The Liberty Walk That Runs
Liberty & Happiness

What is Liberty Walk? Despite all of the mixed opinions and comment wars that seem to break out whenever their stuff pops up on this site, at its essence Liberty Walk is about the relationship between cars and happiness.

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Spend a few minutes with boss Wataru Kato and you begin to get a feel for this. His goal isn’t to start arguments, piss off purists or stir up controversy. No, despite the internet putting its own spin on the Liberty Walk boom, Kato just wants to have fun.

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You don’t have to love the aesthetics of the Liberty Walk body parts or the idea of cutting fenders and dropping the ride height on high-end supercars, but it’s impossible to not be intrigued at the very least, and more than likely crack a smile after talking to the man for a bit.

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When he speaks in his rapid tone, two of the most common words you’ll hear are tanoshii and shiawase – the Japanese terms for ‘fun’ and ‘happy’ respectively. He might be a successful businessman, but at heart he’s just a car guy that wants to play with cool automobiles, and that’s why it’s hard to dislike him.

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His idea of what a cool car is goes way back – before the Ferrarris and Lamborghinis – to the Nissan Skylines and Laurels of his youth. The cars might have changed, become more complex and more expensive, but the spirit hasn’t. And that’s what makes Liberty Walk so fun to watch.

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For him and the growing number of folks around the world who have bought Liberty Walk parts, cutting expensive bodywork and sacrificing some hypothetical track performance is a worthy trade off to make the car look how they’d like it to. And why the hell not? If you can afford it and it makes you happy, that’s all that really matters…

Special Collaboration
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But sometimes you don’t even need to make those sacrifices. When it comes to Liberty Walk, the function doesn’t have to give way to the form, and the widened Porsche you see here is rolling proof of that.

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If you’ve been a regular visitor to Speedhunters over the last few weeks, you should recognize this car from the build progress stories we’ve been running. The project is a collaboration between CSF Cooling, BBI Autosport and of course, Kato-san and the Liberty Walk crew – and it’s been built for this year’s SEMA Show. From the beginning, the idea was to show that a Liberty Walk car can run as hard as it looks. It doesn’t always have to be about stretched tires and air suspension…

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The Porsche 997 was really the perfect canvas for a collaboration between these outfits from opposite sides of the Pacific. BBI is known for building and tuning some of the fastest Porsches in the world, and the 997 just happens to be the latest high-end European sports car to get the Liberty Walk treatment. Throw in some support from the cooling crew at CSF and you’ve got the recipe for a kick-ass build.

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As opposed to some SEMA Show projects which involve a lot of experimentation, the groundwork for this build was actually fairly straight forward. You can credit BBI’s Porsche tuning experience for that. While a standard issue 997 Turbo isn’t a car any of us would kick out of the garage, BBI knows a thing or two about making a good car better, and to that end this machine has actually served as a testbed for the brand’s future endeavors.

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As Betim from BBI explains – “This build is a bit unique in that we started on the 2011 911TT a little while ago. This car has Porsche’s new ‘9A1′ direct fuel injection engine in it. It has very similar architecture to the [current] 991TT. We wanted to see how hard we could push this new engine so we can learn what our future of tuning this new breed of 911s would look like. We did away with the VTG turbos and opted to go with a more traditional TiAL ball bearing turbo. We were able to adopt about 50 per cent of our B8 package that is used on the 997.1TT (2007-2009) to this new engine package. Our biggest challenge was to de-tune the power and sneak up on possible limits in fueling or weak links in hardware.

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When all was said and done, the car put down 688 horsepower to the wheels on a 91 octane pump gas tune. Betim says there is plenty more in the tank, but because the car is designed for street use and running stock internals they aren’t looking to exceed the 700 mark just yet.

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The reliability side of the project is where CSF comes in, supplying one of their racing spec three-piece radiator kits designed specifically for the 997. This is far from the first time that BBI and CSF have teamed up, with a number of the shop’s projects running CSF radiators including the ‘King Kong’ 996 that we watched dominate at Airstrip Attack a couple of weekends ago. With CSF marking their fifth year at SEMA in 2014 – the radical Porsche project seemed like the perfect centerpiece for the booth and a symbol of the strong relationship between the two brands.

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Aside from the powerplant, other areas of the car have been given some attention too. As we saw in the most recent build update, the factory sunroof setup was ditched in favor of a lighter, more rigid carbon roof panel. BBI also fitted the Porsche with one of their half cage kits for additionally safety and stiffness.

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As hinted earlier, there’s no air suspension to be found here. In keeping with the functional nature of this project, suspension consists of a BBI Stage III package with adjustable Öhlins TTX dampers, Swift springs, BBI upper control arms and Porsche RSR lower control arms.

