L9O ABROAD - WHAT HAPPENED IN LA
After a miserable and grey start to the year in London what could be better than a few days in sunny California? Of course there had to be a sprinkling of Porsche... We have an active owners group here, the L9O and the prospect of seeing some Californian 964s in the sunshine was mouth watering. It was all a little last minute as I only thought of arranging the meet once I was already in the US, but we managed to assemble a good group. It seems that I took a bit of London with me as we ended up meeting on the only grey day of my stay in LA!
The initial meeting point was at a shopping centre in Malibu to make sure there was enough parking for us to cluster together. I would have loved to go for a little canyon carving as well, but the prospect of trying to keep up in my auto Audi TT, plus a shortage of time meant we had to make do with a good chat.
Great bunch of guys.. with yours truly doing the mega cool L9O thumbs up
After our initial meet we moved on to an ocean location nearby to get some decent shots.
Malibu made quite a contrast with our usual meeting place at the Parrot Inn in Surrey! The guys were very friendly and we soon got to chatting about the cars and their owners.
John and his son Matt: White C4 with BBS RSGTs
John has had the 964 for a year and half. During this time his 15 year old son Matt has rebuilt or changed the suspension, aricon, cruise control, wide open throttle switch, control arm bushings, sway bars and finally lowered the car with H&R coilovers. It would seem that John is onto a good thing going here, with Matt trained up and doing all the work, but I have a feeling that as soon as he gets his licence this could become Matt’s daily. Fingers crossed as he really deserves it!
The 964 is a street car for John, he also has a 996 (1999) aero which they use on track. This is the US version of the European GT3 minus the Mezger motor. It is running full Moton suspension and has at least 100-150 track days on it. John has a lot of experience with around 12 years on the track and is also a Porsche Club of America (PCA) instructor who helps to ease in newbies who come for track day or DE events. He finds it an enjoyable way to give back while at the same time getting more seat time on track - even if it's the right seat, err passenger seat, to be clear!
John’s track 996 is rather tasty
Next up is Rey’s car in glorious Arrow Blue, it was originally Baltic Blue but previous owner had it repainted. Since he’s had the car Rey replaced the suspension with KW V3s and sourced some magnesium E28s with titanium colour centres which are a perfect match with the Arrow Blue. The engine has been rebuilt as a 3.8 but Rey is not sure on exact specs as this too was done before he had the car. Plans for the future include moving to a dual exhaust system and changing his Sportline Recaros to Pole Positions.
Hefty Heigo Cage with cross bracing
The interior features wonderful Rennline parts
We were pleased to welcome a few 993s as well. When Dan was 13 his sister’s boyfriend turned up with a brand new 1978 Targa,
“The women were chatting, and he said: go put your shoes on, we’re going to go and do some man sh*t! He took my brother and I out to a race track and told us we were going to learn to drive a stick shift. 3 hours at an abandoned race track was an indelible experience for a 13 year old kid, from then on I was hooked to aircooled 911s!” - Dan
Dan has had this one for 8 years. I have to say that in this colour chrome Cup2’s just look right, particularly here in the USA. Dan plans on changing to 18” at some point and has already fitted PSS10s and turbo anti roll bars. Longer term wants are to go to 3.8 ltr of flat six goodness with RS gears and to get rid of the “basket handle” OEM US market spoiler.
Randy with his Cobalt 964, John and his son Matt with their white C4 and Rey with his 3.8
I’d had the pleasure of corresponding with Randy previously. His 964 is the same colour car as mine used to be (Cobalt) and at one point we both had 1960s Alfa Romeo Giulettas! This is his very first Porsche and he aims to keep it standard as he loves to experience cars as they were when originally sold. His car is 92 and for him the 964 is the pinnacle of 911 development. Every time he gets in it he's always surprised by just how good the car is, particularly compared to other cars of the same era. His 964 came with Cup2’s but is now riding on Cup1’s with Bilstein HDs and Eibach springs - the only non original features.
Randy’s Cobalt car has unusual options, like ruffled leather seats and Porsche Special Wishes gear knob
To fund the 964 Randy sold his Alfa Giulia Super saloon, a 1970s, 56,000 kms concourse winner. He found the 964 on Craig’s list and was initially unsure of the linen interior but found he loved it in person. It came with some interesting factory options like the limited slip diff, ruffled leather seats and a wooden gear knob from Porsche Special Wishes. All these option are original and listed from the factory in the sticker under the hood. Quite unusual.. especially specifying a limited slip diff but then comfort spec ruffled leather seats.
Bruce just bought his Guards Red C4, but it had an issue with the brakes so for the meeting he popped over in his 3.2 Targa. He also owns an America Roadster, which is out action while the clutch is replaced. Bruce likes to keep his cars pretty standard aside from Bilstein HDs and lowering springs to get the 'correct' ride height.
Bruce also has a lovely black America Roadster and a recently acquired red C4
Tyler has had his 993 C2 for just under a year. A friend has a 993 and he took him for a ride, that was all that he needed to get the bug. This daily driver has some minor cosmetic issues that Tyler wants to sort out, a ripped carpet in the interior and so on, but it looked very clean to me. Very standard aside from shocks, which are PSS10s, these seem to be a pretty popular fitment in the US.
The only car here running on standard US ride height: Jeff has a really steep drive so for now at least there is no plan to change that. This is a low mileage car at 55,000 miles, Jeff has had it for a year. He fancied the 964 because it's the last of the frog eyed 911s and has a visceral feel behind wheel with modern technology. He has opted for black Plastip for his Cup1’s as he fancied a change that was reversible. First time I’d seen this paint applied and I have to say it looks pretty effective.
Plastidip is very effective for a temporary colour change
Another 964 with comfort seats
Henry came in his beautiful 993 S. He is more of an old Porsche guy and this is the most modern car in his fleet right now. He is however also aiming to eventually get hold of a 997 GT3. Interestingly he is currently trying to source an original 3.8 RS engine from the UK to drop in the car. This is supposedly coming from a cup car built by Rennsport. He has checked the engine number and it appears to be a genuine item, if so that would be an amazing upgrade to this already gorgeous C4S. Henry wants to eventually pass the car on in the family, he’s not sure to who yet.. Whoever can drive stick in years to come!
A special thanks to all the guys who made the meet at such short notice! It was really great to meet such a good bunch of guys. We really hope you carry on and make this a regular meeting, we would love to see more pictures in the future of LA cars.
Words & Pictures: Jack Pegoraro