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1966 911 Barn Find Story w/PICS

Finding this car was a total fluke. I am constantly searching craigslist for cars and parts and happened to find an ad for some misc 356 parts. The ad was very brief, stating the seller had a few cases, cranks, rods, engine tin, etc... no price, just a phone number. After several attempts to rendezvous, two things became clear - we were on different schedules and the gentleman was not overly motivated to sell the stuff. One week later on a beautiful Sunday I finally had the ‘privilege’ of viewing the parts, I had no idea what I would actually stumble upon. After a short 30 minute ride down the highway I arrived at the house - a pretty small place tucked into the back of a rural neighborhood. There were a couple of cars scattered in the overgrown grass, I spotted a 924 and an older BMW sedan. I wasn't sure what I had gotten myself into but hey, you never know. After knocking on the door and having a short chat, we walked towards the garage to view the parts.



As soon as I turned the corner my heart skipped a beat! Trying to keep my composure we had some small talk as he pointed around the garage floor at the bits and pieces that were aimlessly scattered about.



A crank here, a fan shroud there, oh - and did I mention the tarnished red early 911 sitting quietly in the corner under a half inch of dust and paper shreds?!









I attempted to steer the conversation away from the parts and towards the 911. How long have you had it? 30 years. When was the last time you drove it? 1993. Why did you park it? Tensioners. What kind of condition is it in? That there is a museum piece. Needless to say he had my attention, rarely do you find an early 911 with only two owners that has been so well preserved. Is it for sale? Not for sale, not now and not ever. Oh well, not the first time I've hit that brick wall and definitely won't be the last. I asked him to put a price on all of the parts (at this point I didn't even notice them anymore) which he did and it was far beyond what I was willing to pay. I bowed out and started to head towards the truck when he asked in a devious tone "What do you reckon that old 911 is worth?". My ears perked and back into the garage we walked...

Part 2 coming next!

Old 12-15-2014, 11:49 AM
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:57 AM
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He allowed me to look over the car and it was clear almost instantly that he had something special. I opened the driver’s side door and the interior was so well preserved I almost couldn't believe it was original. The wooden dash and steering wheel were perfect with no cracks, all of the vinyl in the car was supple and the headliner was perfect.





A quick pop of the deck lid revealed the two liter sporting it's original Solexes...



Surveying the body gaps the car appeared to be dead straight, I didn't see any signs of previous damage. With a quick wipe of a towel it was obvious the car had been re-sprayed at some point in it's life - the base coat was crazed under the clear. We moved to the front of the car and once the hood was up I saw two things that drew me in deeper; the original tool kit totally complete and the original spare, both seemingly unused and in concours condition. OK... now I really want this car. The owner proudly walked me through the details his ownership as I looked the over. He purchased the car in 1980 from it's original owner while he was living in Virginia. The original owner had the car re-painted in it's original Polo Red when it was only 4 years old due to acid rain. He drove the car daily for over 10 years and thoroughly enjoyed it. One day he was driving it to the store and heard a loud ticking sound in the engine bay. He shut the engine off and had the car towed home. He was a bit of a tinkerer and self proclaimed mechanic so it was one of those things he would get to when he had a chance. Well, 20 years later the car was still sitting there.











We talked some more about old cars and he loosened up a bit, finally he asked bluntly what I would give for all of the 356 parts and the car.

Long story short he knew what he had, he knew exactly what he was doing, and he made his play artfully. We negotiated a deal and I was off to the bank.

Part 3 coming next!
Old 12-15-2014, 11:58 AM
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I returned the next day with truck and trailer to pick up my new-to-me 911 which I was very excited about. We got her out of the garage (rolled free!) then she saw the light of day for the first time in over 20 years...





I didn't fully understand how good of a car I had just purchased until we got it back to the shop and on the lift. I am not exaggerating when I say this car is absolutely one of the most solid early 911s I have ever seen in my life. There is not one inch of rust on the entire car, top or bottom. The floors are perfect, the pinch weld is perfect and undisturbed, the tow hook has never been snagged, the front bumper retains it's original weights, the front valence is undisturbed and still has it's tiny pinch marks, even the rubber water drain nipples are intact and supple... needless to say I was thrilled!

















