Friday, April 29, 2011

Love letters

When I finished my first restoration, I remember telling my customer to drive the car for a month or two, then come back for a final polish, he came back and brought a list of things that needed fixing............I was disappointed because I had missed so many little things, I gave myself a very low grade that day.

Many moons later , they still come back for the final polish and they still bring a list,  socializing with other colleagues made realize that, it's OK, it is normal,  I mean if you pay your hard earned money to get your toy souped up, you have to see if you got your money's worth.

Nowadays we call those lists love letters,  some are long, some are short, and there has been the occasional...."you've got to be kidding me".

But, customer is always many times have you returned a steak because it wasn't what you expected.

This Viper Green came to us via TRE Motorsports from our Nation's Capitol.
We were hired to install RS flares and a rear fiberglass bumper.....but that thing called "While you're there," took this little 73 into a whole new dimension......
Let's get rid of the old fiberglass duck tail and replace it with one made with the metal backing, cibie lights on the hood and while you're at it. a new interior.

So we took the body down to bare metal. took care of some rust and lead poisoning, then we  started building the green machine you see now,  first the trunk compartment:
RSR strut support, and passenger side battery box mod, plug all holes clean up of the wire harness and repaint.

After it was completed, it's owner flew down from DC to participate on the California Targa Run in early April, after that shake down, now it's back with us, and yes...there is a love letter.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Patch job

What we have here is a case of excitement....
The kind of excitement one feels when buying the first Porsche.

Next, you bring out the Porsche bible "1001 Projects for your Porsche" 

Your weekends are now filled with the little details that need to be addressed.  Save a little money and revamp the interior,  maybe a set of new wheels too. 

Next, the inevitable....more power,  a 3.0 liter with a little zing to it will do for now,  and why not....a body kit and a paint job .....woo hoo   time to enjoy.

Let me get this straight,  you got a flat tire and when you jack the car you saw the seat go up but not the car....oh boy !!

A typical case of hidden rust repair, what to do now, so much money time and energy has already been invested, but the options are very few.

Ditching the car is out of the question, and replacing the floors are not cost effective......

The Plan :
Make it last a few years until a new body can be found, and avoid any kind of The Flintstones scene.

Enough sheet metal to form new floors, and stock metal make anchors and support brackets , maybe some new and improved jack points.   We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Break it Down (National Geographic)

" It's Show time " 
Hello Porsche fans.......Just a little reminder about the TV show,

National Geographic will airing and episode of the series Break it Down, featuring LA Porsche Dismantlers.

There will be no red carpet, but the US Premier will be on May 12th 2011 at 7 pm and 10 pm.  other times and shows are listed here.

 This Red Beauty is the first generation 911 that is part of the three Porsche in the show, it came to us in pieces (no pun intended)

Though the film crew wanted to see the owner take a ride in it and burn some rubber, it was not possible.   After all, the body and all the parts came separately from L A Porsche Dismantler and have to be put together at a couple of different shops.

We were the finishers, that means, the ones with the most amount of work, and the least amount of time.

If we have any bit of doubt that any vehicle is not will not hit the streets.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Under Construction

Since August of last year, this former 1974 Targa has been going through its re- invention, or at least that's how its owner sees it.  All the changes have been, at times, a challenge as well as an emotional journey.

Once the entire body was shot with several coats of a single stage triple black paint, we let it dry for a week or so, then  it was color sanded and re sprayed with  2:1 clear.

We assembled all the parts just to keep them together,  at the same time, we'll see if any of them is out of place, or if we need to redo any of them, they will polished individually and then with new trim, this Black Pearl will get its final assembly.
It's been months since a tow truck with a broken down black targa arrived, today only the  color remains the same, (kind of)  it looks happy being outside.
Porsche attitude, Hot Rod personality and a little bit of Road Warrior,........... we will soon hear its roar.
I will build the muffler myself................and we also will give our client a bit of a hard time about those fuzzy sheep skins......

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reconstructive surgery

 So we continue making our rounds,  the patient, a 1970 S that has been in a coma for the last 14 years.

A physical examination reveled that the front suspension pan needs to be replaced, no donor parts for this procedure, they have to be brand new.

