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Dreams Can Come True But Not Without Some Effort

I am the original owner of my 1969 4 speed Porsche 912 Coupe. The car’s 1969 factory paint was Light Ivory 6804 - 131, a standard ’68 -’69 color. The only factory options were tinted glass all around. It was very basic, even for 1969.

Long after delivery, I discovered the car was built on a Karmann 911S/E chassis, complete with dual battery boxes up front, rocker panel trim, factory 911 suspension fittings and cable harnesses.

When I purchased the car I arranged for the dealer to paint the car the now very rare Golden Green 6828.
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I drove it daily from until mid-1976. Then I drove it only occasionally until early 1981 when I removed the battery and garaged the car.

Almost 25 years and several garages flew by. In May of 2005 I delivered my sadly neglected but complete, well preserved and rust-free car to North American Racing Werks (NARW).

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My instructions to NARW’s Klaus Holthaus were to, “…make the car roadworthy”.

Klaus and I also agreed this was not a restoration project. We would improve and modernize the car where doing so made sense with the objective of making it suitable for safe and economical long-distance highway driving.

NARW’s first job was to completely rebuild and modernize (Pertronix ignition, remanufactured carburetors, improved oil cooling/filter system, 1,750 cc displacement, Bursch exhaust, etc.) the engine. All the way down to the main bearings.

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The chassis received NARW’s equal attention with a new fuel tank & sending unit, fuel lines, brake lines, brake cylinders, master cylinder, axle boots, instrument panel, Hella -4 headlights, clutch and transmission bushings, etc.

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Klaus and Mark devoted many hours over several months to produce a mechanically “new and improved” 37 year old 912 Porsche. We had plenty of discarded parts to show for the effort, too.

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Pico Wheel completely cleaned, sandblasted, aligned, balanced and repainted my 6” factory steel wheels (from a 1971 911).

Concurrently, on another temporary set of wheels/tires and sans engine, we delivered the chassis to Automotive Innovations & Restoration for a complete (some minor body work and new chassis rubber, wheel opening trim, driving lights, dash, windshield, etc.) top quality paint job.

Owner Kevin Mentzer and I agreed on Grand Prix White for three main reasons.

First, this more modern “clear coat” finish would be easier to maintain than new “original” enamel paint. Second, my plan was to drive the car often in desert areas where a car color should be as light as possible. Third, Grand Prix White is a Porsche factory color. After mostly just sitting for 30 years, the black vinyl seat center panels were intact but had seen better days. Since I had to do something, I wanted to do something different.

My 912 Owner’s Manual has a single black and white photograph of a hound’s-tooth upholstery in the seat panels. My seat panels were black perforated vinyl, so I found that photo very interesting.

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When I purchased the car, Competition Motors also gave me a now very rare 1969 issue of “Christophorus” magazine featuring, among other things, a full page Recaro ad showing hounds-tooth upholstery on those panels. My interest was growing.

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Finally, the 1969 movie “Downhill Racer” starring Robert Redford and Gene Hackman includes scenes where the Redford character and his girlfriend sit in and drive (in the snow which looked like a lot of fun) her yellow ‘69 912 with this upholstery in the seat panels.

I live in Palm Dessert, California and that was enough for me - I wanted cooler fabric seat panels with a direct factory connection, and this was it.

After some electronic looking I finally found and purchased the material from a custom upholstery shop in Oregon . They certified in writing that this was a 1969 Porsche pattern. The new upholstery arrived promptly but sat in my garage for several months while other work on the car was in process.

NARW and North Hollywood Speedometer upgraded the 912 instrument panel to a more functional and very “911 looking” instrument panel.

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The factory Blaupunkt AM/FM/SW radio worked but the tuning knob was balky. I took the radio to Hi-Tech Electronics (an authorized Blaupunkt service facility) for a complete cleaning, new rubber knobs and any necessary adjustments. It is a 1969 monaural unit, but still has that great Blaupunkt sound.

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After I picked up the beautifully reconditioned steel wheels at Pico Wheel, I put on a set of P195/HR65 X 15 Dunlop Sport Plus (DOT rated 400-AA-A) tires. They would do just fine for long distance, moderate speed highway driving.

After the body/paint, engine and chassis work were done, North Hollywood Auto Upholstery carefully installed my black and white hound’s-tooth in new black vinyl upholstery for both seats. They also put the hound’s-tooth fabric on both door panels and the horizontal strip across the dash. What a difference!

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My 912 had been languishing in various garages for thirty years. With lots of help from, and public thanks here to, some of the finest automotive talent in Southern California, my 30 year dream had finally come true.

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