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Richard Attwood drives a 964 3.8 R restomod

road car. A race car. An engineer’s car. The 911, more than any other car, is a product of continual automotive evolution. Porsche’s enhancements have kept it relevant for the road, competitive on the track and have cemented its reputation as the enthusiast’s car of choice. That evolution isn’t just limited to Porsche itself; an entire industry out there takes 911s backwards and forwards in time, improving, re-imagining, personalising. The 911 is an eminently adaptable basis upon which owners can build the car they want from it.

With this 964, that’s exactly what RPM Technik has done for its owner Ian Humphris. The idea was for a fast road car that could be track driven, adding contemporary performance while being respectful to the classic feel and engagement a 964 brings. Using a Carrera 2 as its basis, the build process has been meticulous, seeking improvements in every area, this now a 964 that can run with its more recent GT department relations, yet offers a driving bandwidth that enables it to be enjoyed on the road, too.

Of all the many branches of 911 evolution and sub-species, this visceral, exciting 964 arguably represents the most appealing opportunity for perfecting and personalising, taking a tired Carrera and reviving it as a car that can be enjoyed. Its performance absolutely eclipses a 964 RS that you’d be too scared to drive. What RPM and Humphris have created is the perfect riposte to a zeitgeist where vehicular value takes president over the value of driving itself.

PART ONE: ON TRACK

It’s a sunny day at Bedford Autodrome, our track time exclusively reserved for RPM Technik’s 964 3.8. Owner Humphris likes his cars too: there’s a 997 GT3 RS in his garage, alongside some other special machinery, but it’s the 964 he’s animated about.

It’s obviously not standard, but to the uninformed could just be a neat, small, red Porsche 911. Its lowered stance could be missed, its split-rim BBS alloys less so. Humphris admits that they’re his road wheels, having a set of Cup 17-inch wheels with some cut slicks for serious track work. There are subtle hints to its revisions visually then, the black-rimmed headlight surrounds an RSR nod, the small lip splitter a neat addition under the front bumper.

There’s no surprises seeing the brake intakes on the front bumper, though they’re framed by darker indicator lenses. These, like those headlight surrounds, contrast perfectly with the red bodywork. Around the back the build follows the same understated enhancement route, this 964 retaining a single exhaust pipe, though the engine cover suggests that single pipe is attached to something a little bit different from the norm. The sticker, not badge, says 3.8 R, a model that’s entirely of its owner’s making, and justifiably so. Specification or naming purists be damned, this is a car that defines purity, a car built for an individual, with their – and only their – ambition and goals for it driving the entire project.

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forward-dated 911 SC: back to the future

The road ahead is deserted, its twisting Tarmac totally bereft of traffic. A thick wall of trees lines the roadside, their density willing us to keep moving our 991 towards the setting sun.

A look in the rear-view mirror reveals much the same story behind us. The highway is empty, save for two hazy yellow lights in the far distance. However, as the minutes tick by, those lights become more prominent. Glancing briefly at the road ahead, my eyes return to the 991’s rear-view mirror, fixated on those yellow lights coming quickly towards us. There’s a red hue visible between them now. A bonnet. A roof. A windscreen. It’s a car.

The rate at which this car is closing in on us is astonishing. It surges up the stretch of road behind us, revealing more detail with each passing second as its features become ever larger in our mirrors. A 964, I think to myself, catching its chunky front PU with integrated side lights. Then, roaring up behind us, the 964 pulls out and shoots past, gliding back in line and charging up the road ahead. Now the confusion sets in: replete with one-piece bumper, full-width rear reflector with clear ‘Porsche’ script, a distinctive tea tray spoiler and wheels with the lip and profile of Cup-spec alloys, the visual cues give this car away as a 964 3.3 Turbo. However, the mechanical howl of that flat six as it shot past certainly wasn’t akin to the noise of a 911 with an exhaust turbocharger bolted on. So, what on earth has just overtaken us on this rural stretch of Swedish asphalt?

Luckily, we don’t have to wait too long to find out. Not 20 minutes later we pull into a gas station and there, sitting by the pumps in front, is our mystery Porsche 911, being fuelled by its joint owner, Andreas. Originally a 1982 SC, the car was converted to a 964-look of sorts before Andreas and co-owner Lennart bought the car, though closer inspection of that one-piece Strosek front PU shows it to be more 944 than 911. We’re also told the rear bumper mimics that of a 3.0 RS. A peek inside reveals the car’s true age, its Pasha interior an obvious giveaway. Not that this car is trying to hide anything: Andreas and Lennart have even left the ‘SC’ lettering on the car’s decklid.

