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Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera Dork
5/12/24 6:43 p.m.

It's been a decade, so I thought I would update my progress accumulating parts and assembling a 1966 Porsche 906.  In 2014 I bought an original body from two different cars and the rear of a 910.  I planned to build a chassis using factory blueprints.  My three kids were little and I had other priorities and project cars, so the 906 body was placed on a shelf up at my farm.  From 2014:

Over the years, I've been accumulating parts as I find them (slow and not easy) and I now have four aircooled 911 engines, two might run,  and one terrible 914 gearbox.  I need another or at least the internals of a 901.  I also bought three lots of original Porsche prototype parts at an auction.  Thankfully they were poorly described and no one knew what they were so I could afford them.  The lots included things like 917 shocks and 908 gear sets.  Last October, I met a guy through a parts WTB ad.  He was looking for prototype parts also.  I told him what I was doing and what I had.  He has a real 906 and is having it restored.  This includes replacing the chassis with a new one.  I kept the parts I wanted and traded what I had left for his original 906 chassis.  Here it is:

My son and I took it to the farm yesterday and joined the parts from at least four different 906s and it all fits!

In celebration, we sprayed the body with Rustoleum appliance white and put it back on the shelf:

Here it is assembled, less the drivetrain and other odds and ends:

There's not much to these cars, so my list of missing parts isn't as long as it might appear.  I have the drivetrain, lights, and a clear windshield.  I still need doors, which I will probably end up making, suspension and, and ambition.  I really need a good 914 gearbox if anyone has one.  I've considered just buying a complete car so it can donate the suspension and other odds and ends.  However, I think Miata parts probably make more sense in terms of what's cheap and readily available.  Hopefully more updates before another 10 years fly by.  Kids are only young once though.

secretariata (Forum Supporter)
secretariata (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
5/12/24 9:16 p.m.

So cool! I hope you make more progress soon!

EricM UltraDork
5/12/24 9:19 p.m.

super cool!



johndej UltraDork
5/12/24 10:12 p.m.

Oh heck yeah, looks like a great project not to mention a ton of other interesting cars in those pics!

chandler MegaDork
5/12/24 10:29 p.m.

Happy to see movement here; I was just thinking about this the other day!

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
5/13/24 9:39 a.m.

Wow! Best of luck to you, and I can't wait to see more.

dculberson MegaDork
5/13/24 10:19 a.m.

This is a seriously cool project.

So is that a genuine Porsche body? Are you going to sell it for $1mm when it's done?

Apis Mellifera
Apis Mellifera Dork
5/13/24 12:03 p.m.
dculberson said:

This is a seriously cool project.

So is that a genuine Porsche body? Are you going to sell it for $1mm when it's done?

Race cars of this era are akin to the Ship of Theseus or Washington's axe.  They can have all the original parts replaced and still be considered an original car as long as there is documentation and lineage and you don't replace everything at once (or if you do, you don't tell anyone) AND enough people agree it's real.  That's how I ended up with original, factory Porsche parts.  Restorers replaced them with new, straight, flat, and perfect recreations because it's quicker, easier, and produces better fit and finish.  See old house remodeling.  The cars you see selling for millions today are only the same cars that raced in the 60s on paper.  They were raced, wrecked, and repaired over and over and to varying degree have been recreated piece by piece over the years.  In some cases, like 917-026 and 917-031, one wrecked car and some added parts were reassembled and rebuilt by two different people thus creating two cars with the same serial number until it was rectified.  So, like the emperor's new clothes and modern art, as long as "the experts" agree to it's legitimacy, it's accepted and has value.

Other than the sidepods and windows, which I made from molds from other cars, I have original parts Porsche made in 1966 that were removed from real 906s.  What I don't have is lineage from one serial number.  Since Porsche only made 50-60 of these, they are all mostly known.  The chassis I have is from the car Vic Elford drove to 1st in the 2.0L class at Le Mans in 1967.  The body front was raced at Silverstone, Nurburgring, and Brands Hatch in 1967 by David Prophet and Bill Bradley. Bradley later removed this body to convert his car to RHD and used it to make a mold for new bodies.  The back came from a car raced by several privateers and doesn't have much significant history.  The seat is from a car that raced at Daytona, Road America, and Laguna Seca in also 1967.  All of this is pretty cool, but doesn't add much to the value because of how the cars were used.  The real value in Porsche prototypes is the engine and gearbox, which I don't have.  So with a 2.7 911 engine and some kind of 901 gearbox, maybe it'll be worth $100K, maybe.

dculberson MegaDork
5/13/24 12:12 p.m.

In reply to Apis Mellifera :

OK, the story makes it even cooler. I love the idea of assembling a whole car out of racing and restoration cast offs.

APEowner UltraDork
5/13/24 12:41 p.m.

This build has increadible levels of awesomeness. 

TurnerX19 UberDork
5/13/24 6:02 p.m.

The only problem I see here is that your son has already outgrown it, they're tiny cars.

XLR99 (Forum Supporter)
XLR99 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/13/24 6:57 p.m.

In reply to TurnerX19 :

On the other hand, daughter looks like she'll have plenty of headroom with a helmet on!

Again, simply an amazing project!

preach UltraDork
5/13/24 8:34 p.m.

The 904 is my favorite but dang the 906 is right up there! Good luck sir!

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
5/13/24 8:45 p.m.

I've spent most of m career doing architectural restorations, so I definitely approve this!!

Recon1342 UltraDork
5/15/24 2:30 p.m.

Real world people: Vintage Porsches are expensive and impossible to find parts for!

GRM people: I got this part from one car, this other part from a different car, the chassis from my neighbor Bob down the road, and now I just have to assemble it!

TurnerX19 UberDork
5/15/24 3:14 p.m.

The reproductions happening everywhere are why tool room copies have become FIA legal.

rdcyclist HalfDork
5/15/24 6:13 p.m.

Garage Art:

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/15/24 6:47 p.m.

Really cool car and a cool story too.  I'll keep an eye out for a 914 trans. I never know what I might stumble across when surfing.

Were you the one who ended up with the Abarath SP 1000 body molds? 

TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
5/15/24 7:12 p.m.

If you do use a 914 trans, make sure it is the later, side shifter, not the early tail shifter, big difference in how well they work.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
5/15/24 11:17 p.m.

Is a Vanagon trans close enough?

This project is over the top cool. 

rdcyclist HalfDork
5/15/24 11:29 p.m.
RandolphCarter Reader
5/16/24 4:29 p.m.

Rustoleum appliance enamel is always an auspicious beginning.

No Time
No Time UberDork
5/18/24 6:31 p.m.

I don't know enough about Porsche transmissions, so I'm not sure the difference between a 901 and a 915, but this popped up on FB suggested listings:

Porsche 915 trans

octavious Dork
5/19/24 10:25 a.m.
RSwannabe New Reader
5/19/24 2:33 p.m.

While 915 transmissions can be made to work in mid engine applications, they take a lot more work than the 901/911/914 transmissions. The 911 is just the updated 901 trans used is 911's in '70 and '71. The 914 is the 901 used in 914's. All these variations on the 901 are dogleg 1st gear shift patterns. 

The 915 is a newer and stronger design and has a conventional shift pattern, but many prefer the feel and shift pattern of the 901.

What size motor do you plan to run?

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