The ex-Steve Schmidt, Monterey Historics participant
1963 Porsche 356B Coupe Vintage Racer
Chassis no. 211743
2.5-liter blueprinted motor
Type 741 four-speed manual transmission
GT Lightweight tribute
Former successful vintage racer
Monterey Historics entrant
Featured in European Car
This 1963 Porsche 356B T6 coupe, featured in the March 1992 issue of European Car, was converted to 1964 SC "GT Lightweight" specifications by its former owner, Steve Schmidt, a well-known southern California collector and racer of early Porsches. Built for West Coast vintage racing, Schmidt followed the factory's prescription of "adding lightness", using as many GT-type pieces as possible. While the doors are steel, rather than aluminum, they are fitted with custom GT inner panels and plastic windows, which are raised and lowered via leather straps. The hinged rear quarter windows are also plastic, but both the windshield and backlight are glass. There is a Fuel-Safe fuel cell under the fiberglass front lid, filled via a through-hood pipe fabricated by Schmidt and topped by a real GT alloy filler cap. The twin-grille 356C engine cover is louvered in Carrera and GT fashion, and there is a shrouded Spyder-style outside rear-view mirror.
Inside, there's a welded-in period-correct single-hoop rollbar, and the dashboard contains an electric 8000 rpm tachometer, a Carrera 160 mph speedometer, and a rare triple-readout oil pressure, oil temperature, and fuel level gauge originally fitted to a Type 904. The interior and body continue the SC/GT theme with early 911 Recaro lightweight sports seats, and simple rubber floor mats and threshold covers for the driver and passenger. The rear of the compartment is finished with thin factory-style carpeting installed by Autos International, true to the style of the GT coupes. There are two front oil coolers behind the horn openings, as on Carrera 2s, and the lubrication system employs a System One full-flow filter and a thermostat mounted in the left-rear quarter.
While Schmidt alternated between a 1620cc Porsche four-cylinder pushrod motor for VARA events or a 1720cc "Big Bore" engine for HMSA races, the current owner exchanged the racing engine for a blue-printed VW Type 4-based two-liter carbureted motor built to 2563cc displacement, and producing an estimated 190hp.
Schmidt fitted the Type 741 transmission with short gearing for racing, but the current owner had it recently overhauled, installing ratios more appropriate for touring. There is a Torsen limited-slip differential. The brakes are 356C discs all around, and the car is fitted with 6" x 15" Coddington aluminum 356 replica wheels mounted with high-performance Avon tires. Schmidt extensively modified the suspension for racing; installing de-cambered front spindles, and all four front control arms have been gusseted. The front uses a Weltmeister 19mm anti-roll bar, while a Skirmants camber compensator spring helps keep the de-cambered rear firmly planted to the road.
All the body trim has been removed apart from the Porsche hood emblem, and the bumper mount holes in the body were filled in before the car was repainted in its original special-order color of 6210 Smyrna Green.
While this car would need considerable preparation to be returned to the track, the consignor states that it is a great driver and vintage rally car, having completed several 1000-mile rallies with it. Supplied with this car are its original bumpers and another rear deck lid, all painted to match, plus a package of road spares.
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