Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Schnell Autosports Project 1970 911T Targa - Part 1: Don Johnson Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Restoring a car to it's former glory is as equal parts frustrating as it is rewarding.

Those of you following the pictures we post on our social media accounts, or have see the build pictures on Planet-9 already know what this car is (or was), but for those of you who don't, let's get you introduced to our Project 1970 911T Targa.

The long and the short of this car's background is this: someone bought a nice new Conda Green 1970 911T Targa, drove it for awhile, got in... a few minor fender benders, and then during the 80's, attempted to "update" the looks to give it that Miami Vice chic that was all the rage, and then parked it in a garage to rot for 25 years.

Our first impressions of this car when we saw it, looking unloved in a garage, were not entirely shall we say, positive. Right off the bat, the white spray painted body, and black spray painted trim, and the huge swaths of body filler that covered the panels made us have doubts as to whether or not this would be a project worth undertaking.

But like an old sofa, or your second favorite child, we knew that with a little time and effort, we could bring out it's full potential.

So, money was exchanged, the car was loaded up onto a trailer, and it headed to it's new home at our shop, so we could properly evaluate it on the lift.

To say that this car looked rough would be charitable. The more we looked, the more we realized how much work would be needed to get this into shape. While being structurally sound, all the exterior panels had been subject to "modification" of some sort, intended or otherwise, the interior had been "reworked", and all in all, there were a lot of hacks done to this car to suit whatever the previous owner's whim was at the time.

The car as it first arrived. We had to use wheel dollies to move it around, because unsurprisingly, all 4 tires were flat and rotted from decades of non-use.



With the car outside, you can get a better idea of the "paint job" this car was clad with.
The rear decklid on this car came off of a 911 SC (note the extra rivets filling in the holes that would be for the SC's larger emblem).
You can see how dirty the car is, as well as the mismatched decklid.
The hood emblem on the car was a reproduction, and not a particularly nice one either.
The targa hoop should have a brushed metal finish, the Targa emblem should be gold, and the trim by the glass should be chrome.
A closer look at the rattlecan handiwork.
Most of the parts that were spray painted were scuffed with coarse grit sandpaper first, destroying the original finish. 
This door handle and latch were originally chrome as well. You can see how the finish was damaged from sanding before being painted
Those of you familiar with 911's would recognize the mirrors on this car from being off an 80's model 911.
On top of that, a car of this age would have only come with a driver's side mirror.
You can see where the original driver's side mounting holes were located and filled in.
Wherever body filler was applied to the car, it was done haphazardly in copious amounts, and not leveled off afterwards.

We were generally baffled as to what was going on here. Fortunately, the car was stored somewhere in a dry climate, so there wasn't any real rust issues, even with various sections of exposed bare metal.

This tiny plate was what we were hoping to find. The 2610-G paint code let us know that this car was originally Conda Green.

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