From the “Things I Almost Wish I Didn’t Know Existed Because Now I Really, Really Want One” files-
As time goes by, our tastes tend to change, or rather refine. As I’ve gotten older and spent more time in and around them, the more infatuated I’ve grown with the Porsche 911. My all time favorite, the 993 Turbo, remains just that, and as I’ve watched their prices steadily climb from $65,000 to $100,000 for a pristine example I realize I’m not alone. However one model 911 that was barely on my radar 5 years ago and is now solidly in second place on my list is the 1965-1974 “long nose” models. The first 911s, they weren’t particularly powerful or advanced, at least by modern standards, but there is something absolutely beautiful about the simplicity of their lines. The long nose term is a retronym, as after ‘74 the 911s had to be fitted with sizable “Impact Bumpers” to aid in crash safety, which shortened the lengths of their hood. While these new 911s were ostensibly safer, they were certainly less attractive, never really growing into their shape until the integrated bumpers of the 964/993.
Luckily, some magnificent bastard realized “Wait, the only real difference in shape between the early 911s and those awkward later years were a couple of lower panels. So why not just fabricate a longer hood and shorter bumper to fit on the newer cars?” Et voila, the backdated 911 was born. And for what it may lose in authenticity, it more than makes up for in being an all around better car. A backdated 911 retains the lines of the first generation while adding modern conveniences like a galvanized body to ward off rust, power windows and seats, air conditioning, improved transmissions, brakes that you can actually have confidence in, and last bust not least, horsepower. Glorious, glorious, horsepower.
Some companies, most notably Singer, have created an industry out of meticulously backdating 911s, though with their models staring at $190,000 and as much as doubling from there, they are out of reach of most enthusiasts. More realistic is that backyard community of Porsche fans who have set off to make their own, with the total bill, donor car included, often coming in at less than $40,000. The example above started life as 1988 Carrera, meaning it originally looked like this. And in case you need a second opinion on where proper car guys stand on the topic of a backdated 911, just ask the guy who designed the Bugatti Veyron. His in an ‘81.
1 year ago
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