Tuesday, January 31, 2012

From the Cradle

I started out early on as a German car fanatic.  My dad worked for VW of America in their parts distribution warehouse (who also helped ship stuff for Stoddard).  He said that he could have bought 4.5x15 Fuchs (NOS) for about 100 bucks each at work.  Just imagine what those would be worth today.  We never had any P-car parts laying around, but he always had VW projects (restorations, flips, baja bugs, kit cars) and up until a few years ago, still had boxes and boxes and boxes of NOS VW parts; German dual port heads still coated in cosmoline, NOS single port solex carbs, exhaust systems etc..  

Working where he did, he did have access to a pretty big discount on new Porsches (I cant recall if it was dealer cost, or an employee discount).  With that in mind, he immediately signed up as soon as the 944 was announced and had one of the 1st ones in Columbus.  This planted the seed for my obsession.  I remember sitting in the passenger seats, not able to touch the floor.  I remember thinking it would talk to me like the car from 'Night Rider'.  He sold it after 9 mos for a profit (it was the new model and there were waiting lists).  Of course that crushed me and stayed with me.  When I turned 16 I bugged him to let me get a 944 as a car (they were cheap -about 3K for a driver).  He refused and said he would only let me get an aircooled car after i had my drivers license for a year, and i would have to help pay for it of course.  So for two years i worked and saved and we eventually got Fritz.

Growing up though, we always had other German cars too; mainly BMWs and Mercedes.  My first car ended up being the diesel monster, an 81 240D.  It was THE German tank, a true Panzer.  It died hitting a telephone pole at about 35 - 45 MPH (kids from school in the back seat were fighting and distracting me, I wasn't looking and boom.  I was young and stupid, but the car saved us, and is why my dad got me the behemoth as a first car in the first place.  Here is the only pic I have of it.. too bad it was too late. 

Eventually I would come full circle and fall in love with the 3 series.  My mom had one when i was a kid.  When i turned 20 I would get an 81 e21 320I and then eventually an e30 325E and an e30 325I.  To this day I still love e30 BMWs.

One of the reasons I love my E46 so much is that it reminds me of my old e30.  One day I need to get an e30 M3, and a 944 to add to my stable.   Anyways, what is the point of this ramble?  I am not really sure, but it is amazing what sticks to us at such an early age, leaving a deep impression that turns into a passion which will stick with us for the rest of our lives. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Some things will never change

Dan, a fellow 912er recently posted on the 912bbs, a snippet from Panorama Magazine from August 1968, a concerned reader wrote in with his concerns about 912 owners:

New Club for 912 owners?
From Karel L Koke, Santa Clara, Calif. 95051, Golden Gate Region--

Several comments have appeared in PANORAMA recently regarding headlight blinking between Porsche drivers. The reason why so many of them don't blink their lights is quite simply that they own 912's and many 912 owners should never have purchased a Porsche in the first place, but did so because "they liked the looks of the new model," hightailed it to the local VW dealer, who was anxiously waiting for them as his inventory of 912's was high and his commission about the same for the 911.
Anybody wanting to purchase "the one with teh big engine,' was easily convinced that it was simply ridiculous for anybody to spend $2000 more for 2 more cylinders that would only contribute to plug fouling and all sorts of other nasty problems associated with a newly designed engine.
Gentlemen, I submit that the true Porsche addict can only be satisfied with either a 356 or a 911, and I should hereby like to move that 912 owners be excommunicated from the esteemed organization, known as PCA, and form their own Non-Porsche Non-Blinking Headlight Club of America.
Any seconds to this motion?

Some things will never change.  There is still some animosity out there for 912ers with their smaller engines.  Thankfully times have changed quite a bit though and attitudes have improved, especially in the last 5 or 6 years.  I think quality cars and the rising values have improved this view.  For example, the better the cars and the higher the values, the less we see cheap shortcuts, body kits, and vw engines -all of which hurt the image of the model over the years.  But that stigma is going away and more people are becoming interested in 912s.  

Though, maybe this explains a lot.. Browns, Indians, Notre Dame football... 912s?  I am sure a shrink would have a field day with that one.

a big thank you to Dan for sharing....

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I am a weak man..

