GALLERY: Go Behind The Scenes On Our 1971 Porsche 911T Film Shoot
We’ve featured a lot of Porsche 911s on Petrolicious, but few have lived as many lives as this 1971 example has. It belongs to a barrister from Johannesburg named Andre Bezuidenhout, and since he acquired it in the early 1990s as a candidate for a race car conversion it has been through a few phases.
After an accident that totaled the car and ended its motorsports career, it was restored to road-going specification, sold to someone who lived out in the countryside, and thought to be gone from Andre’s life until he chanced upon it a few years ago and decided to repurpose it once more. Now it’s in proper touring car guise by the literal definition of the word, fitted as it is with a rugged luggage rack among other mods meant for drivability over long distances, and it’s definitely got a good gig these days; whenever Andre and his wife want to travel some place new, they forego the rental car and just ship their 911, affectionally named “Frisco,” and use that to explore instead.
The story of their mechanical travel companion began in the early 1970s in Stuttgart where it was born as a basic T model, and it’s been a part of Andre’s life in one form or another since the early 1990s. As a young and budding car enthusiast, he had been brought along to the Kyalami circuit to see some race cars at the ripe age of nine years old. That’s a pretty formative time in a kid’s life, and so seeing David Piper and his Porsche 917 left an indelible impression on his psyche.
Many years after that experience, Andre found himself in a position to do a bit of racing himself, and he’d found a “dilapidated 911” for sale that he converted to track use. Competing in club racing with his 911, he even had a chance to bring things full circle and race it at the same circuit where he fell in love with the Porsche brand. Things were going well, and he won a fair amount of events in the 911 over the two years of competition that preceded his accident. Leading the race, Andre crashed the Porsche “in spectacular form” and all but destroyed the car.
The 911’s racing career had come to a close rather abruptly, but it wasn’t destined for the scrapyard or a part-out. Instead, it was repaired and restored to its original purpose as a road car. It went to a new owner who lived out in the countryside outside of Johannesburg, and Andre understandably thought this was the end of his relationship with the car. You know that’s obviously not the case.
About three years ago, looking at a collector’s, well, collection, he found a pretty rough looking replica of a 1973 RS painted in the same white RS scheme that his old car used to wear. He went to go see the car, noticed a familiar sticker on the window, and then gave it a real litmus test, telling the owner that if the door made a distinctive clicking sound past a certain position, it was undoubtedly his old car. Of course, the door clicked, and Andre confirmed that he had indeed stumbled across his friend from another life. He brought it home for the second time, and repurposed it during the restoration. This time though, rather than a track build, he’s gone for a touring car that follows the more literal definition of the label—not circuit racing, but actual touring around the world.
So he acquired the car, again, and decided to change it up, again. The engine was swapped for a pretty durable and torquey 2.7 attached to a type 915 gearbox, and though there is a bit of extra travel now the suspension is also a relatively rugged setup and not far from stock. The roof rack is modeled on a period accessory, but built with modern materials and techniques to hold more weight. Andre and his wife Corlandi now enjoy the car around the world and make good use of the rooftop luggage space wherever they go. Frisco the 911 has been a faithful companion on the couple’s adventures by automobile. Instead of renting a car while on vacation, they just ship Frisco over to meet them instead—a rather expensive way to go about things, no doubt, but if you have the opportunity, why not?
Shortly after the restoration in December of 2016, they shipped Frisco to Australia where they’ve done two 4000km sessions in the car. They’ve also done a fair bit of driving around South Africa, they’ve shipped it to New Zealand to do two stints there, and after their third Australian adventure they hope to spend some time in Japan with Frisco. Just as our lives change, so too do our cars. Sometimes they just happen to be the same ones we started with.