In our contemporary world where backdating a 911 is all the rage, the idea of a forward-dated 911 makes for an odd concept, but one which, in a bygone era, was a popular conversion. Due to the large spectrum of interchangeable parts on air-cooled 911s, many found favour with the idea of swapping a few panels to make an older model look just like one which had only just rolled off the production line at Zuffenhausen. Much like backdating, how convincing the car looked depended largely on how far you were willing to go, or how much you were willing to spend. So what of the car we’ve caught up with?

Andreas tells me he and Lennart bought the car in its current guise, complete with ‘teardrop’ wing mirrors commonly found on later 964s. “We found favour with how different it was compared to other SCs, and especially liked how it drove,” Andreas tells me as he replaces the fuel hose and tightens the 911’s filler cap. So did Andreas and Lennart ever consider converting the car back to standard, or backdating it – as is currently in vogue – to a longhood, pre-impact bumper 911? “No, because a lot of work had gone into converting it to 964 spec. For example, the rear reflector on a 964 sits at a slightly different angle to the G-series cars, so getting this to fit required the previous owner to make some modifications to the rear wings. We believe this is part of the history of the car and shouldn’t be changed,” comes Andreas’ reply.

For the full feature on forward-dated 911s, including a how-to guide from specialists, pick up your copy of Total 911 issue 171 in shops now. You can also order your copy here for delivery to your door anywhere in the world, or download to an Apple or Android device of your choice. 

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Porsche 911 Speedster – DP Motorsport “Phantom Speedster”

Houlala, une Porsche 911 Speedster traitée en outlaw ! Non rigolez pas, y’a de quoi perdre au moins 1/4 des membres du club Porsche. En même temps, oser modifier un des 2100 modèles sortis de Zuffenhausen entre 1987 et 1989… sacrilège et tartiflette ! Surtout que ça doit au moins être un Matching Number…! Allez, […]

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DP Motorsport Adds Throwback Style To Speedster Rarity

Porsche’s 1989 Speedster is an incredibly rare piece of air-cooled history, with just over 2000 units made for the entire world. Luckily, for Porsche fanatics everywhere, this particular Speedster was built up from a far-less-rare 1989 Carrera 3.2 Targa. The owner of this 911 had already completed the Speedster conversion, but deemed the look ‘too modern’ to be properly enjoyed. That was when the Porsche was dropped off to DP Motorsport for a full visual backdate. With the aesthetics of a 1973 911 in mind, the famed Porsche bodywork builder set to work crafting custom panels for this car’s unique look. They’re calling this the « Phantom Speedster », which is strangely fitting.

The Porsche, in its current state, is largely mechanically similar to the Carrera 3.2 on which it is based. For now, the 911 has received nothing more than a set of H&R wheel spacers and a lower ride height. This winter, however, the Speedster will get a bump in power with a custom performance exhaust, a larger throttle body, and new camshafts. It will, at the same time, receive a fully adjustable KW Clubsport coilover suspension kit and new wheel bearings.

Visually, however, the converted Speedster has been given an interesting early 1970s ‘longhood’ look that somehow works quite well with the speedster bits. With the fenders, bumpers, hood, and rear tail panel swapped out for the earlier-look pieces, only a few pieces needed to be manufactured to complete the look. DP decided on a set of 993-style aero mirrors, which don’t look quite right to my eyes. Their lower rocker covers are a completely custom affair that give the 911 a more vintage look, while hiding the oil-cooler lines running underneath them. Similarly, the front bumper’s valance needed to be modified to hide the oil-cooler itself. In particular, the 1973-only black metal engine lid grille is my favorite piece of the puzzle. I have installed one of these on my own 912E, and it gives the car a uniquely vintage look that is far more sharp to view than the faded plastic piece it replaces.

Inside the car everything is largely the same, though a unique alcantara covered steering wheel, a color-matched metal shift knob, and a modern stereo system have been added. The 1989’s interior remains mostly intact, from the seats to the carpets to the gauges on the dashboard. In and of itself, unless you actually know the difference, the average Porsche layman wouldn’t notice anything out of place to a 1973-style interior.

Painted in Audi’s gorgeous shade of Nardo Grey a non-metallic medium grey, and outfitted with lots of deep shiny black finished accents, this backdated Porsche looks equal parts modern and vintage. The all-black semi-gloss Fuchs are a very nice touch. It is the bright orange side stripe that really catches the eyes, however. This is a fetching car with lots of carefully done unique features. The vintage look doesn’t quite work with the huge widened fenders of the Speedster’s turbo-look widened fender flares. Were this my Porsche, I’d have stuck with the narrow body fenders. In any case, it’s a fun and interesting build. The world would be a boring place if we all shared the same taste.

