Outlaw or Restore: 1974 Porsche 911

The market for air-cooled 911s seems to be correcting a bit, with only the best cars or survivor-grade projects going for top dollar. That’s a good thing, because it means some cars deserving of restoration will become attainable for hobbyists once again. Take this 1974 911 here on eBay – it has some rust issues and no interior or drivetrain, but it wears an awesome period color and is listed with a reasonable $6K Buy-It-Now. 

The paint color is called cockneybraun, which is just as awesome to say as it is to look at. I admit, my affection for brown cars has grown since the arrival of my 1980 BMW 320, which looks resplendent in siennabraun paint, so I hope this 911’s exterior is preserved. The seller notes it would make an excellent candidate for an outlaw build, but I’d just put an interior in it and perhaps source a Euro-spec 3.0L flat-six from a 911 SC.

Interior-wise, I think it looks worse than it is. Carpet kits are widely available, though door panels may be harder to find. The floors don’t look bad here, but the seller will need to elaborate further on where the rust is hiding on this example. Dashboard is cracked; this is a pet peeve of mine and I’d likely spend too much to have it replaced. Swap out the steering wheel for a nice Nardi unit and source some period-correct Recaro or Konig sport seats.

On the outside, I wouldn’t fuss too much with the paint or the wheels; both just need cleaning to be presentable. Upgrade to the Euro-spec H4 lighting, lower the car a bit and tidy up the front valence and fog lights and call it a day. Unless the rust is simply out of control, there’s nothing here that’s too frightening – and for those of you handy with air-cooled Porsches, there’s plenty of room to restore or modify, or end up somewhere pleasingly in between. How would you build it?


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  1. Dolphin Member

    All kinds of limitations with this car—-rust, no engine, no transmission, no interior, body banged up, not even any steering, so loading it on a trailer will be a PITA, etc, etc.

    Probably best to just make it into an outlaw like Jeff said, but better have a lot of parts on hand and available for the build or you’re going to be laying out a lot of $$$ for parts for a car that won’t appeal to the majority of P-car fans who want original and only original.

  2. Paul

    Having owned a couple of 911’s, parts are available but very expensive. Maybe a car for someone who has a number of 911 projects and can leverage parts from other vehicles. Would like to see if rust extended to underbody, suspension mounting points etc. Still tempting but too many parts missing for me to tackle.

  3. Three Pedal Steve

    Rust Alert.

    1974 cars do not have galvanized body.

  4. stillrunners lawrence Member

    wounder if this was a parts car for another build ?

  5. Martin Horrocks

    “I’d just put an interior in it and perhaps source a Euro-spec 3.0L flat-six
    Read more at http://barnfinds.com/outlaw-restore-1974-porsche-911

    Interesting use of the word “just”!

    Anyway, a nice project for someone with the parts, skills and time.

  6. Jubjub

    Wonder if it was destined for a repaint in red at some point. If it’s really not rusty it’d be pretty swell, touched up and cleaned up with a 3.0. Pieced back together an interior. They didn’t change the insides on these too much over the years and most of the stuff is sitting around somewhere for reasonable money.

  7. Bruce Jackson

    I was seriously considering this vehicle until I read the comments…no doubt that it has great potential, but oh my! Even something as simple as wiper arms (and I assume, the motor for same is gone as well) could be a hassle/$$$.

    Has anyone priced a used 911 engine–that’s $10K and you likely won’t know what you’ve got–so call it $20K… Where I am going is this: to put that much money into this vehicle and then have the exterior be left alone just because the collectors want everything original (which it won’t be, because the engine won’t be numbers-matching), sorry, but I would be painting it and making it look like the $50K investment that it became…or wait a minute, maybe I just go out and buy a decent 964 and save myself a lot of grief?

    I am open for guidance here :-)

    • Mike W H

      Bruce if it were me, I’d spend the $ on a daily driver 356. Because even with the VW Motor I mentioned above thread, you’re in at 65 k with all the other miscellaneous stuff.

  8. Bruce Jackson


    Thanks for the feedback…I was looking for a project, but not one that put me underwater–if I couldn’t do it for $50K, then I would be going “in the red” and likely not happy about that. I have a 1969 resto-mod Ghia that I adore, and my mechanic wants to drop-in a hopped-up boxer engine…the 356 idea is not a bad one, but the ones I have seen (that are decent) appear to be North of $80K–even unrestored daily drivers. I will have to look closer, or find something else.
    You saved me a trip to Colorado to see this 911 “shell”–Cheers!

  9. Mark S

    I’d say that the best thing to do is consider a wrecked Subaru something that was rear ended along with some scrounging and you’d have this back together on a budget. It’s never going to be a big money car anyway so why not build it into something fun that can be a driver.

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