As my eyes locked on the metallic bronze Porsche 996 at the front of a massive line up of cars entered in the Idlers Club event at Tsukuba on Sunday, I found myself pondering this very question.
The Old & New conversion is one that’s popping up more and more in our coverage, and now that I’ve finally seen the 996 offering it makes a hell of a lot more sense.
The 996 generation of the 911 comes from an interesting time in Porsche’s lineage. This is the model that marked the move away from air-cooled engines, but also one that received a lot of criticism for its design.
Yes, I am talking about the headlights. Their ‘runny egg’ or ‘peanut’ shape cemented the 996 as an instant love-it-or-hate-it iteration of Stuttgart’s iconic sports car.
So I really have to ask, does eliminating the headlights altogether – as the Old & New kit does – take the 996 out of the ugly duckling category? This is something I want to put to you guys, as I personally have never been too fussed about what the front of the car looked like, especially when the high performance versions are so good.
So it’s a matter of substance over style, for myself at least.
That said, the slant-nose conversion really does work wonders for the car as a whole. I think the Old & New guys are really onto something with this 996 kit; think about how many unloved and cheap runny eggs there are out there waiting to get chopped up and transformed.
This car is based on what looked like an entry-level Carrera. This is possibly the cheapest way to get yourself into a 911, yet here’s one that’s been given a new breath of life and is now enjoyed on the track by its owner.
Just like the Old & New 997 body conversion there are screwed-on rear flares to pump the hips, while the single-piece, headlight-deleted wings balance the look up front.
19-inch Barramundi Design Hystrix wheels are fitted all four corners, their deep lips a good match for the overall look of the car. The rears were running 305/30-sized Hankooks to help fill up the arches.
The biggest difference compared to the 997 kit is the lack of a rear bumper; it just all seems to end at the overfenders which sort of leaves it a touch incomplete. I don’t know if that’s the choice of the owner of this car as the Old & New website still doesn’t list the details for the 996 conversion, but maybe there’s a bumper and he just didn’t want to fit it. There was also no rear wing, which I kind of liked.
The cabin is simple with just the addition of a bucket seat for the driver and factory options like the full carbon pack.
So it’s over to you. Would the availability of a slant-nose steer you towards getting a 996 if you were indeed a hater of the headlights?
The owner of the car actually has an RWB 964, so maybe this is just a fun daily driver that he can occasionally take to the track. In case you’re wondering, I’d rock one, but I’d definitely have to get those front louvers integrated into the fenders.
Dino Dalle Carbonare