Having a comprehensive throttle body rebuild has been at the top of the Yellow Peril’s “Should Have Sorted This Out Ages Ago List” for some time but various higher priority jobs and life in general simply got in the way.
Finally however, I had an email from Steve Winter at Jaz Porsche saying “Bring the car in and let’s get it sorted” and I was there like a shot to leave the car in his care.
Whilst the act of removing and re-fitting the throttle bodies is not a time consuming task, farming out the engineering work to deliver as-good-as-new-if-not-better units meant that we were at the mercy of another busy specialist company who’s priorities were not necessarily the same as mine or those of Jaz.
Thankfully with most motoring events still in enforced slumber due to the pandemic, it wasn’t like I was missing much so there was no need for me to get frustrated. OK – I did miss the old girl and I admit to making one call to check on progress a few weeks after delivering the car but I then vowed to just leave things be.
Imagine my delight then when out of the blue, I received a call from Steve just after he’d returned from a test drive of the fully throttled (throttle bodies rebuilt, refitted and engine tuned to perfection) Yellow Peril.
With Steve telling me that the car was “completely transformed and like a new car”, “faster than my 2.2S” and “running like a 2.7RS” I arranged to get up to Jaz as soon as I could on Sat 18th June to have a good catch-up with Steve and to collect the car.
Fighting my way through the the bedraggled Tartan Army wending their hung-over way back to Scotland via northbound trains from Kings Cross was not going to be a barrier to me catching my train up to St Albans. Scottish celebrations of what ended up as a glorious draw against England in the Euro 2020/21 match were wild enough, just imagine what it would have been like if they’d won ……… or maybe don’t!
Steve had already opened up at Jaz and put the kettle on by the time I’d walked from the station so it was a real pleasure to catch-up over a coffee before discussing the transformed Yellow Peril.
Steve explained that certain parts required to fully refurbish the throttle bodies had not been available until their recent remanufacture by BS Motorsport up in Aylesbury. He went on to say that with these parts fitted along with the rest of the refurbishment work, it was now possible for him to get the engine idle properly set and he was then able to tune the car to take full advantage of the race pistons and special profile cams which he’d fitted when the engine was rebuilt a while back.
Witnessing Steve starting up the car on the first turn of the key and hearing it idling and revving smoothly as he pulled the car out of the garage to allow another customer to retrieve his repaired car made me eager to get my hands on it but I wasn’t going to leave Jaz without a good mooch around the many and varied Porsche’s squeezed into the workshop.
The range of cars worked on at Jaz at any time means that a visit can feel more like a trip to a Porsche Museum with pristine examples from all periods of marque’s history. I was pleased that on this particular visit there was an abundance of 356’s and early 911’s.
The 356 in all of its forms throughout what was an incredibly long production run (1948 to 1965) are just beautiful. There’s not a straight line or flat panel in sight on the curvaceous Erwin Komenda designed bodywork!
The 356 Carrera 2 (factory code GS 2000) was the last hurrah for the 356 prior to the model range being replaced by the Type 901 (later rebranded as the 911). Introduced in September 1961 (1962 model year), around 310 cars were built in T6 356B and 356C form.
These cars were the fastest road going Porsche’s of their day thanks to their use of the fabulous Ernst Fuhrmann designed four cam engine with a displacement of 1966cc in Type 587/1 form. Named after the brutal Carrera Panamericana race in which Porsche had claimed class victories, the Carrera name was initially reserved for special high performance Porsche models.
This Carrera 2 engine in basic road going specification produced 130bhp but with bigger Weber carburettors (instead of the standard Solex items), higher profile camshafts and increased compression ratio, power was increased to 140 to 155bhp in the super rare GS/GT versions which were intended for competition use.
The Fuhrmann engine is an automotive work of art with it’s symmetrical cam covers either side of the beautifully shrouded vertical fan sitting atop the engine and with twin distributors protruding from each bank.
The C and SC were the last of the line road going 356models before they were supplanted by the 911 (and the 912). They are the most practical and usable of the long 356 production line. The T6 body is recognisable by its twin engine grilles, larger rear window and the squared-off front edge to its bonnet. More importantly however, the C and SC had all round disk brakes instead of the drum brakes of previous models.
The C had a 75bhp 1,600 CC engine but the SC had 95bhp on tap which was a far cry from the 35bhp available in the very first 356 dating back to 1948.
Not all cars look good from the rear but the 356 is sublime with its bodywork blending multiple curves towards the rear of the car. On the SC (and other 356 models) even the exhaust pipes are elegantly routed through the rear overriders so at not to spoil the rear aspect of the car.
The ongoing full restoration of this early right hand drive short wheelbase 911 looked really impressive but Steve also had a great back story to the car. With it being right hand drive, I asked Steve if it was an original UK or South African car but Steve explained that it was the very first car imported to New Zealand. He went on to explain that further investigation had revealed that before arriving in New Zealand, the self same car was the part of the first pair of 911’s imported to Australia.
Confused? On initial importation into Australia, this car was ear-marked for the then Mayor of Melbourne but a well-to-do Wellington businessman got wind of it and effectively gazumped the Mayor by persuading the receiving garage to onward ship it to New Zealand.
The Mayor was allegedly placated by the Australian importer with the excuse that there were issues with the car and an improved example of the model with all of the issues put right by the factory was en-route from Stuttgart.
Whoever buys this car when it’s meticulous restoration is completed will also be buying a lovely bit of history which exemplifies how desirable these ground breaking cars were when they were first manufactured in the mid ’60’s.
Other 356’s caught my eye some of which were familiar to me from Porsche Club meetings. The black car was fitted with a period luggage rack which popular at the time with owners who couldn’t squeeze all of their luggage into the limited space under the front lid or into the space behind the front seats. Bespoke luggage built to fit behind the front seats was also an option at the time and some companies are remanufacturing these items for current owners who are hell bent on 356 continental touring.
There’s a brutal elegance to the 911 Turbo. The bulging wheel arches and whale-tail rear spoiler are quite definitely not poncey affectations – they spell purpose and intent.
Early cars had a reputation for being somewhat dangerous when in the wrong or inexperienced hands. Pressing the loud pedal to the floor initially resulted in a lag period before the turbo fully spooled-up but it then unleashed it’s whiplash inducing oomph which occasionally gave rise some unseemly dexcursions into hedges and ditches.
Finally leaving Steve in peace to progress another engine rebuild, I fired up the Yellow Peril to head back to London. The smooth idle and progressive power available on tap was well worth the wait and once warmed up and heading down the M1, it was very difficult to resist the temptation to mash the accelerator pedal and rocket towards the horizon.
Pausing only to fill up with fuel however resulted in the cabin being filled with the wonderful aroma of Shell Super Unleaded and this reminded me that there’s a new fuel tank waiting for me at Sportwagen out in deepest darkest Essex. Next job!
Porsche Club GB’s 3rd Sunday in the month meeting in London’s East End the day after collecting the car provided a great excuse to take the car out. Sportwagen here I come!!!