Georgia Peach

A well-worn 1966 911 is restored into a show stopper.

Photo: Georgia Peach 1
June 27, 2019

There’s something about a short-wheelbase 911 in a rich red hue that draws the eye, and this one drew close attention from concours judges at the 2015 Porsche Parade staged at French Lick, Indiana. Its owners, Daryl and Betty Goetz, brought home a First-in-Class award (Touring, Preparation), having outscored half-a-dozen other show-quality early 911s and 912s in their category.

The Goetzes are members of Porsche Club of America’s Peachstate Region, which they joined in 2011 after relocating from Cincinnati to Georgia, accompanied by the gorgeous 1966 911 gracing these pages. They’ve enjoyed a 40-plus-year love affair with this early short-wheelbase coupe, which is probably one-of-a-kind if we consider its special-order factory color of Bordeaux Red. Daryl grew up the Mid-west, where V8-powered American iron ruled the roads in the 1950s and ’60s. “European-style racing circuits didn’t exist in rural Missouri and foreign sports cars were scarce,” says Daryl. “In high school, my goal was to buy a big-engine muscle car when I graduated from college.” Male bonding took place on Friday nights at small-town dirt ovals with stock car racing, and there was a quarter-mile drag strip a few miles from his home, so all his racing experience was short and straight.

“My introduction to Porsches was through my college roommate Karl, who purchased a red 1964 356 Cabriolet in 1968 prior to college graduation,” he continues. “The car reminded me of a stylish VW with an over-carbureted ‘wash machine’ engine.” The familiarization process included a mishap from which Daryl and Karl were fortunate enough to escape relatively unscathed. The same couldn’t be said for the 356, which flipped when they encountered an unexpected patch of ice while on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on the way to Medina, Ohio in mid-winter.

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“We bounced off a curb and rolled a full ‘360’,” he recalls. “The top was shredded by the pavement and the windshield frame bent, breaking the glass. We kicked out the rest of the windshield and pressed on, with Karl wearing ski goggles and me huddled down below the dashboard out of the slipstream. Soon, a state policeman stopped us, but after learning that we were Naval Academy Midshipmen, very nicely escorted us to town.”

Although Daryl had acquired a very muscular 1968 Pontiac GTO boasting 400 cubic inches (6.6 liters) and 350 horsepower, he found himself excited every time he rode in Karl’s peppy little German ragtop. “I loved its road-hugging ability, that made it lots of fun to drive,” he says. After graduation, Daryl joined the fleet, but his deployments and household moves made it difficult to think about buying his own Porsche.

The Pontiac, meanwhile, was living up to its nickname, says Daryl; “Gas, Tires, Oil”, all in large measure. While it was fun to drive, poor gas mileage, expensive maintenance, and high insurance costs made it a losing proposition. “I still loved my ‘Goat’, but I had been bitten by the Porsche bug, and the rest is my multi-decade 911 love story.”

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In the fall of 1974, Daryl responded to a Jacksonville, Florida newspaper ad offering a 1966 Porsche 911. He was looking forward to a new civilian job at Proctor and Gamble in North Carolina the following June after leaving the service. “I planned to settle down, so I felt I could finally scratch my itch for a Porsche,” he explains. “That’s when it happened, when I first saw my 1966 911, and immediately fell in love.”

The car, he recalls, had the sleekest lines he had ever seen. “The curves were sensuous, very alluring, and it just emanated speed. The rich leather interior with its wood dash and steering wheel said, ‘sit in me and hold me tight,’ so I did.” It took half a year of negotiating to close the sale, and in the spring of 1975, after what Daryl calls “divorces from her two previous owners,” his 40-plus year infatuation with this Porsche began.

Chassis number 303670 was completed on March 17th, 1966 and delivered through Brumos Porsche in Jacksonville. Both the original engine, number 9038934, and transaxle, number 228918, remain with the car today, along with its original owner’s manual, window sticker, and operating manuals. Daryl discovered the name of the original owner, Joseph Hixon of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, from the radio warranty registration card.

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“When I bought it, it was certainly drivable,” says Daryl, “but at an indicated 94,378 miles the engine burned oil noticeably.” It was well-worn and there was some rust. The car had spent its early life in coastal northern Florida, how could there not be rust? Daryl relates that the floorpans were pretty bad, as were the passenger door seams. There was rot in the right-rear quarter panel and the nose and hood had suffered some road rash.

“Even though the second owner, a local college student, only owned the car around a year and a half—1973 through 1974—he had to have the driver’s door replaced when he backed up with it open and jammed it so badly that it creased the door against the front fender and damaged the hinges. He didn’t have the money to have it repaired properly, so he bought a replacement door and installed it himself. The rear valance had to be replaced when it was damaged by the installation of a trailer hitch.

