In detail

The car was built in Feb. 1968 by Karmann in Osnabrueck, Germany as 911 Coupé L with US/CDN specifications – one of 742 Porsche 911 L Coupes built at the Karmann factory that year for the US market.
Karmann bodies were reportedly 50 kg lighter than the one’s produced by Reuter coach works in Stuttgart, just across the street of the Porsche factory.
According to the Kardex the car was sold in June 1968 by VW Pacific in Culver City, California, and delivered to it’s first owner, Mr. Morris L. Roberts from Los Angeles.

The original color was “sandbeige” with black vinyl interior, and the car was equipped with engine # 338 0191 and Sportomatic transmission #3180413. Extras included S-model oil tank and instruments, tinted glass all around, antenna & speaker, and chromed steel wheels with colored Porsche badge. The original engine decodes as a 2,0 liter 901/17 engine with 40 IDS Weber carburetors and 130 HP combined with the newly introduced four gear semi- automatic transmission (type 905.01).
The car is now fitted with an electric sunroof, installed at later stage (likely sometime between mid 80’s and mid 90’s), using original and period correct parts.
Besides the Kardex no other documents exist for the early years, until Mr. Alan Ruzicka from Malibu / Venice acquired the car in 1977. It was his very first Porsche – and he drives Porsches since then.
As far as Alan recalls, the car was already converted to a manual transmission when he acquired the car, a popular choice these days.
Alan apparently still has a folder with documents of the car, but as he has moved since, he could not locate it easily in his storage, but who knows- maybe one day some more light will be shed on the cars fate in those early days.
Around 1985, Alan had the car upgraded with a 3.0-liter ROW engine (#63D5284) which decodes as a type 930/10 from a 1983 SC, featuring a K-Jetronic injection and listed with 204 HP. The engine was mated to period correct five gear 915/62 transmission (#74D5149).
The engine & transmission installation was performed by Dave Bouzaglou, master mechanic and owner of TRE Motorsports in North Hollywood, California, and until today TRE is a respected address the So-Cal Porsche scene and has since moved to a new facility in Van Nuys.

Dave from TRE Motorsports

Dave from TRE recalled that he installed adjustable sway bars and larger rear torsion bars (likely 26 mm), whilst front torsion bars remained stock.
At that time the car was registered with Californian blue plate “993 VZC”.
The car is currently fitted with a limited slip differential; however, it remains unclear if the LSD was fitted at the time of the engine and trans swap at TRE or at a later stage.

Alan’s car parked somewhere in Venice, Ca.
Cool car & how is my hair?
A Porsche goes well with formal dress code too
Engine bay after the swap (Photos courtesy of Alan Ruzicka/Malibu, Ca.)

Alan kept the car for almost 18 years, and only sold it 1995 to Mr. Edward Sidelko in Venice. Three years later the car changed hands again to Mr. Nate Mann of La Mesa, CA. Reportedly under Mr. Mann’s ownership the car was hit in the back by an uninsured motorist and subsequently put away in storage. In 2005 Tom Tweed from La Jolla, CA came across the stored car and acquired it as a project car.

living in a box
Porsche archaeology: these stickers from TRE are no more available

Tom’s find of the car is documented in the Early 911S Registry (photos above are taken from that blog), and he noted his surprise of finding a car with a TRE “Trust me it’s stock” sticker. Tom drives Porsches since 1964 (besides going surfing and building ships) and is a long time and active PCA and Early 911s Registry member (#257), and as well a founding member of “Rennlist” (#990416-1164) and a member of the famous Californian “R-Gruppe” (#232). Tom carries a wealth of detailed knowledge on Porsche parts and performance, which he happily shares in may blog contributions, and served as “Technical Inspector” in PCA’s San Diego chapter.

He is a talented mechanic & craftsman, well connected to the So-Cal and US Porsche scene, and until these days continues racing his Porsche GT3. When he acquired the car out of storage, his idea was to convert it into a 911R-Clone, reportedly inspired by a Rod Emory build – like the one in the pictures below.

