Father And Son Porsche 911 Nut-And-Bolt Rebuild
Owner: Artur Elme
Year, Make, and Model: 1985 Porsche 911 3.2
Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Photographer: Kaspar Orasmäe
“My father told me that in the early Eighties when he was a teenager living on the eastern side of the iron curtain, he dreamt of buying a proper sports car one day. And at the time I was born he had an air-cooled, rear-engined car, not a beetle but a soviet ZAZ 965, with a V4 engine and whopping 30 horsepower.” This is the second project Mr. Artur Elme and his dad have built together (the first was a Classic Mini). Upon arriving in Estonia from the United States, the Porsche was completely stripped and the galvanized body found in almost perfect condition (after spending some 28 years somewhere in Arizona).
The shell was then painted inside and out. Everything that could be removed from the car was unbolted, inspected, cleaned and then either repaired, painted, plated, or replaced. The gearbox was opened, checked, and rebuilt. The engine was in need of a full head overhaul and thorough cleaning. The interior was redesigned by Artur and his father, then finished in black leather with classic 911 RS-style bucket seats. To the discerning eye there are lot tiny finishing touches to the car, such as deleted foglamps or earlier model Durrant-style mirrors.
It is fitting that Artur and his father built the car together as Artur attributes his love for all things automotive to his dad, “we always had interesting cars in our family and I grew up looking at foreign car magazines and playing with cars.”
They tried to give the car a classic look without making extreme modifications to the body and compromising the car’s distinctive ‘impact bumper’ look. According to Artur, they really love the style because of “the fact that we’ve built and customized the car according to our own taste.” And they bought it because the car has a lot of character, as an early 911 does, with the unmistakable sound of an air-cooled flat-six engine and the weight distribution of a hammer – characteristics which make it much more fun to drive.
“After having a look at many earlier 911s the decision to choose this particular model was mainly related to the 3.2 engine but also a good price. The car was actually bought via eBay, from the US, based on 180kb pictures and a couple of phone calls.” After months of scouring through forums and sites (and many failed transactions) this particular one worked out. They were looking for a mild project but Porsches for sale in Europe were mainly show cars or total wrecks. The US market is much bigger and although there is the added cost of trans-Atlantic shipping, the whole package was still better suited to us
Artur says “You can definitely sense that the 911 was designed for the autobahn – it’s very stable at speed and it feels as if the engine loves revving. I’d say that driving on country-roads would be the best. On the other hand, the first drive with the 911 following the restoration was actually a track-day event! So by no means is this Porsche a garage queen.”
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