Porsche Classic brought this once forgotten beauty back to life in a major way

Every now and then, a good car slips through the cracks and ends up in the hands of an owner that doesn’t know how to properly care for it. That is exactly the case when it comes to this 1972 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T. According to Alexander Fabig, the man in charge at Porsche Classic, this 911 is one of only 24 ever produced. When it was delivered to Porsche Classic for “restoration,” however, it was clearly evident that someone failed to realize what a piece of history they possessed over the years.

The car had a good history, at least to start out with. It was purchased in 1971 by U.S. racing driver Michael Keyser and was used in several races in the U.S., as well as in the endurance world championship in 1972. It even ushered in a class win in the 1972 Le Mans circuit. It saw service in the Daytona 6 Hours and the Sebring 12 hours, and in the 24 hours of Le Mans, it claimed 13th place overall. What happened to this 2.5 S/T after that is somewhat of a mystery, but as you can see from a photo taken before restoration began, it clearly didn’t have a good run.

After an obviously rough life out in the wild, this 911 2.5 S/T was rediscovered by a U.S.-based collector, who came to Porsche Classic to have a complete restoration done. Against all odds and some very extensive work, this baby has been returned to its original operating condition, including the racing livery that it wore all those years ago. So, with that said, let’s take a look at this piece of Porsche racing history and talk a little about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1972 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T.

Exterior

1972 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T High Resolution Exterior
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If you look at the post-restoration photos, it’s really hard to believe that this is the same car that was dropped off with faded and rusty blue paint, missing body panels, no glass, and a smashed roof, but it is. According to the Porsche Classic restoration experts, the car had been converted to a “G-model” and had suffered accident damage that had been improperly repaired. In addition to that, there was deformation of the tunnel and side rails and a serious cancer-like rust problem that plagued the roof, tunnel and wheel houses.

The flared wing extensions were difficult to restore and had to be done, at least in part, by hand

In the end, this 911 was given a brand new roof and tank bottom. The flared wing extensions were difficult to restore and had to be done, at least in part, by hand. All the other rust and damaged body were properly repaired, and then the vehicle was coated by cathodic dip painting to prevent further corrosion. Basically, the car was put through the current series production process and was then painted in the original light yellow color, code 117. As you can see, Porsche Classic also went the distance to provide livery identical to that of the car when it was originally purchased, including the No. 41 decal, the arrow decals on the front hood, and a complete lettering package all the way around.

Interior

1972 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T High Resolution Exterior
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As far as the interior goes, Porsche Classic has yet to release any shots of the interior. Considering this is a full restoration, I would expect to see all of the required components for racing back in the early 1970s. We can make out that there is just one seat and a roll cage, which also had to be restructured based on the pre-restoration image. It looks like most of the original race dash was still in the car, so it is likely that Porsche Classic got away with restoring it to like-new condition. Outside of this, I would expect to see a fire extinguisher, three pedals, and a shifter. The door skins are likely flat leather panels with leather pull straps. Hopefully, we’ll see some images of the interior when this 911 makes its appearance at Techno Classica in Essen, so stay tuned for updates.

Drivetrain

1972 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Unfortunately, Porsche Classic didn’t drop us any photos of the restored 2.5-liter engine mounted in the rear of this 911 S/T. On top of that, official specifications are hard to come by, to say the least, and there aren’t any reputable resources out there that break anything down into detail. According to Stuttcars.com, the 1972 911 2.5 S/T produced 199 kW, which converts to about 266 horsepower. That sounds about right for the time frame, but as far as torque output, internal workings, and actual performance numbers, we have yet to be enlightened.

Pricing

Putting a price on this car now is more than difficult, and I’m sure its current owner paid a very pretty penny for this level of restoration. When new, the car was sold for 49,680 German Marks, which computes to about $27,055 at current exchange rates. In 1972, however, the conversion to USD would have been closer to $15,573 based on the 1972 average conversion rate of 3.19.

Competition

Ferrari Dino 246GT

1969 - 1974 Ferrari Dino 246 GT Exterior
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In the 1972 Le Mans, the GT 3.0-liter class was dominated by Porsche models, but one other contender in the class was the Ferrari Dino 246 GT. It was built by Ferrari between 1969 and 1974 and came equipped with a 2.4-liter V-6. Total output is said to be 195 horsepower, which was sent to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission. In the 1972 Le Mans, Jean-Pierre Laffeach and Gilles Doncieux drove the No. 46 Dino 246 GT. It completed 265 laps and came in 17th place overall, losing to a number of Ferraris, Fords, and of course the No. 41 Porsche 911 which came in 13th overall with 285 laps.

Read our full review on the Ferrari Dino 246GT here.

Conclusion

1972 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T High Resolution Exterior
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I have to admit that I love it when cars like this one are found and restored to their original condition. It’s sad that someone would beat down and abuse such a piece of history without any care in the world, then leave it to rot for who knows how long. Luckily, a collector here in the U.S. found this beauty and was will to spend what it took to give her a new breath of life.

The future of the No. 41 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T is unknown from this point forward, but you can bet it will probably take an apocalypse for it to ever return to the shape it was in when it was lugged off a flatbed at Porsche Classic. One a side note, I have to express the utmost respect for the guys over at Porsche Classic. I knew they were capable of some pretty crazy restoration work, but what they did with this 911 is nothing short of miraculous. Good job Porsche Classic, because of you, this Le Mans class winner will live to be admired for a long time to come.