So i was on one of my favorite forums tonight when someone posted an ad for a Blaupunkt Frankfurt radio in excellent condition for $175..   i had been looking for a good one for a good price for a while.  I wasted no time in snapping it up.  What made the deal even better is that the seller was in Columbus.. add posted, radio paid for and delivered in an hours time.

The downside is I already decided to go with a radio delete plate on my car.  So do i keep it in a box hidden away until i go for a full resto or a rainy day, or do i sell it?  or do i hold onto it and sell it later (like 10 years from now).  hmmm....  either way a hell of a score.  I think I might just have to hold onto this one.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Road trips..

I have taken 4 cross country trips in my 912 to date.  I have also driven it to events all over the midwest and east coast.  I have driven Fritz to both oceans, over the rockies, and through the deserts.

Each one had its own epic story, but none as great as the 1st trip in 03.  I think I need to post pictures and tell the story of that trip one of these days.  Here are a few...

fun with dry erase board

So I do a bit of doodling on the dry erase board in my kitchen.  This started as a doodle of my dog and Porsche, Fritz, saying, i heart (then the pic of the car and my english bulldog Blue).   Of course knowing i should probably put Missy in there i decided to add her.. and then of course i added her wiener dog Pepper in there too...  yeah, my priorities are out of wack.  ;)

Blue is actually fun to draw.. he is a character.  He drools a lot and is as gassy as they come.  Pepper is just an over active hype spaz..  

Missy is the real artist of the family though.  Missy actually has a BFA in Time Based Media (animation and film).  Here are a few doodles she did when bored at work a few years ago..

Monday, January 23, 2012

Work Bench

Last week my best friend Kenny tipped me off to a craftsman work bench not too far from him in the Dayton/Kettering area.  It was a good score.  Barely used 5 drawer bench with side cabinet for $100.  I pulled the trigger with out hesitation and bought it right away.  He picked it up for me and is bring it by tomorrow on his way back home from his day job over at Putsch Racing here in Columbus.

Kenny has two almost exactly like it and when ever we wrench on cars at his place, I always comment on his set up and organization.  Right now i just have a two piece rolling tool box, so this should be a major upgrade in that area.  Plus its much better storage than my current work bench left by the previous owners.

The only down side to it is a lack of space in my true one car garage.  I think I am going to keep it in the basement.  My main goal for this is to motivate me to save for a house with a bigger garage.  I don't need a  massive megga buck garage like you see on garagejournal.com, I just want something big enough to work it. 

I love our current house and especially the area we live in but it's too small.  If anything, this gives me some inspiration to keep saving and work towards getting our next home.  One with room to start a family.  Room for Missy to have her art studio.  A big tub for Missy (we only have 1 bathroom with a shower now).   An actual dining room.  And of course, room for a 2 car garage where I can really sink my teeth into my hobby. 

Needless to say, I am excited as a kid on Christmas to get my new bench.. 


Harry: What do you think about a wedding at Jacobs Field or Cleveland Browns Stadium?
Missy: No, if we do we'll get divorced.
H: OK, not into the stadium thing eh?
M: No, but anything done in either of those places is destined to loose.
H: Ugh.. when you put it that way, you might as well just marry Jason Hedrick instead.

(for those not familiar with my friend Jason, he is a die hard bungles fan, and always reminds me how Cleveland is the mistake by the lake)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Loud Lederhosen Saves Lives

There is an old hot rod saying, 'Loud Pipes Saves Lives'.   About 9 years ago while my first cross country trip to the 912 Rendezvous, I met John Benton of Benton Performance.

John is always ahead of the curve, pushing the limits and is all about maxing maximum horsepower for 912s.  His 912 at the time was a single plug hot rod, with a loud mean exhaust note.  A few years later i found that this was caused by a custom exhaust system he made, using half of a Flow master exhaust for a v8 application. 

Jeff Trask, another prominent 912er had John make him another exhaust.  After a few rides with Jeff at one of the other Rendezvous, I knew i had to have one.   When Jeff sold his exhaust, I jumped at the chance to get it.

