Thanks for checking out this weeks episode of The Pacenotes: a podcast about all things Porsche. This episode will run you through the breakdown of original versus restored Porsches. We’ll be taking a look at an an original 1972 tangerine orange 911T and a restored 1973 1/2 chartreuse green 911T. Some of the other cars that we’ll be talking about today include, the Targa, the coup, and the Declan.

Here is a fly by of topics you can expect to be covered:

  • exterior paint
  • orange bar hood crest
  • wheels
  • headlights
  • interiors
  • trunk conditions
  • engine bay
  • authenticity
  • differences between original and restored vehicles

Episode Transcript

Welcome to Episode 2 of The Pacenotes, a podcast about all things Porsche— brought to you by Makellos Classics. In this episode, we discuss the difference between original Porsches and restoration Porsches— what to look for, quirks and the pros and cons of each.

Matt: (00:19)
Welcome to The Pacenotes, a podcast about all things Porsche. My name is Matt Kenyon. I am the owner of Makellos Classics, and on my right I have Greg Bartley, our project manager. Today we're going to discuss the difference between a restoration, which we have on our left, and an original car which we have on our right. The one on the left is a 1973 1/2 chartreuse green 911T, and on the right we've got a 1972 tangerine orange 911T as well. They are two different years. There are some differences between these cars. The chartreuse has been restored to original quality. It has recently been purchased. The new owner has been changing some things out on it, so there have been a few things changed, but when he restored the car it was restored to the original condition. The '72 is basically all original. There's a few things that have been done to it, but for the most part, it's a very original car. What do you have to say about these cars Greg?

Greg: (01:27)
Well they're great examples. You know, the biggest thing to talk about here is, you know, how to spot an original car versus a restoration, and restorations come in a variety of flavors. You know, they can be a sympathetic restoration, which is where you take a car and you basically try to restore it to an original condition without looking like you did. And then there's what we would call an over restoration where you want everything to look brand new, you want it to dry brand new, and you don't really care about how it was done in the past. And so you're trying to apply today's technologies and methodologies to the restoration process.


Matt: (02:07)
Yes. So some of the differences about these two cars, and we're going to start with the exterior of the car, as you can see, chartreuse is a fresh repaint. It is the original color, a chartreuse green, which is pretty rare to see. But this has been painted a base clear with Sikkens paint that was used. Comparing that to the tangerine, which is actually mostly original paint, I think half of the car from the door up is original paint, and that is just single stage, which is what they used back in the day.

Greg: (02:42)
Talking about the differences between single stage and the newer processes, which is base clear, and that's where single stage it was just shot at once. Whereas base clear, you've got your pigment sprays and then you have a clear coat that goes on top of that which makes for a hardier and more durable paint, but is not historically accurate. And so, that's one of the things that you can definitely spot out on a car right off the bat. You can notice that when you do a polish or wax. So you'll see the difference when you actually start to rub a compound or a polish over that paint where if you have base clear, you won't see any color come off. But with single stage, you'll see that color coming off onto your buffer pads.

Matt: (03:30)
A lot of people do, and the chartreuse car, one of the things we did update, we did use base clear, but a lot of people will try to use the single stage. In California. It's kind of tough because the laws kinda, well actually can you do it? You can do single stage in California.

Greg: (03:43)
You can, what you're stuck with is a water based paint versus an oil based paint which you can get and all the other states. So some people prefer to go with the original single stage oil based or lacquer based paints. It just depends where you'd want to ship your car out of California to have that done.


Matt: (04:04)
Next I would say one other thing to look at between an original car and a restored car on the exterior of the car is, you know, the wheels. On this car to the right, the tangerine, you can see a little bit of fading on the wheels, so the wheels are originally finished in a hard anodized with painted black around the lobes of the wheels. In '73 that was the correct way to do it. The chartreuse is done that same way, so they are done in similar ways. I think on the tangerine you'll see the process was a little different. They dipped, I think they dipped the wheels.