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    • No performance specs
    • No shots of the interior

Press Release

To mark the opening of Techno Classica in Essen, Porsche Classic presents a restored 911 2.5 S/T with an eventful motorsport history. The class winner at Le Mans in 1972 has been restored by the Porsche Classic experts over the past two years and will now be presented for the first time at the fair.

1972 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T High Resolution Exterior
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Alexander Fabig, head of Porsche Classic at Porsche AG, recalls the state that the car was originally in: “The 911 2.5 S/T was rediscovered a few years ago by a collector in the USA – and it was in a rally dilapidated condition. Our experts have done an excellent job at restoring the sports car to the highest standards.” The find is a real rarity: only 24 of this racing car, based on the 911 2.4 S Coupé, were ever built. “We are thrilled about the confidence this customer placed in us with this restoration job. This project is unparalleled and of great historical significance”, Fabig continues.

The 911 2.5 S/T was developed for customer sporting use in group 3 (series GT vehicles) and group 4 (modified GT vehicles) and was available in limited numbers from the sports division of what was then Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche KG for 49,680 Marks from the end of 1971 onwards. The 911 2.5 S was a works-modified version of the standard 911 2.4 S Coupé designed for use on racing circuits such as the Targa Florio or Le Mans as well as in rally racing, costing an extra 19,000 Marks, modified strictly in accordance with the international sporting regulations.

Ordered from the sports division of Porsche by the US racing driver Michael “Mike” Keyser in November 1971, the 911 2.5 S/T saw action at several races in the USA and at the endurance world championship during the 1972 season. One of the drivers back then was Jürgen Barth, a Porsche factory driver and an employee of the sports division of Porsche. The overall winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1977 can still vividly remember those days even now, 44 years later: “Mike Keyser had invited me to Sebring and we planned to drive the full 1972 endurance championship. Mike had even hired a small TV team to accompany us through the season.”

In the 1972 season, Jürgen Barth and the 911 2.5 S/T raced in the Daytona 6 Hours and the Sebring 12 Hours in Florida, followed by the Targa Florio as well as the 1000-km race on the Nürburgring together with Mike Keyser. Together with Sylvain Garant from Switzerland, Keyser and Barth finally took up the gauntlet of the season’s highlight – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Not only did the trio, under the banner of the team Louis Mezanarie, take the class victory for GT cars up to 3 litres, but also clinched a formidable 13th place overall.

1972 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T High Resolution Exterior
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All these years later, the restoration is posing a real challenge for the Porsche Classic experts – especially when it comes to the bodywork. As soon as the car had arrived at the workshop the experts discovered that not only had the 911 been converted to what was later dubbed the ’G-model’, but it had also suffered accident damage, which had been bent back into shape unprofessionally. In addition to deformation in the tunnel as well as on the side rails, corrosion had done serious damage, in particular in the wheel housing panels, the tunnel and the roof. The roof, which had been deformed beyond repair, suggested that children had used the car as a welcome playmate for a considerable length of time, making the repairs to the bodywork particularly complex, which included the challenging conversion and reconstruction of the flared wing extensions, partly done by hand. The 911 2.5 S/T was given a new roof as well as new tank bottom.

After the extensive metalwork had been completed, the body of the 911 2.5 S/T was coated by cathodic dip painting (CDP) to protect it long-term against corrosion according to the highest technological standards of series production. This was done by putting the restored body through the current series production process at Porsche to give it perfect protection against corrosion. This was then followed by body finishing and painting in the original light yellow colour, code 117.

Motor racing, in particular the Le Mans 24 Hours race, is of great significance to Porsche. Over 800 Porsche vehicles have taken part since the first race took place in 1951, with 103 of them taking a class victory and 17 overall victories at the circuit on the river Sarthe, Porsche is the most successful brand there by far. After winning last year, Porsche is all set to take part in the 84th Le Mans 24 Hours race on June 18 and 19 this year.

Traditionally for Porsche, a race like the 24 Hours of Le Mans is not only about competing at the highest level. Rather, the race track is more of a testing ground for new technologies. The development of successful race cars like the 919 Hybrid and the 911 RSR as well as being put to the test under tough racing conditions offer critical insights that can be incorporated in to the design of future generations of production models. This type of technology transfer from race car to standard vehicle as the driving force behind Porsche’s motorsport involvement was already in Ferry Porsche’s mind when he said: “Technical progress is unthinkable without sport. It is the vector for development. The extreme demands we face on the race track very quickly highlight any weak points and encourage our engineers to look for new and better solutions.”

1972 Porsche 911 2.5 S/T High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Seen in this light, the 911 2.5 S/T restored by Porsche Classic down to the last detail can be see from a historical point of view, too. It was the direct predecessor and the immediate technical precursor for the 911 Carrera 2.8 RSR, which saw the abbreviation “RSR”, which stands for RennSport Rennwagen (literally: racing sport racing car) become the epitome for the highest stage of development of the 911 racing cars from 1973 onwards and heralded the continuous technological improvement of the production 911, in keeping with Ferry Porsche’s philosophy.

Having now been on the market for over five decades, the 911 – which is now in its seventh generation – stands for the Porsche brand like no other series. Porsche Classic is now already taking care of the fifth generation of this iconic sports car (Type 996). The Classic experts cater for all vehicle model series whose production was phased out at least ten years ago, in order to continue to guarantee smooth service and assure long life and value preservation for classic Porsche vehicles.

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