Seams much better 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7
In my previous report, I noted my dismay at how much rot was exposed after the Carrera’s bodyshell was blasted and that I had given Steve Kerti the nod to start cutting out the gangrene and commence restorative surgery.
My next visit to Dunkeswell, Devon, home of Classic Fabrications (classic-fabrications. com), provided an even greater shock. Much of my beloved RS was gone! I guess I should have expected it – I had seen the size of the replacement panels – but the gaping voids left where the new was to replace the old knocked me back a pace or two. After Steve had laboriously drilled out hundreds of spot-welds to liberate the inner wings and had cut off the nose and boot floor, there was very little front end left. It looked like an anatomical dissection prepared for medical students.
Better news was that, contrary to his earlier diagnosis, Steve now felt that the genuine Porsche outer wings were good enough to save, requiring only the odd ‘improvement’ here and there. I had them fitted when I bought the car and had it restored in 1981, and I had grown rather fond of them. The front wings bolt on and are fairly easy to remove but the rears are peculiar to the RS, being wider than the standard 911 wing of the day and with a different contour to the wheelarch.
The RS was the first roadgoing Porsche to feature wider wheels on the rear than on the front and, rather than investing in a new pressing for what was intended to be a limited-volume run, Porsche achieved the extra wing width by taking a standard 911 panel, cutting out a substantial arc of metal and welding in the new flared shape. This left a telltale seam on the inner surface and it is not unknown for RSs to have been restored with the incorrect profile on the rear wings.
You can’t see it without removing the rear wheels and peering up inside the wheelarch, but it’s satisfying to know that the factory weld is there. I dreaded the thought of Steve removing even more outer body panels. With the new front inner panels in place and a new nose bridging the gap between them, the RS began to look less like a pile of scrap and more like a car again. Temporarily adding the front wings and bonnet to judge fit and alignment added to the effect. It’s a major step forwards but there’s still a long way to go.
From top Looks holesome after blasting; RS seam in rear wheelarch; new inner wings welded in; 911-shaped again.