Over a period of 5 years Tom transformed the car into his envisaged 911R clone, and some of the building process is documented on the “Pelican Parts Forum”, and as well on the “Early 911s Registry” board. I visited Tom and his wonderful wife (and their cute dog) in spring 2017 in La Jolla, and besides chatting long over the car’s history, he came up with a folder full of documents and invoices, and as well an USB stick with plenty of photos, documenting the details of his work, and his subsequent autocross fun with the car.


Above a photo (note the presence of the sun roof) posted by Tom on Pelican forum in 2007 with the following comment:
“My ’68 hotrod 911R-look undergoing testing a few months ago before going into the paint shop for a color change to Slate Grey. It is a stripper with FRP bumpers and lids, a Euro 3.0 with headers and sport muffler, a 915 transaxle and upgraded suspension, but no flares, running 7″ wheels w/ 205 tires.”

In another thread on Pelican he posted:
“I have another ’68 SWB 911 that TRE built for a customer many years ago w/ a 3.0L and 915 transaxle. This one was originally built as a street „sleeper“ hotrod and little was done to the suspension at the time. It is a very fun and reliable package when sorted out and set up properly. The CIS does not have the peaky scream of a carb’ed or MFI’d engine, but it has a lot of low-end grunt and is very reliable–not the least bit finicky–starts first time/every time in cold weather or hot, without any painstaking tuning.
In turning it into a well-balanced autocross car, I offset the additional weight of the later engine and transaxle as much as possible by removing weight from the rear of the car. These steps included using FRP parts for the bumper, tail light housings and rear lid as well as lexan for the rear window and a lighter sport muffler. Rear suspension was stiffened with 26mm rear T-bars and an 18mm ARB to deal with the added drivetrain weight.
Even with the short wheelbase and running a square tire setup of 205/50-15s on 7″ Fuchs, it handles very well and has won it’s class for 3 years straight in the local PCA region autocross series.”

In the course of his project Tom took the car apart completely and commissioned a glass out repaint with a color change to “Slate Grey”.

Tom’s rebuild of the car was obviously pretty exhaustive, in summary the main modifications were:

  • Reduction of weight to 2200 lbs / to below 1000 kg through
    replacement of front and rear lids and bumbers with light fiberglass/FRP parts,
    removal of the side window mechanics and replacement with leather strap operated lexan windows,
    removal of rear seats & sound deadening, light weight carpeting
    deletion of the heat exchangers
  • Fitment of a roll cage, sport seats & a Momo steering wheel and Cibé driving lights
  • R-style front lights and rear tail housings with Hella lights
  • Rennline aluminum floorboards and foot rest
  • Installation of a Hargett Pro 915 short shifter kit
  • Exhaust system with headers and a sport muffler with twin center outlet
  • Modifications to the suspension included
    21 mm front & 26 mm rear torsion bars
    19 mm sway bars front & rear
    Adjustable spring plates and Elefant Racing polybronze bushings
    Fitment of a front strut brace

The suspension alignment and set-up was performed by Steve Grosekemper, a well-known Porsche expert in the San Diego community, now working and racing with the Black Forest Automotive Team in Kearney Mesa; for more information please see his website at

Tom took great care to details – even the Mobile Pegaus stickers on the front fenders were applied according to the exact original instructions.

And Tom loved to experiment with wheels and details – here for example a shot of the car with Minilite “look-a-likes”, aka 6×15 Superlites from OZ:

At that time the car also featured a Lexan rear window, which was put back to glass at later stage. Note the Max Dial number plate holder (which still decorates the car’s garage today) and the “R – Gruppe” and 4.2 litre badges – unfortunately they are both gone.

At some point during Tom’s ownership the registration was changed from the above Blue Plate “993 VZC” to Californian Black Plate “UZE 299”.

In May 2014 the car was acquired from Tom by a middleman (Tom was not happy recalling that story, as he thought to sell to car to an aficionado appreciating all the work put into that car – and not to a flipper as it turned out), and subsequently ended at up in the inventory of Trissl Sportscars, in Florence, AL.

At that time, the car was again featured in the Pelican Forum as being for sale: .

About one month later, in June 2014 the car was acquired by Mr. Randy Nonnenberg in San Francisco, CA. Randy is an automotive engineer, having spent some time at BMW in Germany, and he is definitely a true “petrolhead”. He is the founder of the successful „Bring a Trailer“ (BAT) car auction website. The car was part of BAT’s collection of vintage cars. Below a shot of Randy in his garage in front of a 356.

