Gold Standard

One 1973 911T saved from the replica route

December 10, 2010

Also from Issue 189

  • 2011 911 Speedster
  • 1966 906 Driven
  • Inside Ruf's 911 V8
  • 911 GT3: Porsche's Greatest Racer
  • 1958 356 Outlaw
  • Porsches for $16,000
  • Racing 987s: Continental Cayman
  • Market Update: 1989-1998 911
  • Project 914 3.6
  • Tech Forum: "GT1" Engine coolant lines
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I have always loved the early 911s, especially the early ’70s models,” says Colorado native Justin Erion. “I love their simplicity — basically a motor and four wheels. They’re light and nimble, with classic ‘form follows function’ styling.”

Erion knows something about function, having built a Sports Car Club of America GT2 racer out of a 911 SC. It has held a lap record in its class at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah for a couple of years now (Excellence September 2006). Four years ago, he was presented with the opportunity to buy a fairly rough 911T with low miles.

“I acquired the car, believe it or not, from a friend who owned an auto pawn business,” he reveals. The price was right and the 911 appeared to be complete. “It was in running condition but cosmetically worn and faded, yet nice enough to believe the (claimed) 89,000 miles.” It was a deal Erion couldn’t pass up, especially since he has fond memories of Porsche’s 911T.

“My first introduction to Porsches was when I was four years old and my father brought home a brand-new 1972 911T in Aubergine,” says Erion as we admire his Gold Metallic 911T in the sparkling morning sunlight. Fittingly, it’s parked in front of his parent’s garage; Erion has enduring memories of his dad’s Aubergine T.

“I remember being able to push it by myself a few feet while it was in the driveway — and the sound the engine made,” he says. Erion also remembers an errant jaunt around the neighborhood on his tricycle. At just five years old, he was already developing a healthy appreciation for the freedom a set of wheels can bring. “I think I was out chasing some neighborhood girls around.” He laughs. “My dad had to come find me.” A few minutes after Justin had pedaled around the corner in pursuit of the fairer sex, his father pulled up in the 911T — ending Justin’s first solo road trip.

While his father’s 911T clearly left a big impression, Erion had other ideas for his own T: “My first thoughts were to build a really nice RS or RSR replica for street and track events for my wife, Marcie.” The 911 was delivered to Arvid Unterseher of Classic Restorations in nearby Longmont so it could be stripped and any rust could be repaired before flares were welded on.

As Erion researched the car, however, he started to question his plan. “I discovered that, in ’73, Gold Metallic was available only by customer special order — and that this car was ordered with many desirable options such as green-tinted glass, a leather steering wheel, Fuchs alloys, full S trim, and a front anti-roll bar.” There was also a radio and antenna and what seemed to be the comfort package with more luxurious carpeting, heavy duty sound deadening, and rear defroster.

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