Greg: (04:44)
There's a bright dip process, and then they hard anodize, and it's really hard to find services that can follow that same process so you can really notice that in some of these restored wheels. One of the other things to look at on these from an originality standpoint is the date stamp. So on the inside of these fluke wheels there's date stamps, which should really sit between, you know, five or six months before the vehicle was delivered. So if you've got a '66 you should have, or you have a '67 should have '66 date stamp wheels. You know, there's no real hard and fast rules to that, but you'll find on these cars, they'll be on this '72 we'll have really early '72 stamps or even '71 stamps on those. That's correct. A lot of times you'll actually find reproduction wheels, very common on these cars. So, the fluke wheels are an alloy wheel. Lightweight, came out in '67, first came out on the '67 911S, and cheaper reproductions as the cost of these wheels went up, you'll find they're cast and you'll find, you know, incorrect stampings. You'll find they're a lot heavier, so they're really easy to spot once you'd get that car up on the lift.

Matt: (06:02)
So on the actual, the original wheels, you'll find the stamping inside the center of the wheel there's little ridges and that's where you'd see the date stamp on those. And on the other ones they don't really even have a date stamp. Most of them don't have date stamps.

Greg: (06:18)
Right, the earlier wheels don't have a stamp

Matt: (06:20)
That, and you'll see the Porsche emblem on the back as well.

Greg: (06:25)
And the little emblem it actually looks like a little fox head, the logo for the Fuke so, little triangle with little whiskers on it.


Matt: (06:34)
So another thing on the exterior of the car that is pretty big to look at when you're looking at an original car, you definitely wanna see the orange bar hood crest. Especially, it's awesome when you see them in just perfect shape. The tangerine has a really nice one, it's not even on it because the original owner took it off because it was so nice. We have that one just in its own little box.

Greg: (06:56)
It has the right Patina, it just looks fantastic. And you can spot them a mile away.

Matt: (06:58)
Oh yeah. So, and then on those, you want them to be, you know, the chartreuse has an orange bar badge, but it's shiny and it's gold and it's a new badge, where versus the old ones were like a bronze and you can tell that it's an aged badge, but it was well aged.

Greg: (07:15)
And yeah, you can tell they're reproduced. And I've even tried to take some of the newer ones and bury them for half a year and see if I can get some Patina on there, and they just crushed away and they're just not the same quality.

Matt: (07:26)
Yeah. And then another thing is the headlights. You want to touch a little bit on those?


Greg: (07:31)
Yeah, headlights. You know, early on you had your sugar scoops for the American models which were later, you know, replaced with the H4s from the European market. And it's a very common upgrade that people do on these older cars, and is even well accepted within the restoration community or the originality community because they realize that the H1s just didn't have the same lumen output as the H4s.

Matt: (07:57)
Or look, the look of the H4s is just better. Everyone likes them more. That's an upgrade for these cars. Another thing to look out on the exterior of the car is the rear deck lid. You'll see the grills and the emblems. On an original car like the tangerine it's completely original on the rear of it. And it's the anodizing, the black anodizing, is, which is correct for a '73 - '72, you'd see the black anodizing. I think it was actually halfway through '72, so this would be a later '72 car, but on the tangerine you'll see it's a little faded, which shows the originality, where on the chartreuse car it's a dark black, which is basically restored. And that's how it will be when you restore a car. And going along with that, just the trim work in general, you look for, you know, on a original car, you're going to look for some types, some type of wear like on the chrome work on the Targas you'll see on the chrome work, you'll see a little bit of painting here and there. And that's some stuff to look for. That's original. You don't want everything to be perfect, otherwise it's probably restored.

Greg: (09:05)
You may see shrinkages in the seals, especially on S trim, we've got the rubber on the front and rear bumpers. They'll start to shrink over time, and you may see, you know, a half inch gap between the edge of the deco trim and the rubber.

Matt: (09:20)
Yeah so basically if you see a car that looks perfect and they're telling you it's an original car, it's probably not. But yeah, I mean on the exterior of the car you're just looking for wear and use, but at the same time, if they're claiming it's a low mileage car, super original car, then you don't want to see, you don't want over, you don't want that to be too much I guess. And so, but yeah, on a restoration car, it can be a little bit of anything really, but it's supposed to be very clean.

Greg: (09:49)
It depends on the goal of the client. You know, if they're looking for that sympathetic restoration or they're looking for that full restoration. You know, these restorations go in all different directions and you know, hot rods right now are really hot so you're finding people that are spending less time going for the as delivered from the factory and more how do I get this car to drive the way I want it and, you know, put out the power and the handling that they're looking for.