Everybody Wins
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While all of the testing and tuning was going down at BBI’s facility in Southern California, Liberty Walk was busy in Japan putting the finishing touches on the wide body kit before sending the parts across the ocean to the US. Kato-san actually reached out to Betim for his input when it came to creating the kit’s look and functionality, so it was only natural that America’s first kits would be fitted on BBI project cars.

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While the renderings of the Liberty Walk 997 have been circulating the net for a while now, you really have to see one in person before passing judgement. Looks will always be subjective, but my feeling is that the raw style of the widened fenders match very nicely with 997’s simple lines. It’s much different from the more intricate shapes of the Liberty Walk Lamborghinis and Ferraris.

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In my eye it might be the most cohesive of the Liberty Walk cars yet, mixing the look of a 997 GT racer with bad-boy Japanese street racer vibes.

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The wheel and tire setup meanwhile has also been selected to look good and fill the widened bodywork without sacrificing any of the grip that a 700 horsepower, street and track Porsche needs. BBI actually took things one step further here and fitted the car with a Porsche Motorsport GT3 RSR center-lock hub conversion.

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The wheels are BBS E88 center-lock pieces measuring 18×10.5-inch in the front and 18×13-inch in the rear with 265/35R18 and 335/30R18 Toyo R888 tires respectively. I’m guessing the stretched tire haters will approve?

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Seeing as how the car has already proven itself with a 197mph pass at the Texas Mile, the performance credentials are already solid and we are told there’s plenty more to come. We’ll be watching future developments closely.

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So there you have it – the car that we think is one of the most well-rounded machines ever to wear Kato-san’s signature look. When form meets function like it does here, everybody wins. What else can we do but be happy?

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike
mike@speedhunters.com

Photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto
larry@speedhunters.com

If you happen to be at SEMA this week, be sure to stop by the CSF Radiators booth 21509 in the Central Hall to say hi and see the car for yourself.

BBI/CSF/Liberty Walk Porsche 997 Turbo

Numbers
688whp at 21lbs of boost on California 91 octane pump gas

Engine
Porsche 9A1 3.8L Twin Turbo. BBI B7 Tuning Package including TiAL Alpha GT30-6 turbos with custom-made lines, BBI 321SS headers, BBI full exhaust (race) , TiAL blow-off valve, BBI 4.5-inch custom-built intercoolers, BBI/IPD cast y-pipe, IPD plenum, CSF Cooling 3-piece all-aluminum Porsche 997 Turbo high performance radiator package (left, right, center), fully tuned by COBB using the COBB AccessPort V-3

Driveline
Factory 6-speed manual gearbox, BBI Stage III clutch, Aasco lightweight flywheel

Suspension/Brakes
BBI Stage III StreetCup suspension package including Öhlins TTX dampers and Swift springs, BBI upper control arms, Porsche RSR lower control arms, GT3RS sway bars and Tarett drop links, Porsche Motorsport GT3 RSR center-lock hub full conversion, Endless brake fluid, fully corner balanced & aligned

Wheels/Tires
BBS E88 Center-lock only, 18×13-inch ET 0 rear, 18×10.5-inch ET 29 front, Toyo R888 335/30R18 rear, 265/35R18 front

Exterior
Carrera White paint, Liberty Walk Porsche 997TT full body conversion fitted by BBI, touched up & painted by Tony’s Garage Auto Body in Huntington Beach, CA, Porsche GT3 Cup fender liners, carbon fiber roof conversion, carbon fiber intercooler inlet ducts

Interior
BBI RSR half cage, Porsche GT2RS headliner

BBI Autosport
CSF Cooling
More Liberty Walk Stories on Speedhunters

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68 comments

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1

So fast-looking, real beauty! Love it <3 !

2

Saw this car the other day at roll-in. Sounded great and they really got on it. Simple yet aggressive if that makes any sense.

3

Can't say a classic has been ruined since I don't see the 997 ever being an iconic porsche model, I'm sure it goes like hell though and glad to see they kept factory paint. So is it part of Liberty Walk tradition to not puddy over the bolts to make a clean looking body conversion? I know its keeping with tradition of the old, but with super cars too? As long as people are still digging the style..all power to them

4

I'm not normally a huge Liberty Walk fan myself, I dig this Porsche though. With that said I think Kato-san is one of the coolest figures in the automotive scene right now. He does what he likes, and what he thinks is cool. Some like it, some don't, but in the end it doesn't really matter to him and that's the way it should be.

5

I love the look of this 997. Not everyone's cup of tea but hey, who cares.

6

If bolt on over fenders haven't peaked as a style yet, they soon will. I hope.

