprised I hadn’t seen it prior, but I guess my narrowed search was filtering the car out of the listings (pro tip: when searching for a car, try not to narrow the search too much, as you’ll potentially lose out on other possibilities).

For a few days following, I found myself going back and forth on whether it was worth looking at. Despite being only 15 minutes away from my house, I was unsure about it, only because I had wasted so much time already looking at other cars that were described in similar light. But after consulting a few Porsche friends, I stopped doubting myself and decided to give the guy a call to schedule a time to check out the car, and an hour later I was en route.

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When I arrived, the car wouldn’t start, was covered in dust, and as I imagined, was being sold by someone who happened to come across the car on the street, and persuaded the original owner to sell it to him. ‘Here we go again’ I thought to myself, thinking that this was just another flip. And to be fair, it actually was just another flip.

The seller had no idea about the car’s previous history, even though it came with a mountain a paperwork that he was too lazy to sort through to read. Interestingly enough, the paperwork alone had a story to tell, with clippings of other Porsches for sale, maintenance and previous restoration documents, and even receipts from EASY dating back to the 1980s, which was particularly exciting since I still frequent their monthly meet today. I know the guys will get a kick out of seeing some of this stuff when I take the car to next month’s gathering.

Eventually, it all worked in my favor, because had he actually took the time to understand the car, he would’ve asked quite a bit more than his already fair asking price. I left shortly after snapping nearly 100 photos for my Porsche specialist/mechanic friend to use for inspection. Ideally, I would’ve liked to have him come inspect the car in person, but because there were a few other potential buyers lined up for the car, I had no choice but to act as fast as I possibly could. It was risky, but a calculated risk nevertheless.

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Despite having my Porsche specialist’s approval to pull the trigger on the car, I was still on the fence. My biggest constraint this time around, was that the car wasn’t actually a 911, but its dumbed-down sibling, a 912.

If you’re wondering what the difference between the two are, most of it resides underneath. When the boys at Stuttgart decided that the Type 911 (originally Type 901) would be their sole offering, they feared the potential loss of sales due to the increased price of the flat-six powered 911. So to keep things simple, they tossed in the last version of the 356 1.6-liter flat-four, along with the 902 transmission, and considered it the ‘entry level’ variant to the 911. I’ll dive more into that in the next update, but because of this, I knew for a fact that I’d never be satisfied with the four-banger version of the 911. Surely though, as the saying goes, a little bit of luck can go a long way.

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I kid you not going into this next part of the story, but that same day, that same specialist who I’d consulted about the 912 posted a red Carrera wing for sale. Intrigued, I messaged him asking what car it came off, and it just so happened to be G’s red Euro Carrera I drove during the Coastal Range Rally. ‘Interesting,’ I thought to myself. Why was this wing from that car up for sale? I knew G wouldn’t be modifying that car as it was basically his ‘around town’ car. I pushed my curiosity a bit further and asked my mechanic what the deal with the car was, only to find out that unfortunately for G, the car had been in an accident (not his fault), and was unsavable.

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I quickly messaged G asking what his plans were for the car, and he said that he was just going to part it out. BOOM, the potato-powered lightbulb in my head went into full illumination, and the puzzle pieces immediately started coming together.

‘If I buy the ugly car, and I buy G’s car, then I can make the ugly car, the right car. I’d literally have everything I need.’ And just like that, I was the owner of not one, but two Porsches, both of which did not work. Sigh…

Now, it was all a matter of putting the puzzle pieces together – in real life. I’ll dive more into those details in the next update.

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For now, we fast-forward a bit to this past week, with the car finally home after a long surgical procedure. I’ve been leveraging as much of my time as possible to drive the car the way I like to drive, grouping up with friends and taking way to our favorite local roads.

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So far, I’ve already burned through the paint on the quarter panels of the car due to the meaty rear fitment and low ride height, which I blatantly am not hurt over. It’s far from perfect in terms of paint anyway, so I’m considering these new blemishes as part of my ownership inauguration process. Other than that, the shakedown period has gone rather well, thankfully, and now I can shift focus into getting all the little details done, which I’ll surely be sharing with you guys along the way.

Stay tuned as this is just the beginning…

Naveed Yousufzai
Instagram: eatwithnaveed

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