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Paging Bill Ferran..


lawnchairboy

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Don't have to worry about me, I'm long since gone from that world.

 

The last event I attended was Rennsport at Daytona in 2004, my 908 had just finished a four year restoration. All the prototypes were lined up along the pit wall for judging and photo ops. I walked off to do something for about 15 minutes, when I came back several of my buddies said hey, Seinfeld came by and was checking out your car, he wanted to meet the owner. Pretty much my life story. :grin:

 

P1050836_Fotor.jpg

 

What was cool tho, Chad McQueen, Steve's son found the car and wanted photos with it. It was similar to the one his dad came in 2nd at Sebring in 1970, after being passed by Andretti in a more powerful Ferrari in the last few laps. He co-drove the entire race with his leg in a cast I think from a motorcycle crash (probably a dirtbike) : )

 

http://selvedgeyard.com/2009/05/12/the-legendary-1970-sebring-12-hour-race-steve-mcqueens-brush-with-victory/

 

This market has been crazy the last several years (viewed from afar) and I think Jerry's unloading some stuff because he (and his advisors) might see a changing trend. That and combined with the auction hype, I doubt some of those cars will bring a half or third those estimates, regardless it'll be interesting to see. There is one car that could break the bank though if it sells, the Mark Donohue 917/30. Not only was it the most powerful Porsche racecar (1200hp), only a couple were made and it has a history like few others.

 

jerry-seinfeld-porsche-collection-is-about-to-get-smaller_14.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by roadscholar
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  • 3 weeks later...
roadscholar

I'd say he did pretty good overall, most of them better than I thought, though I really haven't been following it the past decade or so.

 

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/11/seinfeld-porsches-hit-bumpy-road-at-auction.html

 

Flashback to 1965. Growing up on the beachside in Daytona I had every reason to be a muscle car nut. My step-dad was the Lincoln-Mercury dealer and had NASCAR connections (Parnelli Jones was over for dinner during the 500 one year), I went out with Fireball Roberts' daughter a couple times, Smokey Yunick's son fabricated stuff for me at his machine shop, and my first riding buddy had a '63 Honda 50ss like mine. His dad was Ray Fox, Junior Johnson's crew chief and engine builder (how's that for some name dropping :)) . Not to mention half the parking lot at Seabreeze HS would look like a car show nowadays. Tri-power GTO's, GT350's, 426 Hemis, one 427 Corvette and lots of others, we used to drag race those things in Tomoka State Park on Saturday nights. :eek:

 

But, I had an older friend/mentor into European cars (Porsche's and Alfa's) that knew how to make a buck. He'd buy slightly used 356's and get me to help him drive them to LA in the Summer where they were worth 2 or 3 times that, having become a cult car with the Beverly Hills set. The first one was a perfect black on black '65 SC with 14k miles on it. I think he paid 2k for it and sold it to Barry Hilton for over twice that. Still in that shape, it's probably 6 figures today.

 

The one that got away. One Saturday morning he picked me up and said there was an old Porsche race car for sale on the back lot at the dealer (yep Daytona had a Porsche dealer then) It was faded silver, been sitting outside, numbers still on it and with a few racing scars, it looked pretty ratty. Well they let us drive it. OMG! It had no w/s and a bad excuse for a passenger seat but we took it over to the beachside for some quick posing, then I swear Toby had it going 140 back across the Broadway bridge with our hair on fire. :grin:

 

I wasn't sure what model it was at the time as it didn't really matter, but later figured out it was a 550 Spyder (like what Jerry sold for 5M). They were asking $1800. for it. We mulled it over a little and rationalized ya really couldn't get away with driving on the street and wth would we do with it. Toby offered em $1500. anyway and they wouldn't take it, so we walked : ) Hey, it was a worthless old race car..

 

I bought my first one in 1966, a '63 Super 90 coupe but had to sell it after a year and a half due to the no money in college syndrome, reduced to a couple bugs and a combi. Which were probably more fun at the time because at 6 or 700 bucks you didn't have to worry much about 'em. Out of school tho' the dream materialized, I started buying old ones cheap and fixing them up, a hobby turned into a business, and then came a serious addiction of racing them for 30 years.

 

Probably have had a couple hundred since the early 70's and almost every model made since 1954, except for the latest stuff. I've been at the wheel of old 911's for so many miles I actually got tired of looking at the dashboard, and it was a thing of beauty. The new ones are great, fast, beautiful, expensive, but they've turned into comfortable, street legal and well-mannered race cars. With all the electronics onboard a dufus couldn't crash one, heck anybody can go fast in them now. And chances are I'll probably want one in 15 or 20 years..

 

 

 

Edited by roadscholar
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"Hey, it was a worthless old race car..."

:rofl:

If I had a nickel for every time...

at least you get to spend the money many times in fantasy world instead of once.

:wave:

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Thanks for sharing! When I was 11 a new family moved across the street from us. They had a 911 - I was always a Porsche guy back then. The son, who was in college, restored 356's did 3 of them while they were across the street. I would monitor their garage from my window, looking for the door to open. When it did, I'd go hang out while he worked. I got to ride in all of his restorations. One coupe and two speedsters. He even took me to a autocross - which he won.

 

They moved back to California when I was 16 - just after I'd bought a 1969 912 that needed a lot of work :cry:

 

He was featured a few years ago in Autoweek - someone was racing his 914/6 (I had to laugh, because he always talked down the 914).

 

A tragic note - the pristine 356 coupe he restored was a wedding gift for his sister and her husband after they moved to CA. Tragically, on their way to their honeymoon, her husband lost control on the PCH and they both died. He was a state trooper and was used to driving big American rear wheel patrol cars.

 

Thanks again for sharing that piece of your life.