This was shortly after my engine was rebuilt by the late great 356 and 912 engine expert Duane Spencer of Shasta Design Engineering.  Duane had John make a custom cam grind (now known as the Benton cam), for more torque, high end power while still being very streetable.  This coupled with a light weight pully, aluminum oil cooler, full flow oil filter, Beaker manufactured solexes  and a few other goodies made for a pretty darn good prime mover.

Anyways, I had purchased the exhaust, knowing it would work as Jeff and I had almost identical engine set ups.  I put it on and it sounded like magic.  Deep.  Throaty.  Mean.  With this exhaust I felt i could stand tall, puff my chest out and say: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for I am the baddest mother fucker in the God damn valley.


When I drove it though I noticed some issues.. like now low end power at all.  It stumbled and starved and lugged.  I could not get the damned thing up to speed.   I called John and he said the pipe was too fat for my carburation set up, and that my best bet was to have it rejetted and dinotuned so that i didnt burn a valve.  Needless to say I removed it and put the Bursch back on.  That was probably 4 or 5 years ago.   I have not found anyone locally that i can trust to dinotune my car (hell i cant find anyone locally i can even trust to tune my car the old fashioned way).

One of these days I need to get that muffler back on there.  I miss that sound..

all that glitters is gold..

So I sent the brakes from the parts car out a month ago and they came back today.   They turned out pretty good.  I did find out in the process that pins and springs that hold the brake calipers are now NLA.  (How the heck can something like that be NLA?!)

Anyways, they were completely disassembled, the calipers and fasteners replated with the correct yellow zinc plating (just like the originals had when new), pistons polished and piston tops cleaned and repainted, new seals and dust covers, properly reassembled by brake specialists. Restored is probably the better word. These were done so that they are better than the day they left the factory (and done correctly so that they have the same finish and look as the day they left the factory!) No excuses, no compromises.  Excellent for driving and excellent for concourse.

I have decided to go another direction though, and am going to look at a more hot rod brake set up for Fritz.  So these guys are going to be up for sale on the 912bbs.   If anyone is interested shoot me any email at hoffman912@gmail.com

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hey Hey, My My

People may think I am crazy to do such a thing, but back in November I purchased a second Porsche.  I never gave this one a name because I knew I wouldn't keep him, and I couldn't do anything to get attached to him.  It was just a fun project.  Missy thought I was bat shit crazy, but after explaining my madness she was finally on board.

After searching I found a car through one of the usual sources.  It was a 67 coupe, and the pictures showed some interesting items.

It was an original, unmolested car, except for the engine (they had put a 1.7L type 4 engine from a VW bus in it to replace the Porsche type 616 motor at some point).  The car had some nice luxury options: an original wood steering wheel, early seats with early head rests, and the deal that made it very sweet -a full set of five 4.5x15" fuchs wheels (including a spare!!).  It was missing the original radio, but it did have a 5 speed gear box, original hood crest in excellent shape, and many other original items

The owner said it had rust issues, and needed a front pan.  We drove down to Kentucky to check it out and this was what we found.

I went to jack the car up to remove one of the wheels to inspect the car (and more importantly to verify the fuchs were really the uber rare and highly $ought after 4.5s, when i hear cracking.  The rockers were completely made of fiber glass.  The floor pans too were fiberglass.  The rear seat buckets underneath were showing fiber glass fibers sticking out like an old abused stuffed animal had lost its stitching..

It was pretty bad off.  After haggling a bit and pointing out all the rust bits, we came to an agreed price, and it was soon loaded to a trailer for points north.

Looking at the amount of rust, missing Porsche engine, and the value in parts i had just scored, I knew that this one would have to be sacrificed so that other Porsches could live, and so that Missy and I could get hitched all proper like.  

To be continued...

Wanna Wanee?

My favorite band (The Allman Brothers Band), like many of their contemporaries, holds their own music festival every year in Live Oak, Fl, called Wanee.  The line up this year is killing me...

