It was last year when Louis put me in touch with Kris Duggan to shoot his car, but only last weekend did the stars finally align for us at an OnGrid track day. Kris said his RWB 964 had never been featured anywhere before, and the car has had a wild ride since he picked it up in stock form a little over two years ago.
The 1990 C2 isn’t Kris’s first go around with a Porsche; he actually has a rather long history with them. His first car was a 1974 914 2.0L that he picked up in high school for $2,000, and his latest acquisition marks the ninth Porsche he’s owned. On the first cruise in the car after Nakai-san wrapped up his RWB handiwork, Kris was rear-ended by a California Highway Patrol officer driving an SUV. It was at this point that Kris had some decisions to make, but we’ll get into that later.
First off, it’s obvious that Nakai came back on the States to rework his magic on the 1990 C2 to get everything to fit again. Kris has been enjoying the car ever since, regularly taking it to the tracks around California’s Bay Area.
It was early in the morning at OnGrid’s track day at Laguna Seca last weekend that I finally laid eyes on the car for the first time.
It was more striking in person than I expected it to be, and like all of Nakai’s builds, very properly put together.
One of the first things I asked Kris was why he wanted to have an RWB in the first place. Of course, like so many others, he just loves that wide-body look, and as a Porsche aficionado he relished in the opportunity to watch Nakai work on his car. Kris describes Nakai as a true craftsman, and he’s stoked to be part of a growing community of RWB owners around the world.
So far, everything seems pretty standard: Kris loves Porsches, the RWB culture, and driving the pants off his car.Track Prepped
If you want to drive your car hard, the racetrack is absolutely the best place to push it to the limit. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good back road, but the consequences of getting it wrong on a public street aren’t fair to anyone around you. As such, Kris has the 964 prepped for track duty.
Like the outside of the car, the interior is has been tastefully refined. There’s lots of Alcantara and aftermarket replacements, but everything’s been done in a sort of minimalist way.
As Alex Ross from SharkWerks told me when I stopped by his shop, a good steering wheel is like a good computer mouse. Not only is it a basic requirement to interface with your hardware, but you’re going to spend a lot of time with it in your hands, and as such, you should get a good one. Kris has gone with a dished Momo.
Meanwhile, the gauges have also been replaced with an OBD2 setup, and I noticed a fancy heads-up digital temp gauge above the center console.
Sparco seats have been selected to keep the driver and passenger firmly in place. You’ll notice that the OEM-style belts remain alongside the harnesses; this is the correct way to have your car good to go on the street as well as the track.
Kris already has several days completed at his favorite California circuits, as you can see from the Laguna Seca, Thunderhill, and Buttonwillow Raceway stickers on the side window.
Kris is fast too, running in the 1:44s at Laguna Seca during his last outing. To give you a bit of perspective, that’s only a couple seconds off of 981 Cayman S records with a professional driver behind the wheel. Kris admits he’s probably leaving a lot of time on the table in the car, so how is this possible with the old 964 C2?Welcome To America
This question brings us back in time to when Kris was rear-ended by a police officer, of all people, immediately after having the RWB kit finished.
As I mentioned, the bodywork was all redone by Nakai himself, but it left Kris with a unique opportunity.
An opportunity that Kris made full use of, going with a GM LS3 V8 swap good for 410 horsepower to the wheels. Considering the original motor in the C2 — which would only make 250hp at the crank on a good day — was trashed, Kris figured this was the perfect chance to try something different.
With roughly an extra 200 horsepower on tap (nearly double) in the 28-year-old wide-body, it’s definitely an incredible driving experience. You’ll also notice that the V8 is packaged quite tightly in the back of the car, with a bit of trickery to make it all work.
The swap makes use of a 5-speed G50 Porsche transaxle, and to make everything fit a couple of the rear panels were trimmed back and the deck lid hinge needed to be relocated. But they got it all in there and Kris says the resulting power is just simply grin-inducing.
When you couple that with the insane induction noise from the window-mounted air scoops that feed the motor, Kris says the Porsche has been transformed into a “giggle machine.” Just mash the pedal in any gear and it’s a guarantee that the driver is going to get a bit giddy.
Even with the larger displacement motor, which actually doesn’t really weigh much more than the original setup, it still has that Porsche DNA which makes it a dream to drive.
