This week we setup shop at our local outdoor ‘studio’ at the Melbourn Brother’s All Saints Brewery in Stamford, to shoot Stuart’s stunning gold 1972 Porsche 911 E Targa, the only right-hand-drive ‘E’ in existence in this specification.
Rain seems to be par for the course this year, we’ve already had to cancel several shoots, so it was with some trepidation that I set off in heavy showers to meet Stuart – a man of many talents and a real character – with his mint 1972 Porsche 911 E at our Stamford shooting venue. It’s testament to the car, and Stuart, that they were able to battle their way through 1 1/2 hours of heavy rain and mad traffic to get to us, especially considering the rarity and value of this particular example.
Sunshine On A Rainy Day
As I pulled up into the nearby car park, I heard the unmistakable sound of a flat-six approaching and the Porsche 911E Targa pulled in. It’s a beautiful looking machine, with mint metallic gold paintwork and a still youthful design… it’s hard to believe it’s a 47 year old car.
Stuart’s 911 hails from the last of the original shape that ran from 1964-1973, with a three-tier spec system being introduced from 1968. Most would say they are the purest of the breed, with the cleanest lines and crisp details, before they were ruined by the black bumpers that were the result of American safety regulations.
This particular car is the 1972 911E, which was the mid-spec 911 with a 165bhp version of the 2.4 litre flat-six that was introduced that year, up from an original 2.0 litres and then 2.2 litres in 1970. The other specs available in 1972 were ‘T’ with 130bhp and the top spec ‘S’ with 190bhp.
Although not sports car quick by today’s standards, it was still a sprightly and good handling machine, hitting 0-60 mph in around 7.9 seconds. Although, by Stuart’s own admission, age has taken its toll on his 100% original Porsche (other than paintwork) and he’s often out-dragged by the odd Peugeot 206.
It’s only relatively recently that collectors have started to appreciate this often overlooked version of the 911, as a result values have climbed dramatically, but Stuart’s Porsche is more valuable still… it’s the only right-hand-drive Targa in this specification in existence.
Originally destined to be a US only colour, the original customer/owner demanded a gold metallic Porsche 911 ‘E’ Targa and the dealer obliged. It was then converted to right-hand-drive and the bulbs removed from the holders for the daytime running lights, which can still be seen through the glass. Stuart’s car has also been fitted with the very rare front-lip spoiler, optional rear-wiper, and heated rear window.
More unique still, he hasn’t seen any other early 911’s with painted Porsche badges on the wheels.
The Targa has been in Stuart’s care for over 30 years now, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s lived a very sheltered life. The paintwork is immaculate and very rich, so it was a shock to hear that it’s only been resprayed once in its life, way back in the mid 80s! The rest of the car is nearly 100% original, right down to the original leather on the seats and steering-wheel with its fantastic patina.
That’s not to say it just lives in a garage without turning a wheel in anger. Stuart has taken the ‘E’ all over Europe and even tackled the mighty Nürburgring. The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that he’s swapped the ‘useless’ original round wing-mirror for a rectangular one, and fitted another on the passenger door for when driving abroad… only one mirror was fitted as standard.
It was a privilege to spend time with Stuart and the gorgeous 911E, but shoot complete I had a surprise in store for him. Mick from the All Saints Brewery gave us a guided tour of the Stamford landmark, from the original 19th century steam-boiler all the way up to the famous cooling tower/chimney.
Built in 1825 as a steam-operated brewery, it was restored in the 1990s by the Melborn Bros to make specialist fruit beers. Not only does it make a great venue for our car shoots, it’s also open on selected dates throughout the year and you can sample/buy the beers at the pub/restaurant. For more information head over to the Melborn Bro’s website.
The rest of the shoot is below. Thanks to Stuart for lending us the car and for lunch in the pub. Please leave us your comments at the bottom of the page and share away…