The Everyday GT3

There is something so brutally functional about a car that doesn’t try hard to win people over. I’m sure you know what I mean. But at the same time, I feel that many contemporary sport cars are unnecessarily over the top for the sheer sake of it.

Take the Porsche 991 GT3 for example, which is unquestionably the modern day go-to choice for track car aficionados and for those that lust after the thrill of driving. In isolation, the 991 is the perfect supercar; it packs an almighty punch, follows the 911 lineage beautifully, and as of now is even offered with a manual gearbox.

Put it next to a 997.1 GT3 however, and things change.


By comparison, the 991 looks overly big and wide, almost to the point of being cumbersome. But I suppose that’s the thing with the evolution of cars, they grow, get laden with the latest equipment, and before you know it they’ve swelled in size and weight and are a different machine altogether. It seems somewhat counterproductive if you ask me, but that’s the way the game is played; competition between manufacturers grows fiercer and no one wants to be left behind.

When Luke Huxham of Huxham Creative Studio – a guy you may know as the creative mind behind some of the coolest automotive videos to come out of Japan in recent time – decided he needed a GT3 in his life, I was happy to hear he went for a 997.1.


The model may be 10 years old now, but it came at the end of an era where fast cars were still somewhat raw and mechanical, and in the case of the GT3, smaller, lighter and narrower. The 997 was the perfect fit for Luke, fun on the right roads, yet still able to be used as a daily driver negotiating the ridiculously tight streets of Tokyo.

Well, almost perfect anyway. In Luke’s eyes there were a few things that need to be addressed, starting with the wheels.


After researching the options, Luke decided to take the Japanese approach when it came to style, going for The Check Shop look with a set of Agio Competizione rims, an inch smaller in diameter than the 19-inch stock wheels, measuring 18×9.5-inch up front and 18×11.5-inch at the rear. The 2-piece rims are shod in Yokohama Advan Neova AD08Rs, 245/40R18 and 295/30R18 front and rear respectively.


Bilstein adjustable coilovers have replaced the stock dampers, and according to Luke have transformed the car without compromising drivability. Mechanical grip has noticeably increased too, something I also noticed having driven the GT3 before and after the changes. I didn’t push the car too hard so I can’t give you more on that aside from the fact that the steering feel seems to have better weight, is more precise on center and weights up beautifully around the corners. The tail still dances around if you provoke it which is one trait you’d never want your 911 to lose.


As a result, the car sits nice and square at a functional height to take advantage of the 997.1’s excellent chassis.


After an unexpected shunt with a BMW, Luke ended up opting for 997.2-look LED taillights and rear bumper with the added horizontal vent.


He also went for a Cup wing setup from The Check Shop with adjustable stays, which adds some real aggression to the rear end. It’s a bit too aggressive according to the Japanese police though, who recently stopped Luke and slapped a 故障 red sticker on it. Roughly translated, koshou means ‘out of order,’ and to satisfy the authorities the wing will need to be swapped for something a little narrower.


Part of the appeal of the 997 is the fact that the car came with the Mezger water-cooled flat-six, an engine that’s history can be traced back to the 911 GT1 Le Mans race car. Not only that, but the 3.6L iteration used in the 997.1 is said to be the strongest – the one you want if you’re planning big engine mods.


Luke isn’t sure what upgrades he might make to the engine in the future, but at least he’s go the right motor to base it all on. For the time being, he’s given the car a livelier exhaust note through headers, a cat-delete, and fitting a Cup rear section.


It all sounds pretty raspy once the revs start piling on, and anything above 6,000rpm is pretty much spine-tingling stuff. The next step is to fit an aftermarket intake and get the Cobb Tuning ECU re-flasher mapped to extract the most out of the mods.

The 997 interior is a nice place to spend time; it has that unmistakable simplicity and functionality of most Porsches with nice Alcantara-clad steering wheel, shifter and door cards to remind you this is a car that’s built to be driven properly.


There are nice carbon touches here and there too, including the kick plates on the sills …


And the trim panel over the transmission tunnel.

Aside from the Japanese 2DIN navigation unit, there’s a chronograph from the Sport Chrono package as well as a Speed Cat radar detector to inform you when you’re approaching a speed camera.


It’s all topped off with fixed-back Recaro buckets finished in Alcantara, which match in with the rest of the interior nicely. Unfortunately, they do not cater for bigger frames and I always end up shutting off lower-body circulation when I drive this car. No problem for Luke however, as he’s pretty much JDM sized.


The GT3 is just about to have its ceramic rotors swapped out for steel units as Luke doesn’t like how they feel during regular driving. Initial bite is just not there and they do take some proper use to warm up and perform properly.

