Hartford Has Twice The Style

So we roll up at what feels like basically dawn, but was really closer to 8am. Let’s be real here: On a Saturday that’s just outright undesirable, but that’s neither here nor there when you’re greeted by two beautifully detailed Porsches peering out of an open garage, and their owner immediately offers you an espresso and pastry. Antonio just gets it.

The day started out bright and stayed that way. Just an oppressive blast of sunshine barely interrupted by even the smallest fluffy cloud that you could find. Needless to say, I spent the day peering through black Ray Bans, wondering how Raf and Sadie managed to survive without having had their retinas seared through. Where was I even going with this? Doesn’t matter. Next thing I know after coffee and fumbling through the Fit for some dark lenses to throw on my face, Antonio’s firing up both cars, and we’re treated to a chorus of air cooled cold starts on an otherwise silent cul-de-sac. After a few minutes to bring them up to temp, and we’re off in search of some shade.

The 1980 911sc was bought in the late summer of 2014 just after his first daughter was born, Antonio already began taking the car apart by December. As is the case with any serious project, it got to the point where the odor of paint got to be too much for a home garage, and it was moved into a nearby workshop. Originally white, but found in silver, it was then painted in grigio medeo, from the Ferrari color palette, on an otherwise uncut, stock body which retains the original whale tail spoiler, and is fitted with the stock three liter flat six.

Suspension on the ’80 was redone with coilovers through Butzigear, who also built the set of magnesium BBS E50 wheels which became a perfect fit for the project. Badging on the rear was later painted to match the wheel finish, and the interior fitted with a pair of refinished Recaro LX seats, suiting the style of the build perfectly. All of this makes for a car that has an aggressive presence and sound, while serving as a sporty cruiser to run about town in.

I’m just going to throw it out there: This 912 is honest down to earth perfection. The black paint is polished yet lightly flawed. The interior shows wear. The driver’s side is marked with the name of a previous owner who lost his life while vacationing with family in a tragic train fire. The body details are all hand painted. It quietly gestures towards its four decades of history right up until you start it. Then, it raises its voice a bit to remind you of the original reason why the 912 was built: as a sporty car for those that don’t need to be in a constant hurry. The engine note is more “high strung beetle” than the typical vintage Porsche, but anything with 356 seats bolted in hasn’t made it all the way to 2018 to do anything other than arrive in style at a casual pace. This one also sits on Butzigear sourced suspension, but is on original 5.5” wide polished Fuchs, which can be noted as the only acceptable wheel for this model, in my opinion. French headlamps add style to the front, and the rear is accentuated by a polished aluminum license plate panel.

By the time early afternoon rolls around we’re right in the middle of a skate park, covered in the sort of bright authentic art that rivals pieces on the streets of Wynwood on any day. The feeling of the setting perfectly appropriate given the level of detail and artistry in applied to these pieces of vintage metal, yet still gritty, real, and honest. Eventually the want for pulled pork and hushpuppies outweighed the desire to gaze at neon art pieces and polished metal in the hot sun any longer, so once again we hit the city streets.

Don’t count out the small cities when you’re thinking of dedicated members of the community who are making great examples. Hartford has style, and more of it than you might know. Antonio got into modifying Porsches for himself, and he drives these cars all year. Actually, mostly in the winter time, as his paving company keeps him busy during the warm months. I know I would be thrilled to round a corner, and see either of these just around a snow bank among the otherwise bleak mid-winter automotive landscape. Whatever time of year it is, you don’t need to look to a cramped island full of tall buildings, just check out a nearby small city, and you’ll find someone who’s built something incredible. 


Midnight Special are Sadie Fortin and Brian Buckley

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Post by Brian Buckley

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