About three and half years later, Randy put the car up for auction, as one of BAT’s “recurring “special sales” – every one thousand lots they auction one of their own collection cars.

On Friday 13th (!) January 2017 Matthias Miller from Berlin, Germany made the lucky bid and acquired the car on the BaT auction website as Lot # 3000 for a sum ending with 911.

The car was then shipped from Oakland, CA to Germany with the help of Berlin Motors freight forwarders and car import specialists.

The car arrived in May 2017 and underwent a first service at Peter Pawella’s reputed PST Porsche Sportscar Service shop in Berlin and was adapted to German roadworthy standards, which required for example new Marelli H1 headlights to replace the US “single bulb” lights, whilst Pirelli 185/70 tires were fitted on the 5,5 inch period correct Fuchs rims included in the sale, to satisfy the originality needs of a German vintage registration.
In late summer, the car was ready for a few first rounds on German roads with a dealer plate, but still showed some needs.

Over winter 2018/2019 Peter at PST performed a complete engine top end rebuild and a transmission service, where he reworked and ported the cylinder heads, installed new valves incl. guides, replaced all piston rings, and sealed the engine. The transmission was disassembled and received a complete rebuild incl. new synchros.

In the meantime, respected Porsche coach builder Willi Thom took care of the body works. See some articles and movies on Willi’s work here: 911 in a car loft

Despite the car was basically in a good condition and mostly rust free (as expected from a Californian car), the area around the battery required attention, and the fuel tank support bar was not in good condition either, and had to be replaced. The car was also subject to a “Mike Sander” rust protection treatment, to ensure it will survive another 50 years.
At the same time new Bilstein shocks were installed front & rear, specially dialed in to Willi Thom’s specs by the Bilstein factory, in order to fit the light weight of the car.
Finally, in May 2018 the car had passed all German legal requirements, was technically sound and thus ready for road & track again. It was was fitted with a period correct 360 mm Momo Prototipo steering wheel to celebrate (and to replace the slightly worn 380 mm wheel).

The first track-days were great, however they showed a need for improved braking (especially after full speed on long straights). The initial idea to change to later date brakes was shelfed, to avoid the complete exchange of the front suspension and steering assembly. Such modification would have been necessary to fit later model calipers like the S-calipers fitted in the 1969-1973 LWB models or the even bigger SC brakes on the SWB front axle assembly.

PMB performance in Utah, a well-known expert shop for Porsche break parts & restoration offered a set of bigger “Brembo Cast” type calipers, which fit the SWB front axle spacing of 3”, and were sourced together with matching brake pads, and installed with “Stahlflex” brake hoses.
To improve traction and cornering, further options for rim and tire sizes were made street legal by registering them in the car’s documents, so now there is also the option to fit 6JX15 rims with 185 or 195 tires in front, and 7JX15 rims with 205 rubber in the rear.
In the shot below the car sits on newly sourced Maxilite “Fuchs” reproduction rims, which have almost identical offset (“Einpresstiefe” or “ET”) as the original 911R rims from 1967, i.e 6×15 with ET 36 mm in front and 7×15 with ET 47,4 mm on the rear axle (

# 11 83 51 31 in Leipzig for a drive on the Porsche “Teststrecke”

In the course of 2018 and 2019 the car was enjoyed in a number of track-days and events around Germany such as Lausitzring, Bilster Berg (a well-designed private race track close to Bielefeld), the Porsche factory test-track in Leipzig, and on it’s home turf at the Gross-Doelln driving center & track, which is located one hour north of Berlin.

However, the GT3s were always so much faster, even on a pretty curvy track such as Gross-Doelln. The SWB lost quite a bit of time accelerating on the straights, and as well in shifting – as good & fast as Porsche engines are, the transmissions might be called solid – but they are for sure not fast in shifting.

Therefore, the idea came up to increase the horsepower and even more importantly the usable power band with an almost unique and definitely very special engine – and thus convert # 11 83 51 31 into a true

911 R reloaded

The following part of the story initially takes us back in time to the early days of Porsche racing with the 911.

please direct suggestions – criticism – comments to