The suspension, which we’ll get to in a moment, has been upgraded along with the wide-body and the motor so everything is well balanced.
It’s this awesome formula that keeps Kris coming back to the track looking for more and more grip.Handling The Handling
The car certainly has plenty of grip, aided by KW suspension and the fat tires Kris is now able to tuck under the RWB bodywork.
With sticky Toyo R888s in 315/30R18 out back and 265/35R18 in the front, it’s a righteous setup for track use.
The massively dished AL13 wheels that Kris has chosen for the build are perfect in that bright red finish. Normally I wouldn’t gravitate towards a wheel choice like this, but it looks so good against the Grand Prix White and fits in nicely with the aggressive RWB kit.
Ducting help keeps the big brake kit from getting too toasty at the track when Kris puts his RaceTech RS35 pads to use.
Suspension is handled by KW V1 coilovers along with a KW Hydraulic Lift System (HLS) similar to the one that Larry just installed in his 996.
Other suspension upgrades make use of parts from Elephant Racing, including an adjustable spring plate kit in the rear. This allows Kris to get the car to sit exactly how he wants it to.
With these parts the car is perfectly set up for track use, but Kris can still make it out of a steep driveway and over speed bumps thanks to the KW HLS.
It’s a no-compromises RWB build, being put through its paces at the racetrack on the regular. While so many things about this car are just so right, Kris tells me many still don’t approve of the RWB kit and cry foul when they learn of the V8 swap.
But Kris is far too busy putting the hammer down in his C2, with a giant grin on his face, to be concerned about any of that.
Trevor Yale Ryan
take your porsche and chev it!! nice
it's like a double whammy of purist triggers. LS power and RWB. At least it's hitting the track and being driven hard!
Visually, this would have to be the most tasteful RWB Porsche ever featured.
I disagree. Something about this RWb just doesn't sit right with me. To me this would be the bottom of the barrel for RWB cars that Speedhunters has featured. In saying that, it's still a very nice car.
Dude how the hell do you fit another four cylinders in there!? Im really into what they did to cram that in
Won't ever be able to accept an LS on an 911 or FD RX7. Apart from that it's a nice car.
I kinda agree with Klaus, when you see a tiger, you expect tiger noises; and not a tiger making gorilla noises. I know its a beautiful car and a powerful engine but i think i would prefer less HP and have the boxter engine sound... but i also applaud the owner courage to do that.
but to be honest i will love to make my focus zx3 a v8 heart transplant !
Genuinely interested why you think that?
The LS is an excellent engine. It's great in almost every way. I think people's expectations of builds online differ to real life. It's a 'boring' swap despite all its benefits but an internet full of exciting swaps like a 2jz Rolls Royce or a 4 Rotor Toyota Aristo. It all seems mundane in comparison.
Thing of it is that finding something like this in the wild would be exciting let alone getting to drive it.
It's a question of personal taste and also the orignal powertrain of the car and the possibilities of other platforms available to put an LS in.
You have loads of other mass produced cars available to put an LS1 or LS2 and have a reliable track/drift/weekend car to enjoy.
For example I really like the idea of that engine on a Miata, or any older GM car which may have the looks but not the desired performance.
I just usually think: power target = engine choice (need to think reliability, cost, support etc) + Chassis choice (weight, looks, personal choice, rwd, fwd, awd, rigidity, support, suspension, brakes etc etc) = combo driver wants. So for me personally if it does the job I the owner intended it is all good.
Can anyone explain the RWB sticker on the passenger side quarter window behind the air intake? It looks like the QANTAS kangaroo logo - is this an RWB Australia sticker of some sort?
I'm still trying to work out how that motor fits in that engine bay! The kit looks amazing too, one of my favourites that's been featured so far. Looks like you've been busy! Looking forward to more articles
Good spot. I didn't know RWB Aus was allowed to use the QANTAS logo.
Hey Joel, yeah, that is a sticker from RWB Australia... glad everyone likes the car!
Great car that seems to have all facets blend well. The widebody is a part of the look and handling, the V8 people (who haven't done conversions) hassle but others who DO work on their cars know a reliable cost effective solution can't be argued with, we aren't building to please the internetz yo. Love the car and the ducktail looks great
Great job Trevor on the article and the fantastic pics. Big time thanks to the RWB community and in particular Nakai-san. Also want to thank Toyo and AL13.
