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RHD Crayford 914s

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yes jnr.

he lives in nz now i think.

think he spanner-ed for the kremer brothers at one stage.

leather slip on shoe and greasy overalls set up was a good look.


ps - digging through stuff here i found my conversion invoices etc.   plus four automotive in dandenong did it.    i dealt with neil hopwood.

think he is still around restoring mgs.   he'd be getting on now.   i'm getting a close look at the work from all sides at the moment - i have the fuel tank out doing the central fuel lines.   i am going to take a close look at the accomodation of the steering shaft under the dash firewall.

i know crayfords cut a big diagonal gash in the upper firewall to raise the steering wheel slightly in their cars.   and then sat the fuel tank back in right near that gash with maybe a pop riveted curved fibreglass cover at most.  its in the area under the heater blower motor box.  but then again they had a fibreglass pedal box too between your toes and the fuel tank.

i am not  sure  about mine but i will take a look at the detail tomorrow.    my car had a dealer installed small steering wheel from new - it was a relatively common thing in usa cars to accomodate getting in and out.   americans were the original big people post ww2.   i think the steering wheel position worked out ok on mine and we did not get anything like as radical in terms of that particular surgery.   certainly when you look closely at a crayfords car they really cut it up - in the areas that were hidden.   

another detail i remain uncertain about, but have a feeling was the case, is that crayfords also might have shifted the fuse board across to the right hand side and mucked around with the wiring loom in that way.    inspection of the green car would confirm what was done with the wiring.   its another one those things i have a vague recollection of as brian and i spent a lot of time crawling over the green car when mine was being done.    i am eternally grateful to brian for that.   in my case we extended the wiring across and left the loom and fuse box in the original position on the left hand side.    i think its much of muchness whether you do or you don't.   the loom goes to the front of the car through the left hand side of the front firewall from memory but travels to the rear along the central tunnel.   your extending the loom no matter what you do.


what i do remember distinctly was that after neil finished the conversion he said he was never doing another one.

too hard.


ps to dennis.

a further little detail re the green and white cars.   brian always said his was a 73 car.   which may well have been the case with date of manufacture.   but it may have been a 74 model year.    white car too.   compliance plating etc for personal import and registration in australia revolves around date of manufacture, not model year.   there is always that confusion with northern hemisphere cars because the model years go from summer break to summer break of each year.    in case of germany i think its july or august to may of next year.   something like that.    a 74 model can be made in either second half of 73 or first half of 74.   something definitely kicked in with the australian design regulations in 1974 that put a stop on getting further cars in easily.   the two cars we have been discussing would have been last minute, last chance orders i think.  in terms of a new car purchase.

 the second wave of 914 importation that starts in the 80s and on was either done through the personal vehicle import provisions or another set of regulations that allowed for limited numbers commercial importation.    the second category while allowing the cars to be imported imposed heavy taxes.   my memory is 100% sales tax on purchase price and 50% customs duty.

150%.    when i did mine i escaped the sales tax but had to pay the duty.    the heavy tax regime meant a  lot of down at heel californian cars came in.   cheap to buy in usa.   generally rust free.     i did mine the other way around.  bought a good condition car.    contrary to popular views at the time very good rust free cars could be found in the north and eastern states of the usa.  cars that were only driven in summer virtually from new.    even at the time a 2.0L 4 in that state was worth a lot of coin in the usa.   usually about 10K USD.    the sixes were anything from 15K for a slightly down one and often in the 20-30K range for a good one.

i remember going to see a guy way up in the north of wisconsin who had about 50 or 60 914s in a huge warehouse shed on the shore front of lake michigan.    about 5 of them were any good.   amongst the cars were about a dozen 914/6 wrecks.   none of them could be put back on the road.   they had hit solid things going very fast.    i asked him why he had them and he said he was making an investment for his retirement - they were good for the chassis numbers and engine numbers.    all still had their engines in them.   matching numbers cars.  they were spooky as all of them looked like fatals.

i have often wondered how many of those cars ended up as reconstructed "authentic" sixes.   that was thirty years ago.




