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By 1970 (C Series) all 911 engines were now 2.2-litres which offered great flexibility, especially at low revs. This gave the 911E model a healthy 155bhp, but despite this lower power output compared to the 911S, the 911E was actually quicker during acceleration up to 99 mph. It shared the same mechanical twin-row Bosch fuel injection pumps as the 911S but aimed at a slightly less ‘sporting’ market, the ‘E’ could be specified with the four-speed 905/20 ‘Sportomatic’ gearbox, which first came to prominence when it was used to great success in the Porsche 911R Sportomatic which claimed victory in the ‘Marathon de la Route’ (84 hrs of Nürburgring) in 1967.
The Sportomatic system was pioneered by Porsche and is essentially a conventional synchromesh manual gearbox with a clutch that is engaged by a micro-switch in the gearstick knob rather than a separate pedal. Changing gear without a clutch pedal to depress resulted in very smooth changes and a more relaxed drive around town when compared to its manual siblings.
The car presented here is a matching-numbers, 1970 Porsche 911 2.2-litre MFI Sportomatic coupe, originally delivered to the USA in January 1970, then it was exported to the UK around 20 years ago, where a slow restoration was started. This process was started afresh in 2017, when it was the subject of a complete, exacting and fully documented restoration carried out for the most part and overseen by marque specialists THEON DESIGN of Oxfordshire.
As with the rest of this beautiful 911, the original 2.2-litre, flat-six engine has been restored, in this case by another Porsche specialist, Strass of Leeds. There are bills for an engine rebuild including replacing the cylinders and pistons, overhauling the MFI unit, and fitting new pipework and hoses. The list of refurbished or replaced parts is extensive and also includes a new alternator and starter motor. The engine has been prepared and detailed by THEON, the green ‘E’ engine cover has been refurbished back to as-new condition, and the whole engine bay looks as good as the exterior.
Finished in its original Ivory White paintwork, a great deal of love and care has been invested in the car’s bodywork with a total strip down to the bare metal, new panels, subsequent alignment and a painstaking professional respray.
The cabin too has been superbly returned to original specification. All parts have been removed and, where possible, retained albeit stripped, retrimmed or painted. The original Porsche Comfort seats were disassembled, and every part was overhauled. The internal seat frames were blasted then repainted and the foams have been replaced with original specification/shape to make them as comfortable as when they were new, prior to being re-trimmed in the original material. Likewise, the brightwork has all been re-chromed and looks superb. The headlining, carpets and upper post trim have all been replaced with as-new spec materials, whilst the dials were disassembled, checked, cleaned, refurbished, then reassembled. The original steering wheel has also been re-trimmed. A period-correct Blaupunkt Frankfurt radio, in addition to a new Porsche dash centre speaker, has been sourced and installed in the car and the instrumentation and switch-gear are clean, crisp and fully operational.
The suspension and brakes have also been fully refurbished. All of the suspension, (including torsion bars, wishbones and dampers), and brake hardware has been stripped and assessed, then overhauled or replaced if damaged or corroded beyond repair. Parts have been blasted and powder coated where possible and all the bushes and bearings have been replaced.
All new brake lines, discs and pads, with refurbished calipers, including new pistons, seals and bleed nipples were fitted as were a new brake master cylinder and new handbrake cables. The restored (original-date stamped), 5.5 x 14” Fuchs wheels look stunning in their new factory finish of satin black and chrome and the original set of Porsche wheel centre caps have also been refurbished to match the wheels and are a fitting final detail.
The expression ‘better than when new’ is often over-used in relation to restored classic cars, but it couldn’t be more apt in the case of this 911. This is a simply lovely example of a classic Porsche and is not to be missed.