“I pity the fool who thinks Tangerine isn’t the best color ever on an early 911!” boldly declares our Mr. T.
No, this is not an episode of the A-Team or a Saturday morning cartoon from the ’80s. That Mr. T was a brash, flashy, and loud iconic TV figure. Our subject is a 1972 Porsche 911T that seems intent on announcing to the world it has turned into a really cool ST clone.
All kidding aside, our Mr. T started life as Porsche 911 serial number 9112100189. Just another 1972 911T in coupe form. Porsche made 4,894 of this model, and 2,931 of them came to the U.S. It was originally ordered in Tangerine with a black interior. How it developed a persona akin to the angry Mr. T is our story.
In 2014, I was looking for a car that would serve as a platform for a hot rod R Gruppe sports purpose inspired build,” explains Nick Psyllos of San Diego, California. “The goal was for my son and I to develop it to our taste.”
Psyllos had become a Porsche fan long before that day. His fascination began in 1966 when he was just ten years old. His family lived in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota and their next-door neighbor worked in management at a local car dealership. For years the neighbor brought home a parade of American cars that would stick around for anywhere from a day to a few months. Psyllos would help him wash the cars in his driveway in exchange for rides around the block.
Then one day the neighbor brought home a car that looked different from the rest. It was a Porsche 356 coupe in green with a black interior. To Psyllos, everything about that car seemed unusual in a good way: the sounds, the smell, the seats, and the size. It even had its engine mounted in the rear.
“When he took me for a drive in that 356, I remember being struck by how different the handling was and how solid the car felt compared to the others,” remembers Psyllos. “That green Porsche was it for me. It left an impression that remains to this day.”