Porsche Centre Silverstone's 924 Martini Rossi Restoration Project

The Porsche Centre Silverstone and Elite Motors Bodyshop restoration team selected a 1977 924 Martini Rossi as this year's Restoration Competition Project car. As the theme of this year's competition is 40 years at the front, celebrating four decades since Porsche's first front-engined production car, it seemed the natural choice.

The 924 seems to have two very distinct camps: those who deride it as ‘the one with the van engine’ and those who really champion the car. Whichever camp you are in, it is indisputable that this model did more than its fair share of changing the fortunes of Porsche with over 150,000 produced between 1976 and 1988.

To truly demonstrate the breadth of skills of our team, we needed to locate a car that required extensive restoration. We inspected a number of potential cars and finally found what we were looking for at an MOT garage where it was being held for its owner. The car has had 23 registered owners, seven of which were in the last two years.

In 2015 the vehicle was displayed in its pre-restoration condition at the world-renowned Silverstone Classic meeting and a Porsche Club GB National Event held in Northamptonshire. After this the car was re-inspected and photographed before being stripped. The engine and gear box were removed at Porsche Centre Silverstone ready for rebuild, and Elite Motors Bodyshop stripped the rest to leave just the bare shell. The vehicle shell was sandblasted to expose the true condition of the body and it was clear from this point that the bulkhead and floor had suffered the most rust damage.

Serious damage from past accidents meant that the safest option was to cut out the nearside A post and replace it completely. To ensure the vehicle's structure remained within overall tolerances, the vehicle was moved to a jig and electronically measured.

Other work carried out to date includes:
• Addition of strengthening bars to maintain structural rigidity
• Removal of the rust damage on the nearside and offside inner sill and floor areas, working towards the outer sills. The areas have been cut back and replacement parts have been fitted
• Re-manufacture of the check strap on the offside A post
• Removal of the damage to the bulkhead and replacement and straightening of the decayed section of the bulkhead and the nearside inner wing
• Fitment of a new bulkhead to reinforce the panel and windscreen aperture

The whole restoration team are now looking forward to the next stage. Please check back for further updates over the coming weeks or view the Live Stream .