Having had the good fortune of a variety of Porsches over the last few years we wondered what would be next. The water cooled Porsches faded in our hearts. We knew we wanted something with character, granite build quality and charm. After realising that we didn't really want (or need) any more air cooled 911's our attention turned to 912's. They looked kind of cute and seems they have their own thing going on - sufficiently different to 911's.
Off we went on a bit of a hunt and found one in Sydney that we thought might be a candidate. Turns out it wasn't.......but in the back corner of the warehouse we saw something that appealed to us for the first time. A bug . The warehouse had a few gt3's, other air cooled 911's, a 914 & other exotica. Yet we were drawn to the bug. Turns out they're quite a personality - who knew! Ok, so we're a little late to that party but after hopping in, turning the key & smiling at the raspy note we couldn't help think that this might be a whole new passion. Do we need another passion? Hell yes!
The usual process followed - past owner history, paint checks, test drives, mechanical ppi's etc. Could we make a business case for this little beetle? We applied the rigorous methodology we'd used in the past (would we enjoy it?) and everything pointed towards a purchase. Everything was perfect and we discovered a whole bunch of things about this little bug that weren't originally apparent. A magazine level rebuild in 2000, custom intake manifolds from an Adelaide guru who is now deceased, Porsche 356 cam profile, 356 rear modified suspension, original metal with no welds/damage/repairs, original vw books, and one hell of a fun drive. The engine tweaks liberated an additional 9hp (seems like a lot of work for 9hp right), which in percentage terms is an impressive extra 25% ! That gives us around 37hp to pedal along with and if someone had told me that this could actually be enough to have fun I'd have laughed at them. Shows how little I know...it's a hoot.
We're currently deciding between the original rims (which seem ridiculously skinny) that are charming or a set of empi's, which will get a little more rubber underneath. While lighting up the rears is hardly a concern, lift off oversteer is just as (if not more) pronounced in this little bug compared with our early 911's. Driving this little thing is more enjoyable than anything else I've tried for some time (track driving excepted). Each time we cast our eye over the stable we're drawn to the lines of this early bug. Is it just the warm glow of the honeymoon period? It sure will be fun to find out :) I'd say we've got 2 - 3 weeks of testing in front of us to get everything dialled in and it will then join the rest of our fleet. Wave if you see us!