The second owner didn’t like the original color, so he decided to have the car repainted on the cheap. He went to a local chain auto repaint shop and got one of their ‘$99 special’ total car paint jobs. The color he chose was Porsche’s Togo Brown because he wanted to compliment the original brown leather interior. Recalls Daryl, “That is why the car reminded me of a big Hershey bar or Tootsie Roll.” The leather had not been well-cared for and the stitching was separating on the driver’s seat. Still, the car had “good bones,” Brumos had put it in decent running order, and Daryl was in love, so on January 14th, 1975 he wrote a check for $3,600, and the car was his.

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Daryl and the 911 moved to North Carolina and over the next 40 years or so, the brown coupe became Daryl’s weekend driver, a “hobby” car. He says he was pretty much on his own; there were no local clubs or activities. By 1991, another 8,000 miles had been added to the odometer, and the engine was giving trouble again.

“The dual-diaphragm fuel pump failed and I couldn’t find any spare parts, so I just parked it, put it into storage,” says Daryl. I simply ‘saved’ it.” The car would sit for almost 20 more years while he moved on with his life. His employer, Proctor and Gamble, transferred him three times, and the old 911 followed him along. The sensible thing would have been to pass it on to someone else, “but I’d become sentimental and really didn’t want to sell it.” Back in 1996, he’d thought of selling it, and posted it on eBay with a $4,000 reserve ( close to $6,600 in current dollars). The best offer he got was $3,750 (about $6,200 today), which he turned down—“The best decision I ever made!”

Finally, in 2010 with retirement and relocation planned for 2011, his wife encouraged him to either “Sell it or restore it so you can enjoy it!” Another good decision was in the offing. Daryl had met Mark Schlachter, whose Cincinnati business, MetalKraft CoachWerks, specializes in the restoration of old Porsches. When Daryl asked Schlachter if he might be interested in taking on the 911, the answer, as you might expect, was in the affirmative. There was one simple instruction: “Don’t take any short-cuts,” and the three-year bare-metal restoration was underway.

Photo: Georgia Peach 6

The Porsche entered Schlachter’s shop June 21st, 2010 and didn’t emerge again until September 2012. After Mark and his small crew stripped the 911 down to its basics, the engine was disassembled to determine what was needed. They found that two cylinders were badly corroded and their cylinder heads beyond saving. In 2011 the engine parts were crated and shipped down to Tucker, Georgia, where renowned Porsche racing mechanic Franz Blam had set up a small shop to occupy himself in retirement. Having decided that he didn’t want a garage queen, Daryl told Franz that he wanted to drive the car and that reliability was more important than building a hot rod.

They decided to take the original 2.0-liter out to 2.2. The original crankshaft was in good shape and was mated to new higher-compression 84 mm pistons and cylinders. Blam ported and polished the heads, added oil-fed Carrera chain tensioners, and fitted a set of modern PMO carburetors to replace the old and fussy Solexes. Daryl also had Blam improve lubrication with a vintage 911S trombone front cooler. A new dual-chamber master cylinder with separate lines to the front and rear brakes along with new rotors improved stopping ability. The original five-speed box was overhauled as well.

Meanwhile, back in Cincinnati, Schlachter was dealing with the rust issues. Other than the driver’s door, all the sheet metal was found to be original, still wearing the factory’s crayon markings. The floors were replaced, along with the longitudinals, front suspension pan, rockers, and lower body panels. Then, with the metalwork done and the tub in protective primer, Daryl and Schlachter had to figure out precisely what color the 911 had been when it was originally built. “I knew the car was a Maroon-type color based on what the second owner had told me,” says Daryl.  “I liked that type of color, so I had Mark begin looking for signs of the original paint while he disassembled the car.”

Photo: Georgia Peach 7

Daryl had managed to obtain a Certificate of Authenticity from Porsche, but while that document confirmed that the car was numbers-matching and provided a list of its factory-installed options, it didn’t help when it came to figuring out the original paint.

For 1965-1966, Porsche offered nine standard colors and another 30 “Special Order” paints. Daryl had the original Brumos window sticker, which stated simply “Code 9400” and added $131.05 to the base retail price of $6,485. Neither Code 9400 nor the number stamped on the door post plate, 3007, appear on that list. That meant the original color was “Paint-to-sample.” The actual color is not mentioned.