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roadscholar

Tim no worries, I blew it on BMW motorcycles : )

 

 

Thanks Marty, a day in the life. Actually, when I get together with old HS buds we usually give each other a hug because we're amazed a lot of us are still alive.

 

 

WTA, nice story but really sad to hear about the couple on PCH, many a 356/911 have left the road backwards due to unsuspecting drivers. Handling got better and rear tires got bigger over the years but they kept getting more powerful too, so they were just spinning at higher speeds. Years ago a manager at Brumos Porsche told me half of all the '76 Turbos that came to America (400) had been crashed, going backwards.

 

I can relate to the garage across the street story. I was pretty good (or lucky) at sniffing out 356's that'd been cooped up in barns or garages. What I realized was they'd usually get driven by 1st or 2nd owners to 70 or 80k miles and something semi-expensive would crop up like a generator or clutch and they either wouldn't know where to take it or wouldn't spend money on it, so quite a few just got parked.

 

Being fairly well connected in that little world I got word one day there was a '54 Speedster in a neighborhood not far from me. 1954 was the 1st and rarest year for Speedsters, just 200 were made, with less than half likely surviving (I have another '54 Speedster story maybe later).

 

Well the guy lived directly across the street from a fellow that was in the Porsche club and whose brother was a big time collector in San Diego. I realized all this when I got to his house. He didn't know it and I didn't say anything, till much later. It sat there 6 or 7 years and evidently he never opened the garage door because the neighbor hadn't seen it. Got out of there quick, it was serial no. 50. '54 and earlier cars were known as pre-A's and had really wicked handling characteristics. I think it had 145/80-16 tires so that didn't help either but it was like a hook and ladder in any curve over 50. You'd turn in then a half second later the rear would step out, then you'd have to catch it. Downright scary : )

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by roadscholar
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Bill the worst loss I've ever seen was at Roebling Road about 20 years ago. A brand new 911 Turbo was trailered up from somewhere in s. florida for a PCA track weekend. Coming toward the front streight on the curve he lifted, slid into the dirt and came down upside down. No injuries but the car was basically destroyed. One of the guys cought the whole crash on video which we all watched at dinner. HHH had me lift a bit on a curve while teaching me and laughed while he said "never do that again".

 

I never did! :dopeslap:

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Guest Kakugo

 

Probably have had a couple hundred since the early 70's and almost every model made since 1954, except for the latest stuff. I've been at the wheel of old 911's for so many miles I actually got tired of looking at the dashboard, and it was a thing of beauty. The new ones are great, fast, beautiful, expensive, but they've turned into comfortable, street legal and well-mannered race cars. With all the electronics onboard a dufus couldn't crash one, heck anybody can go fast in them now. And chances are I'll probably want one in 15 or 20 years..

 

It may be true for Porsche's.

Last time I rode the Coll de Cantò (Catalonia) I came up behind a brand new 911 Turbo on a German registration plate. The driver completely missed the braking point on a blind right hander but the car stopped short of the crash barrier. Luckily traffic on that road is normally very very light.

While I was completely unimpressed by the driver (who had been holding me up for a couple of bends) I was very impressed by how the car saved his skin... in that point the crash barrier is all that's between the road and a 400+ meters plunge. :eek:

 

But it may not be true for Ferrari's. :grin:

Last year down in the valley somebody crashed a brand new 458 at the exit of the fast corner three miles from here as the crow flies. The car plowed straight into the bus stop tearing it up and stopped in the ditch behind. Luckily it was around midnight so no traffic and nobody waiting for the bus.

The car was a complete loss but the two onboard walked away uninjured.

Given I ride or drive that road on an almost daily basis, I suspect the driver deactivated traction control and other aids to leave a skidmark at the exit of the turn, the car started spinning as soon as he gave throttle and the rest is history, as they say.

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Once upon a time, I almost wadded up a Toyota MR2 during a spirited test drive. That was my first experience with the mid corner lift characteristics of a mid-engine RWD car. Needed a good set of pliers and a crowbar to separate my rear end from the seat afterward. I think that car was only rated at about 135hp. I can't imagine what it would be like in something that actually had some power. After that test drive, I crossed off the MR2 and ended up buying my first BMW 3-series instead.

 

I've always drooled over Porsches, but the only ones I ever drove were a pair of 924's that two of my high school buddies had. One was pretty nice, the other was a ragged out pile of used parts. My friends step dad had a 911, but we literally were not allowed to touch it. He had bright yellow tape on the floor of the garage around it. It was a rule that absolutely NOTHING was allowed to cross that tape except for him. Probably for good reason :grin:

 

EDIT:.....thanks for the story time guys. I always love reading it.

Edited by OoPEZoO
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roadscholar
Bill the worst loss I've ever seen was at Roebling Road about 20 years ago. A brand new 911 Turbo was trailered up from somewhere in s. florida for a PCA track weekend. Coming toward the front streight on the curve he lifted, slid into the dirt and came down upside down. No injuries but the car was basically destroyed. One of the guys cought the whole crash on video which we all watched at dinner. HHH had me lift a bit on a curve while teaching me and laughed while he said "never do that again".

 

I never did! :dopeslap:

 

That's the ticket Marty, have to train yourself to do something that goes against natural instincts.

 

I did some instructing at Roebling but wasn't terribly good at verbalizing technique to novices, I had more of a "strap in, shut-up, and pay attention" approach. I'm joking.. a little. :grin:

 

Because I'd done some racing the head instructor usually would give me students that had aspirations at such or at least some experience, so for the most part it was fun.

