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Harold996tt

Instant Love- The Fitzy Mobile

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It's been an absolute whirlwind romance. 

And I've finally managed to settle down a bit I thought I would finally put fingers to keypad and recount the story of how I finally got to meet a bloody cool bunch of people and pick up a piece of Australian motorsports history. 

It all started innocently enough on a relatively quiet Saturday morning when I decided to get onto this forum (something I don't do so regularly as I'm more of an Instagram or Facebook kind of addict) and spotted a post by @901er which was the below post which in turn lead to the Carsales page showing the ex a Peter Fitzgerald 996 GT3 CS that had come second in the 2000 Nations Cup and third in the 2001 Nations Cup. 

The reality is that I have always been a bit interested in the 996 GT3 but in particular the 996.2 GT3 RS. Unfortunately, having seen their prices reach over 300k made me stop longing for one and I began to casually turn my eye towards the 996.1 GT3 because of their being the first of the GT series of cars that I felt were still by comparison hugely undervalued given their provenance and performance which I felt to be the closest to my beloved 993 era cars with just enough old school analogue on a more modern platform. 

Given the price point that these cars were at, my heart and mind constantly fluttered between a 964 coupe that I could hot rod or a clean well maintained 996.1 GT3 and this made me drag my feet somewhat. But when the add popped up, I was hit with a hammer right between my eyes. Fitzy and Jim Richards had been legends that I had grown up watching on the telly as a kid, and the chance to actually drive a car actually raced by even one of them was too hard to resist. All the more, one that had been relatively successful with significant race provenance and happened to wear one of my all time favourite race schemes of the era. The Falken race livery. The icing on the cake was thst the Nations Cup cars were some of the last real race cars that could be road registered given they were originally built on standard GT3 Clubsports. 

But I knew I would have to act fast. It did not help that I was in a Singapore on the day that I saw the advertisement. As luck would have it, I reached out to two forum members, @James P who helped me understand better the regulations around the Nations Cup cars so I would have some idea what to ask for, and @hugh whom it turned out knew almost all there was to know about the car given he had almost bought it many years earlier before it had been sold to the person who was advertising it. The information that he provided on the car and the fact the he knew the current owner of the car, a gentlemen based in Melbourne of significant repute made me decide to reach out on the Sunday to the seller of the car after Hugh provided me with a huge amount of history and relevant info to me.

On the Monday, I immediately went to the bank and organised a transfer of funds to the seller.

For the full amount.

Sight unseen.

Crazy...

But it shows that word of mouth can be very significant. I had trusted in the information provided by Hugh given that he in turn had been referred to me by another mate of mine from Perth. Talk about a small world. Of course it helped that a Google search on the seller added substantial comfort to me and tied once again perfectly to the info thst Hugh had provided to me on the repute of the seller. 

I had been due to return to Perth from Singapore that following week, and within two days of returning to Perth was on another flight bound for Melbourne to finally see the car for the first time. The owner of the car had meantime confirmed to me that he would send the car to wherever I decided to pick the car from on the Friday of my arrival. As I had no idea yet where I would be staying, I decided to have the car delivered to Dutton as I had done business with them before and they were happy to hold the car for me on the Thursday awaiting my arrival on the Friday. The third picture is of the car being picked up from the owners house for delivery to Dutton on the wet Thursday morning. 

 

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Upon confirmation of the trip to Melbourne I decided to reach out to the Melbourne crowd to see who may be available to meet at Dutton for a coffee. I had no idea that just one message out through a Facebook Page would result in the amazing reaction of the Melbourne boys with a chance to meet some of the greatest Porsche guys ever. Thanks so much to Sal for sorting the Friday catch up.

 

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Even @symsy made the coffee and lunch. Bloody legend. 

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This was followed by a Saturday coffee at Dak Dak with @hugh making a call out. Again the hospitality shown by the Melbourne crowd was stunning to say the least. The fact thst a car can bring so many amazing people together is really what makes this passion all the better. It was such a fantastic trip. 