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@ dennis,

if you go to brian long's book he has a pretty good explanation for the saga of a 914 for australia.

its on page 52-53 (at least for the first edition of the book,)   i pulled it out this morning to have a read.

according to long, early on porsche said the 914 would become available in rhd with the 73 model.   which is i think when they went over to two adjustable seats?

porsche took over the car from 1973 model on i think - vw walked away from it and i think all the marketing production agreements were reworked as well. 

thats when porsche started making the base model 1.7 and 1.8 a better car and came up with the 2.0L 4.   

porsche must have been looking ahead to that model year to engineer up a universal model.    that might have made a right hand drive factory car possible because it would have had to have had a reworked firewall pressing and fuel tank set up.  the dual adjustable seats and other interior revisions were probably the economical to produce vestiges of a much earlier planned all markets car?

when i was younger and starting out in working life i knew a lot of architects in melbourne 10 years + older than me.   and all of them loved the 914 and had wanted one when they were new.   they all had the same story, they were going to buy one when it came out rhd which they were all told was going to happen.  accords with long publication.   so if you wanted one you were probably hanging out for 1973 to arrive.    and then it didn't happen.   and then the adr crunch was coming.    so anyone who was really committed made their move in late 73.    that would have been it.    probably the real reason for those two crayfords cars coming in when they did and really none before that time and none after.   (you got to wonder if that singapore car alleged to have come to australia was ever put on the road here, adrs and authorities might have prevented road registration?)

anything after that meant you could not go through the prior channels of a new car purchase import as it all tightened up in terms of adr compliance.   you could still do a private import.  but it meant you had to live overseas for a time and own the car for that time.   and you have to prove it with documentation.   that was harder to do as the time restrictions were longer than a holiday jaunt in europe. 

i'm sure you know the story about rhd 356s.  norman hamilton was one of the first distributors of porsches outside germany.  some time very soon after the war he followed a test car back to the workshop and hammered out a deal on the spot.   right hand drive 356s were done from the earliest cars.   it might have been a different story if norman hamilton was not so curious.   unfortunately on one followed a 914 back to the workshop and hammered out an aus export deal on the spot.   different world.

there were heaps of them still on the street when i lived in chicago in the 80s.   many of them had frightening levels of rust.   last legs stuff.    but there was also still lots of tidy cars and they came out every summer.  porsche were focussed on the usa with the 914.   markets like aus were irrelevant and too difficult.




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I have bought a MM April 1975 and hopefully will see it later this week

some of the pics in the Brooklands reprints aren't as good as they could be for details

here is a press release from PCA from Australian Motoring News on 10 September 1969

it states the -4s would be sold through selected VW dealerships and the -6s would be sold through Porsche dealers

it also states the first shipment of RHDs would arrive later in 1970

prices were to be $4954 and $7900

this was Plan A and in hindsight it was dead in the water even as the AMN printing ink dried

from that day I wanted a 914-6 - I tried to order from Scuderia Veloce at Lindfield but nothing happened

fast forward to 6 years ago and I bought a -6 from Texas - the long wait was worth it

I am e mailing Ian McMath in the UK today for his Crayford input - he owns one and appears to know a lot about them





AMN 10 Sept 1969.jpg

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thanks dennis. what a great article.

boy were they bs-ing in print --- having just spent the day semi finishing off the fuel lines and looking over that conversion sans fuel tank.

maybe hamiltons were just trying to whip up interest and get pre orders to convince the factory to make one.  

what they would have discovered on getting those appraisal cars here would have been very depressing in engineering terms.

you are correct, dead in the water before the ink had dried on that article.


anyway, after today, for the life of me i really can't understand why crayfords slashed the fire wall so drastically to accomodate the steering shaft.

they were really intent on raising that steering wheel.? 

my car has the merest of dents formed in the section of the firewall as it gets below windscreen.   that was all it needed to mount the steering wheel at factory ht.   crayfords should have just fitted a smaller diam steering wheel?  like can do americans.

sure was a long wait for you.   but i have no doubt it was worth every minute.

i can't wait to put all of the 76 vo-po hp mine has to offer back on the road.

it goes around corners fast but isn't going to beat anything in a drag race.  except maybe a kombi van.



