1969 was a landmark year in which Porsche’s Ferdinand Piëch—at great expense and risk to the company—jumped into the metaphoric deep end of the pool and debuted the advanced 917 race car. It would also be the year Porsche would offer its lightest and what many consider its most potent production 911 to that point: the “B”-series 911S, which many enthusiasts today consider a taste of perfection. This now iconic model combined the first-generation 911’s brilliant 2.0-liter flat-six air-cooled engine with a new extended wheelbase chassis and a wonderfully responsive mechanical fuel injection system.
Gateway to the RS
Like an eye-dazzling laser strobe at a rock concert, Jeff Lewis’s Golden Green 1969 911S coupe cannot be ignored. There are very few early 911s that draw the eye like this one, especially when grouped with other Porsches, nearly all of which are painted in much more muted hues. Lewis, an avid Porsche collector and vintage racer from Newport Beach, California, is convinced that the 1969 911S is “the most important stepping stone” from the first (1964-1965) 911 to the famed 2.7 Carrera RS of 1973 and the brilliant series of sports cars that followed.
Lewis relates that serial number 119300621 came into his hands in 2013. He already had owned a beautiful Euro-spec Blutorange (Blood Orange) 1968 911S (Excellence #208, April 2013) and was not in the market for another “long-hood” car when he came across the example on these pages. Early 911 specialist Henk Barrs at Carparc USA in nearby Costa Mesa had just acquired the car from its second owner via an eBay sale.
Barrs then quickly sold it to Lewis, who had Barrs restore the car over a 12-month period. Lewis had previously purchased a Dolphin Gray 1965 911 from Barrs and had it restored; he was pleased with that experience. This 911S was, he says, a fully numbers-matching example with very little rust. Add the very rare and appealing original color and what he says were the important technical advances of the 1969 model versus the year-older design, and he couldn’t pass it up.
Fortunately, the car retained some of its original documentation. Its “Maintenance Record for USA and Canada” booklet shows the car was shipped to Bob Smith Volkswagen-Porsche in Hollywood, California and delivered on March 15, 1969, through the dealership’s leasing arm, Sierra Leasing, showing just 10 miles on its odometer. A number of service invoices also came with the car, including one to a Mr. Thomas Leich of Hollywood for a new set of tires dated November 15, 1971. The mileage was entered as 31,880 miles, suggesting that Mr. Leich might have been the original owner.
It appears that the second owner was a resident of Victorville, northeast of Los Angeles. That was the good news, says Lewis; having spent most of its life in the hot and dry desert, the car had “very little rust to remove when it was restored, and showed no sign of collision damage.” The bad news is that one of the previous owners attempted to convert the coupe into an RSR look-alike, cutting up the fenders and rear quarters and installing wide flares, a new fiberglass front valance, and of course, a tea-tray rear spoiler. That was a popular look in the 1970s, says Lewis.