The V8 Porsche

There are two very distinct schools of thought when it comes to approaching modern day classics. A lot out there appreciate authenticity, striving to bring back a particular car’s beauty and performance without striving too far from its originality. There are others of course, that think quite differently. Tomoya Watanabe belongs to the latter group.

He is the man behind Supermachine, a specialist shop dealing in customizations of all sorts offered on a vast variety of European and American cars. His exposure to great machinery has lead him to develop his very own distinct style…

…a way of doing things that may or may not appeal to all, but certainly gets him noticed. It’s probably his love of American cars that sort of lead to the creation of the car you see here…

…a project he has been working on for a few years and that now.

Prior to encountering the Supermachine 930 at the Motor Head Zero Yon event a couple of months back, I had heard of its existence by word of mouth. I then saw a feature of it on an issue of Motor Head magazine where it was tested at Fuji Speedway, managing to record a very impressive 1’50″59. Just to put that into context a very well driven Porsche 997 GT3 RS wouldn’t be able to get within 5-seconds of that time.

Looking at the car aesthetically it presents itself like a very well prepped 930; Watanabe-san decided to go for an International Race of Champions (IROC) feel, inspiring himself to the Porsches that competed in the series back in the seventies. The 930 runs a ’74 RSR front bumper, sporting some additional custom aerodynamic add ons like the splitter and canards, which Watanabe-san made himself from sheet aluminum.

There is no mistaking the fact that this car is set up for functionality, the ride height on the adjustable Sachs dampers set low for handling benefits, rather than “stance.” A ton of work went into the suspension with a Tarett Engineering 935 front suspension kit being fitted, replacing the 930’s factory suspension arms and cross member. The Sachs coil overs that Watanabe-san custom built were then mated to Hyperco 350 lbs springs and fitted along with Elephant Racing quick change camber plates, so that optimal rates of negative camber could be set. A sway bar kit from Tarrett Engineering completes the work to the front end.

For a period-correct race look Watanabe went with a set of 16-inch by 8J Fuchs wheels, running Kumho V700 rubber in 225/45 sizes.

The coilover conversion at the rear comprises of Sachs struts & Hyperc0 450 lbs springs mated to Tarett Engineering 935-style spring plates. Tarett Engineering sway bars & a drop link kit complete the work to the new layout which further benefits from Elephant Racing monoball cartridges for better feel. 17-inch by 11J Fuchs wheels were shod in…

…Hoosier drag radials for the Motor Head Zero Yon event, measuring a whopping 315/35 to help the vintage Porsche hook up well off the line.

Watanabe-san created a custom upgraded braking package based around 4-pot Brembo Racing calipers, used both front and rear.  PFC discs complete the upgrade, measuring 323 mm x 29 mm up front and slightly smaller 313 mm x 25 mm at the rear.

At the back the 930 sports a ’74 RSR bumper, but of course it’s the massive…

…IROC whaletail spoiler that dominates the rear end.

Watanabe-san added a gurney flap to increase aerodynamic efficiency, a nice touch to the car’s over all profile.

However the real jaw-dropping begins when you swing open the rear engine cover…

…because what lies beneath is something that had even Nagata-san, aka Smoky, from Top Secret stare in awe.

Due to all the work Watanabe-san does on American muscle, the idea to get rid of the flat-six motor and drop in a 7L LS7 engine had probably been maturing in his head for some time, something that would make a lot of Porsche enthusiasts look away in disgust. But it was more of a challenge to see just how well he could make the car perform.

So thanks to a Renegade Hybrids V8 conversion kit Watanabe proceeded to fit the LS7…

…as well as taking care of some additional modifications like converting the motor to dry sump lubrication and fitting Mast Motorsport Black Label fuel rails along with a Bosh Motorsport 044 fuel pump.

Headers followed, wrapped to help lower engine bay temperatures so that the motor doesn’t suck in too much hot air through the K&N cone filter. I was quite surprised to see just how vast the 930’s engine bay actually is.