 

I was there for a club event in the latter 70's, and then there was a full grown corn field just outside the front straight. A guy came off that same turn about 100mph in an older Targa that wasn't set up, dropped the left rear in the dirt, it turned him outward, the drainage ditch catapulted the car in the air, then the corn field, and it barrel-rolled 6 or 7 times before landing upright on the passenger side. The car wasn't visible but you could see the corn stalks getting mowed down. I was the 1st one to him and he was shaken up but ok, probably hurt himself the most when I told him to undo his seat belt and he fell three feet onto the other door. Did that because the carburators (Zeniths) on that model were notorious for catching on fire and I wanted him outta there. Sure enough after a minute or so we heard a 'poof' but by then others had reached the site and someone nixed it with an extinguisher. Most of the exterior panels were dented in some but the Targa roll bar didn't have a scratch on it, that was pretty impressive.

 

 

 

 

 

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roadscholar

It may be true for Porsche's.

Last time I rode the Coll de Cantò (Catalonia) I came up behind a brand new 911 Turbo on a German registration plate. The driver completely missed the braking point on a blind right hander but the car stopped short of the crash barrier. Luckily traffic on that road is normally very very light.

While I was completely unimpressed by the driver (who had been holding me up for a couple of bends) I was very impressed by how the car saved his skin... in that point the crash barrier is all that's between the road and a 400+ meters plunge. :eek:

 

Sadly, an all too common occurrence, and likely why Porsche, BMW, and others have been offering driver training the past ten or fifteen years. They realized a percentage of their clientele could afford but weren't able to cope with that level of high performance. Driver aids can help to a point but won't substitute for common sense, co-ordination, or experience.

 

I ran into that behavior a little in historic racing. A few people that were very successful in other walks of life automatically assummed they'd be good in a race car, so went out and bought the fastest one they could find. Usually it caused some problems because they'd rocket down the straightaway and then hold up the majority of the field in the twisty bits. I know I've been stuck behind a few of those types : )

 

 

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roadscholar
Once upon a time, I almost wadded up a Toyota MR2 during a spirited test drive. That was my first experience with the mid corner lift characteristics of a mid-engine RWD car. Needed a good set of pliers and a crowbar to separate my rear end from the seat afterward.

 

So, is that how you got your nickname : )

 

Having had a good bit of seat time in mid and rear-engine cars I've learned there's a difference. It has something to do with polar moment of inertia but you'll have to ask Glenn or one of the other engineers here to splain it cause like Glenn already pointed out I don't have an exact grasp on it, :grin: at least for describing it.

 

What I do know from years of driving both is that a mid engine car when pushed, all things being equal, will stay planted quite a bit longer than a rear engine car. But when it does break loose (and I'm referring to higher speeds) it does a 180 snap-spin (as in instant) and if going really fast will be followed by a second one, ala 360. (DAMHIK) If anyone remembers the Danny Sullivan spin and win at Indy years ago, that's a perfect example.

 

A rear engine car breaks loose more gradually and allows time to catch it, countersteer, and power out. At slower speeds, with some practice you can drive them dirt-track style with big powerslides off turns, which is always fun. They make for excellent rain cars too for not only that but the rear weight bias let's them hook up well in low traction conditions, and why VW dune buggies don't need 4wd.

 

I probably shouldn't tell this story but a buddy and I were headed to Miami in a modified 914/2.0 I had. It had tightened suspension, flares, and fat tires. We had to exit I-95 then hit a 270* onramp to enter the Turnpike. He being a Turbo owner I felt compelled to show him how well a 914 (mid-engine) does on a skidpad (with guard rails three feet away on both sides). Well you guessed it, just as the lane straightened out it did a snap-spin and we more or less merged with traffic ok, the difference being we were going backwards and still at about 70. I don't know how but I got it gathered up and off on the shoulder. No harm no foul, but a little embarrassing : ) Probably the worst part was having to make a 5 point turn in the grass to get it heading forward again. Think I've always had a knack for learning stuff the hard way..

 

 

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Think I've always had a knack for learning stuff the hard way..

 

 

I've been accused of that a few times myself :grin:

 

And then forgetting it and having to educate myself again.

 

And again,

:dopeslap:

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Man, did I have a dull childhood.

 

I thought painting the wheels black and putting baby moon hubcaps on a 53 Chevy was fun! :dopeslap:

 

Course I did drive a first year GTO pretty darn fast, even though it wasn't mine. Along with a Corvair Monza Spyder that was scary fast and a 68 Chevelle SS with a 396 which would go pretty fast in a straight line.

 

It's a good thing I never had access to the various cars mentioned above because I wouldn't have any clue on how to drive them. :dopeslap:

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Sadly, an all too common occurrence, and likely why Porsche, BMW, and others have been offering driver training the past ten or fifteen years. They realized a percentage of their clientele could afford but weren't able to cope with that level of high performance. Driver aids can help to a point but won't substitute for common sense, co-ordination, or experience.

 

I ran into that behavior a little in historic racing. A few people that were very successful in other walks of life automatically assummed they'd be good in a race car, so went out and bought the fastest one they could find. Usually it caused some problems because they'd rocket down the straightaway and then hold up the majority of the field in the twisty bits. I know I've been stuck behind a few of those types : )

 

 

Some years ago I was lapping at Mid Ohio in my E28 533i (with a few engine mods) and was signed off and lapping solo for the last session on Saturday. I came up on a Viper who would not wave me by. Down the back straight, of course he would disappear, but 4 corners later I'd be on his tail for the rest of the lap, lap after lap - fuming inside my helmet. Made it hard to get a rhythm. I could only run the first session Sunday before I had to leave, so I obviously wanted to make to most of my time. I suppose I knew the track better and knew how my car would react in various situations and the driver in the Viper was obviously a novice - as I had no business being glued to his bumper in any situation except at a stop light.