Matt: (10:13)
Yeah, you're getting a lot of that today. The hot rods market has taken a huge jump, and so you're seeing a lot of people who, you know, they've got, they want the car to look original, but yet they want to bone with the power or do some, you know, some stuff to transmission, suspension, all that kind of stuff, but they still want the car to look original. So yeah, I mean it's all stuff to look for when you're looking at these cars.


Greg: (10:34)
I mean these early cars, you know, up to '73, the biggest power plant they had was a 2-4, unless you have an RS, which was a 2-7, but I doubt you're really modifying that car. You know you're finding people who are shoehorning 3-6s, 3-8s into these. Moving on into the interior of the car. So there's a lot of telltale signs on these cars on whether it's been restored or whether it's original in looking at the interior. You can look at the condition of the materials on the inside is a great indicator because these are 50 year old cars. So, you know, Porsche had leather and vinyl, which they called leatherette. You know, what's the condition of that? You know, these driver's seats saw a lot of wear, and so if you see a driver's seat that looks brand new, chances are it's been re-upholstered or replaced.

Matt: (11:20)
Yeah. You want a little bit of wear, but you don't want it to be overboard. You don't want the seat to be perfect when you go in there if they're saying his original car. Another thing I love to look at, and I mentioned in the last podcast, was the dash. I mean, on an original car, even the low mileage original car, you'll still sometimes see a little, little crack here and there, and I almost like seeing that when I'm looking at these original cars cause a little crack is okay and it shows the originality and it shows us not too perfect. If it's too perfect, it's probably a new dash. But it's nice to see that little crack here and there just to show that it's the original dash. As well as the seats, especially the comfort seats it's easy to tell on because they have that crease in the middle. Some restorers they'll put a bigger U where that crease is, when really Porsche, it wasn't a deep U, it was kind of just like a slight crease.

Greg: (12:14)
What you'll also find is they'll overstuff when they're reupholstering, so you'll find the rear seats and even the front seats they'll have either a firmer foam or they'll just add too much foam and you can definitely tell it's not from the factory.

Matt: (12:27)
Yeah, no and I mean, and that's okay for a restoration car. And it's, you know, really at that point it's what the customer wants, if he wants firm seats or you know, a little more comfortable or whatever. But yeah, I mean looking at the seats, seats, honestly, even in any car today, seats is one of the number one things you look at when someone tells you it's a low mileage car because if they say it's a 20,000 mile car, but the seats are ripped and torn then it's probably not. So it's good to know, kind of look at that crease, see if it's still there. If they're saying it's a low mileage car, it doesn't need to be perfect, but you want to still be able to see it with a low mileage car. Another thing is the door pockets with a low mileage original car. The door pockets should be pretty straight. You don't want it to be beat up. And you know, a lot of these cars, these older cars that have been driven, the pockets are definitely beaten up. On an original car they should be, I mean on a restoration car they should be perfect. So yeah, on the original car you want a little bit of wear just like everything else.

Greg: (13:30)
Yeah, they were covered, they were covered cardboard, and so you'll find reproductions now due to, you know, the fact that they were cardboard and wear out, they're now made of fiberglass. And so you can spot those just by tapping on them. You can find out that it's a reproduction. And they're expensive so a lot of people won't even bother replacing them because it's $1,800. You know, one of my favorite spots to look at is the headliner. And a lot of people don't pay attention to the materials used on the headliner, but you'll find a good indicator for me is the pattern. And so if you look at the dots, the spacing on a lot of the original headliners create a hexagon and a lot of the reproduction materials that are being used, they'll create a diamond, and so that's a clear indicator for me.

Greg: (14:16)
And some of the later cars, you know, they switched over from an ivory colored material to a black material. And you know, knowing the lineage and the nuances between the models and the years plays a key role there. You know, whether there's a grain, a texture, to that headliner. And that ties in with the sun visors. You see we have two Targas here, and the sun visors are black on one side and black on the other side. On a coup, you'd be black on and white or light ivory on the other side.

Matt: (14:48)
And very crusty, right?

Greg: (14:51)
And very crusty.