We’ll have to catch up with Luke in due course to see how far his Porsche has progressed.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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Hi Dino,

great feature as always, your opening shot is my new screensaver :). I was super surprised seeing that "out of order" sticker on that spoiler, thinking of all the crazy modified cars that roam the streets of Tokyo, this Porsche seems quiet, harmless ? Is regulation for tuning becoming tighter these days ?

best wishes

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's not stricter per se, it's just that sometimes they break balls and set up check points at PAs and stuff. Luke's wing is visibly wider than what a legal wing should be so it sticks out like a sore thumb. Actually a Policeman friend of mine told me that the cops hardly ever go after drivers of sports cars and modified cars much as they tend to be the better and more respectful drivers. It's more VIP cars they target as well as cars that sit way too low and have silly camber. I've never ever been pulled over in the GT-R. I've been chased once, but they didn't catch me haha


I've started to come around on Porsche as a brand after their return to Le Mans and hanging around a local vintage Porsche restoration shop. If you ever get the chance, check out Road Scholars in Durham NC, it's rife with 365s, winning Rothman rally 911s, GT3rs', it's well worth the trip and their CnC is the 3rd of every month.


GT3 without center-lock wheels??? :(


Yeah only the later models came with center-lock wheels, a lot of people actually retro fit the 5 lug from the earlier models like mine because the center-lock is an absolute pain the ass to deal with.

Christopher Anderson

Centerlocks started with the 997.2 911s.

Jason Voytovich

I want one of those koshou sticker now. I could put them on parts all over my car to signify that it's out of order.

Dino Dalle Carbonare

You want to start a new trend? Like the learner driver "shoshinsha" mark that JDM dudes put on their cars for years hahaha


Lol that sticker is just another piece of flare as far as I'm concerned. Fight the man, keep the wing!

Tasteful mods, I like it.


Switching from 19s down to 18s really transforms the appearance.


I have a 7.2 GT3 myself. Odd to see someone put narrower aftermarket wheels and tires than the stock 12in wide wheels shod with 305 rubber.


I wouldn't say odd I would just say most Porsche drivers are too scared to change anything outside what it came with from the factory. I might have lost a little width on the rear tyre but gained more grip using the Neova compound.


I do agree most GT3 owners do not deviate much from what what Porsche spec. But there are definitely some that do and in these setups that do deviate from factory go wider than narrow to increase overall grip in the front and rear. There are great tire brands out there that provide unreal amounts of grip so no real reason to run the narrower tire and rim imo unless it's merely to run more aggressive offsets for a flush look. If that was the goal then that's fine as your car looks great.


There isn't many 18inch tyres in sizes bigger than 295 and provides more grip then the Neova. I would love to stick a 305 or 315 on the back if I could find one that was easy to get but to no avail, also I don't want to run Toyo.


My car is used primarily on track and I run a 18x12 rear with 305/35 on nt01. I have never had rear grip issues with these tires and the tires provide consistent grip to the cords. I also drive with them on the street occasionally. Consider them for your next tires if you haven't already.
Also, do you run into any abs/tc issues with your car on track? The setup you are running may cause the abs/psm electronics to do some funny things due to the short rear tire. Turning off tc solves the psm issue but I've seen people get into ice mode under hard braking running short rear tires such as 315/30 much less the 295/30 setup you are running.


As I said above Carlo, a tyre that is easily available in Japan. I don't live in America so we do not really have nt01's on the shelf. Yokohama also produce Advan for the Porsche measuring in at a 18x11 and 18x8.5 which a lot of people run over here without issues. Slight deviations from the standard sizes won't cause issues with ABS / PASM if they are still within the tolerances hence why I don't have any issues under hard braking etc. There is a lot of hearsay in the Porsche community of what everyone thinks works and what you should or shouldn't do in fear of your Porsche instantly blowing up if you change anything outside of factory spec, let all just drive stuff and have fun.

I might try and hunt around for those NT01's if anyone imports them here, how do they deal over long periods of track usage? Do they grease up at all and lose grip? That's the thing about Neova, after they start to overheat they don't drop off grip, they stay at about 70% grip the whole time unlike a lot of other tyres that grease and lose all grip after a couple hard laps.


My experience with the abs/pasm issues isn't hearsay. I've experienced it myself driving friends' porsches with incorrect tire size. But if you aren't having that problem more power to you.

Nt01 get greasy if you don't keep tire pressures in check. On my gauge If the tire pressures go past 38psi they can get greasy but are still manageable. But once the tire pressures are dialed in grip is consistent. I've done more open trackday formats recently and haven't had any issues with grip running on track for 20-30 min stints once the tire pressures are set.

Automotive obsession

Turbo civic causing hearing damage!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Piss off


I've ridden in this car with Luke when it was stock, and it's amazing. I can't wait to check it out with the mods he's done.


Very tasteful, surely the ultimate daily


I used to see a GT3 (can't remember if it was a 996 or 997, might have been a RS) on a previous commute, that involved some pretty large speed humps.


Hey Dino, would you happen to know of any aftermarket seats that are comfortable for a USDM (lol) sized driver? I have a 95 GF8 Impreza WRX and the stock bucket seats in there fit me well but are uncomfortable for bigger people.