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Wayne 962 Wayne 962 is offline
Author of "101 Projects"
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Pelican Board - Please Forgive My Past Sins and Accept my Penance!!!

It all started about four years ago when my wife made a suggestion to me that finally sunk in. She said "why don't you just sell all of those cars that don't work and just buy one that does." She was indeed, referring to the 911SC, the 356, the 944, and the 914 that were not running (or not running well) at the time, and the Vegas over/under on them getting back on the road anytime soon was poor. So, I sold off a bunch of cars and started looking for an early 911 hotrod to buy.

Well, right after I took her suggestion, she became pregnant. So, I quickly realized that the funds raised from the sale of my "junkers" might go from "car fund" to "college fund". I panicked, big time - since I couldn't find an early 911 worth buying, I went and bought the first nice car I found, offered to me by a friend in Orange County - the Ferrari 308. While I would stop short of calling that purchase a mistake, I would say that over the long run, I was quite disappointed in the car. My wife's current Honda minivan was way faster than that car. When the car was cold, you couldn't make left turns on the road because it had absolutely no low-end torque, and if you didn't rev it high, it would stall, and you would be killed by oncoming traffic. Still, it was indeed one of the best looking cars around, but that really was what it was - all looks and no performance. I had mistakenly assumed that because it was a Ferrari and it was red, that it was also fast and handled well. It literally felt like it handled like a truck. Very stylish, but a very stylish truck.

I found myself not driving it too much. It wasn't terribly enjoyable, and I also felt that it was difficult to get parts for it efficiently and correctly. For some reason, I didn't like working on it. It wasn't too exciting and the car itself was pretty simple. I committed another "sin" on top of the original purchase - I let the car sit for months at a time without driving it.

I did find my 1972 Carrera RS clone at the German Autofest about two years after the purchase of the 308. This indeed, was the car that I was looking for, but couldn't find when I got the 308. I bought it on the spot - the price was very reasonable. This car has had a bunch of little problems, but has been a ton of fun.

Still, I feel I lost a lot of "street cred" with my core passion - the air-cooled Porsches. So, in an attempt to regain my lost credibility with loyal Pelicanites, I would like to humbly introduce the latest member of the Pelican family:

This is a 1987 Porsche 959 that I have "rescued" from an owner who has had it parked for more than 4 years with no significant driving or running. It's in very nice condition, but it is best described as a "project car" - there are many little electrical and computer problems with the car that will need to be worked on. In typical Pelican fashion, I will take many, many pictures and post them here for all to see. I will be working closely with the folks at Callas Rennsport here in Los Angeles, on the restoration and repair of this 959. Callas Rennsport has a bunch of 959 customers, and they have the tools, computers, and manuals needed to wade through the complicated electronics of this car.

I've been working on a deal to acquire this car from the previous owner for more than a year now. Selling off a bunch of other cars, and old parts I didn't need anymore, combined with the sacrifice of my left kidney, and child #1's college fund made it possible. The current computer issues with the car offer some interesting challenges, but also turned away many potential buyers over the past several years, resulting in a significant price break for an adventurous soul who would be willing to tackle them. I may be eating ramin and noddles for the next 10 years, but opportunities like this come along only once in a lifetime.

The 959 indeed is one of Porsche's most mysterious cars - not too many exist on the road, and even fewer currently exist in the US. There's a fellow in our Engine Rebuild Forum that inspired me by posting pictures of his 962 engine removal and teardown. I personally was fascinated by that, as my exposure to the water-cooled / air-cooled race cars is limited. It is my goal to share the photos, stories, and trials of working on this beast (and I may also need the help of the resident electrical experts here when I come up against roadblocks) with the members of the board. Many shops here in the US modify the car significantly - it will be my goal to restore it and maintain it in as "stock condition" as possible.

So, in the next few days, I will be posting the photos of the car from the PPI that Tony Callas and Grant from Callas Rennsport performed on the car. I'm still learning about the car, and I can't wait to share the experience with the rest of you. Someone 3 years ago mentioned something about "101 Projects for your 959" - not quite, but a neat ongoing blog / summary detailing the restoration of this Porsche legend is definitely in order and coming soon!

So, I respectfully ask for forgiveness for my past transgressions away from the Porsche marque, and welcome fellow Pelicanites to share in the restoration of this fine Porsche legend!


Wayne R. Dempsey, Founder, Pelican Parts Inc., and Author of:
101 Projects for Your BMW 3-Series 101 Projects for Your Porsche 911 How to Rebuild & Modify Porsche 911 Engines 101 Projects for Your Porsche Boxster & Cayman 101 Projects for Your Porsche 996 / 997 SPEED READ: Porsche 911 (October 2018)

Check out our new site: Dempsey Motorsports
Old 10-04-2007, 11:37 PM
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