Watanabe-san then fabricated his own titanium exhaust system…

…nothing short of a work of art! With a custom ECU map the free-flowing exhaust and custom intake help to bump power from the stock 505 HP to around 540 HP. Watanabe-san runs a 930 Turbo transaxle gearbox with custom bellhousing to match up to the LS7. Lots of upgrades were carried out to guarantee reliability, things like hardening of gearbox components as well as adding a transmission and LSD cooler.

With all the amount of work that has gone into this 930 it’s not surprising that it was among the favorite cars at the Zero Yon event.

The amazing attention to detail continues inside where we find a pair of Recaro reclinable bucket seats…

…the driver’s side one sporting a 5-point racing harness.

The cabin is full of small subtle touches like the half-roll cage and the billet shift lever…

…not to mention the rotated tachometer and speedometer, a proper oldschool touch.

Watanabe-san has definitely put together a very unique Porsche; while the V8-swap may not be something new, the way he has approached the built is what sets it apart. Creating a capable street car that is as satisfying to drive around challenging circuits…

…as it is around tight mountain roads is not easy, but with quality race-derived suspension upgrades and a think-outside-the-box approach he has definitely accomplished his goal.

At the Zero Yon event in Fukushima the car did pretty well down the strip too, all its rear weight giving awesome traction off the line as the Hoosier drag radials did their thing.

Hit play on the short video above to see for yourself!

Watanabe-san is pleased his creation met all the goals he set for it; but now, with the 930 up for sale, it’s time to think of a next challenge. I bet I’m not the only one wondering what it will be!

Specs:

Engine: GM Performance LS7 swap, dry-sump, Sand Buggy exhaust manifolds, Supermachine custom exhaust system

Driveline: 930 Turbo transaxle gearbox, custom short bellhousing & mainshaft with LSD, heavy duty custom axle shaft, KEP lightened HP clutch, custom hardened components & ring gear, diff & transmission oil cooler system

Front Suspension: Sachs coilover struts & Hyperco 350 lbs springs, Tarett Engineering 935 front suspension kit, Tarett Engineering sway bar kit, Elephant Racing quick change camber plate

Rear Suspension: Sachs coilover struts & Hyperco 450 lbs springs, Tarett Engineering 935 style spring plate, Tarett Engineering sway bar & drop link kit, Elephant Racing/Monoball Cartridges trailing arm

Brakes: Brembo Racing 4-pot front & rear calipers, 2-piece slotted discs

Wheels & Tires: Porsche Fuchs 8Jx16″ (front), 11Jx17″ (rear), Kumho V700 225/45R16 (front), 315/35R17 (rear), Hoosier drag radials 315/35R17 used for Motor Head Zero Yon event.

Exterior: 934 RSR look front bumper, Custom front canards & lip spoiler, RSR look rear spoiler, spoiler gurney flap

Interior: Recaro seats with harnesses, custom roll-cage, racing steering wheel, billet shift lever and knob

Supermachine

-Dino Dalle Carbonare


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66 comments
c3o5nnect
c3o5nnect

Love the way this car looks... 

Bout it.

Chunter
Chunter

What Recaro seats are those? Those are way cool!

CarlosLopez1
CarlosLopez1

I want to know who won the drag race, the 240z or the porsche

aimanshahril
aimanshahril

@yunusjambangs macam mana boleh muat? O.o

Zeus
Zeus

Hey Speed Hunters,

 

     For an 1100kg car with an LS7 (rated ~505bhp) especially RR layout I would expect this car to be a lot faster than a 12.1 in the 400m and 0-100km/h in the high 3 second range to low 4 second range. Definitely faster when the car is being run on Hoosiers as well. Was the track temperature cold or something? Judging by the video he bogged the launch a little bit and short shifted 1st. Just having a hard time believing this car isn't much faster than it was that day. I have driven a 335i on Pilot Sports and have confirmed a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds and that car is FR with about 3400-3500lbs wet. 

 

    This Ls7 930 Porsche should definitely be quicker wouldn't you think? 

Finn
Finn

I like! Even though I prefer originality, I can appreciate a well executed conversion.

One question: As the original engine was air cooled, where did he route the hoses for the radiator for the LS7? (I'm guessing the radiator is at the front of the car).

