Porsche Centre Guildford has a special piece of history with its 2015/2016 Porsche Restoration Competition entry.
When searching for a classic front engine Porsche, Ian Wallis, Director of Premier Panel Skills, recalled a particular 968 Club Sport from a chance encounter over eleven years ago.
Back in 2004, the late Derrick ‘Del’ Brocklehurst had been diagnosed with cancer. Determined his illness would not prevent him from his dream, Derrick embarked on a 1,300-mile road trip to drive his cherished Porsche 968 Club Sport round two iconic race circuits; the world-famous Spa-Francorchamps race circuit in Belgium and the legendary Nordschleife in Germany.
However, just as he left the 968’s clutch gave out. With help from some Guildford locals, Derrick pushed the 968 to Porsche Centre Guildford’s workshop. Eager to make sure the owner did not miss his trip, the team worked beyond closing time to review and diagnose the problem.
The rubber section between the master and slave cylinders had burst leaving a long trail of hydraulic fluid down the road to the breakdown site. Unfortunately the spare part needed was not readily available which led to a series of attempts at an alternative solution.
Late into the evening, a substitute pipe was fitted which did the job. Much to Derrick’s disbelief, his 968 had a fully working clutch again and he could proceed with the trip. He hadn’t told the team of his condition and that this would be his last adventure in his treasured 968. Derrick had the time of his life on the trip but sadly passed away in 2005.
Fast forward to 2015 and this 968 is back at Porsche Centre Guildford again; this time in need of major restoration. Ian Wallis of Premier Panel Skills originally helped prepare the bodywork and fit the roll cage before Derrick’s trip and upon rediscovering the 968, decided that it was the perfect candidate for this year’s competition.
“At Premier Panel Skills I have both personally owned and worked on almost too many cars to count over the years. Once I sold or repaired them and handed them back to their owner, I rarely, if ever, saw them again. But here is the exception: this 968 is different; and it has come full circle.
I first saw this car and met its owner over ten years ago when Derrick, having been diagnosed with terminal cancer, announced his wish to drive the Nordschleife in it. I and others from Porsche Centre Guildford, helped Del to achieve that ambition in fine style.
After his death the car sat unused for a very long time and it was only after a chance conversation with a relative of Del’s that I realised that it would be a fitting tribute to a truly determined and resourceful man if I could at least trace his car, to see how it had fared in the intervening years. Sadly the years had not been kind and much work is required to restore it to its former glory.
So, having found the car I bought it on the spot and had it brought back to our premises for a full restoration. Del demonstrated real determination, overcoming so many difficulties to achieve his ambition of driving this Porsche at his favourite racing circuit. In much the same way, and as a tribute to him and the car, the Premier Panel Skills and Porsche Centre Guildford team, mostly working in their own spare time at weekends and extra early morning starts, are determined to restore this car to its former glory, whatever the difficulties encountered.”
After realising his story and history, it is a privilege that we can return the 968 back to its original state as a phenomenal sports car.
Find out more about this fascinating transformation on our dedicated restoration page .