The Origins of Classic Retrofit - Jonny Hart

I have always preferred older cars and have owned many classics over the years. When I finally bought my 1982 Porsche 911 SC coupe, it was actually the newest car I had owned! I got to know the car for a couple of years before starting a full restoration. The bodyshell was restored and mechanicals rebuilt before finally turning to the electrics. I discovered that the car had a Capacitive Discharge Ignition (CDI) system similar to that fitted to motorbikes and that it is quite an unusual thing in a road car.

As a member of various Porsche forums, it became clear that failure of the original CDI boxes was a common problem. There's nothing wrong with the original design, it's just that the electronic components - particularly film type capacitors - have a limited lifespan. As new units were NLA and repairs only patched the box up until the next bit failed, I began to look at ways to make my SC's CDI system reliable.

I wasn't happy with the look of the aftermarket ignition systems of the time and I did not want to modify my original loom. I wanted a plug-and-play replacement. As the MD of a thriving electronics design company, I tasked my engineers with designing a completely new electronic system to replace the CDI box. The project was a success and led into designing replacement fuse panels and on to creating our revolutionary electric A/C and the wonderful 180A six-phase alternators. 

We have just celebrated our fourth anniversary in business. Our work now includes specialist consultancy to renowned car creators including Ruf Automobile GmbH (Porsche) and several world-famous classic Jaguar and Alfa Romeo builders. Classic Retrofit now provides upgraded electrical parts for Porsche 911s, Alfa Romeos, Ferraris, Jaguar E-Types and are also working with many high end automotive specialists to help develop new solutions for their creations.

Running Classic Retrofit continues to be a wonderfully exciting and intellectually challenging experience - long may it continue!

Jonny Hart - Director (July 2018)