We'll start this operation by removing all that's in the way, the gas tank has been sent to the boilers, and new filters and gaskets have been ordered.  With all obstacles out of the way, we start cutting all rusted metal, and get it ready to fit the new metal.

We have done this many times, but it's never safe to say that it takes this much time, after all, a 41 year old may have been around the block a little.

During the operation, we found that it has kissed a light pole, though the damage was repaired, the removal of the old part is going to take a little more loving.

 When it comes to parts, every one has their loyalties,  some to brands, some to names, and I always hear that they all fit real good............If the car was an inch narrower ....maybe.
But this is what we do,  we'll make it work.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Deconstruction of an S

 This is how the story goes, one day in 1997, the previous owner drove this 1970 S in the garage, left the door open and the car kept running until it ran out of gas, then he raised it up and left it on jack stands. 

2011, it was put on a trailer and started the journey to Los Angeles.  Its new owner is now going to attempt a resurrection.

But this was no Sleeping Beauty.  time did left a scar on it.  at first glance, the suspension pans and parts of the structure have gotten rust,  and they need to be replaced.  A frozen fuel pump and dried up fuel lines are not going to be delivering the liquid gold this 2.2 liter needs to scream.

Today we pulled the engine  out, and it's not looking too happy,  the mechanical injection is going to need surgery.

The good news is that the interior is in fairly good condition.

Tomorrow....we operate.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Love to be topless

 When the decision was made and the budget was written, the first order of business was   "make it a cab"  since then there has been many changes, but one was a must......roll bar..after all, accidents do happen. donated by a  Boxster that no longer needed it, it was modified  to fit our purposes.
 Another change that became a must, was  to ditch the single turbo and go twin.....why ?  well, a couple of weeks ago, our client wondered.. 
All that great looking engine kind of gets cover by the intercooler ?
How can we avoid that ?
We can put it under the quarter.
Which one?
Why not one under each quarter........
With twin turbo in mind, we need to give it a meaner look, this boy is going to pick some fights.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Standing room only !!

 Looks like it's going to be one of those weeks......A Monday morning surprise in not a rare thing,  I open the shop and find cars that were not here on Saturday evening when I left,  Hey, it's not a bad thing,  in times when we have seen shops close their doors, we are lucky enough the keep thriving.

So,  on the menu this week we have :  an Italian dish that just need a little more time to be well done.

A  1970 S that has been simmering since June of 1997 in a garage in Washington State.

A golden Targa that's being spiced up with a sound system and other exotic devices.

A backdated project that is borrowing flavors from others.

On our other burners we have turbo engines being prep,  custom header being welded, and  soon enough, a couple of high performance clutches are going to be installed.
My sous chef is getting thing prepared.. so, Let's get cooking......

Friday, April 15, 2011

An Italian in a German court

 It's not often that we have a non air cooled guest, but this former resident of Sin City needed some TLC.  I guess the desert sun was not kind to it, and when it became a garage queen....well Gravity has a way to affect objects.  Bruised and beaten it made its way down to us.

What a rush !!!  when we get lucky enough to get the right parts and on time, this place can be a mad dash to finish everything we can, it took us about 6 months to complete this Italian job, but it has taken longer to obtain a few small parts.

But now that all the designer little things are here,  we will continue on the run out of the woods and next week this eighties child will have its twelve cylinders roaring through the streets of Los Angeles.

Rosso Corsa was the color of its birth,  and the original type of paint is no longer available in the L.A. Basin, in order to make its shinny coat durable, we got creative.  

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The last in line

How far can a dog run into the woods............
Half way, after that, it is running out of the woods.

For the looks of this week I can feel that three specimens might be able to taste some asphalt, actually, one already did.  The Viper Green  RS looker came to us from our Nation's Capitol via TRE Motorsports, they needed to do some mods, and we were hired to do RS flares and bumper, you know, one thing always leads to another, so you can guess what happened next.  Its owner flew from DC last week to participate in the Targa California run, I heard it was a blast.  Viper Green will comeback to us next week for some final polishing and minor details, and then it is off to the East Coast.