Matt: (14:51)
We love crusty sun visors.

Greg: (14:53)

Matt: (14:53)
Most of them are.

Greg: (14:53)
Every one would get in here is just hanging by a thread, wire framed and all the foam inside's disintegrated and you hate to replace them because you love the originality.

Matt: (15:04)
So, moving on probably the last thing to talk about the interior would be the carpet. And this goes with just about every carpet. Every car is, you know, if it's a low mileage car, you should see a little bit of wear. With the low mileage cars, you can tell that it's an original car because it's a little more, you can see it's a little more dried out. It's a little more stretched out with new, with like a new carpet on a '73 1/2, like this one. It's gonna look perfect. It's gonna look too nice. You can tell when it's new carpet versus older carpet.

Greg: (15:38)
And was it a carpet kit? If it was a restoration, did someone actually custom cut for that car? And what's the texture? What's the, what's the weave of that carpet? So, you know, earlier cars, your 356s your really early 911s, they had a square weave carpet and then you moved on to, I believe it was in the '66, '67 model years they moved on to perlon and you start getting into valors in the higher end models. And then at a certain point they switched over exclusively to that nicer valor carpet. But you'll still find remanence of a combination where you'll have square weave in the front trunk and you'll have, you know, valor or perlon on the inside of the car depending on the trim level.


Matt: (16:18)
So moving on, let's go into the trunk area. In the '72 - '73 range, you'd start to see, Porsche started to, I think in '70 - '71 they were blacked out in there, correct? And then in '72 - '73, I think they had a little bit of over-spray and, what?

Greg: (16:40)
I don't know.

Matt: (16:40)
Well don't look like that and act like you know.

Greg: (16:43)
Well I don't want to be spitting out incorrect information.

Matt: (16:47)
No, '72 - '73 is supposed to be like a little bit of over-spray. '70 - '71 were supposed to be black.

Greg: (16:56)
Okay. Yeah. Let's re-do the trunk cause you got me.

Matt: (17:01)
Leave that in?

Greg: (17:01)
Really? Wow. All right, fair enough.

Matt: (17:07)
Well let's see, if people comment on it and say I'm wrong, great! Another thing to look for in the trunk, and this is just more of when you're looking at buying a car, I always look at the inner corners towards the front of the trunk. So you look by where the battery is and you want to make sure that there is no crinkles or anything in there cause that's signs of an accident. And besides that, yeah, you're looking for the over-spray.

Greg: (17:29)
You're looking for rust. What's that suspension panel look like, that horseshoe? They're one of the most common things replaced on these cars.

Matt: (17:35)
The batteries are right there so the rust would just corrode that all the time.

Greg: (17:39)
You say batteries cause in the short wheel base you only had a single battery. Long wheel base in '69 on, they switched to two batteries, right, for load distribution.

Matt: (17:48)
'74 it went back to one battery.

Greg: (17:50)
Weird little quirk in automotive history.


Matt: (17:53)
So they thought it was a good idea at the time and it wasn't. So moving onto the engine bay, some things to look at on a restoration car. Obviously you want to open the Declan and it to just look, you know, perfect. You know, a lot of people now are zinc plating. The original way to do it was a cadmium plating. So I think zinc plating's a little more bright. It's a little brighter.

Greg: (18:15)
Yeah, it'd really depend on what the component was and whether, you know, whether cadamine was used, whether zinc was used or was it yellow zinc, was it a white zinc or a clear zinc? You know, you can have a whole debate on this, on any of the forums on what was cadmium plated, what was zinc-plated and which one's stronger. It's, you know, you won't find a right answer to those.

Matt: (18:34)
That's true. And now in the engine bay, what areas would you see the cadmium or zinc plating?

Greg: (18:42)
Oh, you'll find just all the miscellaneous hardware, bolts, nuts, you know, if it's an older car you're looking at the relay panels, you know, which u-clips are used. Which, if you look at the fuel pump, what brackets being used? The screws, you know, is it really period correct for that build? You know, other things I look at in the engine bay, you know, if their carburetor, is it the right set of carburetors? You know, if it's an S, an early S, you should have a set of IDSs versus the IDAs. Has someone done a swap? You know, was it supposed to be an MFI car and then the MFI pump failed. And so, they didn't know how to work on it, they put on carbs.

