Erion noticed something else about the car, too: “No sunroof and no A/C led me to believe it was ordered by a true Porsche enthusiast wanting just a few options but nothing that would really affect performance. At least I like to think that’s why the original owner opted not to add them, as it is how I’d have ordered it. I hate sunroofs.”
The front and rear bumpers had small, black metal bumperettes instead of the larger rubber bumperettes seen on so many 1973 911s. That’s because this was one of the earlier 1973 911s, which made its way down the assembly line in late 1972. There are other interesting differences, says Erion: “Being built in the later half of ’72, it still has metal tabs in the right rear wheel well for mounting the ’72 oil-cooler apparatus.”
When he consulted the Porsche Technical Specification booklet as well as Patrick C. Paternie’s Porsche 911 Red Book, he found there were only 1,252 1973 911Ts made with MFI before the switch to Bosch CIS fuel injection. “Surprisingly, there were almost 200 more 911S models produced for the 1973 model year, making this 1973 911T with MFI rarer than the coveted 911S,” says Erion.
The more research he did, the more he was convinced the right thing to do was to restore the 911 rather than turn it into a hot rod. Plus, he had never done a proper restoration and relished the challenge. “I decided it would be just as fun to have a car done to concours level,” explains Erion, who initialy equates his decision to a descent down a slippery slope, then says it was “more of a cliff from which I leapt.”
Those familiar with restoring vintage cars know that restoring one correctly is usually more difficult than simply turning the car into a hot rod. It’s a lot easier (and often cheaper) to work with what you have or add incorrect parts than it is to track down obscure, new-old-stock (NOS) or pristine used, date-correct components. As most who choose this “high” road tend to, Erion got quite an education: “I had no idea what this was going to take in terms of time and money. But I was committed to doing the project right, regardless.”
The first step was tackling the paint and bodywork. Recalls Erion: “We found that it was very straight, with no accidents and (it) only required some of the usual rust repairs. It had some rust in the front suspension-pan area, which we replaced with parts from a rust-free 1973 911, and a little behind the driver’s side door striker in the left-rear wheel area.”
After the 911’s shell was stripped to bare metal and its problem areas were rectified, it was resprayed in its original Gold Metallic, paint code #140. While he normally isn’t a fan of gold cars, Erion has come to appreciate the shade. During the reassembly process, new glass was installed all around with the exception of the rear quarter glass, which he says can no longer be sourced as new with green tint.