AT THE height of his motor racing career in the 1970s and 1980s Tony Dron won the Porsche 924 championship and regularly raced a Porsche in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Over the years he clocked up wins in 44 different models, including nine types of Porsche.
Not all racing drivers earn at the speed of Lewis Hamilton, however, so it was 1983 before Dron could finally splash out on a Porsche 911 of his own. A new model was too pricy, so he opted for a top-of-the-range 1970 2.2S, the last of the first generation of 911s, with the original engine, transmission and design, in distinctive blood orange.
“It was a very 1970s colour,” says Dron. “At least it wasn’t lime green or purple. It was great to drive. The official top speed was 144mph but I believe I once got it up to 148mph on a downhill stretch of autobahn.
“And whatever anyone says about the handling, 911s are absolutely fantastic if you drive them properly. The idea of spinning a 911 is . . . well, I’ve driven probably 700 or 800 in my time and I’ve yet to spin one of them by mistake
Dron paid £4,000 for the car in 1983 and spent £4,500 doing it up. He sold it for £8,500 in 1986. Now his old Porsche is back on sale via Autofarm (autofarm.co.uk), a Porsche dealer and restorer in Oxfordshire. Dron was reunited with the car briefly last week before it moves on again — now worth in excess of £200,000.
“I can’t regret the money, because it just wasn’t practical to hold on to it at the time,” he says. “Seeing it 30 years on was great. It looks as good as ever.”
Memories came flooding back, particularly one hair-raising trip to St Moritz in 1985 to celebrate 100 years of the Cresta Run, the Swiss toboggan track. “We drove there from London in rather less time than we should have,” recalls Dron. “Then there were races on the frozen lake, which was actually mushy. There were Bugattis, Bentleys, Morgans, lots of Porsches. We won one of the heats but had to pull out after the throttle jammed because the engine was completely clogged up with snow. It took three hours to thaw out.”
After waving goodbye to his retro-coloured 911, Dron is now back behind the wheel of his current practical runabout: a 1930s Austin 7.
- Owner Tony Dron, 68
- Occupation Racing driver and motoring journalist
- Price in 1983 £4,000
- Restoration costs “Never added it up”
- Value now £200,000-plus
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