German Porsche enthusiast sees the light with Classic Retrofit

Classic Retrofit's replacement fuse panels for classic Porsche 911s have proven to be an exceptionally popular upgrade amongst owners who wish to add reliable modern blade fuse technology to their vintage air-cooled Porsches.



With several hundred of these plug-and-play Porsche fuse boards now in active service beneath factory fuse panel covers, one defining feature of the Classic Retrofit fuse panels is a pair of built-in headlamp relays. The relays divert current for the infamously dim headlamps away from the ageing light switch, supplying the headlamps directly from the battery.

One German fuse panel customer who greatly appreciated the lighting improvement has taken the trouble to measure the improvement in light output when the fuse panel is fitted, demonstrating its design efficiency.



Based in Potsdam, in the suburbs of Berlin, Wolfgang Nothnagel is the owner of a special edition 1989 Carrera 3.2 in superb condition. Keen to keep the car looking as close to stock as possible, existing modifications to this spotless 3.2 include a stainless steel exhaust system, Osram 'Nightbreaker' street legal headlamp bulbs in standard light units and all new suspension rubbers throughout, but the car still appears to be just as it left the factory. Our upgraded blade fuse panels were the perfect low-key addition.



"Replacing the fuse board was done without issues in just forty-five minutes," says Wolfgang, a professional technical consultant and lighting engineer. "On the incoming side, there was a need to redistribute one or two of the bundled wires, because the opening receptacles of the new fuse board are smaller. Other than that, the changeover was easy.



"Checking for function after reconnecting the battery gave a question mark because the headlights refused to work. Adding a ground wire from chassis to fuse panel holder did the trick. Now all was working as intended, with the comforting sound of clicking relays.



“Finally, I asked myself if the more direct flow of current would actually affect the light output, so I borrowed a Gossen Mavolux light meter from our workshop. To my surprise, I got a very different readout in between the original wiring style and switching to the new relays. There was an improvement of some 18%: just the right thing to have through the darker autumn and winter evenings. I am very pleased with the results!"



"We are always delighted when customers take our technology and test it for themselves," enthused Classic Retrofit MD, Jonny Hart. "Wolfgang's story is typical of so many users, who continue to discover hidden benefits in our products, months after fitting.



"As Wolfgang pointed out in one of his emails, the original fuse panels in his car worked for twenty-five years without major issue, but upgrading to our board using the more available blade fuse type with LED blown fuse indicators and additional headlamp relays makes perfect sense. The project is easily DIY-able, our fuse panels for pre-73 and impact bumper 911s are very affordable and everything fits under the original covers.



"Kudos to Wolfgang for measuring the improvements and sharing his findings. It reminds us what we love about our work: the incredible classic Porsche community!"

About the author

John Glynn is a classic Porsche enthusiast, journalist and community leader. Founder of the impactbumpers.com group and online forum, John owns three classic Porsche models as part of a larger collection of classic cars and motorcycles. 

John has worked as a classic Porsche journalist since the purchase of his first 911 in 2003. John's blog at ferdinandmagazine.com is one of the internet's most popular Porsche blogs. Read his monthly column in GT Porsche magazine or visit his site at porschevaluations.com for help with classic Porsche agreed insurance valuations.

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