Matt: (19:22)
And bringing up MFI, so the '72 is a MFI 911 T. It was actually the first year that they came out with the T being an MFI car. Before this in '71, all the way back was carborated cars. So it's, '72 and '73 MFI cars are pretty desirable. On the left, the chartreuse is a '73 1/2, so that makes it a CIS, which is continuous injection system. Both of these are magnesium cases, but the '73 1/2 they were trying to basically test out, it was their test dummy for this new continuous injection system. The cage at tronic is what they called it, right? And so they were testing it out for their next model year, which the '74, every car that they had was a continuous injection system with exception to the European Carreras, which are very desirable these days. Those stay at MFI, and that is the exact same engine that's in the '73 RS.

Greg: (20:23)
What was great about the '73 1/2s is you've got all the reliability out of that CIS system with the body style with the long hood. So people really didn't like those impact bumpers. Which, you know, they're growing on people and that market's moving up, but, it got you that reliability without the looks of the long hood.

Matt: (20:39)
Oh, yeah. And the, one of the funny things about the '73 1/2, they were known to get like 25 miles to the gallon because of that new injection system they put on there. So that's kind of just a fun little fact. But yeah, I mean anything else on the engine?


Greg: (20:55)
Well, I mean we go back to numbers matching.

Matt: (20:59)
We need to talk about that. So one of the key things when you're buying a 911 or you know, it's one of the first things you're gonna look at, is your car numbers matching. You can't really verify it without a COA or a Kardex.

Greg: (21:12)
COA certificate of authenticity from Porsche.

Matt: (21:14)
Yes, and a Kardex stopped '69, is that correct?

Greg: (21:16)
Yeah Kardexes were the factories internal documentation for the car. So that's what the certificate of authenticity is based off of.

Matt: (21:25)
Yes. And so that will verify what came in your car and what the original engine was and what the original transmission was. So where you're going to find this engine number is right under your, when you're looking at your engine bay on the fan, right below it, to the right, on the side you'll see six or seven numbers, seven numbers?

Greg: (21:46)
Yeah you see it in script next to a little star stamp. And we'll have shots of that when we go around the car.

Matt: (21:51)
And so, and that should read, you know, depending on the year six, so these would be like a six one, three or six three, whatever.

Greg: (21:59)
Yeah, it will be within the code range for that particular model year.

Matt: (22:04)
And so, that's where the engine number is. And the transmission number is, you can't really see it unless you get under the car, and it's on the, basically the mid section of the transmission under there.

Greg: (22:16)
It's right where the case halves meet for the transmission, and it's a very common area that you'd bottom out on in these cars and you'd scrape that number off.

Matt: (22:25)
It's more common to probably be missing the transmission than the engine, and a lot of people don't think that's a huge deal. I mean, that just really depends on who's, who's looking at the car, what the collector's all about or what the buyer's all about. So, but yeah that's, as far as the engine goes, I think that's ..

Greg: (22:43)
Yeah having the numbers matching power train is the biggest concern for people when it comes to originality and buying a car that they're going to treat as a collector item.

Matt: (22:52)
Well, and then now I've, you know, we've been receiving calls here, customers saying, hey, it doesn't need to be a matching number engine, it doesn't need this because I want to hotrod the car. I want a hot rod, I don't care if it's original matching engine.

Greg: (23:02)
Right, they don't want to feel bad about modifying an original car.

Matt: (23:05)
And, you know, it's pretty cool. I mean that's fun to get into that kind of stuff because we get, we've been getting these customers, even this, this the chartreuse customer. He bought the car from us and it was, you know, restored back to original, but now he's adding a front fender oil cooler and he's adding the stainless steel exhaust and just a bunch of other little modifications, which is pretty cool. I mean, it's, personalizing. It's staying original matching numbers, it's staying all that stuff, but it's cool to see him kind of personalizing it to himself. So yeah, we're starting to see that a lot more, and when we've liked it. It's cool to see.

Greg: (23:38)
You don't have to stick to a script when it comes to building the car. You don't have to try and find the exact way that car was built. You're just custom tailoring it based on what the customer is looking for, which is really fun.

