AS MOST dealers will know all too well, there are a number of automotive wonders tucked away in heated garages just waiting to be discovered. And nearly every single one has a story to tell. This was certainly the case for O Davis Cars, which quite literally, stumbled across a beauty.
Based just outside Horsham in West Sussex, the family-run specialist dealership recently listed a rather unique barn find. It was a classic 1976 RHD Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0-litre Coupe with just four previous owners and 93,000 miles on the clock.
The fact that the dealership’s designated car buyer accidentally happened to take a wrong turn on his way to the airport one afternoon, leading him directly to the car, means this find was nothing short of a wonderful coincidence.
Not only is it a stunning car, this particular find once belonged to pop legend Sir Elton John. The music icon purchased the C3 911 from Charles Follet in St. John’s Wood in 1976, and according to managing director of O Davis Cars Oliver Davis, its service history suggests it was used as his everyday transport up until 1981 when he sold the car with 57,180 miles on the clock.
Davis says: ‘Six weeks ago, my father Scott was driving to the airport and managed to take a wrong turn. He decided to turn around along a small road, which happened to be close to someone’s driveway. It was there a gleaming Ferrari caught his attention and, as a car dealer, he had to go and investigate.
‘Having spoken with the owner, he then told my father he had a rare Porsche 911 C3 parked in his garage and that’s when my father made an offer. It’s a very rare right-hand-drive model with the 200bhp C3 engine.’
He added: ‘When we first got the Porsche, we had no idea of its history or its previous owners. It was only when we took a look at the service book that we then realised it was registered to a company named W.A.BONG Ltd and belonged to Sir Elton John.’
In 1985, the car was purchased by its fourth and final owner and remained in that particular family’s possession over the next 28 years. He had used the 911 C3 on a regular basis, covering roughly 20,000 miles before he passed away leaving it in the hands of his son.
Since then, for 25 years the family have kept their classic Porsche perfectly preserved and stored in a heated barn ever since.
‘The previous owner purchased the Porsche back in 1985, covering around 20,000 miles behind the wheel,’ Davis confirms. ‘It’s a very touching story because when the owner passed away, his son kept hold of the 911 C3 and stored it in the very same garage we found it in. And that’s where it’s been ever since.’
Unlike many barn finds, which have usually lost a lot of their paperwork through the years, the 911 C3 has full Porsche service history accompanied with its original green service book, which is stamped with nine Porsche dealer service stamps, along with the original handbook.
Its metallic silver paintwork is still in prime condition and it also features a number of additional extras including an alarm system, an electric sunroof and electric windows, central locking and power steering. The only element that isn’t original is its interior, which could have been changed by Sir Elton.
Although the car does start and drives well, the 911 C3 needs recommissioning for road use, but as a whole, many classic dealers would probably say this 911 is a perfect package. ‘We don’t often stumble across these rare finds,’ Davis adds. ‘But it’s always brilliant when we do. We’ve only had it listed for a few days so far, but it’s bound to attract some attention. It’s a fantastic car in excellent condition.’