From the press release:

PORSCHE 911 SPEEDSTER BY DP MOTORSPORT
Photos: Jordi Miranda

THE Porsche tuner per se is dp motorsport with its operating main business in Overath, near Cologne. Already established in 1973 by Ekkehard ZIMMERMANN, nowadays, his son Patrick ZIMMERMANN and crew make sure that the renowned company’s name remains a resounding topic in the Porsche scene – of course, with the active support of the father.

A Berlin-based client – who priorly refurbished a 356 C-convertible almost by himself – assigned dp motorsport to “backdate” a Porsche 911 Speedster as it was perceived as “too modern”. Apparently, this particular Speedster already underwent a Phase 1; manufactured in 1989 in sunny US-American California, the original 911 Targa 3.2 converted, after meticulously detailed work in the late 1990s, into a Speedster. Subsequently, it made its way to Germany.

The Phase 2 upgrade at dp motorsport was implemented by applying the F-Model-Body kits dp11F Carrera-Widebody. Its combination of one inch wider wheel housings, a slightly lowered front bumper, as well as unobstrusively designed side sills that are truly captivating. A brilliant and thoughtful feature: these side sills cover the oil pipes in order to provide a more attractive trim at the bottom edge of the sills. By the way, the Overather expert team developed the design to achieve an even more sporty and vigorous appearance for the elderly 911. The vehicle height adjustment is handled via the shifting of the torsion bars and the usage of H&R spacer discs “improve” the wheels. The existing 2-pipe rear mufflers are visually adapted to the modified rear bumper. Because of the paint job in Nardo-gray, the already extremely flat 911 almost looks like a fighter jet.

For the next winter season dp motorsport is planning on a Phase 3 for the Speedster with the intention to install a – separately adjustable in height, compression and rebound – club sport thread chassis by KW. Additionally, PU-bearings by Superpro will be mounted to reduce the play in the axle bearings. The original 218 HP (= 160 kW) 3,2 l displacement with 5-gear-G50-transmission will gain a power upgrade to ca. 260 HP by using Schrick-camshafts, a bigger throttle valve, an exhaust manifold, as well as an individual adjustment on the engine test bench. The 7×16 inch rims with Continental Sport Contact tyres in 205/55-16 on the front axle and 9×16 with 245/45-16 on the rear axle are the perfect match. This Speedster is already a feast for the eyes. One may be excited about the final result after the next winter season…

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The Kaege Retro Porsche 911: Backdating the 993

It’s amazing how much Porsche tuning has changed within the last two decades. Twenty years ago cars like the Ruf CTR2 were at the forefront of Porsche tuning. TechArt wheels and aerokits were popular. Gemballa was making flatnose kits for 993s. While aggressive, modern looking air-cooled cars remain popular, backdating is very much in vogue. The aesthetic void between cars like the Gunther Werks 400R and Singer’s creation is massive, even if the end goal is ultimately similar. These super high-dollar creations rely on a wide array of bespoke parts, fine interior materials and unique powerplants. When Roger Kaege decided to build his own backdated 911, he took a different approach.

To Roger, many of Singer’s decisions were illogical. For instance, why did they use a 964 as a base car rather than a 993? The 964 was the final 911 to use semi-trailing arm rear suspension, which Singer’s cars retain. By basing his car on a 993 Roger is able to use the 993’s stiffer body structure and multi-link rear suspension. Wherever possible Roger used series-production Porsche components, making his car both cheaper to build and servicable by Porsche dealers.

But in appearance, Kaege Retro couldn’t be further from a 993. The bodywork has been backdated front and rear, including a custom-designed front bumper with a deep chin spoiler. The aggressively flared fenders have squared lips, further divorcing the car from the base car’s rounded look. Much of the bodywork is carbon fiber. Brushed stainless window trims replace the stock black finished items. Geyser Grey Metallic paintwork is shared with the 50th Anniversary 911 from 2014, allowing a vintage look from a modern lacquer.

While Roger relied on series-production parts wherever possible, custom touches and rare parts are still apparent throughout the car. The early-style rear decklid includes a retractable 993-style spoiler with custom carbon fiber uprights. A set of factory 993 sport seats are fitted, and are trimmed in green leather. The dash fascia is finished in body color, and vintage style VDO-gauges round out the cabin.

Roger’s company is building these cars to order, though pricing information has not been released. With Roger’s goal of improving on servicability and reducing price when compared to Singers, it’s reasonable to expect that these Porsches will remain costly compared to most 993s.

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