A 911 with very deep wheels, an RWB kit, an LS, and good street/track balance. yeah, that ticks all the boxes for me!
Something's not right.
410whp, sub-3000lb car, 315-width R888 tires
runs 1:44s?!! and you weirdly compare it to a 981 Porsche?
A little perspective: We run mid 1:40's in our Miata's. With 205-width tires. Track record in a SM-prepped Miata (130whp) is 1:42.5. A nicely prepped '81 911 SC will turns 1:44s all day. I just don't the "fast" and 981 comparison at all.
This LS powered 911 should be sub-1:40s all day!
I also thought this was Brian Scotto's RWB from Hoonigan at first glance thinking he had ditched the rear wing.
Very nicely put together combo. I'm interested to see how the cooling system is set up?
"very properly put together"
Sorry, but RWB are the opposite of properly put together.
Have you seen how they are made?
Poor use of tools, badly hacked body, too-large spacers, no rust prep, etc.
Here in Tokyo, they're very much the low-end of modded cars for that reason, especially those made a few years ago.
It's really amusing to see the hand-me-down RWBs getting extra stickers, tinted lenses, and the full diamante treatment over the last few years.
Because nothing says "track day beast" better than fake canards, and a full set of diamante gauges and badges!
From what I read in the article, the car is a Cali driven where things like rust don't usually occur as bad like places up north. This comes from salting the roads and whatnot. So if he lived in an area like that would make sense to be angry for no rust.
For the other's, he does this by hand and they're going to be times it's cut straight and clean and others that won't.
Agreed. If the owner likes it then great. A rip saw, self tappers, no rust treatment and plumbing silicone tho aren't a great build. I can't criticise if an owner wants to pay for the work but after seeing RWB conversions it isn't "craftsman" quality and not good value.
This isn't those cars though.
Funny, I was sure I had read too this was an 'RWB' built by Nakai-kun? I must have misread that?
I love everything about this build! Flawless execution. And there is nothing like an LS.. Happy to see it here on SH!
Very nice, work, I would like to see more detail on how the coolant lines and radiator setup are run for converting air to water cooler. I understand how the purist dislike the RWB/GMv8 stuff but one cannot argue with the execution, this machine appears really clean and well though out. Im sure the owner had a lot of internal debating before decided to go v8; Thank you for this coverage!
Nicely done, both the car and the article.
I guess its also a secret to how the radiator works now for the engine swap. Perhaps that would be something to go over in the article describing a car that went from air cooled to water cooled?
NACA ducts in the rear quarter ones, I would guess.
Met the owner at Laguna last weekend, cool dude and was very welcoming when my brother and I walked up to see his car.
Side note: Does anyone know what Sparco seat that is? I've been looking for it this whole time and I can't find it!
How ya gon feature a V8 RWB and not post a video so we can listen to it.....
motore eticamente sbagliato: pesante, grosso, privo di tecnologia e per giunta raffreddato ad acqua! A questo punto sarebbe stato meglio il motore della 996...
I do wonder what the handling balance is now like with the weight very far over the rear axle. you mentioned its not too much heavier than the original set up but it does sit twice as far out the back and twice as high up too. These older 911s were probably too biased towards oversteer as it is with the stock engine. The rear flares would actually be very necessary in this instance. I'd like to see the front fitted back with normal guards and a pair of front runners with some huge fat meats out the back and make it a drag beast. Should have no trouble wheel standing and getting rear traction.
"But Kris is far too busy putting the hammer down in his C2, with a giant grin on his face, to be concerned about any of that."
THIS is the most important thing about Cars, it does not matter if I like ir or not. This guy has an absolute blast with the car, respect for him! Not that i dont like the car, i absolutely love it!
So if I'm understanding correctly, Nakai finished the kit the first time, guy got rearended by the police and stuffed a GM V8 into it as a result. Yeah that makes sense to me lol While not the first wide-body V8 911 I've seen I still marvel how they are able to get them to fit, and white really suits the car.
Now though, I wonder when we'll see a older 911 with a Subaru Boxer in it.