The 964 will always be one of the most desirable and reachable sports car chassis. The early ’90s body style is a solid base for just about any build, and over the years we’ve seen stanced examples that look phenomenal, unreal RWB variants, genuine race builds, canyon carvers and just about anything you can think of.
SharkWerks’ simple interpretation of a daily driver 964 just goes to show how good this car is from the factory and what you can accomplish with a limited amount of fiddling about.
The formula for the 964 is unapologetic, classic Porsche as we all know. But a fact I wasn’t aware of is that the 964’s wheelbase is just 89.37 inches, less than one quarter inch more than a Mazda Miata of the same era.
Perhaps my friends and I are just too poor to have an accurate feel for too many Porsches, but hadn’t previously realized what absolute go-karts these things are, a trait that made me think of the MX-5 in the first place.
In an entirely different league, of course, is the 964. Alex Ross’ shop SharkWerks has gone ahead and worked a bit of magic on this car to produce more power and improve the already stellar handling of this particular 24-year-old machine.Inside The Office
They’ve also made the interior an even better place to be, with a healthy mix of original items and more modern additions. Despite these changes, it’s still the proper tactile experience for the era.
Tan door cards and matching Recaros that have been restitched with some material that looks like it was around in the ’90s leaves you a bit nostalgic for a bygone time.
It’s a car that’s lived in, as well. It’s not a complete restoration, nor has any part of the SharkWerks 964 been ignored. It’s a nice balance of something that any of us could potentially get our hands on.Details, Details, Details
To get the handling and stance of the car how they need it, SharkWerks has gone with Bilstein PSS10 adjustable coil-overs and heavier, adjustable sway bars make for a stiffer ride with better road feel. The setup was properly aligned and tuned by SharkWerks’ good friend and suspension genius Tony at TC Design, another workshop in California’s Bay Area.
A variety of minor exterior touches like the chrome headlight bezels go quite far on this car. It’s not often I’ve seen these, and it was one of those little things you don’t actually notice when you consider the car as a whole.
Other bits you can’t see, like the Shark-afied RS-style semi-solid engine mounts, make small but tangible differences in the end product here.
An extra 35 horsepower has been found with help from a modern, programmable Delta ECU. Fellow Brit Stewart Taylor of ST Systems worked some “trick wizardry,” as Alex called it, to find the extra power out of the air cooled six-cylinder. The ECU also helps with what would be the rather embarrassing situation of stalling out your Porsche that’s equipped with a lightened flywheel, as this one is. This is accomplished with yet more trick wizardry.
Alex wanted to essentially make an American ‘RS’ as we completely missed out on the proper version of this car in the ’90s. The now plug-and-play ECU update helps do just that and plays nice alongside all the other little changes they’ve made to this example.
Aesthetically, not a whole lot has changed drastically which is a strong testament to Porsche’s timeless design. Tons of factory details that they got just right back in the day remain unchanged.
Small tweaks over time seems to be the way that Porsche has chosen to maintain its success through the decades.
Rather than throw out years of development that’s clearly been working, both on the street and the track, Porsche has stuck to its guns.
Their success is obvious, allowing shops like SharkWerks to thrive as interest and appreciation for Porsches old and new only seems to be growing.
The other SharkWerks daily driver, a Cayman GT4 I shot last month alongside with this one, is further evidence of Porsche’s accomplishments, even when the engineers do mix it up a bit.
Once the boys at the workshop in town put the finishing touches on a remodel of sorts, I’ll have to pop in for a peek at what makes SharkWerks, SharkWerks.
I know they’re hiding a few other interesting cars over there, too…