Porsche Centre Guildford in conjunction with Porsche Recommended Repairer, Premier Panel Skills, have fully restored a rare 968 Club Sport 1994 as part of the Porsche Classic Restoration Competition 2016.
The competition encourages official Porsche Centres from around the UK to bring an unloved Porsche car back from the brink. While the last two years have focussed on 911 models, the theme for this competition is ‘40 years at the front’ which, in 2016, will coincide with the 40th anniversary celebrations since the launch of the first ‘transaxle’ (front engine) car from Porsche, the 924.
Last year’s competition, the Turbo and Targa Restoration challenge, saw Porsche Centre Guildford and Premier Panel Skills take home the Body and Paint Restoration award for the 911 Carrera 2 Targa 1990. Looking to build on last year’s success, Porsche Centre Guildford teamed up with Premier Panel Skills once again.
Over the last nine months, the teams from Porsche Centre Guildford and Premier Panel Skills have worked tirelessly to bring the much neglected 968 Club Sport back to life. Because of the limited numbers produced, there was an extra sense of responsibility to return the Porsche to its original 1994 condition - a phenomenal sports car.
This year, with the support and guidance of experienced Porsche-trained Technicians, Porsche Centre Guildford saw the restoration project as an opportunity to give their Technician Apprentice invaluable experience restoring an older Porsche model. The Apprentice, Jake Ferguson, was tasked with the disassembly of the 968 and full engine rebuild. Jake had to follow the original 20 year old manual very closely when stripping the car down part by part, but using current day best practice when necessary.
Remarkably, Porsche Centre Guildford and Premier Panel Skills have serviced this very 968 Club Sport before. Two of the mechanics at Premier Panel Skills working on the 968 Club Sport restoration project were also present for the encounter over ten years ago when the previous owner broke down near Porsche Centre Guildford on a trip to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps and Nordschleife race circuits in Belgium and Germany. Learn more.
As expected when restoring a car over 20 years old, the restoration project has not been without its complications. The car had been neglected and exposed to outdoor conditions for years and, as a result, the body and parts had suffered from extensive corrosion. Sandblasting has proved a highly effective technique in restoring parts back to an exceptional standard in order to prime the metal for paint.
After countless hours spent stripping down the 968 Club Sport down to its bare components, the parts were meticulously cleaned and sandblasted ready for a full respray in the original Guards Red colour, just as the 968 Club Sport would have appeared as it rolled off the factory line in 1994.
With all parts restored to their peak original condition, the 968 Club Sport was reassembled. The rebuilt engine was reinstalled, and with tweaks and fine tuning, the 968 Club Sport was running again. To add a finishing touch to the restoration project, the number plates were replaced with the originals from the Porsche car’s first registration back in Stuttgart Germany over 20 years ago.
Following the Classic Restoration Competition, the 968 Club Sport will join the other front-engine classic restoration entries for a parade lap around the legendary Nürburgring Nordschleife race circuit in Germany.
Ian Wallis, Director of Premier Panel Skills, said “Back in 2005 when we first encountered this 968 Club Sport, it was geared up with a roll-bar to take on the race track, so it was a shame to see this once much loved car so worn out and faded when we came across it again years later. It has been my privilege to work on this Porsche car and see it look even better today. Hearing the engine running again was hugely rewarding. It makes all the hard work worth it.”
Adam Flint, Centre Principal of Porsche Centre Guildford said “The restoration project is a fantastic showcase of the capability and specialist knowledge of our service team. The transformation from the condition when found has been a truly fascinating journey, and the 968 Club Sport is once again a stunning Porsche car. It is a phenomenal achievement by the teams at Porsche Centre Guildford and Premier Panel Skills.”
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