Running Club Mulholland, there are many great ‘car weeks’ in my calendar. But the last week has been different – yes there was a great Club Mulholland event, but there were several other elements to cement this as a truly great week.

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First, was a letter from the Goodwood Road Racing Club (GRRC) announcing that my application has finally come through after 5 years waiting. Is the GRRC competition to Club Mulholland? No, I don’t think so. This historic club has some fabulous events and focuses more on the classic cars, which Club Mulholland doesn’t. Yet. I’m certainly looking forward to the new ‘Members Day’ next March, which promises to have everything Goodwood Revival offers – just to a smaller, more discerning crowd. Only open to Members and their guests. I can take three guests, so drop me an email!

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The following day, I made my way to Spa Francorchamps with some Club Mulholland members for a trackday. In November. Could be a big mistake as Spa his hardly known for being forgiving and it’s renown for being dry on one part of the track – and wet on another. We were exceptionally lucky though – fog did delay our start, but once it lifted, we had a stunning Autumn day that was brisk but sunny. The track itself was fabulous. I’ve never driven it before, but it completely lived up to expectation. Eau Rouge was incredible and the cars participating were top drawer – from 997 Cup cars to GT3 Ferrari 458′ and Audi R8’s. There was also road cars – McLaren MP4’s, an Aventador and several Porsches and Ferraris. My little Porsche Spyder was great fun – handled superbly and was quite happy doing lap after lap after lap. I’ll be back there again very soon indeed.

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Whilst on this trip, I received a tweet from someone saying they had seen the short film on my old 911 SWB on the Porsche Cinema Channel and Porsche YouTube Channel. The film was taken at ‘Classics At The Castle’ earlier this year where my SWB was part of the display and parade. I think I sound like a twit, but it’s a nice video all the same. Porsche GB had asked me to get something in about the fact I own a modern Porsche too because most of the chaps there turned their noses up at anything water-cooled!

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The day after I arrived back from Spa Francorchamps, GT Porsche magazine arrived to drive the SWB too. Photographer and journo, the weather was perfect and they spent pretty much the entire day in the car – I’m looking forward to seeing what they say and what pictures they took in a future issue. Hopefully it’ll be in next months issue…

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The week was finally rounded off yesterday with a visit to the Classic Motor Show at the NEC yesterday. A big show, with a real mixture of cars – from Reliant Robins and Austin Maestros to the more desirable Lancia Stratos and Lamborghini Miura… The four cars above were my favourite… Porsche 911 2.8 RSR Prototype, Renault Alpine A110 Group 4, Lancia Stratos Chassis no.1 and a Verde Ithaca Lamborghini Miura S… What a way to round off the week.

Image</About one year ago, I started the process of designing a garage for our home. We'd moved in 8 months earlier and initially dismissed the property as it didn't have anywhere for our cars. We had fallen in love with the house though, so decided to proceed with a view to creating a garage at some point once we moved in. Earlier on in this blog I talked about the process of engaging an architect – the design was done and within a few months planning permission granted. The work began in late summer 2012 and only finished last week.

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The initial groundwork and first course of blockwork was in before the Winter, so at least we had somewhere to park during the cold snap, but there was obviously no roof yet. The plan was to continue with the build after Christmas, but we were beset by problems – snow, contractor going away unannounced, snow, issues with the neighbours, snow.

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Eventually, work commenced in March 2013 and didn’t really let up until completion. We had totally underestimated the time it would take – as had the contractor it seemed. It did, of course, go over budget by about £7k, but in the end we have something that I love. My wife is less bothered, but then I don’t get excited by stables and she does.

Security system and HD cameras are installed. The floor has LED uplighters and the finished surface is a specific type of resin stone that is not porus – any oil can be washed away with a little water and Swarfega Oil Remover (which I’ve tested and works a treat). The glass is bomb-proof and 12mm thick. To sit in our lounge of an evening and see the cars all parked up doesn’t get old. The roof has a contemporary line, but it’s the glass that makes the space special. The vintage Porsche Motorsport posters are framed using perspex and a unique fixing that, once fixed, will not come off… We could have built it cheaper. We could have designed it in a less elaborate way. But now it’s done, I wouldn’t change a thing. Doors will be going on before the Winter (I need to re-apply for a planning amendment), but at least the Spyder and 911 SWB now have a suitable home.