Minor
Minor

Strange, cause I hear Lancer Evo Vii does 1:47 on Fuji, shouldn't this Porsche be faster then. My info could be wrong though.

 

Beautiful piece of work anyway

Amin_nfs
Amin_nfs

7L V8 ?! isn't it too much ? uh .. no

I kinda like it !

wonder how it performs on a circuit, so much torque, ain't gonna be easy !

dadecode
dadecode

Awesome car! I've seen so many cool cars in person, in action, and on the net, magazines and books; that it's refreshing to see a car that fires up my imagination with fantasies of what it's like to drive such a beast or even own one. I can't help but laugh as I think of the trouble I would get into at the local "spots" here in Tampa.

 

My favorite thing about this car is the everyday 'purposed driving machine' look about it. I just love how it's a REAL car. Not some show queen or 'car guy wet dream' with lots of exotic parts and sky high hp, but no real-world use. I'm sooo inspired by this car's overall aesthetic!

brined
brined

GOTT IN HIMMEL that thing has a nasty snarl!! sexy beasty this is

BlackJacket
BlackJacket

i'm a HUGE LS fan boy and GM guy, but i'm honestly getting sick of seeing LS swaps 

RelaxedDriver
RelaxedDriver

@Jimmyb_84 Hehe. Your wow was better than mine. ;)

KAG
KAG

I don't know about a V8 in that, but I do like the exhaust system.

RobJN
RobJN

Does anyone know what rearview mirrors he's using? They look awesome and I'm pretty sure they're not a stock item.

ITRbroham
ITRbroham

I may not agree with the whole hybrid thing, the functionality and attention to detail on this Porsche speak for themselves!

LS1RX7_owen
LS1RX7_owen

Great recipe for success in this engine swap! What a fantastic looking car and I love all of the little details everywhere. Wish I could buy it and drive it to work every damn day! Superb coverage, this is a real gem.

Vaillant
Vaillant

Too bad voor de LS7 engine, should have been one of Porsche's own! But overall very impressive build!

koko san
koko san

Clean and functional a piece of art.

TonyS
TonyS

I like it. Cheap and reliable horsepower for a track day car without the crazy 930 turbo lag and surge. I'm sure this is a very rewarding drivers car. To those who think this was an expensive swap, you have never tried to source vintage Porsche parts. 

TylerS13
TylerS13

very nice porsche minus the LS7

dovvv
dovvv

Title should be THE V8 911, not the v8 porsche because when i read it i thought of the 928. Not that i was dissapointed, however :D

Paddy McGrath
Paddy McGrath

Absolutely love this, first car I've seen in a while that's made me really smile. There are plenty of flat engined Porsches still out there so the purists shouldn't worry. 

yunusjambangs
yunusjambangs

@aimanshahril aku taktau.. kau dah usha belum? Baca ah full review dia. Tapau gt3 rs do tu kat fuji

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

Well you said it, bogged launch and short shift.  If Watanabe-san really wanted he would have given her 2,000 rpm more off the line and dropped the clutch.  It was all done for a magazine article at the end of the day and he had to drive 200 miles back home in the car so many not worth braking stuff?

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

Yes most likely to be very wrong as a stock Evo would struggle to even get close to the 2 min barrier.  The 1000+ HP HKS R35 GT-R development car driven by Nob Taniguchi does 1:45, so I guess this kind of puts things into perspective better? Fastest tuner time attack at Fuji is the Autech Tsukada R34 GT-R with a 1:43-something, close second being the Auto Gallery Yokohama R32 GT-R.

aimanshahril
aimanshahril

@yunusjambangs dah. aku rasa driver punya tulang belakang mesti rasa piston kick haha

Zeus
Zeus

 @speedhunters_dino Thanks for the info. Definitely babying the car to make sure he got home ok. 540bhp and 2200lbs on hoosiers in an RR layout is a pretty potent combination for acceleration. Awesome car. You're really fortunate to be able to meet all these people and experience all these great cars. He did an amazing job with this 930. Same color as my 2002 Miata. Funny even the Japanese like an LS swap every now and then. Very cool. 

