Some classic cars are unfortunate, requiring extensive restorations to be put back on the road, while others are well preserved over the decades. The 1971 Porsche 911 T featured on this episode of "Jay Leno's Garage" falls somewhere in the middle. Leno bought it in largely original condition, but this Porsche still required some TLC.
The car was parked underground at a Beverly Hills condominium in the 1990s and essentially abandoned, Leno explained in an earlier video shot during the 911's restoration. After the owner died, Leno was offered the car. While it showed over 100,000 miles, Leno was sold on its rust-free bodywork and original paint.
Restoration work included a refresh of the interior, repairs of some crash damage, and some paint touchups (Leno reckons the car still has 80%) of its original paint. That oh-so-1970s shade of brown gives the 911 a clean, original, look on the outside, but the car is not mechanically stock.
1971 Porsche 911 T on Jay Leno's Garage
The numbers-matching block was kept, but the flat-6 engine's displacement was increased from 2.2 liters to 2.5 liters through a bigger bore and longer stroke. More displacement was possible, but Leno said he only wanted a moderate increase in performance, adding that the 2.5-liter upgrade allowed for retention of the stock dogleg manual transmission. The car also has non-stock Weber carburetors and MSD ignition.
With those modifications, the 911 T now produces 225 horsepower, which is 100 hp than stock, Leno said.
The T was the base 911 model in 1971, and there were certainly sportier versions of the 911 in this era. But even this car has the character that made the 911 a legend, Leno noted. Watch the full video to see why even this more humble 911 is worth appreciating.