7

The One Otaku Is it just me, or does this make for a more appealing 997 than the stock

8

I'm sorry but I just can't get into this one... I've been a fan of what he's done with the 458, the R35 and the Aventador. But there's something subtle here, something not risky enough about this kit. To me, it just doesn't scream, "Hey look at me!!" And that's what I've come to love about his kits. They're just so 'in your face' so gaudy, that they're actually awesome! But this just seems tamed... refined... As if he didn't want to get "crazy" with this one. And because of that feeling or notion, I just can't dig it. 

I will however, give the man and all companies associated with this project 2 thumbs way up! The car, is indeed clean, looks like it's put together very well and looks like it'll be a real monster. Good job fellas!! *thumbs up*

9

H8RADE Your just used to Rauh welt porsches. ;)

10

Well, I for one love this car!

11

Won't even lie, my first initial thought when I saw the picture on the homepage, 'OH SHOOT THE RWB PORSCHE IS FINALLY DONE!!!'
Needless to say I was a bit embarrassed when I realized I had essentially been living a lie for months thinking it was RWB doing the build LOL
I genuinely have no clue where I got the idea RWB was doing the body for this build..

12

I must say I'm a fan, for the sake of form and function in the same package. It would be a bit of fun taking this thing to 197 mph and through some bends too! Not over the top which is great!

13

I do not like it. I hope Larry Bird or someone from the SH staff shoots the TRA Kyoto NSX and the Lexus RC-F, accordingly. Those two are the bomb, whilst the LB Performance Aventador is awesome, too. 
P.S. Anyone who implements a full feature on the TRA Kyoto Lexus RC-F will be crowned by me as the official crowd pleaser.

14

I do not like it. I hope Larry Bird or someone from the SH staff shoots the TRA Kyoto NSX and the Lexus RC-F, accordingly. Those two are the bomb, whilst the LB Performance Aventador is awesome, too. 
P.S. Anyone who implements a full feature on the TRA Kyoto Lexus RC-F will be crowned by me as the official crowd pleaser.

15

I will give credit where credit is due, this car was done right. I'd hate on it because of the bolt on fenders, but the reality is this thing has the power, the right suspension, and an overall look that would really stand out rolling down the street. This to me is a proper Porsche. Good choice on tires too. R888s are great. Thumbs up!

16

I was getting really used to the videos that came with the last couple Liberty Walk cars...

17

Same old. I'm a massive Speedhunters fan but you guys really need to diversify beyond 'this car has 5 of our sponsor's products' as a criteria for feature cars.

18

Right here is the classic way you make a Porsche look good.

Wide rear fenders, deep dish wheels and a big-ass wing.

19

@bahjah It's a sick car. Sitting like that in my drive I can't see anything sticking out to change and sitting in the captains chair would be a rush too! Your haterade has been put in the wrong cup holder this time. I recon this car would have been featured in spite of sponsors. Looks, goes, fun info on one of the builders. It's a story.

20

JCmelik How can you not like something done out of joy!

21

It somehow looks incomplete. That rear bumper is horrible and the stock-ish front bumper doesn't go with the rest of the aggressive body kit. 

I think when it comes to the 997, then the 997 GT3 RSR sets the standard.

22

It somehow looks incomplete. That rear bumper is horrible and the stock-ish front bumper doesn't go with the rest of the aggressive body kit. 

I think when it comes to the 997, then the 997 GT3 RSR sets the standard.

23

I call Shootgun! You all saw me claim it. You are all witnesses.

24

Driftfotos One of the greatest full-tuned Porsche, maybe?

25
turbo BEAMS ae86

i know the bolt on is on style right now..but why not fill the bolt holes??  How many times u need to unbolt these flares?  Just commit to that look..car will look 99x better..and still good in 5-15 years, not like fast+furious cars looks dated now, so will this bolted stuff......just my thoughts..sorry any grammar, i'm not english..

26

Liberty walk/rocket bunny hunters?

27

@turbo BEAMS ae86 The bolt on look will never look dated, as it's been around for decades. I personally will never tire of this style. I love it.

28

@turbo BEAMS ae86 The bolt on look will never look dated, as it's been around for decades. I personally will never tire of this style. I love it.

29

Is this the next Speedhunters body kit? :p

30

I love it. My fav car from speedhunters in quite awhile. Hints of the old 3.0 rsr on a modern porsche. Just great. Having this in my garage would make me happy. If I win mega millions tonight I'll write you a check in the morning.

31

mrhumane On that note, speedhunters when are you guys going to incorporate videos clips?  So much untapped potential, think youtube hits and therefore advertising dollars.