 

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Glad it all worked out for you.. we are all passionate Porsche people in the end. I had a good chat with Fitzy last week & he was surprised at the level of interest in his old gt3 

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11 minutes ago, James P said:

Glad it all worked out for you.. we are all passionate Porsche people in the end. I had a good chat with Fitzy last week & he was surprised at the level of interest in his old gt3 

Mate he shouldn't be surprised at all.... He's a living legend. I wish more of the you ger generation knew who he was. These guys and Alan Jones were the people I grew up worshipping. 

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I've purchased 3 Porsche's now sight unseen (WA, QLD & NSW) and have only been able to do so via the network of the local Porscha community. The ability to qualify the car and owners via first hand experiences/contacts is so valuable, it does really speak volumes about the closeness and passion within the local Porsche scene.

I am so glad to see the car find a home with a true enthusiast who will enjoy and use it as intended!

Congratulations again mate, it's been a pleasure to meet you and look forward to hearing about the bonding that will take place once it lands back in WA. :)

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So this was the very first time I saw the Fitzy Mobile in the flesh. That's my sister in the back who came to join the festivities (actually the first trip we had made together ever back to birth city so it was really a memorable one). Not a concourse winning car but surprisingly clean given all the adventures she has been through in her 54,000km life. 

To be honest I was stunned at the price of the car given the amazing race heritage of the vehicle but it is appears to me that the market doesn't favour Australian track history of the more modern cars over clean low miles and to me that worked out perfectly as I was always dreaming of owning an old race car with true provenance. I was so excited as there were only three cars to me that I had a desire to own from the 2000 and 2001 series and it was either the Jim Richards car, the TNT car or this one. The fact that the Falken livery also happened to be my favourite of the three was a huge bonus. 

Given that the Nations Cup cars were among the last of the true race car series that required fully road registrable vehicles to be used, meant that the ideology of "drive to the track and race and drive home" of the 1950s and 60s was truly echoed in the series. No doubt these cars were not as easy to drive to the track in reality is not lost on me, but the romance of the idea is a huge drawcard.

The second picture is of me trying to get into the car for the first time. That roll cage made getting into and out of the car a huge reminder of my half century underpinnings in my back. But that was nothing compared to finding out how on off the clutch is.... I'm guessing it has no spring in it. Made for an interesting time trying to learn how to reverse the car into the car park. But let's get to that. 

 

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9 minutes ago, hugh said:

I've purchased 3 Porsche's now sight unseen (WA, QLD & NSW) and have only been able to do so via the network of the local Porscha community. The ability to qualify the car and owners via first hand experiences/contacts is so valuable, it does really speak volumes about the closeness and passion within the local Porsche scene.

I am so glad to see the car find a home with a true enthusiast who will enjoy and use it as intended!

Congratulations again mate, it's been a pleasure to meet you and look forward to hearing about the bonding that will take place once it lands back in WA. :)

Mate thanks so much. You are so right about the network helping make a sight unseen purchase work out. You do realise you were the catalayst thst basically sealed the deal within 24 hours of me seeing the ad!!! 

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Again showing the absolute importance of the network, besides @James P and the legend @hugh helping me out fully with the confidence to buy the car sight unseen, I needed to find a place where I could stay and not only park the car safely (think gated system, no humps and a way for the tow truck to pick the car up for delivery back to Perth). 

That's where Scott Sterling and Erwin Tan helped to find me a place that was absolutely perfect. When I say helped, it's an understatement, they reached out to the network, ended up contacting the manager of the location and even went down to the premises to ensure that the car would clear. Photos were even taken and sent to me. I mean can you get better than this Porsche crowd.... No way. 

Here's a picture of my first ever drive in the car from Dutton back to my residence, following Erwin who made sure he guided me through a route with the least amount of humps to hit the front bumper.... Again insane support from this mad crowd of friends for life. 

The photo is courtesy of Steen Edmonds- thsnks so much mate. I love it. 

So.... How does the car drive.... Starting it is a different experience for someone that has never driven a hot 911 (the hottest I ever had was the 997.1 RS). From cold it doesn't like to wake up. It usually takes around four or five goes of the ignition to prime it up before she finally coughs to life.

