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Also from Issue 197

  • 2011 911 GT3 RS 4.0
  • Michael Mauer on the 991
  • 1950 356 cabriolet
  • Falken's change of pace
  • 1994 911 RS America
  • 1978 928: A lovely old shed
  • Project 914 3.6 — Part 18.5
  • Slave and master cylinder
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The car itself was protected by an anti-theft device, effective not only in generating obnoxious noise but also creating such a drain on the electrical system that the battery would only titter after two or three days of inactivity…the preferred activity of my “new” Carrera.

Not all the enhancements showered upon this Porsche were cosmetic. The addition of a K&N air filter, Sparco aluminum foot pedals, and a huge rear spoiler that would have been right at home on a 930 no doubt enhanced performance.

What to do? What to do first?

My Targa was not nor ever would be a concours contender. Because I actually like to drive the cars I own, I first addressed the mechanics of the car. Camilla questioned the need to invest in repairs right off the bat until, during a short drive incorporating several hills and multiple traffic lights, we ground the gears unmercifully while bucking our way to our destination.

After two shop visits and a cash infusion equal to Camilla’s initial investment, my Targa demonstrated no propensity to bump and grind. She also maintained a shift pattern within acceptable parameters. With snowfall imminent, I filled the tank, administered a generous dosage of Stabil, disconnected the battery, ceremoniously draped the car cover, and headed for Florida.

Returning to Cape Cod after five months, I pulled off the car cover, reconnected the battery, removed the top, crossed my fingers, and twisted the key. I aspired to cruise down County Road enroute to Catu­met happy as the proverbial Quahog Clam. In­activity had not befriended my Targa. The ole girl was only willing to engage four and occasionally five cylinders during our short trip. She returned huffing and puffing to the safety of my garage. Hmm.

Since I live nearly 50 miles from any “Porsche performance specialist,” I decided to call a repair shop that advertises on our local public radio station. “Yes,” the manager assured me. “We service all makes, foreign and domestic, including (one syllable) Porsche.” Sacrilege, you say? Well, my options were limited, he did seem enthusiastic, and he offered me a ride home.

This incident provided my first dose of reality. A Porsche is a special car, but it is, after all, still a car. The Carrera did not need a German Shaman to impart some magic to its internals, ravaging my pocketbook in the process. A set of rebuilt injectors and new spark plugs later, my Targa sang with a clear voice. She started without hesitation, idled without a grumble, and enjoyed all engine speeds.

A bond developed between us.

I began thinking restoration rather than resurrection. I could do some things myself. Ridding the interior of its audio-induced appendages could certainly be accomplished with a new interior kit…smooth RS side panels…a clean GT3-style rear compartment devoid of seats, seatbelts, and stereo speakers seemed reasonable.

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