 

Looking back,

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Bill, I had a 914 for awhile. Liked it but the 911 came into my life about then. Black with yellow stripes.

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Sadly, an all too common occurrence, and likely why Porsche, BMW, and others have been offering driver training the past ten or fifteen years. They realized a percentage of their clientele could afford but weren't able to cope with that level of high performance. Driver aids can help to a point but won't substitute for common sense, co-ordination, or experience.

 

I ran into that behavior a little in historic racing. A few people that were very successful in other walks of life automatically assummed they'd be good in a race car, so went out and bought the fastest one they could find. Usually it caused some problems because they'd rocket down the straightaway and then hold up the majority of the field in the twisty bits. I know I've been stuck behind a few of those types : )

 

 

Some years ago I was lapping at Mid Ohio in my E28 533i (with a few engine mods) and was signed off and lapping solo for the last session on Saturday. I came up on a Viper who would not wave me by. Down the back straight, of course he would disappear, but 4 corners later I'd be on his tail for the rest of the lap, lap after lap - fuming inside my helmet. Made it hard to get a rhythm. I could only run the first session Sunday before I had to leave, so I obviously wanted to make to most of my time. I suppose I knew the track better and knew how my car would react in various situations and the driver in the Viper was obviously a novice - as I had no business being glued to his bumper in any situation except at a stop light.

 

Looking back,

 

I have a very similar story only I was in an '86 325es and was up the tail pipe of a brand new Porsche GT3 on one of the infield tracks at Pocono. The guy probably had a good 12-15 car lengths on me by the end of the straight, but I was right there in his rearview by the time we were 2 turns into the infield. I finally popped into the pit lane for about half a lap to give us some distance. I ended up catching him again before the session was over.

 

At the end of the day, I was loading all of my gear, tools, and junk back into the trunk of the 325es to drive home and he pulled up in his dually diesel pickup with the GT3 in an enclosed car trailer. He apparently was a BMW guy until he bought this Porsche and wanted to know what mods I had done to my 325 to haul it around the track like that. I got quite a stare when I told him it was bone stock except for the suspension. I had 250K+ miles on it at the time and drove it 600 miles a week to work. I actually think that was the last track day that I participated in. Right about the time I bought my house, changed jobs, and decided I couldn't afford track time anymore. Maybe I'll get back to it someday.

 

There she is, in all her glory

racetrack.jpg

Edited by OoPEZoO
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....

 

At the end of the day, I was loading all of my gear, tools, and junk back into the trunk of the 325es to drive home and he pulled up in his dually diesel pickup with the GT3 in an enclosed car trailer. He apparently was a BMW guy until he bought this Porsche and wanted to know what mods I had done to my 325 to haul it around the track like that. I got quite a stare when I told him it was bone stock except for the suspension. I had 250K+ miles on it at the time and drove it 600 miles a week to work. I actually think that was the last track day that I participated in. Right about the time I bought my house, changed jobs, and decided I couldn't afford track time anymore. Maybe I'll get back to it someday.

 

There she is, in all her glory

racetrack.jpg

 

Great Photo, Keith! Looks like you're close to lifting that rear wheel! :thumbsup:

 

I have a Metric Mechanic 3.7 and after Mid Ohio I pulled the head switched to a Schrick cam, upgraded the Fuel Injection system and put track springs and struts and negative camber strut bearings up front. AND . . . I've never had the car at the track since!![This was 13-16 years ago!] I finally broke down and put stock strut bearings on after wearing out the front tires. I'll probably put the factory springs on it this year - it's getting too damn hard getting in and out of it!

 

I don't have an action shot, but here's a recent one taken downtown.

 

p><p> Back to the cool Porsche

 

But the Porsche 917's and 956's were a thing of beauty and speed and fueled my dreams. I understand the 917 were more than quite a handful to drive at speed. Good on ya Bill for sharing a track with those monsters and sharing your great stories with us.

 

Encore?!

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roadscholar

But the Porsche 917's and 956's were a thing of beauty and speed and fueled my dreams. I understand the 917 were more than quite a handful to drive at speed. Good on ya Bill for sharing a track with those monsters and sharing your great stories with us.

 

Encore?!

 

After Keith posted that pic today it got me in gear and headed over to Kinko's to get a few old shots scanned.

 

Those are great cars guys, I had 535i stick for awhile I loved and for a long time used a 735i/5sp to tow the race cars around on an open trailer, that thing was sublime. Also had a lowered/tightened European 323i (6cyl) that was an absolute hoot to drive.

 

Marty, we need pics of those Porsches, get after it man : ) You too Bud, lets see some old cars, btw Bud one winter about '64 or '65 three of us drove a '53 Chevy coupe to Knoxville to see James Brown at UT. It was snowing pretty hard when we went thru Deal's Gap. :wave:

 

Ok WTA, you brought up something I need to elaborate on a little. It happened that Peter Gregg (owner of Brumos Porsche and racer extraordinaire) died about the same time I moved here. Big Bob, the long time GM wanted to bring in some star power so he got Brian Redman to open an exotic car store across the street. Brian started competing vintage racing about the same time as me and I got to know him pretty good. He was a great story teller and you knew they were true, but some were really hair-raising.

 

He was on several of the top factory teams but early on at Porsche ('68) they were developing the 917. As a relative newcomer he got a call from race headquarters at his Yorkshire home one day. They said, "Breeaan, vee haff a new car vee vood like you to come test for us, ven can you be here?". He didn't know exactly what to think so he called his driving partner Jo Siffert and one of the other team drivers and asked them what's up?. They said, no Brian, you don't vant to drive it, velly dangerous : ) Well, he ended up doing it anyway and said it was a real monster. It was developed for Lemans to beat the Ferrari's and GT40's, and early versions had the Langheck (longtail) like the LM 908's had. There was no chicane in the Mulsanne straight then (although there was a flat-out bend). They clocked it at 249 mph and I think still holds that record. Brian said they finally had to change the entire rear bodywork into a wedge or upward sweeping wing to make it driveable and that it would move around 2 or 3 car widths on the straights at anything above 200, and was all you could do to keep it on the road. Yikes!

