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Tuned Porsches

Jay Leno Gets Acquainted With Bisimoto’s 850-Horsepower ’75 911

It’s funny to think that the M96 in the rear of this car once had a bad cylinder and a melted piston. Bisi Ezerioha, then only experienced with four-cylinder motors, saw an opportunity to resleeve the block, add Traum pistons and a handful of his own handmade internals. Now, the motor is force-fed by Turbonetics turbos, cooled by a Spearco intercooler the size of an ironing table, and outputting 850 horsepower—nearly six times what the ’75 911’s original motor made. As you might imagine, the combination of that powerplant, lightweight body, and restrained styling meets Jay Leno’s lofty standards.

A massive IROC-style wing, a 550 Spyder mirror, and subtle RS flares at the rear give Bisi’s creation a distinctive look.

Affable and informed, Bisi takes Jay through every nut and bolt of this easily recognized hot rod and explains his build ethos in the process. With a 996 motor and a 997 gearbox, this classic car blends « modern technology and an old-school look. » Under that understated exterior, sophisticated AEM engine management manages the boost-by-speed protocol, monitors the water-methanol mix, and controls the drive-by-wire system. Some love the hodgepodge, others don’t; this car’s gotten Bisi kicked out of a few air-cooled-specific events.

Coilovers of his own creation and Magnus Walker’s Fifteen52 Outlaw 001 wheels complete the aggressive appearance. With a high-pitched whistle and a blow-off valve that sounds like a chef sharpening knives, the sound of the motor is just as striking. When you learn that this was Bisi’s first Porsche build, your jaw hits the floor. The man oozes enthusiasm, and his ambition is not that of a mere mortal. When Jay shakes Bisi’s hand at the end, you can tell he’s thoroughly impressed.

For more on the specifics of this unique creation, this video goes into greater depth

Twin Turbonetics 5758 billet turbos produce power in a surprisingly linear fashion. No sudden spike or mule-kick delivery, but an endless wave of manageable thrust.


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Hillclimb Duel: 997 GT3 Cup Dices With an 800-HP ’88 Carrera

Comparing Rupert Schwaiger’s 800-horsepower Carrera to a 997 GT3 Cup is the stuff racing geeks lose sleep over. In the green corner, Schwaiger’s machine makes twice the power and weighs less, but it doesn’t benefit from the silky smooth power delivery of the Cup Car. As we see here, power and weight are important, but how that power and weight are managed are just as important—if not more so. For those fascinated by motorsport minutiae, this duel between two very impressive 911s is worth dark circles under the eyes.

Completely Different Compositions

Aside from having the engine in the rear and a similar silhouette, these two 911s are quite different in their compositions. Schwaiger’s car is not new to these pages. As we’ve seen before, the basic ’88 Carrera is a rocket on the hillclimb, and the septuagenarian Schwaiger isn’t intimidated by it in the slightest. Willing to wrestle with the 800 horsepower his 3.5-liter motor produces, he indulges in big slides regularly and really throws the car into the corner. Thanks largely to nicely-sized Garrett turbos, most of the torque is available at 2,000 rpm; suiting it to the tightest hairpins. Little lag and a paddle-shifted 997 RSR gearbox allows it to get up to speed very quickly.

Thanks to the a 964 RS rear end between 335-section Avon slicks, most of that power makes it to the ground, and the power advantage can be enjoyed in reasonably straighter sections. KW 3-way coilovers, some aero from a 993 GT2, and a confidence-inspiring setup allow him to drive quite confidently through faster sections, as we can see through the overlay at 1:48

The Space Between

Where Schwaiger is aggressive with the wheel, Manuel Seidl is silky smooth. This does help considerably in putting the power down, as does the more manageable wave of torque with the normally-aspirated Cup engine. Meanwhile, Schwaiger—though using traction control—doesn’t seem to quite harness the power as easily. Listen to their throttle applications and you’ll notice Seidl stays on the throttle harder and longer, while Schwaiger tends to pop off throttle in a staccato fashion. Whether its style, power delivery, or a combination of the two, it looks like Seidl can lean more comfortably on the car out of slower corners.

Seidl’s also a little more committed into some corners, specifically the faster ones. This could be attributed to more downforce and a better sorted car, which never seems to dance over cambers like the yellow and green car does from time to time. To take either car through this confined, cliff-line Austrian hillclimb deserves applause, but its a combination of smoothness, slightly more efficient lines, and a more tractable powerplant that gives Seidl the upper hand. Had this battle been waged on a faster track, the Turbo might be the victor, but where traction and runoff area are extremely limited, Seidl’s approach and vehicle seem better suited.


