Mark Bís 914s
Hi! My name is Mark Britell, and this site is about my 914's, of which I
currently have way too many. The first was my Fathers, which sat by his barn in
Dadís Car as I first got it home
When I got it home to
Introducing The Blue Car
I checked the internet for awhile, and looked at a couple other cars, before
driving down to
The Blue Car in front of the
The Blue Car
I picked up a pretty clean tub for parts for
and Iím cutting out what I need to replace on mine, along with parts from
another donor car or two (thatís why I say I have too many). I stripped the car
as much as I could, (including removing and re-installing the sub-dash and
re-wiring the whole car) primered and painted everything I could (behind the gas
tank, behind the sub-dash, all the nooks and crannies I could find) in gloss
black (to at least have a coat of decent paint in there), pulled out floor
insulation/sound deadener and started to put it back together. Itís amazing how
many colors these cars go thru. Nobody seems content to leave it original.
will go back to its original red metallic (a one year only color) when finished.
We're getting ready to weld in new pan pieces and take care of anything
else that needs welding (such as the normal battery box replacement, hinges,
clutch tube, etc.). Once the welding is done, I'll grind everything down smooth
and paint on POR15 to keep it from rusting again. If you've never used this,
POR15 is the BEST for rust prevention. I'm not sure, but I may strip everything
back off the car and have the shell sent out to be painted now, and do it right
the first time.
Coming together a little at a time
I've been collecting parts for
original early bumpers and valences (yes, early cars were a little different)
(youíll hear about it later), early interior (most came with the car, some came
in the tub), a good top, and parts to convert the transmission to a side
shifter. I have a spare motor I got (just in case) if we need a complete
rebuild. John and I hope to get it together for the West Coast Wramble in
We didn't make any real progress on Dad's Car before the Wramble, but we got the Blue Car in pretty good shape. We (My better half Marcie and I) made it to the Wramble in Wreno in October, and had a wonderful time. The car ran well (if a little under powered), and looked good with the newly painted Mahles and Dunlop A2's.
I did my best to keep up with John L and Lyn on the way up to
We've done some work to the
rear wheel bearings, and front brakes, replaced the right front "A" arm, and
finally got the front suspension dialed in so it handles well. I tore the doors
down and lubed everything so it works smoothly, and found there were some window
parts missing from the rails, so I replaced them.
In November the local PCA hosted an autocross in Paso Robles, CA, at the airport. The 914 handled fairly well.
Well, after 18 years of back and forth to the Castle 3 times a week, the
inevitable happened. I hit a deer. Take my advice, don't do it! It could have
been a lot worse
(for me, the deer didn't do well).
One day and a couple hours later, with (happily) the parts on hand, it looks
Even better after a bath (and from the
Even better after a bath (and from the other side).
To make a long story short, my ex-girlfriends' ex-husbands' sisters'
boyfriend (that's short?) does body & paint out of his house, and recently got a
71 914 in trade. Of course, he wants to fix it up & get it running, sooo.....we
work a deal. I supply his parts from my parts cars; he does the bodywork on my
914. Good deal all around. Here are some pics of the work in progress.
But this is what happened.
Not much has been done to the poor
body-wise, but it did get a new (to me) tan interior. I did some parts swapping
with a local 914 owner and got new seats, door panels, and backpad. Then I asked
if anybody had any spare panels on 914club.com, and one of the members there was
just about to re-cover his interior, and shipped all of the old interior panels to me.
I plan on re-covering the black basketweave on the dash with tan basketweave,
and covering the face of the center console with tan, also. I also re-did the
brakes, putting new rotors and bearings on the front, and pads all the way
around. The body work on the
has been sidelined while I took care of other projects.
I wound up getting a black 71 914 that was owned by the guy who was doing the
bodywork on the
He didn't have what it took to finish getting it running, so I wound up with it
for $600.00 plus what he owed me. It doesn't help getting the
fixed, but I got my money back for the motor he was buying from me. I've been
getting that car, now named the
(inventive, aren't I?) running. I had to re-wire the engine harness, re-plumb
the fuel lines, and basically fix whatever the
Black Car was sidelined for a while so John Larson &
I could do a full body transplant on
Yup, yet ANOTHER strange project!!
Back in the 80's, John built himself a 73 VW bus with a 2.4 liter 911 motor.
He named it The
Here are a couple of pics of The
just before I bought it.
John had The
up until about 3 years ago, and then it was sold to a customer of his. The
customer had it for about 2 years, and traded it back to John in return for work
on his other vehicles. John decided he already had too many cars, so he would
sell it. Well, I was in need of a something to haul the Karaoke equipment around
(oh, yeah, I co-own a Karaoke company called
John & I worked on The ThunderBus when ever we could, between paying customers, and also on a couple of weekends. I can't express my gratitude enough to John for all his hard work. It took about 2 weeks to get it on the road (it took quite a bit of fabrication work for the shift linkage, and the motor mounts had to be welded in from one bus to the other, and all the brake and some suspension stuff needed to be swapped over). It took about 3 days for me to re-wire all the dash & gauges, but when all was said & done, it came together nicely. I still need to transfer the 911 seats and retractable seat belts from the old bus, along with the "foot" gas pedal, but that's about it.
