After a couple of months of indecision, Al Blanchard at A&P Specialties here in Portland has decided on a path forward for our 1975 Porsche 911S Sportomatic.
We’ve known from the start that its 2.7-liter engine had some broken studs. However, the compression was excellent and we were advised to just drive it as is. We added a high-capacity oil cooler for extra insurance.
During a 400-mile round-trip to Bend, OR, the Sportomatic trans began acting up. It eventually locked in top gear.
As Al was going to drop the drivetrain to fix that, we were deciding whether to have helicoils put into the block along with new studs. Could we avoid splitting the case and a $25k rebuild?
After consulting with some race shops that have experience with this, the consensus was “no.”
“This is already a 50-year-old car and what you are doing is a patch job,” said one machine shop. “Just fix the Sporto, drive it like it is and decide sometime down the road if you want to rebuild your engine.”
So, that’s the path we’ve chosen.
Unless I fall in love with a car, I don’t tend to keep it very long. I know that when I go to sell the car, the broken studs will be a value knock. On the other hand, this is a 47k-mile car that has no rust and has never been hit, which has its own appeal. With old cars there is never a guaranteed right decision.
At the moment, I’m not prepared to spend an additional $25k on a car I haven’t driven enough to know how much I enjoy it.
What would you do in this situation?