It’s not really a garage – the architect dubbed it the ‘Porsche Pavilion’, and I kinda like that.

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I have been sent a message from the original builder of my 1966 911 SWB. As I already knew, he built the car over quite a period before selling it to Magnus Walker three years ago. After that, we know, as it’s my responsibility to write the next chapter. Here is what he said…

I built this car (minus stripes and Minilites – I had all black Fuchs) from 1994-1997 sold it to Magnus in 2010. I owned it from 1994-2010. He added the Minilites and stripes.

I bought it from a ex pro football player leaving the US to go play pro football in Spain. It was never meant to be a purist restoration. I built it the way I wanted it, a “Café racer 911”. I would not say it’s “un-restored”, it was supposed to be Aga Blue. I preferred silver. I had it painted silver in 1995. It has true Solex cams with 2.2 E pistons (they slip in, no machining to the case needed). All Machine work was done by Ollie’s in Santa Ana except the oil pump and cams rebuilt at Lukes & Shoremen.

I got most of the parts and tons of help from the guys at Andial who liked the fact that I was doing a vintage looking car not an update like everyone else was doing back then. I picked the engine combo with help from Andial and FAT who used to build these for one-off road race cars and the engine was assembled by a Swiss guy who used to do Ferrari’s F1 heads back in the 60’s. (He did the heads too and built all of my friend’s race 911 motors).

The powerband with that combo is amazing. It pulled smooth from 2.200-7,000 and when the carbs are all tuned up from 5,000-7,000 (6,800 is where I had the rev limiter set) it feels like you are getting kicked in the spine.

The Transmission was rebuilt by Kevin at Andial as well as most of the suspension. Kevin installed a 9% taller 5th gear when he rebuilt it. That gear was a pain to track down and cost $700 for the gear set alone as I remember it. The last time I had it weighed it was 2201lbs with spare tire and a tool kit and full tank of gas. When Andial had it on the scales they said it was the squarest (corner weights) of any street car they had ever weighed. The corner weights were just a few pounds different and were what they expected out of race cars on the scales.

Yeah, it’s got an S bumper that doesn’t belong on there and Talbot mirrors, but it was the look I wanted, clearly not for everyone. But, hands down what sells this car is driving it. It’s a purely sensory experience, and it is so much fun to drive. You should post a video driving it. The sound alone would sell this car. I wish I could afford to buy it back. I wish I didn’t need to sell it in the first place.

The engine and transmission are the correct matching numbers for this car. The engine was enlarged to 2.2 but can be put back to 2.0 for the jack wagons that feel it should go that way, since there was no machining to the case. There was machining to the heads for the CE gasket from the 84mm barrels but you can it just makes it so that you can run the gasket from the 80mm 2.0 barrels or the 84mm 2.2. So to all of those purists that I offended the sensibilities with this car, I am glad I could do so, enjoy!

My next post will be of this car and the Porsche Spyder in their new home – the garage is nearly finished and I can’t wait to get my old 911 in the dry. The garage is excessive, but the car is worth it!

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Last year I came very close to buying several different cars, but something always seemed to go wrong. Be that an unscrupulous dealer in terms of the 944 Turbo; or a different dealer selling the 1972 911T to two different people. I did manage to buy the 1969 Porsche 911 3.0 RS Replica at auction, but that car ended up needing more work than I wanted to do. Quite a frustrating year.

That was 2012 though. What a difference a year makes. Started off by paying a deposit for my 1966 Porsche 911 SWB. A car owned by Magnus Walker. A very special car that is exactly what I was looking for. Then, whilst still in Germany for Christmas, I put my 1969 911 on eBay to see what it would make. Ended up selling for £2,600 more than I paid – without me needing to pay out a penny on it. How often does that happen?