Part 3 coming next!
Old 12-15-2014, 12:08 PM
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Damn!
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:18 PM
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The first order of business was to give the car a good wash. Once that was done we put the car back on the lift and surveyed the mechanicals. First thing was first, we pulled the carbs and completed a full rebuild.



At some point in it's life, an aftermarket ignition system was added to the car so we removed it. The entire fuel system was flushed from the tank back and all fuel lines were replaced (including the gas heater). Both fuel pumps were seized and sent off to be rebuilt. In the mean time we freed the brake calipers, flushed the brake fluid, and replaced the brake lines. Once the fuel pumps returned we attempted to start the car and had a big bang! The distributor was in backwards. We got that sorted and she started right up! After syncing the carbs we took it for a drive and it was phenomenal. The car tracks straight as an arrow, the steering is direct and firm, the little two liter has great power, and all of the gauges work! These old cars really have a unique personality and road presence.







Once the mechanicals were sorted we started some detail work. All of the chrome on the car was hand polished and it turned out brilliant! The chrome has virtually no pitting and incredible depth. Unfortunately there was not much that could be done with the paint. We gave it a strong polish and wax and it really shines well from 10 feet. The craze is noticeable up close. I considered painting the car but just can't bring myself to do it. It is so original and unmolested that I consider the less than perfect paint as part of it's patina. The car drives so well that I really don't mind it not being perfect, otherwise I really don't think I could muster the courage to leave it parked in a lot.













It's been a month since I turned the corner and saw this car for the first time and I am so happy to have "rescued" it. With minimal mechanical work and some elbow grease the car is now back on the road, looking good, and being enjoyed. I hope you enjoyed the photos and my short story (I know my grammar sucks!).
Old 12-15-2014, 12:20 PM
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WOW, nice find, right time, right place.
Standing by for more p-car fun!
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:24 PM
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Outstanding!
Amazing what can be done in a month once you set your mind to it.
More impressed by you keeping the story to yourself until you finished the work.
Keep her like she is and drive her.
Great find and appreciate the story and pics.
Best of luck!

Matt
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:30 PM
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wow, great luck and great job.
Old 12-15-2014, 12:31 PM
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Awesome car, great story! Thanks for sharing.

Please tell us you swaped in a new set of tires and you're not running around on 30 year old rubber.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:44 PM
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Thanks for all of the compliments guys!

How sweet is this?!

Old 12-15-2014, 12:50 PM
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I like the hood close instruction panel.

Great story.

Did the car have tensioner issues like the PO stated?
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpnovak View Post
I like the hood close instruction panel.

Great story.

Did the car have tensioner issues like the PO stated?
We actually found the original tensioners when we were looking through some parts. He didn't remember but apparently (considering there were tensioners in the engine) he swapped in a new set and when he was buttoning everything up he installed the distributor backwards and the car wouldn't start so he gave up, again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trader220 View Post
Awesome car, great story! Thanks for sharing.

Please tell us you swaped in a new set of tires and you're not running around on 30 year old rubber.
Guilty! The tires (which are in great shape) are date coded '84... I guess I should do something about that!
Old 12-15-2014, 01:57 PM
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OMG your a lucky man. Great find, no fantastic find.
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:03 PM
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So, are you going to tell us how much the car and parts cost? Ball park? Great find and great story. Did you buy a lottery ticket? You are on a lucky streak.
Old 12-15-2014, 02:07 PM
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So, are you going to tell us how much the car and parts cost? Ball park? Great find and great story. Did you buy a lottery ticket? You are on a lucky streak.
The price was in line with the current Hagerty valuation guide. A fair price for both buyer and seller in my opinion.
Old 12-15-2014, 02:44 PM
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Congrats, what is the VIN ?
Old 12-15-2014, 02:44 PM
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You won the lottery
Old 12-15-2014, 03:06 PM
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beautiful car..congratulations and I hope you enjoy her
Old 12-15-2014, 03:23 PM
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Amazing find! I LOVE stories like this. Congrats and enjoy!!

Old 12-15-2014, 03:33 PM
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