 

A few of these pics are those professional shots they like to sell you, don't have many, but here's a couple.

 

This is a 906 that an attorney friend in Orlando owned. He wanted to sell it at the time and I'd done a minor restoration on it for him (block-sanded, painted, different wheels, and a lot of clean-up). I'd farmed out the paint to an old buddy in Gainesville I knew would take special care with it. So, he let me take it to Lime Rock and race it one weekend. It just doesn't get much better than drivin someone else's racecar.

 

MBJ352YU-X3.jpg

 

This is an RSR that belonged to another buddy, we'd won a 3 hour enduro at Sebring in it earlier that year. It was actually an incredibly good replica done by the Kremer Bros. in Germany, they were probably as close to a factory subsidiary as you could get.

 

AD2EBJU7-X3.jpg

 

This was mine : ) A '72 911S 2.5. One of 17 or 18 factory cars that were predecessors of the '73 RSR, it weighed 2030 lbs, had around 260hp, and had close ratio gearing. Top speed was just 130 or so and was really all you needed except at Daytona, but was quick to get there. It was used as the camera car at Lemans and Targa Florio in the making of "Speed Merchants", a pretty good movie about the '72 FIA racing season. Check it out sometime.

 

SEZ9662Z-X3.jpg

 

This is a car my buddy Jack Lewis from Atlanta built. It was it's debut race at the '92 24 Hours of Daytona, he let me qualify it. It ran really well for 9 or 10 hours then during a pit stop Jack found metal slivers in the oil so we retired it. Small underfunded teams like us couldn't afford to toast a motor, but Jack figured it out later and we finished a respectable 4th at Sebring in March against stiff competition, a couple of them were factory-backed Mazda's and Nissan's.

 

IF3X611F-XL.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bill - I'm trying to keep myself busy and awake waiting for the second free practice F1 (Come on - redeam yourself Kimi!) in Oz and your posting these has me grinning ear to ear! Bringing up names, no LEGENDS, and cars I've not seen in years accompanied by such wonderful stories and narration! Did you ever meet or race against Al Holbert? I was quite the CART (Indycar) fan in it's glory days and followed Porsche's progress religiously. Holbert was of course running the Porsche effort with Teo Fabi and Holbert was of course a ace racer and legend in his own right. I had driven a 733i from Indy straight throught to Phoenix for my grandfather and heard of Al's plane crash when I arrived. I never knew the man, but I felt such a sense of loss.

 

I still have 'indycar_89' as my main email address in reference to Porsche's first (and only) CART win, recorded at MId Ohio by Teo Fabi in 1989. I was young back then and went to 5 or 6 races a year and I could pick out the sound of the Porsche from the others. Like Can Am and others, CART was a great series in the 80's and 90's!

 

Lemme put a few more logs on the campfire while you and Marty captivate us with some more stories and wonderful pictures!

Edited by workin them angels
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Bill - I've had some sleep and wanted to revisit your post.

 

The 906 - How did you find the handling of that chassis and what did temps stay cool in the cockpit? I could google it - but what powered that car and what kind of revs did it run? (As a kid, I had a poster with many of the Porsche race cars with specs on my wall)

 

Those 911's are awesome. It's so cool to see how they've developed over the years. As you mentioned, quite a handful back in the day and even more so in racing trim I'm sure. What a great car to learn, develop and practice driving skill and race craft in. Is that you in the #73? How was qualifying vs racing in the 6/12/24 hour racing? I've always wondered, what did drivers do when it wasn't their driving stint? How hard would you push the car in those endurance races?

 

Good stuff!

 

Just noticed that your 72 911 just has a drivers outside mirror! I never understood why Porsche was slow to have duel outside mirrors on all cars in the 70's. I had a friend who had a 77 924 (cough Audi) and it had just the drivers outside mirror. I get that is wasn't a performance monster, but still. That must have made for some interesting track time with the single mirror in your 911!

 

Edit: The RSR - that was a turbo, no? I understand that the turbo lag back then was significant. How did that impact your corner exiting (and other aspects)? I could see being under pressure from a competitor and having to deal with the lag -things could get a little more trickier than normal? Gotta be some stories there . . .

 

Edited by workin them angels
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roadscholar

WTA, you obviously have some good insight into all these things.

 

Sorry to say I never met Al Holbert, but by all accounts he was one of the finest and nicest guys in the paddock, the racing community lost one of it's best that day. I did get to know someone that worked with him throughout most of his racing career tho. Bob Russo worked at the dealership and was one of his top guys on race weekends. In the late 90's Bob moved to Jacksonville and was a salesman at Brumos for I think 8 or 9 years. As a wholesaler out of the Mercedes store I knew most of the employees at both locations and Bob was my favorite, we'd spend hours in his office every few days bench racing. He had nothing but good to say about Al. Did you know that Bob Holbert, Al's father raced an RSK in the 50's and was really good driver himself.

