Sunday, September 10, 2017

Two Decades with a 1971 Porsche 911T -- The Soul of an Old Machine

This post marks the beginning of a manuscript that I hope to write during the remainder of 2017. 

Two Decades with a 1971 Porsche 911T -- The Soul of an Old Machine

Years ago I taught a course entitled “Science, Technology and the Modern Corporation.”  One of the texts used in my early days of teaching was Tracey Kidder’s The Soul of a New Machine. Kidder’s work in that book was masterful, as he described the creative efforts of a team of computer engineers in designing a 32-bit DEC computer.  My effort here is to trace the work that was done to bring a worn out 1971 Porsche 911T back to life – a car that was aptly named “Lazarus,” for it would rise from the dead. It was a collaborative effort involving a number of mechanics – Ray, Cliff, Brock, Ben, and several others, along with my wife Kaye and me. When I bought that car in early 1996 I knew virtually nothing about Porsches and not much about automotive technology. Over the years I grew, and with considerable money thrown in from time to time, so did Lazarus.  This is our story, and will follow in the weeks ahead.  I hope you enjoy it.

A disclaimer: what follows is hardly a manual in how to work on your early 911.  There are good books and manuals out there that will guide you on how-to-do-it, albeit with gaps that will leave you occasionally flummoxed.  Persistence, letting it go for a while by stepping back, looking at Web materials including Youtube – all will eventually get you through even the roughest patches. By following along, and then doing your won thing with a Porsche 911T or any other vehicle will make you a better person, however. Your soul will wax in the process, this I guarantee.

More or Less what my 1971 Porsche 911T looks like today

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