Rhapsody in blue – Porsche Newsroom
A 1961 Porsche 356 B has topped a collection of important categories at this year’s Motorclassica event, an annual three-day celebration associated with Australia’s finest classic, sports and racing cars held at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building.
Along with winning the category for New Age Classics – British and European (1961-1970), the stunning Aetna Blue 356 B was also awarded Best Porsche as well because Restoration of the Year , only the second time a single car offers taken out three awards. It was a prestigious acknowledgement associated with the skilled artisans behind this car’s return to its as-new state. Among them is Peter Bowen, Porsche Classic Specialist Technician at Porsche Centre Melbourne, Australia’s Porsche Classic Companion.
For Peter, a skilled technician with 38 years’ experience in motor race and traditional Porsche vehicles, the project was the labour of love.
He was responsible for the car’s mechanical restoration, which included bringing back its original 1600 cc engine plus four-speed gearbox to an as-new condition, among many other projects. And, as is often the particular case along with car restorations, there were plenty of headwinds.
“The first big challenge has been much of the car had been disassembled when we received it, ” he says.
“Many of the assemblies had been in pieces and there were boxes associated with parts, so we had in order to solve those puzzles first. ”
Achieving this level of authenticity took time and care. It also took a vast amount of research.
Solving them was critical because there has been an important fact hidden amongst the jumble of components.
“So much of the car was original, ” Peter says, underlining the particular rarity of this Australian-delivered 356 B T5, which was sold new by Hamilton’s, Porsche’s initial Australian importer.
“The body, engine, transmission and window frames are all authentic. Even the window regulators, radio, instruments and steering wheel. They were all fitted to the car when it was brand new and they’ve all been meticulously restored, not replaced.
“This was important. The owners wanted to save every component possible; the goal wasn’t to replace parts but to restore everything we could. ”
Achieving this particular degree of genuineness invested some time and care. This also required a huge quantity of study. For example , when it became evident replacement right-hand drive headlight lenses were needed, owners Theo and Niki Dimopoulos were adamant that originals be sourced. A thorough investigation resulted in Theo finding an first pair from a lady in Malta. Still brand-new from the particular 1960s, they were unwrapped in their original Genuine Porsche parts packaging.
Work commenced at Porsche Centre Melbourne in late 2019 plus while Philip worked on the car’s exhaustive mechanised restoration, the body and upholstery had been undergoing their own revival. By mid-2021 Peter’s work has been almost complete, bringing with it one associated with the project’s most rewarding phases.
“The biggest joy for me was how well this drove whenever it had been finished.
“We went the extra mile sourcing date-correct parts plus restoring everything that was able to be refurbished, and that’s important upon such a special classic Porsche.
“It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to work on cars like this. Seeing it complete, and how happy the owner is, makes it all rewarding. And to see the car being recognised with awards from Motorclassica is a bonus. ”
“The biggest pleasure for me personally was exactly how well this drove when it was finished. ” Peter Bowen – Porsche Classic Specialist Technician, Porsche Centre Melbourne
Australia’s Porsche Traditional Partner
Porsche Centre Melbourne was awarded Porsche Classic Partner status in early 2017. It was the first Porsche Center in Australia to be granted this honour, and is one of just 79 worldwide.
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