32

I think the front bumper should have a more aggressive look especially with the opening for the radiator, should be bigger.

34

LouisYio Sir please.

35

Is this originally a 997.1 ?

36

You know you're overdosed on RWB Porshces when a "normal" wide body kit just isn't wide enough lol!

37

" His goal isn’t to start arguments, piss off purists or stir up controversy. No, despite the internet putting its own spin on the Liberty Walk boom, Kato just wants to have fun." 


Yet Speedhunters itself has used lines like "stir up controversy", "purists be damned" etc in Liberty Walk articles before.

39

This car would look great if the Fenders would be designed as one-Piece items istead of bolt-on stuff. I mean i like bolt-on Fenders on a Fairlady or stuff but it Looks so wrong on a modern car. specially expensive ones. I don't think there would be a big difference in designing the Fenders as one-Piece item that would flow with the car's lines much better even if it has the same design, just without those "extra-lines" and the bolts. Same goes for the duckbill-Spoiler which would look way better if it was integrated into the trunk directly istead of bolted on. This might look cool on a drift-purpose car, but it just Looks so wrong on something classy like a Porsche. Just my two cents

40

Wow that is a refreshing build. I want Liberty Walk to make some more functional vehicles

41

Wow that is a refreshing build. I want Liberty Walk to make some more functional vehicles

42

Car is gorgeous.....but this photography though...WOOOOW. Larry Chen you beautiful soul capturing creature you...well done.

43

TimMorgan mrhumane It's not always possible with every story, but we do often include videos now.

44

@turbo BEAMS ae86 I much prefer the riveted look personally… it's a style thing

45

NICE!!!

46

:/ it's......fat.
Like, Sumo fat :|

47

oooooohhh!! ooooohh!!
OOOOHHH DAMN THATS SEXY!! Wow just Wow. Stunning car. Thats how porsches schould look! Mean and angry, not some expensive grocery getter, just a mean racing machine! 
Very cool car! and a very cool story to read also !

48
turbo BEAMS ae86

3nigm4 my style is a Stock look..or look stock to outsiders..well, create peace..1 style for everyone

49

Definite proof that Liberty Walk form doesn't have to come at the expense of function. Love the look of this and the performance speaks for itself, more cars of this ilk please!

50

A proper wheel and tyre package!

Love this car.

51

To me, that car doesn't look like a normal LibertyWalk car, it's just not flamboyant enough

52

To me, that car doesn't look like a normal LibertyWalk car, it's just not flamboyant enough

53

One of the few LB work machines I like. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the brand I just find some of their cars a little bit too excessive. Is that  a John Lennon quote on the right door?

54

As a stretched tire hater, I approve.

55

I like the Orange version. It's buried in the sema content somewhere

56

tbtstt I think it's my favorite LB car as well because it was built for function. Driving this thing down Las Vegas BLVD was the highlight of my week. It sounds sooooooooo good.

57

sweet baby Jesus

58

sweet baby Jesus

59

Larry Chen tbtstt The fact that this was only the highlight of the week (not month or even year) indicates that you get to drive too much cool stuff! 
There aren't many cars in the Porsche range than excite me, but the noise of a GT Porsche is hard to beat: I imagine this sounded superb on the road!

60

LukeEVOVIII felt the same compared to their other work this is rather tame. Guess any wider and they would just end up being compared to RWB.

61

d_rav trust me, this one is better.

62

tbtstt You guys are too funny.

63

This is sooooooooo....right, LB,y hat tips off to you this an amazing car, a truly awesome build isn't JUST a stylistic statement, not JUST a bad ass show car, but some thing that will kick ass street or track, that's a recipe I can drool over...... (P.S. Please do this to the LB aventador, especially the oilins suspension, instead of air suspension so it can be mor than a showpiece......... If you guys do that, it'll easily make my top 10 list)

64

just because you put a voltex wing on a car doesnt make it a voltex xyz car. this is BBI in and out with a couple of bolt on fenders. so i dont how this can be called LB-911. might as well call it BBS that runs!!
no doubt its an impressive car but slapping your kit on a car built for purpose just to boost your credibility or change your views for others. you are what you are. your opinion of LB is your own but putting a pair of tin snips on a exotic n slamming to the floor doesnt make you a great builder. whats next top secret supra with a LB kit where it will be called the LB-supra...??

65

Wonder if LB or RWB will be first with a kit for 996 Turbos.

66
Original_Spartan

@turbo BEAMS ae86 Are you from Greece?

67
ErnestJohansmeier

love Porsche, love BBi, love 997tt. BUT, the body kit sucks, period.

68
ErnestJohansmeier

love Porsche, love BBi, love 997tt. BUT, the body kit sucks, period.

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