This is the
My business partner, Kevin, drives The
most of the time, so I'll let him get used to it for awhile before we do any
Update May 05:
Kevin decided he likes the stock seats, so Iíll have to think of something to do
with the 911 ones. Maybe new desk chairsÖ. Most of the bugs have been worked
out, and the
is running fine. The old orange body is now a storage receptacle at the yard
with the parts cars. Very handy.
I took the
Here are some pics of the AX.
I finally replaced the interior of the Black Car with what used to be in the Blue Car. I worked out a deal with the body shop down the road from West Coast Garage; I'll trade the Black Car for paint & body on the Blue Car. The owner there is going to put the car on the frame machine to make sure it's straight, and then he'll do a complete paint job on the car, including the trunks (which are primered)! I'll drive the Black Car & keep improving it while the bodywork is done.
The West Coast Classic!!
John & I cranked on the Blue Car in March & April, getting it ready for the West Coast Classic in Camarillo, CA. We pulled the trans to do the clutch and turned it into a sideshifter "while we were in there". HUGE difference!! We did the brakes at all four corners, and I put new tires on the front. In essence, we gave the car pretty much everything it needed. It drove & handled exceedingly well, but was still a little sluggish. We replaced the throttle position switch, adjusted the fuel pressure (it was too high), and generally tweaked the injection until it ran fairly well.
Then it was on to the West Coast Classic!!
The 914club.com folks decided to put together a yearly gathering on the west coast every year, starting in 2004. I wasn't able to go last year, but I made it a point to go this year. You can read all about it here: http://www.914club.com/bbs2/index.php?s=3938feb5b2dd358527f89afbe714d97e&act=SF&f=35
We started out in
From John's we headed south to
Pizza & beer were the order of the day as we settled in.
day 2 we all headed for
We were able to race on the Streets of
I think I need some anti sway bars on the car....
The black car just behind us has a Subaru motor the guy just put in before he
left for the WCC. He drove it out from
I went to work at the shop on Monday, and John & I looked at the starter in the Blue Car, and decided to replace it. We also put in an electronic ignition system. WOW!! What a difference! The car has had a problem with the points closing up, and this cured that! The car really scoots right along now.
A little update. The
is in the body shop or paint & bodywork! The body shop owner wasnít too thrilled
with the flares on the yellow flared car, so heís decided to take the
in trade. Works fine for me, less temptation to do something with the
Black Car. Itís running fairly well, but Iíll need to
drop the motor to take care of a pesky oil leak before I turn it over to the
body guy. Iíve also been playing with a 1964 Mercedes 300 SE that I wound up
with. I had to do a lien sale on a guy that owed me money, so I wound up with
Itís got a 3.0 liter straight 6 motor, with a 4 speed automatic transmission,
and red leather interior (that needs some work). The body is very straight, with
perfect chrome trim. Iíve been told itís all original except for the front
bumper, which has been replaced. Itís sitting low because it has an air
suspension, and one of the valves is missing. Iím in the process of getting a
replacement valve so I can get it on the road. Itís been sitting for 3 or 4
years, so the normal hoses and lines need replacing. Iíve started it a few
times, and, other than running rich because of old gas, it seems to be OK. Itíll
get a good going over at the shop, and hopefully someone whoís in to these cars
will buy it from me. Itís supposedly a fairly rare car, and is in restorable
condition. It couldnít have been something I could part out, get my money, and
be done with it, could it? You can
read about the ongoing saga here:
On another note, my business partner came into a bit of money, and decided he wanted to buy me out of the business, so as part of the buyout, I wound up getting possession of the ThunderBus! Needless to say, parking at my house is becoming a problem. Itís nice to have a vehicle that can move my parts collection around in, though. Itís currently storage for the parts I took off of the Blue Car so it could go to paint.
Update on the Blue Car
The Blue Car is in the body shop, and has had the frame pulled a little to straighten it out.
From the looks of it, the car was repaired once at the factory. Iíve been told they used a dark brown bondo. It also has 2 coats of primer & yellow.
More pics of the re-paint in progress. I decided since we were taking it
down to bare metal, to go ahead and paint it the color
was originally. It was a one-year only color called
More pics of the re-paint in progress. I decided since we were taking it down to bare metal, to go ahead and paint it the colorDadís Car
was originally. It was a one-year only color calledMetallic Red, but it's actually a maroon.
Well, the times they are a changin'. My ex decided I didn't make enough money to suit her, so I'm a single guy again, which, if you've seen my page before, is why there are few references to her. Consequently, I'm having to scramble to finance my home for my sister and I, so, The ThunderBus has had to find a new home. I put it on the Samba, a VW site, and within a week I had a gentleman from Holland making me a deal. The ThunderBus is now on it's way to the Netherlands. I'm going to miss it.
Red Caris out of the paint shop, and well on the way to being put back together.
I also got the tan material on the dash and added a GT style horn button.
all for now, Iím sure Iíll be updating again soon.
You can contact me at [email protected]
Thanks for checking out my page!