 

Ok where to start : ) I had a '67 910 from about '83 to 2000. It followed the 906 ('66) but preceded the 907 in '68. They're out of numerical sequence most think because serial no. 906-10 was turned into a lightweight Bergspyder (hillclimb car) to compete against the Ferrari Dino 206SP. Hillclimbs were big then and part of the inter-country national championships. It was good enough that they made a coupe version later and just shortened the name to 910. Actually the 910 was so low for some of the larger drivers the roof had to be removable. I measured mine once, with the roof on was 36" to the ground (most probably aren't aware but it's how the GT40 got it's name, it was 40" tall). The 910 was also the lightest of all the fiberglass cars at 1265 lbs. They all gained weight over the years tho and once I weighed mine on the scales at Charlotte and it was 1290, wet : )

 

To answer your question, yes they got pretty hot inside. Don't remember the 906 being terribly uncomfortable but is was Fall in Conn. so that helped. My 910 would get scorching inside because there wasn't a way to get get air in. I'd run with the side vents and roof off but it didn't help much. The engine was right behind you and the firewall was maybe 1/16" fiberglass and the oil tank (20 qts.) was directly behind the driver. Coupled with the fact most of us were running slightly bigger engines than the orig 2.0 L, which the oil cooler in front had trouble coping with. Not uncommon to see 230 and even 250F halfway thru a race. Luckily most of the races were only 20 or 30 minutes so it couldn't do too much damage. Air-cooled motors would start losing power at anything over about 210-220F.

 

Don't know what cockpit temps were but you'd usually be soaked when it was over. I remember my first race at Road Atlanta in August '79 in an RSR I had. You'd think a rear engine car wouldn't be bad but a lot of heat would dissipate out the back of the oil cooler plus there was a 24qt oil tank in the passenger floor and two 3" diameter aeroquip lines running up the middle of the cockpit. Had a race long dual with this guy (he kept running off then passing me back) in an A/Sports Corvair that had a 400ci Chevy mounted in the back seat. :eek: I beat him only because he ran out of brakes an crashed at the end under the bridge, but I passed out when pulled into the pits and stopped, the only time that's happened. Probably didn't help I'd stayed out partying most of the night before. I talked to him afterwards and he said he was gonna use me as a backstop but thought better of it and took out the tire wall instead, thank goodness!

 

Anyway, in the 24 Hours it was usually 30 or 40's at night, so incar temps were usually a perfect 70ish. I loved the nighttime, it was surrealistic to say the least. Sebring was always warmer but only semi-bad for a few hours.

 

Think I'll take a break and come back to it later, I am a very slow typist : ) Hey thanks for the Aussie F1 reminder, I'd forgotten. 12 Hours is on this weekend too!

 

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roadscholar

 

The 906 - How did you find the handling of that chassis and what did temps stay cool in the cockpit? I could google it - but what powered that car and what kind of revs did it run? (As a kid, I had a poster with many of the Porsche race cars with specs on my wall)

 

They handled good for their day because they were lightweight considering the size. The 906 was the first of the full tube frame cars w/fiberglass attached at multiple points. They were somewhat flexi-flyers by today's standards and were'nt set up very stiff because they were endurance cars for the most part, and wobbled around slightly but were predictable. There was an inner and outer body. 906, 910's and 907's had fairly small tubing I'd guess in the 20mm range but not sure. 908's were more substantial because they had 3.0L eight that had 350hp and weighed in the 1425 range.. 906's had a 2.0 w/46mm Weber carbs and put out 210hp. The last few were 906E's with throttle body mechanical f.i. and had 220hp. 910's came two ways, either a 2.0 six with slide throttle mech. f.i. w/230hp, or 2.2 4-cam eight cyl w/slide at 284hp. They weren't too reliable tho and were time consuming to overhaul. I don't know what the 8 cyl revved to but the 6's were in the 8500 range. The 8 cyl was basically a bigger version of the 1600cc F1 engine that Dan Gurney won one GP with in 1962. Fun fact, Dan met Ferry Porsche's secretary while there and married her.

 

Those 911's are awesome. It's so cool to see how they've developed over the years. As you mentioned, quite a handful back in the day and even more so in racing trim I'm sure. What a great car to learn, develop and practice driving skill and race craft in. Is that you in the #73? How was qualifying vs racing in the 6/12/24 hour racing? I've always wondered, what did drivers do when it wasn't their driving stint? How hard would you push the car in those endurance races?

 

The race cars were a lot easier to drive than the street cars because they were designed for it, but the same characteristics would show up near the much higher limits, just not as badly. Qualifying for an endurance race is almost always just for bragging rights, those few seconds either way will usually get negated during the first pit stop. There were only 4 to 6 teams running 911's in IMSA in those years and we were always in the back. We did have a little race among ourselves tho. After so many years of RSR's, 935's, and 962's dominating that series, we'd been penalized into being uncompetitive. Plus, they were just old cars and old tech. The Nissan's and RX7's were 6 sec a lap faster than us at Sebring in the dry, tho we had an advantage in wet conditions plus the reliability factor, although the rotary's were pretty darn reliable too.

 

On driving duty it depended how many driver's there were and who they were, if there were just 3 you'd have a couple hours off if each did a single stint, which you tried to do early on to save everyone for later, but was always the team manager's call. Things almost always changed during the course of the race though so it was prudent not to stray too far. During my 1st 24 hours (1980 in a POS Camaro) I was a noob and knew I wouldn't get much seat time at night and with 4 of us, so I left the track about 10, drove home to Jax for a few hours sleep and got back around 8 in the morning. My second stint was about 9 to 10:30 when the 2nd motor blew up : ) I had to walk from the end of the back straight back to the pits, bastiche. BTW, there was no chicane then and that old Camaro lumbered around the banking at 180 like a Cadillac, totally planted and just the opposite of the 911's. Saving the car was always important and in our case longevity was all we had. Staying out of the way of the prototypes was the most important tho, closing rates in those days could be 50mph in the infield and 80 on the oval. In the banking you could only see 80-100 yds ahead or behind because of the curvature so it was mostly stay in lane 2 and be careful if you had to go to 3 to pass someone. 4 was off limits.