Matt: (23:48)
Oh yeah. People love it. I love it. I think it's fun.

Greg: (23:51)
And going back to the COA and the Kardex. You know, if you're looking for an original collector car, documentation is key. And it's really hard to find on some of these cars, and we come across and we've gotten full maintenance manual. We've got, you know, an original owners book, which they, you know, they repop but having all of the maintenance history. And you know, if they purchased the car, we've got one car here, a '69 911 T that's available that has, you know, original delivery documentation when it was, you know, in Germany.They took delivery of it and there's, you know, there's pictures of them in front of old Nazi barracks and it's just amazing stuff.

Matt: (24:27)
You're talking about my favorite car. I love that thing. You've got, we've got a full booklet of when he went and picked up the car in 1969, he took pictures in the factory, Stuttgart, have him walking through there and you're seeing cars assembled. And then he's got a picture, all of this, all of his trip through there. And then he's got a full on documentation of all the mileage. Mileage that ended up being only 30,000 original miles now. And it was a one owner car, that's cool. And that's definitely something, you're right, that's another huge thing you've got to look at when you're looking at an original car. That is a huge, that can definitely increase the price of that car by having all that because

Matt: (25:06)
Yeah. So, and that's, that's huge. And I've, it's so much easier to sell a car or get someone to buy the car when you can prove everything. And it's tough to get, not all cars have that. And some of them you just gotta look at 'em and know what to look for in order to know that that's the original.

Greg: (25:24)
Right. Do you have gaps in history? Do you have the whole thing? Is it starting from the '90s on? I mean it's, it's a hodgepodge.

Matt: (25:31)
Yeah, so. So I think lastly, underneath the car. So on the chartreuse, you'll look underneath it and it looks like a brand new car. Maybe better, underneath the chartreuse is maybe a little over restored. It's completely painted under there. But we did it, tried to do it to the original spec. You got the black marks that go from the side, from the front to the rear on the rockers. But yeah, underneath it looks like a new car.

Greg: (25:59)
Brand new z card where you could, you can, you can tell, but it's a, you know, it was, that was the other goal for that restoration.

Matt: (26:07)
And on the tangerine you'll see, I mean obviously it was driven 50,000 miles, 50 something, 52-53,000 miles?You'll see the cosmoline, you'll see, you'll see that it was driven. Underneath the engine is not perfect. You don't want it to be perfect because it's an original car. It's not a restored car.

Greg: (26:23)
And you said cosmoline heads, that's not something that you see on restorations. That's also another clear indicator.

Matt: (26:27)
So that was what they put on these cars when they were shipping them from Europe to wherever, just to protect them and code them and all that kind of stuff. And you see in the, I think it was the 964s, and even before that, you'll see these cars were just loaded with it because, we've seen some 964s come in and you can't even see the engine cause there's so much cosmoline in the way.

Greg: (26:49)
Or is it one of the dealer options where they can spray on that protectant, undercarriage protector. Which was just a mess. It just covered everything, and you know may be great in an area where they salted the roads or there's a lot of snow, but it's just, it's a pain to work on.

Matt: (27:05)
So one of the reasons we did this podcast today was because we've got, and we actually started off of original cars. We started just looking for cars that were low mileage because they should be the most original cars out there.

Greg: (27:20)
Yeah, it's a challenge.

Matt: (27:21)
Yeah. So, and we also restore cars, so we kind of want to just tell the difference between the two. So if anyone's ever looking for an original car, or even interested in this 1972 911 T, only has 58,000 original miles. The original color of tangerine has some original paint on it. Give us a call, as well as if someone wants to restore a car with us, or look for a restoration that's in progress.

Greg: (27:47)
Or look for a car that we don't have. We're very knowledgeable in these areas so we can, we can help find and, and seek out that car that you're looking for.

Matt: (27:55)
And we've actually been doing that recently. There's been customers calling us, looking for certain cars and they just want to make sure that that car hasn't been hit or it hasn't been in any accidents. Mechanically it's sound. And then, you know, they'll have us go out and check the car out, and even do a PPI with our technicians here before they buy that. So yeah, if anyone is interested in any of those services or interested in any of the cars we have, go on our website. Click the link and yeah.

Greg: (28:24)
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