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This ’84 Porsche 911 Targa Owes its Rescue to Five Stickers

By Kyle Smith / Hagerty.com

The story of someone trading a paperclip for a house is not new. If you need a refresher, a young person started off with a paperclip and negotiated their way through strategic swaps until, eventually, they had a house. The concept is comical at first blush, but this phenomenon happens more often than you might expect. Case in point? This 1984 Porsche 911 Targa with a rusty fender.

Pawel Kalinowski was just another man in the middle of restoring his 911 SC when he hit a barrier. The technical detail stickers in the engine compartment were in rough shape and he couldn’t find any replacements. Kalinowski, however, was a problem solver. He gathered the information, found the material, and went to a printer to have the stickers made. If you’ve been in a similar situation, you know the next roadblock in the story-minimum order required.

Kalinowski didn’t need 500 stickers, of course. He just needed five. Rather than scrap that piece of the project and move on, he ordered all 500; he had a hunch that, if he was searching for these pieces, other Porsche fans probably were, too. A single forum post selling 495 extra stickers ultimately grew into Car Bone, a business that specializes in parts and pieces for Porsches and also does custom builds.

As the company grew, Kalinowski stumbled upon a 911 Targa with a peculiar history. The previous owner was living out of the car, and eventually lost it to a tow yard when he couldn’t afford the fees to reclaim it. Kalinowski was intrigued by plight of both car and driver; while he never found the owner, he vowed to help return the car to its rightful glory.

Kalinowski was determined to only purchase the parts and pieces he needed from people, not from warehouses. This decision led him to discover fun folks and build friendships with a variety of fellow Porsche lovers he might not have met otherwise. The relational network became a delightful side effect of Kalinowski’s Targa restoration project, the latest chapter in a story Kalinowski can trace to five stickers in the engine compartment of a 911 SC.

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