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Hi Guys, great to read stuff on the Crayfords.

I have owned mine for simply years.


Mine is believed to be  No1 Crayford, according to David McCullam, owner/boss of Crayfords

The car in the small brochure is mine.


Funnily enough, I contacted a specialist Porsche company here in the UK with a view to appraise my car with a view of maybe selling in the near future---toooo many project and not enough life left to keep everything.





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Here is an excerpt from PCGB magazine after the 50th anniversary held at Brooklands...

Longstanding club member Ian MacMath had driven more than 100 miles in his original 914/6 racer, still stripped back inside and sporting a bare fibreglass bonnet and fully welded roll cage from its days as a highly competitive hillclimber. Ian, who is now in his 70s, won the Porsche Club National Hillclimb Championship three times in this car and still drives it regularly on the road. He is also the proud owner of an ultra-rare Crayford car, brought along by one of his friends. This is one of just 11 914s converted to right-hand drive by the company, and it drew a crowd of intrigued former Porsche mechanics at Zuffenhausen when Ian recently drove it there for the Porsche Museum’s own celebrations.

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Just to fill in a bit more history on this interesting topic:

Attached is an interior pic of mine.  Original conversion history unknown but I doubt it was by Crayford.  The conversion was not brilliant and I got PRTech to re-do it.  New pedal box structure to cater for dual master cylinders and spent a lot of time on the steering shaft position to raise it enough for my long legs etc etc.  I think I still have most of the interior that we took out.  The cage is heavily integrated into the chassis structure (ties into the A pillars, rear turrets etc which makes it very stiff.

I bought it in about 1994 I think from a dealer in Newcastle.  It had a very poor 2.7 CIS engine which I replaced by a  completely new and sweet  2.7 most of which was prepped and machined by John Williamson (Otto of Otto's Venice - RIP) with whom I had a good rapport and assembled by myself and Bruce Buchanan back in the day.  How it came to be in OZ and converted I have no idea.  The dealer said he'd heard it once belonged to Jim Neighbors (Gommer Pyle?) but who knows?.  It's a MY1970 car with a VERY low VIN.

Now runs a really sweet 2.0L 6 engine which took me several attempts to get right - it's much harder to build a good small engine than a big one!!!

Currently awaiting the installation of a new hoist to fix it after and argument with a hillside in Tas a few years ago.  This year - definitely...




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We (Bruce B. and I) considered the original engine not up to scratch for competition - undersized re-ground crank, CIS injection, worn out etc etc.  I re-used some of the bits (heads, cam carriers etc and 'retired' the rest - hence the 2nd 2.7.  The problem was that the Targa regs stated that the engine block must be of the original material (probably there to stop ppl putting alloy block V8s in cars that never had them) but technically it applied to me because my engine used a '68 aluminium case when it should have been magnesium.  Most scrutineers wouldn't know the difference but one year, Ken Price was scrutineering and he picked it up (Ken had a 914/6 with I believe a 2.9 based on a John Gregory stroker crank so he knew what he was on abou - the car now owned and campaigned by Ted Banks.  He also picked the same problem with Ryan Curnick's (OBRUT) car). 

So I 'retired' that engine after only 15000km (actually, is to be re-birthed as a 2.8 and put into my 911 backdate once the 914 is back in service later this year) and built  the best 2.0 I could around a small spigot 7R case, counter weighted 66mm crank, big valve heads, Pauter rods yada yada...  Long story getting it right.  FWIW, my opinion is that these cars work better with the smaller engines (at least, for competition) - they just seem to be better balanced - an opinion backed up by David Withers who raced one successfully back in the day and apparently "spent a shed load going backwards trying to make it work with a 3.6".

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@bumble- any photos of your car from the exterior (noting that one side or the front may not be the best view given the altercation :)), acknowledging that this would be slightly off-topic to the title of the thread?

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