Once up she goes through her warm up with a lumpy idle that signifies she's had a bit more work done to the engine since her days as a Nations Cup car it's time to get on the gas. Almost feels like she has some hot cams in her (need to find out what's inside the belly yet). Ah did I mention that lumpy idle that let's people know she isn't a regular GT3 with stickers already?

The clutch is one of those on off switches. Revs up and dump the clutch. No riding of the clutch is possible either forwards.... Or in reverse. Makes for scary times in a car park, but since when was she supposed to be in a regular car park??

Getting on the throttle you remember she was made for racing. Part throttle is like asking a hooker to go to church (no offence to hookers). The Fitzy Mobile just jerks and stutters. But get on the gas and all is good in the world. Little to no sound proofing reminds you that the engine is in the rear and the seating position with the perfectly placed wheel makes for razor sharp turns. This car winds sensory overload into a whole new universe. My sister videoed the first few seconds of the drive and she was hugely entertained reminding me I have no idea how to drive the Fitzy Mobile as I began to learn the foibles of the beast. She practically laughed the whole way back!!! 

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I know the guy you purchased this car from very well.  You were right to trust him.

Enjoy the car and its history.  Well bought.

Once up she goes through her warm up with a lumpy idle that signifies she's had a bit more work done to the engine since her days as a Nations Cup car it's time to get on the gas. Almost feels like she has some hot cams in her (need to find out what's inside the belly yet). Ah did I mention that lumpy idle that let's people know she isn't a regular GT3 with stickers already?

I think that if you ever look at the heads and cam boxes, you'll find a little bit of 997 Cup Car in there ...

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17 minutes ago, Skidmarks said:

I know the guy you purchased this car from very well.  You were right to trust him.

Enjoy the car and its history.  Well bought.

Once up she goes through her warm up with a lumpy idle that signifies she's had a bit more work done to the engine since her days as a Nations Cup car it's time to get on the gas. Almost feels like she has some hot cams in her (need to find out what's inside the belly yet). Ah did I mention that lumpy idle that let's people know she isn't a regular GT3 with stickers already?

I think that if you ever look at the heads and cam boxes, you'll find a little bit of 997 Cup Car in there ...

Thanks so much mate. Very very happy and blessed to have been given the chance to be the custodian of this piece of history. 

In terms of his credentials, what was even more amazing was given his excellent standing in the community he was extremely helpful and constantly kept me up to date on the status of the car. Truly a reflection of his work life transposed to his private dealings. A wonderful gentleman. 

Yes I was informed that she has a bit of 997 cup still in her even though her engine is back to the original casing. 

1 hour ago, Barks said:

Great story - congratulations

Thanks very much. Probably one of the most memorable car purchases I have ever had the pleasure of making. 

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@Harold996tt your car will have cup car cams fitted, so an improvement over std. I have used the spec in a 2 of my cars over the years.

A small hp gain but better tourque, which is good for lap time gains.

Glad you are happy with the car

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7 minutes ago, Jason A said:

@Harold996tt your car will have cup car cams fitted, so an improvement over std. I have used the spec in a 2 of my cars over the years.

A small hp gain but better tourque, which is good for lap time gains.

Glad you are happy with the car

Very much what I suspect mate. Thanks very much for the confirmation! I've never cared much for hp as I don't need top speed but torque... Yes that's another kettle of fish altogether :)

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28 minutes ago, Harold996tt said:

 

Thanks so much mate. Very very happy and blessed to have been given the chance to be the custodian of this piece of history. 

In terms of his credentials, what was even more amazing was given his excellent standing in the community he was extremely helpful and constantly kept me up to date on the status of the car. Truly a reflection of his work life transposed to his private dealings. A wonderful gentleman. 

Yes I was informed that she has a bit of 997 cup still in her even though her engine is back to the original casing. 

Thanks very much. Probably one of the most memorable car purchases I have ever had the pleasure of making. 

You’ll find it has 997 Cup cams.  All other things being equal that set up it good for around 420.  I raced a GT3 in this spec in Aust GT for a few years.  Great fun.  