That momentum continued, and I managed to secure a car I’ve coveted since they came out – a Porsche Spyder that has a fabulous spec. Rare colour, silver, manual gearbox with sport shift, alcantara interior, sports exhaust and the all-important Porsche Carbon Ceramic Bakes (PCCB). This car was specced by Porsche Great Britain and used as part of a ‘road-show’ to promote the Spyder to all dealers and VIP Customers. It accompanied a rather special Porsche 550 Spyder…

Two new purchases, and they simply are perfect stable mates. I grabbed a few pictures this weekend and can’t wait to take the Spyder to North Wales later this week with the club. I’ll be sure to post some pics from the EVO Triangle when I get back.

Now we just need the weather to brighten up. And for my contractor to finish the bloody garage so I can put the cars in it… He started that in 2012, maybe that’s why it is still not done?

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Good things come to those that wait. I am now the proud owner of Porsche chassis #303503. An early 1966 car imported from the US, it was recently owned and worked on by Magnus Walker, a trending name in the early 911 scene. http://www.magnuswalker911.com.

The engine has been rebuilt with larger 2.2-type pistons and cylinders and combines Solex cams with Weber carburettors. ANDIAL in the USA did a lot of the work pre-Magnus owning it. Kevin at Andial built the gearbox. Dieter (the DI in Andial) sourced and fitted the front vented brakes and got the engine tuned. The engine and heads were done by a Swiss German gentleman who used to do Ferrari F1 heads back in the 60’s. He used to build various 911 race motors in the nineties and when he was done with this engine he closed up shop and went to work for Cosworth USA building Champ/Indy motors. I wonder if he’s at all involved in the engines now going in the wonderful Singer 911’s?

There is a taller fifth gear for longer journeys. The car retains the original matching numbers engine and gearbox cases and both could be returned to their original configuration without much difficulty – but this car is for driving, not looking at in a garage. There is a short shifter on the gearchange and later vented-type discs at the front as well as Minilite wheels all round. It had black Fuchs on before Magnus bought it, but I like the Minilites, so they will stay.

Since landing on our shores it has had the wiring looked at, service, new steering wheel (vintage Momo), rain covers for the carbs, new wipers and headlights converting to UK spec. Sailed through its MOT and will be ready to drive after Christmas. I can’t wait.

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A house I’d had my eye on for two years finally came up for sale in 2011. A barn conversion, just a few hundred metres from where my wife keeps her horses and within catchment for a great school for the boys. Perfect. Except it had no garage.

Fast forward to August 2012, and we’ve been here for 9 months. The house is great, and we’re slowly making it ‘ours’ with new bathrooms, decorating etc… It’s also time to get that garage sorted. Been doing some sketches, which are now with the architect. His first drawings came over on Friday and it’s coming along nicely.

My own ‘Porsche Pavilion’ will have 12mm toughened glass to the front right and most of the side so I can see the cars from our lounge and garden; the wood will actually be black to match the house. All other visible timber will be green oak or off-white to match house window frames. First works start at the end of the month, with a great amount of earth that needs removing before the groundworks can start. Hope to have it all done by October, ready for the classic 911 to come home.

Oh and my Cayenne is neither that model nor that colour… I think the architect isn’t a fan of the heavy Porker – he drove a Prius (which nearly lost him the job).

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Yesterday was ‘a good day’. Hired a flat-bed truck before making the 3 hour drive to pick up my new classic Porsche. If you follow me, then you’ll have seen my last post which detailed what car it is that I’ve bought…

Seeing it in the flesh, my enthusiasm has only deepened. The history with the car is excellent and includes photographs of the work that has been done on it to date. It’s a fabulous base from which to start building ‘my perfect 911’.

Dropped off at my choice of specialist to do the work, OPV 192 is in good company – parked between to a 1,200km F40 and two One-77’s (they are looking after FIVE of these £1.2m Aston’s!). We are making a Stage 1 and Stage 2 list of works that need doing. Stage 1 should be done quite soon, but the plan is to have rest of the work done over the winter.

Initial thoughts are to replace RSR whale tail and bumpers with slightly more discreet original RS parts from Historika. I’ll also be securing some original RSR seats to replace FIA spec buckets too… That’s just the start, but I’ll probably only do this once, so it needs to be just right.

The pics show OPV 192 on the truck and another RSR spec car that is similar to what I want to achieve. Very excited.

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