Air-cooled 911’s. What’s all the fuss about?

For years I’ve wondered why little old men lust after these old air-cooled Porkers. Then one morning I woke up and decided to find out for myself. Pictured above is 1120kgs of my 1977 3.0 Super Carrera. A car I took delivery of a few weeks ago.

What’s it like?

The term visceral is thrown around constantly with old 911s. They’re tiny propositions, lightweight and raunchy engine note all work together to make you feel like you’re doing a million miles per hour. In reality you’re doing 37 on a British A-road. No power steering, no electric windows and a lack of air-con in mine makes it even lighter and more involving to drive. The 15” Fuchs mean it’s not too heavy to park when moving slowly, however the front end definitely gets lighter with speed. The 915 gearbox has an enormous throw to it. 1st, 3rd and 5th must have an easy 6” of lateral movement between each gate add that to the length of shift from first to second and it’s got to be almost a foot of rowing.

Lotus like design

“Simplify and add lightness” I’ve decided to backdate my 911 for two crucial reasons. The impact bumpers are ugly and they weigh a good 25kgs each. Just removing the sideskirts, front and rear bumpers, the aircon delete and rear seats my 911 is down 70kgs already. Replace your steel bumpers and bonnet with Fibreglass and there’s a car fast encroaching on a 1 tonne kerb-weight. Bucket seats and “RS” door cards are on route to remove even more weight and modernise the cabin. Next will be some breathing on the 3.0 flat 6 boxer engine, a set of SSI manifolds to replace the heat exchangers and a 2in 2 out exhaust system to help wake things up at the back. 40mm Weber carburettors are also on my shopping list but at £4250 for the full kit before fitting, I’m keen to see how exhaust improvements and twin spark aid things first. It’s never going to be a big powerful car but 230bhp in a tonne of classic 911 should be a very engaging proposition.

Why did you buy it?

The Lamborghini was keeping me awake at night, not something I ever expect my projects to do. So it had to go, there was too much risk of £50,000 being sunk into a never ending pit. I adored seeing the Gallardo in my garage and I had such a thrill owning it, but I’m a driver at heart and in only 4 weeks I missed tinkering and driving badly. A lovely chap from London who builds Porsche cup cars offered me this restored 911 Super Carrera and it runs and drives, wasn’t a hard decision really. I think with a good pair of seats, half a roll cage a good service and a good exhaust setup this will be a great little weekend racer, I’m very excited to see it completed in the next month or so.

Published by Sam Busby

a big nosed bearded idiot who likes to write about cars. Lucky enough to have owned a few quick ones too.

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