A New Hope: Porsche 911 Restoration Project
This might surprise you, but this aircooled Porsche arrived having undergone a restoration already. As the skin was peeled back, it was obvious that there were more than a few corners cut. So instead of putting more bandaids on a chassis that needed critical attention, Fall-Line decided to strip it down to give this restoration project some hope.
With the likes of Singer paving the way for a brand new generation to appreciate not only vintage Porsche, but the potential of a reimagined one within an historic physique, it seems a good a time as any to take something like this on—to do our part to save a breed that is, by every account, just diminishing by the day.
Truth be told, when the car first arrived I wasn't so sure the car was in need of too much work, aside from missing a drivetrain. But as soon as the car started to come apart, I realized I was very wrong. As well as the visible paint may shine, you can start to see where the previous restoration went sour without looking too far—the overfenders were riveted on (poorly) atop OEM sheet metal that had some major rust issues.
The interior wasn't faring much better—the rear parcel shelf has historically been prone to rust thanks to the old school adhesive (it'd often eat through the paint), but the corrosion had migrated south to the rear seat area. In some areas, you could see straight through to the floor of the shop.
Admittedly on some cars, a rusty patina has its own bit of charm, but a classic air-cooled Porsche isn't one of those for me. It was utterly heartbreaking to see it in this state. I felt like the chassis was looking up at us, desperately seeking relief from the life it'd lived before this.
Original white paint underneath a removed plaque
Looking at the dash reminded me of seeing Darth Vader's decrepit helmet - deformed, bruised, and neglected for decades. The pedal box area so fragile that an over-eager breathe onto the throttle would put your foot through the floor.
There are countless people who'd probably just write this off as a lost cause, sending this rust-stricken old-timer from West Germany to the crusher (admittedly, seeing it in this state had me pessimistic for its transformation). But a car like this doesn't deserve that kind of send off.
The more I looked, the more signs of blatant disregard for quality I found. Removing the last of the rear torsion bar suspension left a puddle of rust on the floor and it made me wonder just how long it's been since this car was driven as it should. But there's perhaps no greater teacher for patience and empathy than a restoration project like this.
I guess it's worth explaining that the car was being pulled apart for the first phase of its rebirth—a bath of sorts that would rid it of every bit of corrosion. Once that's done, it'll be easier to see exactly how much salvageable vintage Porsche metal there is left.
If at the end of this post, you're asking yourself "why" I wouldn't blame you. But like every other segment of car culture, rationale ranks low on the list. It's the emotion, the excitement of taking on a new challenge in brutal defiance of convention that drives projects like this forward. Passion. Craftsmanship. And in a world that is increasingly fueled by statistics and decisions are made from data, it's refreshing to do something strictly just "because".