 

One other fun fact. Years ago I was sifting thru old black and white 8x10's an R & T photographer buddy had shot and came across a great photo of Peter Gregg and Brian Redman in victory circle after winning the '75? 24 Hours in the 3.0CSL. Brian looked all haggard and like he'd been run over by a train. Peter looked all fresh like he was going out on a date. I asked Brian years later what the deal was. He said Peter started the race and came in the 1st stop and said he didn't feel good and was going back to the motel. He didn't show back up till the end of the race. Brian drove almost 23 hours and won the race overall. Hard to fathom. I'll try to find the photo and post it.

 

Good stuff!

 

Just noticed that your 72 911 just has a drivers outside mirror! I never understood why Porsche was slow to have duel outside mirrors on all cars in the 70's. I had a friend who had a 77 924 (cough Audi) and it had just the drivers outside mirror. I get that is wasn't a performance monster, but still. That must have made for some interesting track time with the single mirror in your 911!

 

Just a left mirror was used because originality was important in historic racing then, 911's had good visibility from the center mirror to tho. I think '76 was the 1st year for right side mirrors.

 

Edit: The RSR - that was a turbo, no? I understand that the turbo lag back then was significant. How did that impact your corner exiting (and other aspects)? I could see being under pressure from a competitor and having to deal with the lag -things could get a little more trickier than normal? Gotta be some stories there . . .

 

RSR's were built in 73 (2.8) and 74 (3.0L) and were normally aspirated, 934's came in 76 and were the first of the turbos. Of course they quickly morphed into 935's and it was game on. The only remote competitor by 77 was the 320i Turbo which was a rolling hand grenade, I mean 700hp out of a 2 liter 4 banger, c'mon BMW what were you thinking? :grin: Although later on (mid 90's) Gurney was getting 1000 reliable hp out of the Toyota prototypes (2L)

Edited by roadscholar
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Bill, sadly I'm famous for not taking pics. Have a few stills on the wall. When daughter returns next week I'll post a couple. Oddly, my fave was an RS America in guards red and I never took a pic of it. Wonderful PCA poser track car.

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roadscholar
Bill

 

Thanks for all that unselfish sharing.

 

IT WAS GREAT!

 

Dave

 

Well I don't think I'm quite done Dave, yet : ) Kind of enjoying it really, it has opened some old dusty corridors to a past life I'd mostly forgotten.

 

I appreciate ya'll tagging along and particularly you guys for throwing up your pics, great memories, and WTA Dave for the insightful questions (realized I still have a couple to answer). Although, I'm sure it's all boring to most, except a few of us car weenies. :grin:

 

That and what Marty mentioned about track day posers reminds me of something funny a guy said once. It was Dave White from Tampa, he was a hardcore Porsche racer (wouldn't give you an inch) and had won the IMSA GTU championship one year but he also did a lot of instructing. He was describing the Ferrari club guys at a Moroso (West Palm) trackday. He said at the hotel those guys would all come down to breakfast in the morning with their driver's suits on. Said it was a real weenie roast.. :rofl:

 

Marty I kind of remembered that so no biggie but you know what they say about pictures.. btw, that guards red RS America (my favorite color on a 911, (had a '74 and a'75 Carrera's in it) was no poser car, I'd sure would've liked one in the garage then, and especially now!

 

http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/dealer/porsche/rs-america/1792071.html

 

 

 

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Bill, the guards red RS America was mine for about 3 years. Sold it to my then girlfriend who moved to the coast and traded in for a Mercedes sedan. I almost died when I found out. It was one great 911.

 

Now that I've looked at the ad I don't know if I should laugh or cry. I sold it to her for 42k

Edited by Marty Hill
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Bill,

This was mine from that early 70's era.

BMW8.jpg

They did great in Europe, did you encounter some over here?

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roadscholar

Tim that thing is stunning! I think they were one of the most beautiful cars ever. I had a silver/blue '73 (small bumpers) for a while but it wasn't particularly nice and ended up selling it to a semi-collector before I got around to restoring it.

 

Did you know what those long tabs on the frt fenders were for? I think BMW was the first to employ them on a production-based car. I didn't know until much later when I drove some for Alex Job and was describing how unstable and frightening my RSR was in the East banking at Daytona at top speed. Not exaggerating, it was hard to keep in the two middle lanes (at the 1st outing there it had a slant-nose front not the normal 911 raised fenders to accommodate the headlights). After a couple laps of that I started backing it down a little going into NASCAR 3 which as anyone knows you're not supposed to do. I'm thinking survival mode finally kicked in : ) Even the Jack Lewis car was a little dicey almost 15 years later because he'd cut the rain gutters off the roof to make it more slippery. We were discovering 1st hand how small aerodynamic changes could make huge differences particularly with a rear weight-bias car. In qualifying we'd leave it off but for the race he'd attach a small wicker bill to the whale tail making it far more stable (Also known as a Gurney flap because Dan had (1st?) employed them on his '67 Eagle F1 car).

 

They're called fences and kept air from spilling off the nose at high speeds in a turn, adding stability. I'm guessing here but the racing CSL's were likely hitting 195 maybe more at Daytona in '75 and '76 (there was no bus-stop until about '83). Known as the Batmobiles, they were a lot faster than RSR's not only because they had more power but handled better having nearly perfect balance. I was only spectating then (but paying pretty close attention) and never raced with them. If the rules hadn't changed and Porsche wiggled thru a small but important loophole, they'd have kept dominating (plus there were only 4 or so sent over here). Ironically the rule was changed to allow the BMW's to move their floorpan because of where the exhaust had to run down the middle of the car. Norbert Singer, Porsche's savvy race boss saw that and reckoned they could raise the 935 floorpan enough that it would lower the the rest of the car 4 or 5 inches, basically turning it into a prototype. And an added benefit because now the engine was so low they could turn the transmission upside down and the output (half)shafts were perfectly lined up with the wheels. CV joints had always been the weak link on RSR's and they had just half the power of 935's (although 935's had their own special axles with big rubber donuts in the middle).

