In 2013, we decided to restore a 1972 911ST – our first!
The project started off the same way most restoration projects do: we sanded the body down and realized there was more rust damage than we had anticipated.
The sanding also revealed that the 911 had been in a front-end collision, meaning we had to replace the entire inner fender.
This model of Porsche didn’t come with proper ending panels and didn’t have rock guard, so we would be doing the same with this restoration.
The ST we purchased was produced for racing. While American race cars were building bigger engines to win races, Porsche increased their horsepower and made their cars more nimble and a lot lighter – which proved to be successful.
These models also didn’t come with ashtrays, glove boxes, the heating and ductwork was removed and the gas tank fill was located under the hood.
Check out the video to see the ST before we restored it, and check out our other videos to see the restoration process!
Back in the fall of 2007, we noticed a substantial need for hoods for 356s. Getting a good quality hood was pricey and often difficult. So, we decided to start making them ourselves.
To start, we purchased one of these good quality hoods from the US. Painting it matte black and getting some of the minor imperfections out made it possible for us to use this as a template for scanning.
We got the scanning done by a third-party, who then sent us the scan. We imported the scan into our own computer system so we could design the dye. Designing each dye typically takes 100-200 hours – just for design time.
After the dye was designed, we had to design the different tool paths for 4-6 different tools.
From there, we had to machine the dye using steel and composite to withstand the pressure of the press.
After the dye is machined, it needs to be polished. Polishing the male and female parts of the dye for the 356 hood took about 16 weeks in total.
Check out the video to see the rest of the process and the finished product!
At Restoration Design, we often get questions about the kind of steel we use.
We use galvanneal steel, which is used in a lot of industries, with the biggest being the automotive industry.
A lot of other restoration shops use mild steel because it’s more cost-effective, but we prefer galvanneal. It’s also better than galvanized steel because it goes one step further in the production process: after it’s coated, it’s heated at super high temperatures, resulting in a higher corrosion resistance than other kinds of steel. This also means it has a longer shelf-life.
The main reason we prefer galvanneal steel over galvanized steel is that galvanized steel’s coating will flake, and galvanneal will not rust when exposed to water.
Watch our video to find out more about the difference that using galvanneal steel makes, and see some examples of Porsche restorations we’ve used galvanneal steel on.
At Restoration Design, we specialize in restoring Porsches from almost all years and models. And while we’re experts experienced at this, we still learn lessons from every project we take on.
When we restored Mike’s 356 Speedster a couple of years ago, we learned a few things that have stayed with us and that we have applied to every project since.
Measure, Measure, Measure
The most important thing we found was to measure frequently, almost obsessively. Especially when it comes to sheet metal pieces, it’s not uncommon to do many trial fitments to get the right fit. When it comes to the doors, it’s important to have all of the rubber pieces in place as well, so you know everything fits as it should. This is true for any kind of automotive restoration.
356s were produced in two different production facilities, so some parts might differ – that’s why measuring is so important with these models.
Have a Camera on Hand
Keep it in the shop and take pictures throughout the dismantling, so you have something to refer to when you come to put it all back together.
Keep a Parts Catalogue
Go through and take note of the parts you think you need, and if you don’t need them you can cross them off.
Set a Restoration Quality
Before you even start on your vintage Porsche restoration, decide whether you want your Porsche to be concourse, show or driver-quality.
Check out the video for more information about the restoration, see the process and the finished product!