The 911 started as an AFN car, and was sold to a family in London, which is all the information on the original documents, but on Googling the family’s surname, it was found that all family members were part of the Prussian royal family, the former rulers of the German empire. “The 911 smoked around London for a few years, then was sold to the Midlands.” It was then passed around a group of friends, until it reached a lady called Stella Bird. The owner of the 911S, Jon Barber, went on to look for some more details on the previous owner Stella, but couldn’t find a trace.
It wasn’t until Jon had owned the car for a total of three years that he began to learn more about his cars’ previous owner.
When holidaying with his wife in Egypt three years prior, Jon encountered an older lady on one of their adventures on the very last Nile paddle steamer. Jon explained that, “most of the other passengers were quite a stick in the mud” so once drinks and conversation had been exchanged, they became friends and sat up on a regular basis sharing stories and life experiences. One night the lady noticed Jon’s Porsche baseball cap and began to explain how she used to have a Porsche, given to her as a gift from her husband. Her husband had picked up the car from a friend in the Midlands. It was a black 911S, from ’72…
She went on to explain how much she had loved the car, but her husband eventually got rid of it as the fuel tank had been busted as a result of falling debris from a lorry. When Jon got home from his trip, he checked the history and found a receipt for the broken fuel tank – the lady had been Stella Bird!
Jon has now owned the car for 16 years, ten of which were spent using the car to get to work and as transport for more adventures across Europe, until ’05, when it would no longer pass an MOT. It was instead parked up for a few years and began preparations for restoration. Jon had known Dave Dennett at DSD Motorwerks for years, and as a quoted ‘perfectionist’, Dave was the man for the job.
Restoration of the black beauty started in 2007, starting with the rebuild of the engine that had become rather noisy over the years. When the engine was in bits, Dave found two left-hand cam chain tensioners, with a stack of washers packing out the wrong one. When stripping back a little more, Dave found two different cams: an E and an S. “One side of the engine would go until about 5,500 revs and then the other side would kick in,” explains Dave. “It was an E/S engine: quite a rare beast!”
Further restorations were applied to the body, gaining new outer wings and virtually every double-compound curve from the front axle line back was replaced, along with new A-posts, new B-posts, new sills and new kidney bowls, the list of full restoration is endless. Jon had the paint done by Porsche Curves, setting him back a huge amount in cost, but excelling the car’s beauty beyond imagination.
After seeing the Porsche fully restored, Jon says he doesn’t think he’ll ever let go of the car, and describes Dave’s work as, “both sympathetic preservation and building a driver’s car. It is early S perfection.”
To contact DSD about your Porsche restoration, phone us on 07002 911356/07774 854418.