No part left unpainted: The future looks bright again for the 911 T
There is a sense of excitement in the air in the Porsche Classic workshop, with increasing signs that the extensive restoration work being carried out on the 1973 US version Porsche 911 T is at an advanced stage. With the shape of the car now restored, it has been painted in its original silver metallic colour. For “Revive the Passion”, the joint project of Porsche Club of America (PCA), Porsche Club Service and Porsche Classic, the future is certainly looking bright. Whoever is lucky enough to win the car when it is raffled off among PCA members at the Porsche Parade in the USA in August will be getting not just a beautiful 38-year-old Porsche, but a true classic that is in even better condition than it would have been when new.
This project isn’t all just about restoring the car’s good looks, however. As part of the restoration process, the experts from Porsche Classic are combining state-of-the-art technology with their many years of experience to provide complete corrosion protection for the vehicle body. Such methods didn’t exist in the 1970s and are rarely used even today due to lack of opportunity. Furthermore, this step represents part of the unique approach to optimising the vehicle adopted by the Porsche Classic specialists, in which extensive preparation has played a key role. As previously reported, the mechanics first completely assembled the bodyshell. This made it possible to obtain precise measurements of all gap dimensions at an early stage and, more importantly, to drill all of the holes for trim strips and accessories. All parts were then removed again. This work, although painstaking, means that there is no need to drill more holes in the finished paintwork.
Another new treatment being given to classic Porsche models is cathodic dip coating (CDPB). Cathodic dip coating is a standard procedure for optimum priming in modern automotive production.
On the free market, opportunities to apply a perfect prime coat and adhesive primer to a vintage car using a cathodic dip coating bath are rare indeed.
The advantage of a prime coat applied using a cathodic dip coating bath lies in its thoroughness. The electrostatic charge means that the paint particles attach themselves to every last nook and cranny as if they were attracted by a magnet. They protect areas that are difficult to reach even thorough application using a spray gun.
For enhanced corrosion protection, all welded seams were sealed following application of the cathodic dip coating. The experts then sprayed a stone guard on the underbody, in the wheel housings, luggage compartment and engine compartment. The next step in the process was the typical Porsche Classic priming process, in which the cabin, as well as the engine and luggage compartments were given their original silver colour. Most of the accessories − including the wiring harness, pipes, chassis, axles and brakes − were then installed. Because the mechanics have to come into direct contact with the vehicle outer shell when carrying out this work and therefore risk leaving behind unwanted marks, the paint sprayers laid aside their spray guns until this work was completed.
Finally, the experts gave the outer shell a fine sanding. At this stage, the body was sent to the paint booth for painting. In a second step, larger body components such as doors, roof, sliding roof, bumpers and the rear closing panel were painted individually in silver and finished in a clear lacquer.
The coveted 911 is now gleaming, and the mechanics have already moved on to the next stage − the interior. The interior is an entire project in itself, as much of it has to be either restored by hand or completely refurbished.