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3 minutes ago, Skidmarks said:

You’ll find it has 997 Cup cams.  All other things being equal that set up it good for around 420.  I raced a GT3 in this spec in Aust GT for a few years.  Great fun.  

Thanks so much mate for the info. I have yet to drive the car properly and can't wait. 

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Congrats, I love your enthusiasm for the car and have enjoyed your instagram posts about it... they're the kind of posts that actually have me stop scrolling to read! Kudos... the car should be so lucky to have you as the custodian. 

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25 minutes ago, edgy said:

Congrats, I love your enthusiasm for the car and have enjoyed your instagram posts about it... they're the kind of posts that actually have me stop scrolling to read! Kudos... the car should be so lucky to have you as the custodian. 

Mate really appreciate the kind words especially on the Instagram!!! Big thanks! 

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Great read, I love both your enthusiasm and that of the team of others that made the purchase process seamless for you.

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Fantastic story.   Congrats on owning some real p car history.

thanks for sharing your passion with us.   

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3 hours ago, Raven said:

That is bloody awesome congratulations ...............Enjoy :Beer:

Thanks a million mate. It was quite an adventure for sure made all the better by the folks at PFA. 

2 hours ago, JWM said:

Wow, fantastic story! That's amazing, and what a car!! Huge congratulations!

Really appreciate my friend. Its truly humbling to be able to drive such an insane piece of Australian motorsport history on public roads. 

2 hours ago, crsedge said:

Great read, I love both your enthusiasm and that of the team of others that made the purchase process seamless for you.

The Australia Porsche community is insanely cool... I just never realised how amazing till now. Makes me want to move to Melbourne though! 

2 hours ago, Dave986 said:

i love reading these stories.

Cheers mate! So happy to share it I still can't stop thinking about it. 

21 minutes ago, Niko said:

Fantastic story.   Congrats on owning some real p car history.

thanks for sharing your passion with us.   

An absolute pleasure bud, and really happy that you all have enjoyed it as much as I have loved writing about it to remember the trip and all the new found friends that have been made. It was an absolute icing on the cake that it was all because of a car that to me is utterly priceless because of its history in Australia. 

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What a great story ! So glad my obsessive trawling of carsales has paid off 😎. I have to say though that I am extremely jealous, as an owner of a mk2 clubsport I can kinda guess how awesome this thing must be. Anyway, I have started stalking you on insta, so the minute you mention the word sell I’m going to be on your doorstep 😉 

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Well this was me (trying) to park the Fitzy Mobile. It was no fun as I'm guessing my face showed. My sister meantime was laughing non stop seeing how many times I stalled her doing a three point turn.

I suspect that a right to passage for anyone into sadomasochism should be to park one of these in a tight underground car park. But as the next photo shows I actually finally parked the beast although the Fitzy Mobile did nearly endnup going through the fence behind it. 

We won't go into details as to how the garage smelt... But burnt clutch is something that still makes me wake up with cold sweats.

Wonderfully the whole process had to be repeated a few days later to get her onto the truck for delivery to Perth. But thanks to the amazing management at where I was staying (who also turned out to be a car nut- the Quest at Prahran) he and his staff decided to help me push the car in reverse so I wouldnt have to destroy the clutch or smash the car into a pillar dumping it in reverse.

As luck would have it I left my phone in the car and waived it and the car goodbye. But the transportation guys were amazing and got the phone to me within a day of my setting foot back in Perth. 

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21 minutes ago, 901er said:

What a great story ! So glad my obsessive trawling of carsales has paid off 😎. I have to say though that I am extremely jealous, as an owner of a mk2 clubsport I can kinda guess how awesome this thing must be. Anyway, I have started stalking you on insta, so the minute you mention the word sell I’m going to be on your doorstep 😉 

Hahah mate... You are the guy that literally started it all.... I would never have seen the post as I was not actively watching carsales at the time. Thanks so much for posting the add link. This is literally a dream come true for me to be able to be the custodian of this car with its insane history. 

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