Back in 2010, Daryl had contacted Porsche Cars North America, explaining that the code didn’t help identify the actual color, as it doesn’t appear on any factory color charts. He reached out to Porsche Classic as well. Finally, a new, more informative document arrived. Porsche had replaced its Certificate of Authenticity with a “Statement of Specification,” still based on information drawn from the original Kardex. The paint color for his car was now identified as “bordorott,” or Bordeaux Red, but no formula was shown.

Photo: Georgia Peach 8

Schlachter meanwhile had found a bit of the original paint on the underside of the driver’s side front fender in the area between the gas filler opening and the rear edge of the fender. Protected from the elements, it would be the key to formulating the precise factory-applied color. Mark contacted the local Glasurit supplier, who sent out a representative with a paint spectrometer, and a few weeks later, he had a couple of gallons of correct Bordeaux Red in hand.

The paint challenge notwithstanding, the interior was a bit of a mystery as well; described on the car’s original window sticker as “All-leather upholstery,” code 9425, list price $278.49, plus “Special interior, $17.50,” with no further explanation. In early 2013, Daryl ordered a new leather upholstery package to closely match the original brown hides, including kneepads and dash cover, from Autos International. He also purchased new carpeting and a new headliner from AI. The interior was installed by Rick Davin at Vintage Interiors in Cincinnati.

In addition, the original mahogany dash and steering wheel were restored to their original finish. The original wiring harness was tested and found serviceable, so it was reinstalled, while the gauges and various other electrical components were refreshed as needed. A dealer-option Delanaire air conditioning system had been installed by Brumos when the car was new, and that has been put back in working order with a modern Keuhl rotary compressor.

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Other factory options included a Webasto gas heater—since removed—raised driver and passenger seats, seat belts, a passenger-side leather headrest, “Veluran” floor mats, a Blaupunkt Frankfurt radio package, a Talbot racing-style outside mirror, and Dunlop tires. Per the window sticker, the retail price was $7,256.07, “more than double the cost of my ’68 GTO with a third the horsepower,” notes Daryl.

Several of the 911’s windows and the windshield had been scratched over the years, but Daryl opted to have them carefully restored so as to retain the original manufacturer’s marks. At Schlachter’s suggestion, Daryl shipped the driver’s door glass to Glass Restoration, Inc. in Sarasota, Florida. He was so pleased with the result that he had that shop polish the rest of the glass. Unfortunately, the windshield cracked and had to be replaced.

Also, the fuel tank was cleaned and re-sealed. New rubber seals were installed throughout. Since full originality was not a deciding factor, the badly corroded factory chrome-plated steel wheels that came with the car were replaced with a set of reproduction Fuchs five-spoke alloys.

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When the completed roller was ready, the car was trailered to Blam’s shop in suburban Atlanta where the transaxle and brakes were overhauled and the newly-rebuilt engine reinstalled. The car was finally completed in late August 2013, and barely 36 hours later it was on the lawn at PCA’s Zone 3 Rennfest Concours d’Elegance, held at the Brasstown Valley Resort, nestled in Georgia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

“Peachstate is a big region,” says Daryl, staging four well-attended concours every year. Rennfest was the third that year, and his right-out-of-the-shop 911 was awarded a second place in Division II (Full Concours), missing a class win by just half a point. “I had only intended to enter the ‘Street’ class and I forgot to replace the jack and tool kit in the car,” he confesses, “That cost me five points.” With those items in place, he would have won by a tenth of a point. When he returned home, he replaced the missing items noted by the judges, and then the string of class wins began—15 in a row beginning with Peach State’s 2013 Concours number 4, and Daryl drove to all of them.

The 2015 Porsche Parade at French Lick was a bit too far to drive a nearly perfect car. Daryl carefully cleaned and prepped the 911 and put it aboard a transporter to Indiana. At the end of the day, Daryl’s gorgeous Bordeaux Red 911 had won its class handily. “The engine judge told me it was the cleanest motor he had ever seen,” says Daryl.

Okay, remember when Daryl told us he didn’t want a trailer queen? He tells us he and his wife drive the 911 about a thousand miles a year, but avoid long trips. The 911 has since accrued about another 5,000 since the restoration. The car recently was entered in Peachstate’s final concours for the year and won both First-in-Class and the desirable “Peoples’ Choice” award among 30 entrants.

This elegant 911 still draws lots of eyeballs; Last fall it was named “Car of the Month” and was invited to display at the Atlanta Porsche Experience Center, which was celebrating Porsche’s 70th Anniversary. Daryl reluctantly had to take a pass. He and Betty’s 50th wedding anniversary conflicted, and he wasn’t about to turn down a date with the lady who urged him to “Sell it or restore it so you can enjoy it!”

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