In our February 2015 issue of RS Magazine Randy Leffingwell wrote a story about the Truly, Very Last barn find. That article was about this car and its truly exceptional owner John a retired Dentist in the Puget Sound. I had spent the day with John as he reminisced about the stories and adventures he enjoyed with this 1965 911 after purchasing it in 1967. John was an interesting man and he lived life his way; when he showed me the car and told me the stories I was sold.
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We’ve been detailing this car for years as it got used moved to the “back burner” for clients’ cars more often than not. Once we cleaned 27 years of barn dust off (Auction rule 101, Don’t clean the dust; it will reduce the value 50%!) we found an exceptionally straight, rust-free body with the vast majority of its original paint. This is where the train ran off the tracks!
The body was excellent but the original paint could not be saved to our standard. Since the hood and roof had been painted in the late 60’s, we decided to do the rare color justice and strip and paint the entire car. We carefully removed every piece of trim, inspected each piece for originality, and cataloged everything. Our examination of the trim showed us the chrome was slightly pitted but was good. Unfortunately, when you put good chrome next to exceptional paint the results were not up to our standards. Enter Victor Miles. Victor has been doing our “car jewelry” for many years and just plain knows how we like it: Perfect! We boxed up every chrome piece and sent it off to be scrutinized and plated.
The engine ran great with a little tuning (backing up John’s rebuild story) but since we were at a stand still for the chrome, we decided the engine had to come out along with the transmission and be serviced, cleaned, and detailed to out standards. Since the Solex carburetors were removed shortly after John bought the car, they only needed a simple rebuild and now they work flawlessly.
The interior was a gem! All original with only two very minor flaws. The carpet was threadbare by the driver’s threshold and the headliner had a 2-inch tear. Try as we might, we couldn’t get the carpet to match so we had Tony Garcia stitch up a new complete carpet kit and send a new headliner with it. The seats, door panel, and entire dash are 100% original.
Since a few suspension bushings needed to be replaced, there never was going to be a better time to examine the chassis. The underside was as original as the top and was exceptional but had a few spots where the original undercoating had flaked off and was bare. We blended the undercoating in those areas, and then cleaned and re-blacked the remaining areas so it all matched. Anything that was removed was cleaned, refinished, or replated. The chassis is as nice as the topside.
This past spring as the project was nearing completion I called John to see if I could bring the 911 to him to show its former glory. I emailed pictures and then left a message. A week or so had passed when I got a call. The call was from his partner saying the 911 has outlived John but how happy he would have been to see it in the condition it was when he bought it. I’ve driven this car a bit, but only as a tribute to John, the 911, and the adventures he and the car had crossing this country.
The stories will continue with its new caretaker.
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