Simple & Sublime
Fine From The Factory

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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Small tweaks over time seems to be the way that Porsche has chosen to maintain its success through the decades.

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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.

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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.

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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…

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto
TYRphoto.com

Porsche stories on Speedhunters

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8 comments

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1

As a life long Porsche fan (I had a red early 964 pedal car when I was 5), can I be the first to say that I am absolutely loving the amount of Porsche based content on Speedhunters lately. This article, Paddy's visit to the Porsche Museum & the excellent story about making random friends on an american highway... they all speak to me on many levels.

2

Solid article and killer pictures! Always have, and always will love a 964!

3

Great article and photos. I can't help but feel the chrome headlight bezels look just so wrong, they stood out immediately on seeing the images, take away from the design perfection of the 964.

4

Yawn, stock ass 911s bore me to death

5

I have to say as much as I love 911s and having driven almost every model they have ever produced I would never buy one. It's kind of difficult to understand the modern craze and value of these cars. I have never driven one that has been modified extensively, but having said that even Porsche understands they needed to make the RSR mid engine to be competitive.

Old Porsches are fun when you're not driving balls out. I know that's part of the appeal and you have to be very, very skilled to pilot one on the limit. When the !@#$ hits the fan I would much rather be in a Corvette or a Lotus. I know...crucify me.

6

Just one nit to pick with respect to one of your points: Porsche made the RSR mid-engine to take advantage of the regulations allowing for massive rear diffusers, which it could not otherwise fully exploit with a rear-engined car. The move was not made (or does not appear to have been made) based on vehicle dynamics or mechanical grip grounds.

https://blackflag.jalopnik.com/please-dont-call-the-porsche-911-with-the-engine-in-the-1791729047

7

Excellent photography, great writing and I think I just watched a video of this car on youtube. But I am wondering roughly how much it take to recreate what they have done to this RS?

8

Thanks Matt. I couldn't tell you, but this model isn't an RS; the idea behind it was to elevate the C2 to a sort of RS spec. They're local to Fremont, California if you care to reach out to them.

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