Our beautiful 1971 yellow and black Porsche 911 ST, bought and restored specially for the race track by Dave. “One thing I’ve learnt over the years is you have to use these cars. Even my early 356 Pre- A 356: An original AFN car, the oldest Porsche sold in the UK and only one owner before me. I’ve done 7,000 miles in that car since restoring it. It’s even been to the Nürburgring.”
So, how did Dave’s early dreams of track glory behind the wheel of a Playstation, turn into the reality of this very special project car? It’s fair to say that a bit of real racing sits between Playstation days and the adrenalin of driving the ST, but the kicker for Dave was his surprise performance (for everyone) in the Jim Clark 356 at the Le Mans Classic in 2010.
It wasn’t long after that, when Dave decided it was time to take the bull by the horns and build himself a proper car to take on Europe’s real tracks. GLM7J was bought and restored specifically to run Dave’s fourth Eifelrennen 400 km and, in true DSD style, this happened to coincide with a busy period on customer cars, so we really had our work cut to get it ready in time.
“A proper RSR was beyond my means, but an ST was a smart looking thing” and so the hunt for a solid foundation car was on.
Found by fellow Essex boy, Paul Stephens, this particular ’71 ST was the ideal starting point for our track car plans. Dave explains, “The main reason I bought it: I wanted to build an ST that was as close to perfect as possible: starting with a compromise would have been wrong. This one had had a major body restoration just a few years ago, so while there was certainly a lot of work do, we had something of a head start by using a really solid shell.”
Restoration started with stripping the interior and then pretty much everything back to the shell. The car also had a sunroof, so that was wielded up. Then we moved onto strengthening the front and rear arches, as well as under the bonnet, plus making the engine super smooth. A strut tower brace was added while the fuel arrangements were were reworked to the exact specifications of ST factory cars.
Wheel arches were hand-hammered wider taking up a full week, a rollcage was fitted and a beautiful 2.5 litre twin-spark short stroke mechanical fuel injection engine with JE pistons was installed.
“When we finished the ST we took it to the 2011 Le Mans for a weekend away. Arriving at the circuit, we headed for the Porsche Village where the car got a lot of interest. We drove it around quite a bit before the race, and then took it to the Great British Welcome on the Friday. We’d just gone for a look around again to be honest, but the guy organising things stuck us in the lineup for the cavalcade.” Plenty of people staring and flag waving followed.
Now, when it comes to track time, Dave’s virtual practice seems to have come in handy, delivering a 45 second advantage on his driving partner over his first few laps at the ‘Ring in the legendary 400 Kilometre race.
With the car back in Essex and running the gentler spare DSD 2.2 rally engine, this first couple of rounds of ST experience has not got the race bug out of Dave’s system. No, it’s just made him worse and he’s now looking for even more opportunities to take the car to Europe with the magnesium cased, twin sparked, massively ported 2.5 engine that’s just been through another round of fettling and is ready to drop back in.