Long Hood Lust

Photos – Andrew Whyment @the_black_fuchs

It was two years ago when we featured our first readers car, Andrew Whyment’s ’84 Carrera. It was a cracking machine, built by Weltmeister in Melbourne for club racing. It had a number of tasty mods designed to improve the on track performance and the rare and vibrant Moss Green paint was stunning. Most of us would have been pretty happy with how the car was but Andrew had other ideas…

So Andrew, I thought the car was pretty amazing when we featured it back in early 2019. What made you decide to backdate it?

I’ve always loved the ’73 longhood 911 but with prices well out of reach, that was never going to be an option. I already had a lot of money invested in the car but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I pondered for about 12 months on whether to backdate it or not. It’s an Aussie delivered matching numbers car in very good condition but it’s got a cage that will be hard to reverse, RS interior, no seats, no carpet, heavy torsion bars. Therefore to get it to stock would take some work. If I took it back to stock would I still want it? The cost of backdating isn’t cheap either so would I just be throwing money away?

All valid points! So what made you pull the trigger?

I came across some second hand longhood guards which were cheap and local. I thought that if I did the majority of the work and with some help from a retired panel guy I know and a painter that was happy to help me out, I could make this happen so I bit the bullet and went for it.

Can you tell us a bit about the process you went through to complete the project?

The first step was to remove all the standard parts, making sure I didn’t damage them. The most challenging part is getting the rear reflector panel away from the car without cutting it. Other than that, everything else was straight forward to disassemble. Then it was a matter of getting the car ready for paint by fitting the new panels. I estimated 5 weeks if all went well. Ha, famous last words! The front guards had come off a 72 Targa. They were structurally sound however there was a little rust in the usual spots. Enter my panel guy. He fixed all the rust spots by placing new metal and getting things square and ready for the car. If you think all the panels from a long hood just bolt straight onto a G series you’d be wrong. They need work and manipulation to make them fit but between us we got the job done. There is also some fabrication work to hold the pressurised petrol vapor box within the left guard and modification of the oil cooler position in the right side guard plus fabrication of brackets to fit the horns. The fitment of the rear bumper is pretty straight forward but to get it nice, time is required and some fabrication skills. The front bumper was a different story. I wanted to fit an S style bumper but the front chassis box section just in front of the spare wheel gets in the way of the lower section of the bumper. Therefore a standard 73 style bumper was the only option. Mike Tankard supplied the bumpers and his service was amazing. The new bumper is a very tight fit. A lot of shops will cut the front chassis box section to get it to fit. I didn’t want to mess with the original structure of the car so the bumper is set slightly forward. To make it fit I had to extend the left and right bumper sections that meet up with the wheel arches. Fiberglass, bog and lots of shaping to get it right resulted in more unplanned hours. The Fiberglass bonnet also needed some work with some trimming and sanding to make it fit well. 9 weeks later and it was finally ready for paint. There were many times I thought of pulling the pin and changing it back to stock however I only really know to go forwards so on I went. Hey and why should I care, it was only summer and the best driving days of the year, damn it!

Wow! Sounds like it’s not as simple as some might think. Lots of man hours to get it all to fit together right. So it was a bit of a mission to get to this stage. How did the project go once it was ready for paint?

Once it was at the paint shop, the deal was that I would do all the prep for paint, which I did with supervision. I didn’t want a show car as it’s a driver’s car not a garage queen. This made life a bit easier as paint perfection was not the goal. Daniel who painted the car found this tough as he mainly paints show cars. He’s another great guy that helped me so much and stayed within my tight budget. The painting process all went well and 2 weeks later the car was back home ready for assembly. This included fitting rubbers, lights and horn grills and getting them straight, working on panel gaps and fitting the damn fuel release mechanism and cable. That is one rubbish job that took many hours.

I notice from the photos that you’ve come up with a tricky way to change the window frames from black to chrome.

Yes! As I have some experience using sign vinyl and car wrap, I decided to use chrome wrap material to do the window surrounds, door frames, engine grill and taillight frames. This took about 2 weeks to complete. All the chrome wrap is computer cut. All the angles, thicknesses and lengths had to be measured, then drawn up with a graphics app on a computer, then cut using a sign machine. Many test runs and dummy applications later I had a very good result. The wrap can be taken off at a later date to reveal the original unharmed trims.

Nice one! The interior looks like it’s had some changes to. What’s been happening in there?

I wanted to continue the backdate theme inside so I acquired some Recaro Speed seats and had them re-trimmed with some tartan. In my spare time I decided to make new RS door cards and trim them with the same tartan the seats had been trimmed with. I painted the half cage, fitted a customised Wevo gear shifter and an OMP steering wheel. 

The feedback I’ve heard from some of the South Australian guys is that you’ve done an excellent job and the car looks fantastic in person. Is it everything you had hoped for?

Am I happy? Too bloody right I am! The car looks classy and a little hot, modified but not way out there and 80% of work was done by me which is very satisfying. With the mechanical modifications originally done by Weltmeister Porsche and now the backdate work it is a total package that suits my taste and my driving style.

I really must give a big shout out to Reno for helping with the panels, Daniel for the paint work and good ole Mike Tankard, without those guys none of this would have happened.

For anyone interested in the chrome wrap Andrew has used, he has developed a package available for purchase through his store, Piston Graphics. I’m sure he’d be happy to hear from you if you’re interested in the product. @pistongraphics