Olive Tart

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system wouldn’t be easy. The first item needed was the small Preschona uberdruckventil (over-pressure valve) fitted to the oil-tank filler. This magnesium valve prevents the front-mounted oil coolers from rupturing by diverting cold oil from its normal path back into the tank.

The oil coolers themselves are special. While the right-front fender holds a standard 2.2-liter 911S cooler, the left cooler is a mirror image and specifically designed for the 911S-T. These extra components require additional oil lines and fittings that have not been available for decades. Tom’s solution was to commission a German machinist to fabricate exacting copies of the original fittings and collars.

The engine parts were refurbished and reassembled by Jim Newton and Scott McPherson at Auto Associates, who say the flat six made 263 rear-wheel horsepower at 7300 rpm.At that point, still well below redline, the 2.9 was still adding power, but respect kept them from twisting the fresh engine to 8000 rpm.

The 911S’s original 911/01 gearbox transfers the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. A custom gearbox was planned, but when the original was opened for examination, the team at Auto Associates was stunned to find that it had already been modified with a 904 mainshaft and a custom gear stack. The only thing they added was a NOS ZF limited-slip differential.

Chasing Tom on the way to our photo shoot, I lower the windows and bask in the glory of the 2.9-liter flat six warbling through the rally exhaust. The car’s color, off-putting in theory,works extremely well in person. It’s rich and absolutely period correct, unusual without being flamboyant.

When we leave the first photo location, I hop into the Olive Tart’s passenger seat. It’s another opportunity to look around the interior.While a lot of equipment has been removed in the name of lightness, there’s still a lot to look at, like those Repa racing harnesses. Most privateer teams would have sourced a racing harness from Britex or Autoflug. Porsche used Repa harnesses with factory-style latches, and the ones in Tom’s car were removed from a factory 911S-T rally car.

The fiberglass Recaro buckets beneath those belts wear bold green-and-blue tartan plaid. Sourced from Edmond Harris in England, they are one of the details Tom knew would fit his car’s personality perfectly. Meanwhile, a Halda Twin Master computer and Heuer Rally Master stopwatch perch on an original aluminum bracket in front of the door-less glovebox.

Driving through town, I ask Tom for some of his first impressions. “It’s like driving my old ’73 T,” he says unhesitatingly. Then, with a shake of his head, he says, “I wouldn’t hesitate to drive this car to California right now.”That’s high praise for a stripped-out early 911. It can’t be that good, can it?

Also from Issue 202

  • F.A. Porsche, 1935-2012
  • 1958 550A Spyder: Badly burned car restored
  • 1984 911 Turbo: 700+ hp ethanol conversion
  • 2012 TechArt 991S: First drive
  • 1962 356 Carrera 2000 GS
  • 1970 914
  • 1982 924 Turbo
  • Smart Buy: 1984-86 Carrera
  • ACC InnoDrive: Driving an autonomous Porsche
  • Meet the man who founded IMSA
  • Hydro-Pneumatic
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