Doctor in the haus 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 RS
In my last Carrera RS update, I voiced my distress at seeing most of the front end of the car in a rust-riddled and singed heap on the workshop floor. The situation rapidly improved as new panels were welded into place and front wings and doors temporarily attached to ensure that everything was aligned properly. With the Porsche once again looking like a more-or-less intact car, I was lulled into imagining that the job was almost there. Hmm. How foolish of me.
Doctor in the haus
My next sight of the RS was after it had been bolted into a rotisserie and rotated to get at the floor. Or, more accurately, to get rid of the floor. This wasn’t entirely unexpected because I had already bought a complete floor panel before the exercise commenced, in anticipation of just this moment. Nevertheless, the gaping void across the centre of the car still came as a surprise.
What I hadn’t fully anticipated but seasoned Porsche restorer Steve Kerti (of Devon-based Classic Fabrications) had warned me about was that you obviously need sound sills to attach the floor to. And sound metal was not much in evidence. The sills were well and truly shot. Time, once again, to rev up the cutting wheel and cut back what remained of the badly corroded sills and also the bottom of the central tunnel.
Fortunately, with undersides removed, most of the tops of the sills (not all of them) remained sound, as did the top of the central tunnel that contains the front-to-back gubbins such as the gear-shift linkage, brake lines and wiring. The heater ducts run through the sills and everything within looked a mess, so I chose not to peer too closely at the open wounds but left it to surgeon Kerti to rearrange the entrails and stitch it all back together. Photos of the surgery soon arrived, illustrating the ‘fabrication’ in Classic Fabrications as sheet steel was cut, moulded to shape and grafted in.
Then — oh joy! — the final few pics were of the Porsche’s nice, clean bottom. The new floor welded into place signified the end of the ‘big’ work. However, as time would show — and time is where the money goes — the myriad ‘little’ bits left to do would prove to be just as timeconsuming as the big stuff, if not more so. Next instalment: glassfibre meets steel in the saga of the rusty ducktail engine lid.
Above and belowRotisserie allows access to parts of a car no sane owner would want to see; in happier times, with matching Bimota.