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This Gulf RSR Replica Is What California Dreams Are Made Of

This is one of just three similar cars Gunderson has painted in classic paint schemes.

John Gunderson has a knack for bringing the right people into the picture. When he wanted to blend the urgency and colorful exterior of the legendary 917 with a usable road car, he came up with this. A ’73 911 Blending the classic Gulf livery, a 2,200-pound frame, and a 350-horsepower motor from Rothsport, is bound to convert even the most cynical Porsche haters.

Gunderson started with a real-deal long-hood 911, which was then stripped and fitted with hand-hammered steel fenders. Inside, a set of recline-equipped Recaro seats made the cut, providing a supportive enough seat for the odd blitz through the backroads, but plush enough to not require a chiropractor’s services after using. Additionally, they don’t disrupt the classic spartan theme inside—this is an RSR replica, after all.

The simplistic cabin provides the driver with all the pertinent information and nothing more.

Their support is dearly needed if the driver wants to exploit the power of the the 3.5-liter motor behind them. Fortunately, the Rothsport engine produces its power in a linear fashion and screams to a 7,000-rpm redline. That grunt is fortified by the closely stacked gears and short throw. Though the shifter throw is a little on the vague side, and the pedals are oddly positioned, that’s the only real criticism that Zack Klapman can find. High praise from someone who has driven a little bit of everything.

Zack got up to speed quickly. Its direct steering, which is slightly vague in the center but quickly loads up, helps him position the car in quick canyon switchbacks. It’s that detailed level of information through the pedals, the seat, and the steering which eventually brought the reluctant host over to the pro-Porsche side.

It’s true—few cars are as persuasive as a purpose-built Porsche.


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Here Is What a Lap of the Nurburgring Looks Like in a Porsche-Powered VW Van!

While its dimensions and weight might dissuade from turning their VW T1 Bus into a track toy, some love the shock value and the surprising potential the aging van holds. In this particular case, swapping a 1989 G50 gearbox and a Porsche flat-six in the rear of the Leichtbau van, then dousing it in a very thin (because thick paint is heavy) coat of powder blue turns many heads.

It’s a lightweight van that the owner, Nic, has spent years developing for quick laps at the Nordschleife. Despite it size and weight distribution, he’s managed to make it quite capable. It also enjoys a set of Porsche brakes and an altered VW 1303 rack and pinion. By adding this steering setup it lost 1.5 turn lock-to-lock, which made it much easier on the track but, as we can see, increased the physical effort required. Fortunately, Nic is in pretty good shape and has little difficulty adding the right amount of steering lock.

Peering out the split window at cars half as tall must be reassuring.

Direct steering is a real asset when the bus can reach almost 136 miles an hour through Schwedenkreutz (3:52), and even pull 115 miles per hour through the slaloming and compression of Fuchsröhre (4:20). To manage those speed while sitting five feet from the surface of the road requires real confidence in the car—err, bus.


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Rod Emory’s Pipe Dream Became Reality In This Twin Turbo 356 Monster

If you are anything like me, you have a ridiculously ambitious idea for your project car and what you want it to be like when it’s « done ». For many of us, a project will never truly be done, but for someone with the fabrication and mechanical skills, a full shop of tools, an intelligent and diligent staff, and an appropriate budget to finish the project, like Rod Emory for example, it’s going to come to fruition. This project idea started as a pipe dream, a napkin sketch that Emory posted to Instagram. The idea revolves around the concept of « what if Porsche had built an RSR version of the 356? »

Using lots of sheet aluminum, a few accents of amber fiberglass, and a fuel-injected four-cylinder with a set of big honkin’ turbos hanging off the back, this 356 embodies a what if moment in Porsche history. It’s an alternate history of motorsport heritage. We all know the 911 RSR Turbo of the early 1970s, but if Porsche had somehow had that idea a decade before, this car might be what Werks 1 could have spawned. Built on behalf of Momo’s Henrique Cisneros, this is the new king of the 356 hill.

Aesthetically it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. And honestly, I can see why. It’s a radical departure from anything we’ve seen in 356 land before. That’s exactly why I love it to death. This mess of fender flares, louvers, ducts, and inlets is exactly the kind of spiritual extension that the 911 RSR Turbo was. That car was hardly an aesthetic masterpiece, especially compared to the street cars that were available from Porsche in the day. The RSR has always been a function over form racer, and that’s what this 356 is. It spits flames, it goes like stink, and it handles like it’s on rails. This is the automotive equivalent of shooting first and asking questions later. Well done, Mr. Emory.


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