Journal: An Oil Leak Sidelined This Porsche 911 Barn Find For 40 Years

An Oil Leak Sidelined This Porsche 911 Barn Find For 40 Years

By Logan LeGrand
March 21, 2016
14 comments

Story and photography by Logan LeGrand

Rare barn finds still exist, and this early production 1965 Porsche 911 is proof. It’s chassis #294, and a January 1965 build date make it one of the last of the rare 1965 911s to be accounted for—after being hidden away for over 40 years.

The car was purchased in 1973 by its current owner as a graduation gift to himself after finishing law school. He enjoyed the car for two years until it developed a small oil leak that he wasn’t capable of diagnosing himself, so the car was parked for the meantime until he could arrange getting it looked over.

Then, for lack of better reasoning, life happened…and the Porsche never made it to the top of the priority list. Four decades later the market for early cars has skyrocketed—which is what prompted the car being pulled out of the shed to get the care it deserves (and that oil leak finally fixed.)

Not being an expert in Porsches, the owner contacted a friend of mine and local Porsche expert Mike Winebrenner to help him assess the car. Mike knows 911s as good as anyone, and after popping the trunk and looking at the chassis plate he knew this is a once in a lifetime find. Mike contacted me to photograph and document the car, and kindly gave me permission to share this hidden piece of history. It even has its own thread on Pelican Parts.

As this feature was coming together, I was going to write that the car has a bright future ahead of it. Indeed, the car has actually been sold back to Porsche and is going to the Porsche Classic Center Gelderland in the Netherlands where it will be restored to factory new condition.

As nice as the final car will undoubtedly be, I’m happy and lucky to have been able to document it in this state.

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Donald Compton
Donald Compton
2 years ago

I am not sure that that old 911 is a great find. The costs to restore that car will be a fortune.

Craig Flamme
Craig Flamme
5 years ago

It’s remarkable how bad a car can get just sitting in a humid environment. There may have been a few mods to it prior to the last owner’s purchase. One thing I noticed from the images is that the steering wheel isn’t correct. It would be interesting to discover the car’s history prior to being stored away (is it numbers matching? All the panels original?). However, this isn’t a nice survivor with patina as someone has suggested. It needs to be totally gone through and properly restored. It’s a good thing that Porsche has purchased this car as the cost of restoration will undoubtedly be more expensive then the current value of a restored Jan ’65 car. This car will become part of the factory’s museum collection as it should be. There are only so many January ’65 cars left. I should know, I’m the current caretaker of #338. I need to go back and review my build sheet to see where/when this car came off the line. A great find for sure! It will be nice to see the finished car. I hope the author will be able to follow-up with an article and pics when it’s finished!

Craig Flamme
Craig Flamme
5 years ago
Reply to  Logan LeGrand

Very cool Logan. Any idea how many prior owners, total mileage? It’s just so sad that this car was neglected for so long! Any way you can post the COA?

Monika
Monika
5 years ago
Reply to  Craig Flamme

Craig, the original steering wheel was in the car–under the seat. It was replaced because the wood had cracked. All original parts were present (if not attached) and all panels matched. As a matter of fact, the owner is still in contact with the person he bought it from all these years later. The owner is just as happy as you are that the car will be properly restored to its full glory.

–Source: The “owner” in the story is my Father-in-Law.

Also, minor correction to the story- The owner didn’t go to law school. He graduated with two engineering degrees. The part about the oil leak “he couldn’t diagnose” is a bit misleading as well. After having twins unexpectedly (didn’t know there were two until a few hours before birth!) it became very low priority to get repaired. There were several moves involved, along with two more children and unfortunately the Porsche became an afterthought.

Craig Flamme
Craig Flamme
5 years ago
Reply to  Craig Flamme

Very cool Monika! Thanks for the update/historical perspective. I definitely can relate to how life gets in the way. Cheers!

martin feile
martin feile
5 years ago

plz dont restore this well patinated piece of craftsmanship

Johannes Oppitz
Johannes Oppitz
5 years ago

It looks great the it is.

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay
6 years ago

Fire it up. Fresh rubber. New wiring. Good to go.

Nice patina. 🙂

Wergen
Wergen
6 years ago

If every Porsche with a small oil leak got sidelined….

George Soropos
George Soropos
6 years ago

Was the barn at the bottom of a lake? Looks there will be very little left of the original car by the time its restored

Frank Anigbo
Frank Anigbo
6 years ago

Reminds me of my ’69 GTV. An inexpensive-to-fix starting problem sidelined it, then I just never got to it for 10 years — stored in actual Vermont tractor barn alongside a ’71 GTV of same color. Only difference aside from the 30 years of sleep this Porsche has on my car, is that my car was already derelict by the time I parked it. Then it turned into Swiss cheese coated in dust and cat footprints with a hint of mouse piss by the time I decided to fix the original issue (plus everything else!) for more than the car was worth.

Greg Deschodt
Greg Deschodt
6 years ago

That thing wasn’t just parked for an oil leak… I looks like it lost a game of pinball with a few pieces of furniture, and sat in a turkish for 30 yrs bath to grow nice rust outside and mildew inside… Ugh. I bet the market has turned on these. We will see…

Amir Kakhsaz
Amir Kakhsaz
6 years ago

Is “life happened” code for the owner went to prison? Looks like the car was intentionally neglected.