We love seeing what exciting projects our customers are currently working on. Every month we would like to showcase a couple of cars in whatever state they are in - on the road or on the rack.
This month's customer car story comes from Des Erasmus and his retrofitted 1971 Signal Orange 914/6.
Des works as an action vehicle coordinator in Cape Town, South Africa where a 914 is a rare sight. The car he would eventually purchase first made its way to South Africa 40 years ago, but was left behind after the previous owner emigrated. When Des acquired the car in 2006, it had sat for a number of years and was missing glass and leaking oil badly. It was more of a project than he had originally anticipated at the time and he sold it within a few days. He felt a deep regret for passing on it so quickly but life went on. In 2012 he saw an advertisement for a "916" locally and knew it had to be the same car. He bought it sight-unseen 1600 km away and had it delivered to his dry storage until he could dedicate time to work on it.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2021, local lockdowns gave Des the time he needed to begin his rebuild. The car was stripped and mounted to a rotisserie for a bare metal restoration. All suspension components were stripped, repainted, and reassembled with Bilstein shocks in all four corners.
The interior was completely redone in custom leather upholstery and a pair of inertia belts took place of the standard non-retractable belts. Des also sourced a center console from a 1973 car and replaced the clock with an oil pressure gauge.
The original motor was replaced with a 911 2.2 T engine complete with freshly rebuilt 2.7 S pistons and barrels. An original set of 914/6 engine tin was sourced and imported and a replacement oil tank was installed. The tail-shift transmission was rebuilt using a combination of side-shift and tail-shift linkage.
When Des went to take the car on the first test drive he quickly found out the gears were all reversed and needed to be sorted out. After dropping the transmission and fixing the issue, the six is finally ready to get back on the road. We're glad to see another brought back to life, thanks for sharing this great story Des!
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