Amin_nfs
Amin_nfs

@speedhunters_dino @Amin_nfs Apologies. I absolutely love it

insertfadhere
insertfadhere

 @speedhunters_dino The 911 community would really appreciate it.  Nobody likes the factory "flag" mirrors.  These aren't one of the usual aftermarket mirrors used by the 911 community, but the base looks like it would cover up the holes left in the mirror by the electric controls for the stock mirrors.  So these would be a bolt-on mod that is very appealing. 

RobJN
RobJN

 @speedhunters_dino Thanks Dino.  Probably the best looking mirrors I've seen on these cars.  Good blend of vintage aesthetics and modern housing.  Like a more vintagey 959 mirror.

yunusjambangs
yunusjambangs

@aimanshahril tak silap hari few weeks je dah tak boleh jalan haha. Tapi sumpah terbaik. The only porsche with a v8 takde boxer and 6 flat

Zeus
Zeus

 @speedhunters_dino Will do, if my friend is ok with doing a feature on the Atlantic it would be an insane machine to feature. He's a fountain of knowledge too so I'll get in touch with him and get back to you guys. 

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

Zeus, thank you for your comments.  I think for the most part we strive to document things as they are without having to spoil anything by giving our opinions.  We are just showing what is happening in the various scenes and countries we cover, we try to keep a fly-on-the-wall approach if you will.  

 

As for the other idea, sure shoot me a mail, sounds like very cool stuff!

Zeus
Zeus

 @speedhunters_dino You know what Dino, this is why I actually like the crew at Speed Hunters. You guys are very humble and you strike me as students of the game. You are always out to learn and document your journeys. I see too many journalists in the automotive scene now who want it to be about them or their personal opinions. I have actually grown to really like you're coverage because you guys are very humble and unbiased. There is no opinion which is what true journalism is about. I studied journalism and photography in college and then attended a 3 year tech school for engine building so I come from both sides of the tracks. You guys are very unbiased and thats what I love about the coverage here. 

 

I have a friend who I haven't spoken to in years with a garage full of ~$40,000,000 worth of extremely rare race cars (Rothmans Porsches, F1 cars, XJ220 S etc) but he is very closed to the general public.. I have a lot of photos of his cars, but I don't want to upset him by sending them. I hang with people all the time who have insane race cars. Right now I could make calls to guys with Carrera GTs, 599 GTOs and Formula Atlantic stuff. I would love to do a small feature on a close friend and my karting coach who was a big time atlantic driver to do a feature on his car. If you guys aren't opposed to it let me know and I'll shoot you an email. He goes out 3-4 times a year with it but it's an incredible machine. Full underbody venturi the last of its kind and a 4AGE that produces over 268bhp NA on a carb system that revs to 12,000 RPM. I have access to a film crew too. If you're interested in a guest feature let me know. 

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

No problem Zeus.  I am indeed very lucky to be able to meet guys like Watanabe-san at Supermachine.  There is still so much to see in Japan, we have barely scratched the surface!  So keep checking back and I'll do my best to keep hunting awesome stuff like this 930!

Amin_nfs
Amin_nfs

 @speedhunters_dino I thought it would have at least 550 bhp, I thought it was an exemple that 911s can do good things with such power, how much does it have ?

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

 @Amin_nfs  @speedhunters_dino  @Amin_nfs No Apologies needed;)  The ton of work that Watanabe-san has obviously paid off.  It's the perfect example that you don't need to go crazy on power.  The car weights only 1,100 kg and has close to race-tuned suspension and a racing brake set up...plus the awesome traction of the RR layout.  I'd love to thrash this around FSW myself!!  

RobJN
RobJN

Start of a new trend and so awesome.  Thanks a ton, Dino! After a few days of my brain percolating them they look even cooler to me.

speedhunters_dino
speedhunters_dino

 @insertfadhere OK Watanabe got back to me.  The mirrors are off a C3 Corvette and then he adapted them to fit the 930.  Pretty ingenious

Trackbacks

  1. URL says:

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    [...] Read More here: dev.speedhunters.com/2012/08/the-v8-porsche/ [...]…

  2. […] Speedhunters wrote a great feature on this Porsche in 2012. Watch as the LS7 puts all the 525 horsepower to the rear wheels in the video below. […]


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