The quest for 300197
(Scroll down for more pictures)
My name is Erik Kouwenhoven from the Netherlands and I work as editor in chief for a Dutch Porsche Magazine called RS Porsche Magazine. Three years ago I bought my first classic Porsche. It was a 1968 SWB car. It was not expensive and I wanted to build a R Gruppe model. I was lucky. The car proved to be a real 1968 S and in the back was an original 1964 engine, complete with Solexes. I searched the internet, discovered the Early 911 S forum and was contacted by Bob Fleming and he welcomed me at the 232 Registry. I liked the fact that it was a rare engine, but at that point I had no real interest in early engines, so I sold it with a little profit so I could buy my R Gruppe engine – a 3.0 litre 204 hp engine.
A few months later I had read almost all threads on Early S and several updates from the 232 Registry and slowly I became addicted to the early cars. When Magnus Walker – I wrote several articles on him for my Porsche Magazine – bought his 1964 car and told me about it, I was convinced I wanted one. Luck was with me, because shortly after that I found a real 901-engine. I contacted Bob, but the matching numbers car was not known. Then a 1964 car was auctioned for 220.000 dollars and I thought it would never be possible for me to own one. I sold the engine, but shortly after that one 1964 engine case came on my path again so I bought it – and sold it to somebody who really needed it.
In the meantime I had restored a 1965 Porsche 911, I sold it to a Russian guy and that meant that I had some cash in hand. This february I found once more a 1964 engine in France. Bob Fleming told me the matching numbers car was probably still there, because it was reported by somebody although no pictures or contact details were available. I searched the internet and found out this car – with nummer 300197 – had raced in 1994. Two names were on the entry list and I Googled both names in combination with the word ‘Porsche’. I tracked him down and asked about this specific car. He told me he had owned and raced ten of these early Porsches and had no plans to track down the car for me. I offered him 500 euros if he gave me the number of the guy to whom he sold it. He said he would do that, but after one month still nothing had happened. I offered him 1000 euros and he promised he would try and find out, but one month later still no message from France.
I almost gave up until on the 27th of may, on my birthday, a picture of a red Porsche was in my mailbox – and the number of a French guy. I called him immediately and asked him if the car was for sale – and it was! Bob sent me the PDF’s with details what to look for and I made an appointment with the French owner. I drove to France with a trailer and an awfull lot of cash money. After ten minutes we agreed on the price – I did not tell him I had the matching engine since that would have meant an even higher price – and half an hour later I was on my way home to the Netherlands. I could not believe how smooth it all went and feared I had been too lucky and destiny would make the trailer turn upside down. But nothing happened and now the car is safe in my garage, next to its original engine.
It turns out the car has been a FIA racing car for over a decade. That means no rust, original floors, flat rear panel, all VIN-badges and even the high 20 mm fin rear lid grille are still there. The interior is gone, but at the back is a nice 170 hp race engine from 1965. I drove it round the block and it’s fast and noisy. The original color is ruby red. Both front fenders are replaced and I’m afraid the same goes for the doors, although the window frames are 64, but I’ll check on that later.
If I can afford it this car will never leave. The car will be prepared for the road and I’m going to drive it, because that’s what it’s built for.
PS: Thanks Bob for all the things you did for me and still do for the Registry. I could not have done this without you.