 

tumblr_nhkz72KSrZ1tvvbeeo2_r1_1280.jpg

 

 

Kremer K3 935's were the 1st Porsches to have them, some early 935's were probably getting into the 200-210mph range then and later around 225 I believe.

 

K2

Wollek_Porsche_935_2007.jpg

 

K3

maxresdefault.jpg

 

 

 

 

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roadscholar

I got back down to Kinko's this evening for a little more scanning after the F1 race which was followed by an excellent documentary on the new American Haas F1 team (they scored points today). :clap:

 

The race, if you didn't see it was a relative barn-burner along with a scary red flag-inducing incident. After a few seconds the driver got out and walked away from maybe the worst smoldering heap of racecar garbage I've ever seen.

Won't mention any details because it's on again tomorrow afternoon on NBCSN.

 

I haven't come across the mother lode yet but here's a couple from today's stuff, old family photos from the way, and the way way-back : )

 

Unbelievably the only photos of any street cars so far were this, not the first 911. Maybe something will show up. Well a Z3 did, but that doesn't really count.

 

Small%201-XL.jpg

 

Included this just to hint it all started some time ago, I vaguely remember riding that thing off the end of the front porch WO, culminating in a head bashing endo. Still have the scar. It may or may not have had lasting effects : )

 

14-XL.jpg

 

 

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Great pics & story Bill! :thumbsup:

 

The extent & highlight of my four wheel racing career was catching and passing Matt S after he had to brake hard for a slow mover at F-1 Boston. :clap: That was fun! :thumbsup:

 

Pat

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roadscholar

We've got a similar one here Pat, a few months ago we had a CADS outing there. I'd never done it but some of the guys had been practicing and were gunnin' for me : ) Took a couple sessions to get the hang of it but was fun! Really fun that you could bump someone to get past, kind of frowned upon in real racing..

 

 

When I was looking for old race pics yesterday I came across this one, and had completely forgotten I had it. It took me aback for a second then teared up just a little. I'm pretty sure Bill Warner took it. One of the great drivers no longer with us, Mark Donohue. Multi-talented, he also wrote a book, "The Unfair Advantage", and sometime in the mid 70's I read it, might just be time again.

 

Anyone want to guess what kind of car that is and where? Hint, see the little circular plexiglass the roof, it's there for a reason.

 

1-XL.jpg

 

 

http://www.caranddriver.com/columns/john-phillips-for-mark-donohue-1100-hp-was-far-from-too-much-column

 

 

 

 

Edited by roadscholar
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Bill_Walker
Anyone want to guess what kind of car that is and where? Hint, see the little circular plexiglass the roof, it's there for a reason.

 

A wild guess, based on history rather than the photo: Ford GT40 Mark IV at Le Mans.

 

Thanks for these stories, Bill!

 

I'm not sure, but I think I recall that I saw Donohue race twice when I was a kid, once in Trans Am at Sears Point, and once in Can Am at Laguna (although I recall the McLarens of Revson and Hulme running away with that race, so maybe the 917-30 was not yet a factor).

 

On edit: upon review of race results, I think the Can-Am race I saw at Laguna was '72, where Follmer won in the 917/10, Hulme was second in the McLaren M20, and Donohue was 4th in another 917/10. It rings a bell, anyway, and the '73 results don't.

Edited by Bill_Walker
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roadscholar

That's a good guess Bill but no on the car and the track. I've never been in a GT40 but am sure that's not one. The McLarens did dominate for a good while, until they got the Porsches dialed in, even so I think they were always a factor. Never got to see a CanAm race and am sorry for it.

Edited by roadscholar
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Bill_Walker
That's a good guess Bill but no on the car and the track. I've never been in a GT40 but am sure that's not one. The Maclarens did dominate for a good while, until they got the Porsches dialed in, even so I think they were always a factor. Never got to see a CanAm race and am sorry for it.

 

Well, then I suppose I'd guess a Ferrari 512M or a Lola T70, but I am shooting in the dark.

 

See edits on post above re Can-Am.

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Bill_Walker
A really good guess, 512 it is (I'm 99% sure), but where?

 

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a rhino?

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What do you get if you cross an elephant with a rhino?

Thrown out of the Zoo? :grin:

 

Probably not but my guess..Where? Sebring?

 

As for the plexiglass hole in the roof, three things popped into my head and I'm sure they are all wrong. :/

Fire Suppression Access

Refreshment Access

And being very confident in your car... A checkered flag port :grin:

 

Bill F. this place looks like an absolute blast. :thumbsup:

 

http://www.monticellokarting.com/home.html

 

Pat

 

 

 

 

 

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roadscholar

 

What do you get if you cross an elephant with a rhino?

Thrown out of the Zoo? :grin:

 

That's right, no more zookeeper for You!

 

Probably not but my guess..Where? Sebring?

 

Closer, you're in the right hemisphere.

 

As for the plexiglass hole in the roof, three things popped into my head and I'm sure they are all wrong. :/

Fire Suppression Access

Refreshment Access

And being very confident in your car... A checkered flag port :grin:

 

No, but all feasible and I like the last one, more than confident, that's arrogance : )

 

Bill F. this place looks like an absolute blast. :thumbsup:

 

http://www.monticellokarting.com/home.html

 

Wow that does but too old Pat plus can't afford to get sucked back in.

 

The hole is so the driver can see something and it's only necessary one place, I touched on it briefly in a previous post.

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