While Hendry and Reese assessed the mechanical aspects, detailer Mark Payne put his talents to work on the cosmetics. He was so delighted by the car that he took time to write a short piece about it for 356 Club Magazine (Summer, 2008). The paint, noted Payne, had oxidized a bit. There was also mud on the bottom of the car, along with spider webs and a layer of dust. But, he wrote, “this is one of the best-preserved cars I’ve ever seen. Nothing is missing. There are no scratches from the usual bicycles or lawn mowers. The overall condition…is fantastic!”
Moore wanted to leave the Cosmoline underbody coating intact, a move Payne agreed with. “(Porsche) was very generous in some spots and a little less in others,” remarks Payne. “This coating is the first thing to go when you buy a car, but, for this car, the coating remains.” Since the car had never gone back to the dealer for its 1,000-mile check, the engine and transaxle still had their original Cosmoline, too. The valve cover nuts and drain plugs had not been touched.
“The motor needed general cleanup,” recalls Hendry. “We removed the dust and grime, but we left the coating alone.” After intensive de-griming up top and underneath the car, Payne carefully applied blue 3M masking tape to all exposed bodywork edges and went to work with his polishing wheels, compounds, and wax. “The paint responded very well and the car looks new,” remarks Payne.
Mechanically, the Allen T needed very little. The car wasn’t running when it came in, so Hendry put it on a lift and gave it a once-over. Then he and Reese went to work. Says Hendry: “I happen to own a ’73.5, too, so I’m pretty familiar with this model.” The first step was draining the fuel tank, fuel pump, and lines.
“It’s only had three tanks of gas in its entire life,” marvels Hendry. The tank was surprisingly clean and showed no signs of corrosion. “We took the fuel distributor off for cleaning; the plunger operated properly. Underneath, the sump cover plate had leaked badly. The plate was carefully removed and the original-fill oil drained out. The leak had damaged the cover’s black paint, so we had to repaint it.
“When we replaced the cover,” continues Hendry, “we used a gasket of modern material. The old gaskets were just cheap cardboard.” The disapproval in his voice is palpable. “When we reinstalled the plate, we used the original washers and nuts, making sure the polished sides of the washers were facing up. We left the valve covers alone — so the engine has never had its factory valve lash adjusted!”
Hendry was concerned about oil, gasoline, and water condensation that had settled in the 911T’s exhaust system. So, once the engine was running with fresh oil, he raised the idle to about 2500 rpm and just let it run. “The cloud of smoke was rather dramatic,” he chuckles. After about half an hour, though, the exhaust cleared right up. He says the condensation had created a few pinhole leaks in the muffler, but not enough to warrant replacement.
“We were prepared to pull the muffler and the engine tin to get in and deal with any timing-chain noise, but there wasn’t any,” he says. The brake system, however, required attention. “The left front and right rear calipers wouldn’t function, so we replaced all the flex hoses, several of which had deteriorated and collapsed. We pulled each brake pad for examination — they were fine — and there was no significant rust on the rotors, so everything went back together.”