The Allman Brothers Band (April 20 & 21), Furthur (April 20 & 21), Gov't Mule, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, Buddy Guy, Bruce Hornsby, Mickey Hart Band, Hot Tuna Electric, Ray Manzarek & Roy Rogers Band, Leftover Salmon, North Mississippi Allstars, Trigger Hippy (Joan Osborne, Jackie Greene, Steve Gorman, Audley Freed, Nick Govrik), Soja, Conspirator, Eoto,Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Particle, Devon Allman's Honeytribe, Zach Deputy, Matt Schofield, Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio, Big Sams Funky Nation, Charles Bradley, Bonerama, Jacob Jeffries Band, The Yeti Trio, Bonnie Blue

I have seen the brothers probably 10 times now.. and Mule probably 6 times.. and Tedeschi and Trucks about 4 times (separately when they were not in a band together).  Hot Tuna and Leftover Salmon a few times, and Buddy Guy (the greatest living performer and the greatest living bluesman) probably 10 times and I finally got to see Further (latest incarnation of the Grateful Dead) this past fall.   Needless to say, I am HUGE fans of almost everyone playing..  I really doubt I can go, but man, what a strong line up.  That is going to be one FUN fest.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

And It Stoned Me...

About two and a half weeks ago I popped the question to Missy.  We had been to a lot of box stores and she couldn't find anything she liked.  Nothing really stood out to me either.  She graduated from an art college with a degree in computer animation.  She is very creative and artsy, loves old antique type scroll work so an antique ring was a no brainer.  We had a stone in the family my dad gave me, and I ended up finding the perfect ring for her at a vintage jewelery store in Clintonville.

I surprised her while she was tidying up the kitchen.  Any time she is in the kitchen I usually like to tease and annoy her.  I told her I had something for her, and she said she didn't want it (she thought it was candy wrappers, trash, a snot rag or something just to annoy her).  I told her no, she really wants this, and handed it to her, and she was speechless.  Click the images below to see larger pics.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

An intro.. kinda.. I guess.. I think?

Hey all you cats and kitties out there in interweb land.  Who's the groovinest, jivest, hippest swinging cat in this sweet sphere?  well.. its definitely not me, but welcome to my new blog anyways!   If you're reading this, either you just happened across it, or you know me and I sent you the link. 

For those who don't know me, I am Harry, I just turned 31, born and raised in CMH.  I am an only child, love the blues and classic rock, the Allman Brothers, the Grateful Dead as well as old soul music (especially Stax records stuff).  Jack Kerouac is my literary hero.  I have worked in the travel industry since 2004, starting with one of the dot coms (no, not the Gnome one, but the other one with the guy from the sci fi show that negotiates deals in cheesy commercials).  Since 2006 I have worked with one of the largest agencies in the world, specializing in corporate travel; first starting in the client data department, and then in 2007 moving into an Account Executive role, which i still am in today.  No, i cant get you a discount on flights, well at least not unless your a company that spends at least hundreds of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars on travel every year.  But i can give you a lot of suggestions on where to find good deals and other travel tips (I would suggest starting out on Kayak).

I have been with my Fiance Missy for almost two years, and we were just recently engaged over the holidays.  She is my best friend and the best thing that ever happened to me.  We have two children together; my English Bulldog, Blue, and her Miniature Dachshund , Pepper.  Blue is gassy, winy, a often times hilarious, very stubborn and makes wookie noises.  Pepper is a spaz.  But at least she is a lovable spaz. 

I am an avid Porschephile.  I have loved Porsche cars ever since about 1984 when my dad bought a first year 944.  He sold it 9 mos later for profit (like all 1st year model Porsches, it was a hot item), which scarred me for life (not really) and forever planted the seed that I needed to have one some day.  Well, in 1997 when i was 16, I saw 944s were cheap and I wanted one.  My dad made me hold off for a year, and would not let me get a water cooled Porsche, so in 1998 we started looking at 914s and 912s.  We eventually settled on a 68 coupe as a father son project, which i still have today (he is widely known as Fritz).  I have driven Fritz on several cross country trips from Columbus to California and back, as well as all over the midwest and east coast.

My other passions (other than music and Porsche's) are history, baseball (huge baseball nut), documentaries (especially Ken Burns), Cleveland Browns football, and anything about motorsports or rallying.

OK.. well I think that is enough for right now..  Again, welcome to my little sand box.  I will be posting here about cars, life, music and other assorted things from time to time.  Feel free to say hi or make comments any time!  I do have just two rules:  1) no political comments 2) no religion comments.