Having hummed and hawed about whether to go to this event or not I finally conceded the night before the last day and I’m glad I did.
I thankfully selected a less busy day and could circulate freely, snapping piccies of nice motors without having to electric-cattle-prod hordes of selfie-takers out of shot.
I was also able to see motors in motion on the Grand Avenue without having to reserve a fence-side viewing place an hour in advance of the demo runs and without having to resort to rugby scrum tactics to get to the front or a ladder to witness the action.
A rather annoying and inconsistent recalcitrance to rev has afflicted my old 911 for a some weeks. Having adjusted the choke and swapped the CDI box to no avail – Steve opted to swap the ignition coil on my latest visit to Jaz Porsche in St Albans as symptoms suggested insufficient spark.
This could be the range of emotions that you’d expect to go through as an integral part of classic car ownership but in the context of this post they refer to remaining problems that had to be sorted out on my engine following its complete rebuild.
With the benefit of hindsight – driving the car to Le Mans in June 2014 before the engine was fully sorted and properly set-up wasn’t one of my better ideas!
Steve did his best to sort things out but both he and I were unaware of some underlying issues which impacted performance and smooth running during the trip.
Thanks to Steve’s perseverance in analysing the multiple, linked issues and sorting them out I now have a car which is running so much better than on the Le Mans trip that I barely recognise it. I just can’t stop grinning whilst driving it!
Jaz Porsche provided a great uplift from the January gloom by holding an open day to show off their new St. Albans premises and to display some of their projects and handy work.
Sleet and snow meant that driving conditions were not ideal but the prospect of quick blast up the M1 in my old 911 to Steve and Claire Winter’s new premises and meet up with fellow Porsche enthusiasts over a drink and bite to eat was too good to miss.
The new workshop is much more spacious than the one that Jaz left in Wembley and with fresh paint and great Porsche posters adorning the walls it looks like a clinically clean environment in which to service and restore treasured Porsches of all ages.
A quick chat with Steve resulted in me adding to his order for US-sourced Salt & Pepper 911 carpet sets. Then a chat with Bruce Cooper from Sportwagen got me booked in for a paint check and trimming work to fit the new carpet set. Job done!
The 2014 event was meant to feature the 1970 Le Mans winning Porsche 917K plus it’s two drivers but sadly only Richard Attwood was able to attend as Hans Hermann wasn’t well enough to travel to the UK.
To make up for this however – Jurgen Barth turned up to delight the crowds with a raucous blast up the driveway in the 917 after it was eventually cajoled into running on all 12 cylinders. I’ve jump started a few cars in my time but seeing a 917 being jump started was a first. It was great that perseverance won out as the sight and sound of this car was a visual and aural delight.
My 911 saga began actually began with a dream of owning an earlier Porsche model – the 356, but much research and inspection of cars led me to the conclusion that:-
a) Buying a decent 356 at that time was beyond my means and
b) Using a 356 as a daily driver wasn’t really terribly practical.
The 356 engined 912 became toy next Porsche target and I looked at a few cars until Porsche expert Andy Prill pointed out that the cost of fully restoring a 912 are pretty well the same as for a 911 but with two cylinders less than a 911 the resulting value of the car would be significantly lower and thereby represent a less compelling long-term investment.