The Guards Red turbo was a guest of the electrical wizard for a week, and now we have everything working, even the windshield wipers, it has been tuned and as soon as DMV put a stamp of approval on its jacket, its shinny brand new ball bearing turbo will come on boost.......and of course, its owner has come to believe that white shoes don't go with red overalls, and as soon as the new ones get a spit shine, they'll go on for the inspection.

Running in third out of this mechanical woods is an upgraded long hood,  it has been a patient of many hospitals, but I think we have found the cure for its blues.  Unfortunately, it was out feeling good,  feeling really good, and then..........brand new BMW thought it could stop on a dime, so now it is back, doing well, but new turbo and header are going to be transplanted, what's trick here, it's the turbo, it's a new, much improved turbo, ball bearing, billet wheel, air diffuser, and one more surprise..............stay tuned, same bat channel, same bat hour.

Monday, April 11, 2011

If the shoe fits....

 I was lurking on another Porsche forum, and I saw a topic I know a little about:
A person asked if a turbo 993 deck lid would fit on a SC, and then he added, "I really Like it".....A resounding     NO !!  was the first answer, wow, seems a little bullish to me, the man just asked a question.
Of course, this is the kind of fight I'd like to get into, I had already been in the ring with this tail.

So, I answered, If you really like it, it can be done.....boy, that modem must have burned a circuit or two, because  response to my post was  fast and furious;  My intelligence was questioned, being that two objects of different sizes will not match. It s a good thing I don't use the metric system.....

When our client said, "You know, I really like that tail, make it happen"..
Well,   I took the ugliest lid I had (in case it didn't work) and then  cut and paste. it was kind of simple actually.  A little welding, a little body work, and perhaps, the most important thing...a little imagination.  I don't mind that some people get a little militant about certain things, sometimes it is even necessary, but what is the point of having a toy, if you can't have any fun with it...

Needless to say, I did posted an answer to the insult and tried to tell how it  can be done and how I have done it for my customer,...... this time I got sarcasm...... really ?? I guess  you win then. 

I know I can be a pigheaded guy every now and then, but I do believe that the journey to building you dream car should be fun, even on serious builds.

Keep that smile on, it looks good on you.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Back in Black

But not by AC/DC,....I have to admit, my head banging and long hair days are pretty much over, but I still have to let loose from the noose.
  It's been months since we started this project, the idea was to upgrade it to a 3.2, and fix the cigarette lighter.......weeks later, we moved to: ...let's give it a little more pizazz !!  and a few weeks later, ...all hell broke loose....... In earlier posts, we shared that a 1974 former Targa was going to need rejuvenating in order to take in a 3.1 Turbo, at least we thought it was a good idea.

We have spent a few months cutting, welding, stitching and the occasional squirrel moment ( I like the movie UP )....... Yesterday we were on the final mission of getting the main body in good shape, on a Friday, when people just want to leave a little early, we were all guns blazing, .... In our sights, the body looked like we wanted it, every curved matched the other one, every square was square and every circle was round, and then I heard.........Shoot her......
That's what Gerardo said......and when he says that, paint has to be mixed, and something is going to get shot !!

So far it has been a fun project, we have been allowed to play with saws, cutters, torches, we even ran with scissors, all in good fun
In the next few weeks somebody's dream car will be starting to become a reality, and then, somebody will have this answer,
 YES, it is mine !!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hey Pumpkin....

Though not fully grown to become the grand carriage of a fairy tail, the stroke of midnight has not turned its driver into a mouse, and you can say that a little bit of magic has transformed this light weight into a ride worthy of a Princess.
In the beginning of Axiom Motorsports, Mr W, brought in this little bright long hood, bright yes, but no glow....

Being a good friend of the Axiom family has its fringe benefits, so we stripped it down to bare metal, not much body work was needed being that it is a 1972, natural beauty was already  there.  We dressed it on A Jaguermeister Orange, and carbon fiber hood and deck lid.

We though it was a happy ending,....but noooo !!
Got itself a big pair of rubber shoes and now it need to come to the patch and get re-fitted.
Add two inches to the hips and bumpers, get rid of the fiberglass fenders and match the metal ones to the front bumper, then take another shot of Jaguermeister again......yep !!  still tastes the same, even after 4 years.

For now it sits quietly at UFO Motorsport awaiting for the magic wand that makes it come alive, and even though it looks so adorable........don't try to pet bites....