From Scratch

Also from Issue 200

  • Short Test: Panamera GTS
  • Driven: Ruf Rt12R
  • Jerry Seinfeld's 550-03
  • 991 across America
  • Bandido: Hot-rod 356 Speedster
  • Peter Schutz looks back
  • 2011 Rennsport Spyder
  • In aluminum: 356 Abarth GTL replica
  • 362,470-mile, one-owner 912
  • Fairy tale 24: Daytona 2012
  • The Longest Day, 1982
  • Stolen! Is your Porsche safe?
  • Tech Forum: Inside the 911 R
  • Interview: Dennis Aase
  • Smart Buy: 912
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Unfor­tunately, the 1984 chassis had the wrong torsion tube to accommodate the G50 transmission. To solve that problem, Proto­Sport cut the Targa’s center tube out and welded in a G50 torsion tube. Proto­Sport modified the spring plates so the rear end could be lowered without excessive negative camber.

“This is really where ProtoSport shows its expertise,” opines Jerry. “They were familiar with this because of the many years of experience they have in fabrication and modification of Porsche cars for competitive events. Using coil-over springs and their spring-plate modification, they were able to lower the car enough to have an aggressive-looking stance and (excellent) handling while providing an exceptionally comfortable ride.”

Jerry kept a detailed diary of the entire project on several yellow legal pads. As he searches his notes, he stops mid-page and laughs out loud. Pointing to one line, he says, “One day, Paul called me and asked, ‘Are you standing next to your checkbook?’” Appar­ently, Paul made that call after Walo’s Auto Body pulled the gas tank and discovered the front pan was bad. A new factory pan had to be purchased and welded in after the original was cut out.

Meanwhile, Jerry says he had to find and assemble “hundreds of screws and levers and latches just to make the roof work.” But he also needed pretty fundamental parts like wheels and tires, a new wiring harness, Turbo tie rods, a 23-mm brake master cylinder, 930 brakes, a full set of gauges with a dashboard to hold them, a carpet set, a “seat delete option” storage compartment, an oil cooler, and literally everything else. As he puts it, it was “a marvelous game of finding the parts.”

Just before the car was ready to receive the engine, Jerry’s concours judge DNA came to light: “I sent all the engine hardware and upper parts to be powder-coated in matching body color with silver accents.” Proto­Sport, meanwhile, installed a hand-built, single-pipe exhaust. Says Jerry: “It provides not only the correct back pressure, but an unbelievably throaty roar!”

When Jerry finally got the call to come down to the shop to test drive his car for the first time, Paul told him, “You’re never gonna drive your ’79 930 again.” Jerry laughed and said, “That’s bogus. When I drive my 930, it’s like holding a tiger by the tail! It’s a howlin’, screamin’ mass. There’s nothing like it — it’s the supreme adrenalin rush.” So how does Jerry like his Turbo Speedster? “It just doesn’t seem like it has 360 hp because of the way it handles, the way it drives. It’s a wonderful car to drive, and it never fails to attract a crowd. And then people see the picture of the original $500 chassis and they go crazy.”

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