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PORSCHE 911 RACE CAR

When I had the chance to swap my running 944 race car for a non-running 911 race car project, I didn’t have to think twice. Even worse, I swapped it sight unseen off the internet. Was it a mistake? Even a big one? I’ve had some grumbling in my stomach on the day of delivery. Well, let’s find out what happened.

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WHO SWAPS A 911 FOR A 944?

A race car is a race car is a race car is a 911. Well, don’t get be wrong, I liked my 944 racer, a car I had for almost 11 years. At some point I picked up a cheap and tired 944, I didn’t want to blow that much money on another 911 to build a race car. What I have chosen was a neglected 944 from 1984, interior was non-existent but I didn’t care too much anyway. Engine pulled strong, all that mattered. Converted it right away, lowered it considerably, wider rims, Hoosier tires, suspension upgrades, roll-cage, harness, seats, done. And added a nice livery to the car.

One day a guy approached me at Willow Springs, after I’ve had a few laps in my 944 with some other guys I didn’t know at the time. He pointed into the direction of my 944 and asked if I would consider a trade. I shrugged my shoulders, looked at him and waited for him to continue. In the end he offered his non-running 911 race car project in exchange for my very well running 944. At first I was confused. Asked a few questions about the condition of the car, trusted the guy, we shook hands and a week later I was impatiently waiting for the tow truck to arrive. And this is what I got.

NON-RUNNING ENGINE

Actually, this is not what it looked like, when I got it. This is what it looked like when I sold it. But we get to that part later.

The car had some unknown engine failure, the previous owner said. But it turned freely and I had a spare engine on the shelf anyway. Almost forgot to mention, it was a (late 77) 78 911 SC, nothing special. But the guy has raced it for about 4 years before it stopped working. He didn’t bring it to a shop and wasn’t able to figure out, what was going on. If he was too ashamed to ask for help, I don’t know. But here you go, this is what it looked like.

INNER VALUES

As you can see, it looked like a normal 911, yes, lower, yes, stiffer, some weird rims and a few more items screaming “race car”. But not too many. After a couple of minutes meditating and begging the race car gods for good engine faith, we tried to start the engine. It turned yes, but the engine didn’t start. We pushed it into my garage and for hours we tried everything. Spark was there, fuel as well, still nothing. 

Honestly, I didn’t care too much, since I had a rebuilt engine on the shelf, much stronger, a shortstroke 3.2, engine dyno said 304 HP. The rest of the afternoon my buddy Steve and I pulled the non-running 3 litre engine and installed the 3.2 SS I had sitting for almost 2 years already. 

Getting the old one out took about one hour, with coffee breaks and a little chat with the neighbour, having the new engine running took almost five hours with re-wiring and stuff. When I had a look at the engine we pulled, something began to dawn on me. Looked twice, and there it was. Some sort of magic number, at least to me. It started with 667, which is clearly a Carrera 3.o engine, not the standard 3 litre SC engine. I was really happy to be honest, I had a great candidate for another rebuilt.

REAL RACE CAR

The next 3 months I turned it into what I thought was a proper race car. Changed the suspension to coilover, wider rims, Hoosier tires. This setup changed everything. Removed everything unnecessary, eliminated weight, added fiberglass bumbers and a fiberglass rear decklid, lightweight racing seats, a cage, a harness and I was ready to go. Finally, I didn’t like the colour so I painted the car in some aggressive red and added my lucky number to the car. Everyone who knows me is aware what that number means to me.

Enjoyed the car for two more years, put about 15.000 mls on the engine and sold it at the time when Porsche prices were at the summit.

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