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Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 1

Project Write-Off Published: 31st May 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 1
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 1 Cockpit is almost as new now thanks to valeting and spraying wheel. Gear lever cost us less than £20
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 1 MOT threw up no problems due to CAT C rating, and pleasingly - save for wearing discs - sailed through it
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 1 Generally the body is sound; only sign of rot is small patch by nearside rear wheelarch that’s easy to right
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 1 Non-shutting bonnet (see leading pic on left) was first thought to be faulty striker plate (overhauled) but in fact was due to a cable that seems fractionally too short
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 1 Written off because of this? Dented front apron is the only real damage we could find on our car. Cost of new Porsche parts are reason - we fixed ours for just 50p!
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 1 Here’s our 924 all finished and ready to enjoy. Not concours of course but better than most for the money and it cost only a few weeks of spare time to refettle
Restoring the Written-Off Porsche 924-Part 1 It’s amazing the bodges you find in old cars - like this windscreen washer bottle repair (worked well though)!
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Having got our written-off Porsche 924 home from the Universal Salvage crashed classics auction, it’s time to see what we’ve actually bought!


Purchasing from an auction means that you buy as you find and a classic car sale is no different. Apart from its Category C damage, we knew nothing about our Porsche so some detective work that would have impressed Inspector Morse was required. Rooting around the cabin we unearthed some Tesco receipts showing that the car was still on the road in late October. A check on the DVLA Government website revealed something very interesting indeed: the car was registered as disabled. This would explain the missing gearlever surround - but we can’t think of a more unaccommodating car than an old Porsche lacking power steering!


“So where’s the damage?” was a common comment when people first clapped eyes on our car. Apart from looking a bit scruffy, initial impressions showed a mainly dent-free body - apart from the front valance panel which was a bit mangled as if it had been kerbed or run over something pretty solid. Surely not written-off for something so minor? Well, a new panel costs around £300 plus fitting and painting - so maybe! Save for some stone chip damage, a slight dent by the passenger door handle (theft attempt?) and the first signs of rust at the bottom of the nearside rear wheel arch, our car is in sound shape, the Guards Red finish compounding and polishing up quite well. Well sort of…because
there’s a strange milky taint on some panels; as if something has been poured on the car. Repeated compounding and polishing has faded it somewhat, but it won’t go away. Also the rear bumper has what looks like ingrained tree sap on it which again is impervious to anything we’ve put on it - including solvents and thinners. Getting back to the plus points, the car looks extremely smart from a distance and the proper Porsche steel sports wheels (much hardier and more practical than alloys!) are in fine nick. Better still, the underside is solid as a rock – as you expect from a fully galvanised shell.


The car arrived looking like a mobile tip, plus it was missing its gearlever and gaiter, stereo and speakers. It was initially damp inside, but that was probably due to the car being left open in a compound as it dried out fine. Typically hardy rather than fancy old school Porsche, it subsequently scrubbed up a treat and save from slight wear on the driver’s seat bolster, now looks very inviting indeed. The satin-finished Porsche-embossed seats don’t look sat in at all and in fact the only sign of the car’s mileage and age is a fading leather steering wheel (which we later restored with a special interior spray paint from classic retrimmers Woolies-ed).It’s not over equipped (924s rarely were), but is fitted with electric windows and door mirrors and a powered sunroof, the latter which can also be completely removed for a quasi-cabrio


Buying any high-brow car without a service history is a bit of a no-no, and never more so than on a Porsche. Naturally ours came with an empty glovebox… However, it wasn’t such a massive gamble to be fair; the 924 is a simple design while those unfashionable VW oily bits are durable and easy to fix. And besides, we knew our car had a reasonably safe past thanks to service stickers under the bonnet from well-known Porsche specialist Hartech (did other punters miss these?). Our car certainly doesn’t feel that it is on its last legs (mileometer shows 30,000 miles - second time around we’d guess). The engine pulls strongly and cleanly with a good 4-6 bar oil pressure twinned with a rock steady temperature reading. What’s more there’s none of the irritating slop or rattle that usually comes with an old clunker. That’s not to say that there are no faults needing fixing. Where shall we start? Well, the bonnet cable curiously seems too short and unless the interior handle is left hanging, it won’t securely shut. A heater control has come away from its plastic linkage (common, apparently), there’s some trim that needs securing, the split windscreen washer bottle was at some point cunningly, albeit successfully,
bodged by shoving a carrier bag in its inners (works spectacularly well incidentally) and the spare wheel is missing! Oh and of course the body damage needs repairing, which we did very effectively and cheaply (more next month).

So far so good

All in all not a bad buy for under £400, we reckon. And since then we’ve struck lucky in a number of areas. Firstly it was in the Universal Salvage’s auction bidding. Little did we know it at the time, but we were competing against Michael Terry of Kent who is also a seasoned 924 fan, having renovated a fair few as well as holding a stash of spares. Slipping us a business card, we contacted him on 07737 734660 where he had all that we needed plus a partially stripped 924 that was well worth a punt if we had the space. A replacement tyre and rim, gear lever gaiter and some odds and sods cost us all of £20 (who says Porsches are dear?). While feeling flush we splashed out on a Haynes manual for the car together with Haynes’ new Porsche Data Book (ISBN 1 84425 3163), which at £30 tells you just about everything you’ll ever need to know on any model: an anoraks’ delight. The beauty of the 924 lies in its ease of maintenance and our local Halfords supplied us with all the servicing parts straight off the shelf. A Porsche dealer had the necessary Guards Red touch up paint, albeit at £13. Next month we’ll look atnecessary repairs and passing the vital MOT and VIC checks. If nothing untoward needs doing then we could see the car up, mobile and looking the part for under £600!

PS…The car is finished and is really good! If you can’t wait for the next installments, it’s yours for £1000 - call 0790376 9186!!

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