“One of the many goals I had with my Porsche 930 was to create my version of a supercar. This is why one of my favorite points is the exterior.”
When Yuki, the owner of this 1981 Porsche 930 Turbo, mentioned this to me during our outing, it really got me thinking about an age-old question: what is the purpose behind a ‘supercar’?
That question has, like many things, has evolved over time. Without dating myself too much, the Lamborghini Diablo SV was the supercar that adorned my bedroom wall.
A screaming mid-engined V12 mated to a 5-speed manual transmission producing a little over 500PS (all of which was sent to the rear wheels) seemed ludicrous for the child version of me. Then there was the look of the thing. From all angles the SV had presence and theater. You just knew that if you were lucky enough to own one, everyone – car enthusiast or not – would notice you. It’s no wonder that I always picked the SV in Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit.
To me, performance and styling were – and perhaps still are to this day – the critical components that define a supercar. As I’ve grown older, the allure of these exotic machines has somewhat disappeared as the performance figures have risen to such absurd levels, that you might not even be able to use a tenth of a supercar’s power potential on the public road. And then, most supercars will never see any kind of serious track time where one could use all of the power. Yes, I do know there are exceptions to this, but as a generalization I don’t think I’m that far off the mark.
Then there is the styling aspect of supercars. With regulations tightening all of the time and engineers designing for optimal aero efficiency above all else, the crazy supercar looks that inspired me as a child are long gone.
Talking supercars, Porsche has always been a bit of a taboo topic, as it seems that any comments made which could be interpreted as negative will wind you up behind bars with the comments section ablaze. But hear me out before you skip to the bottom to write how wrong I am.
I’ve had the privilege of driving many different Porsche models (both air- and water-cooled) over the years, and I think they are brilliant. Porsche hasn’t gone to the dark side in the horsepower arms race just for the sake of boasting, and a vast number of owners beat on their cars regularly at tracks all over the world.
They’re a supercar that you can use every day, and not have to deal with the typical shortcomings that come with the territory of owning one. To me, that’s a massive selling point and the driving force behind Porsche’s cult-like following.
I should really want one. I should aspire to own one, as I know how capable they are on a track and how great they are to use as a daily – unlike the Diablo SV. And yet, both Yuki and I feel as if they are lacking one major substance to be a truly desirable supercar. Style.The Game Plan
A supercar should be instantly recognizable by enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike, with wild styling to make them look like nothing else on the road. Because of this, they should create awe for those who know what they’re looking at, and curiosity for those who don’t. It’s something I feel most Porsche models fail to do.
When it came time to buy his first car, Yuki was leaning more towards the R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R, but that changed when one day he picked up a magazine and found Nakai’s RWB inside.
(Yuki’s brother did go down the Skyline route though, but that’s another story…)
Say what you want about RWB and the whole cutting up classic air-cooled Porsches, but you have to admit that they have a style that makes them unique. Almost immediately, Yuki decided he needed to own a Porsche – a 911 of course.
So he came up with a game plan. Yuki gave up going out for fun, and stopped drinking with friends. He started saving his monthly pay checks with the goal of buying a 911 as soon as possible. A year and half later at the age of 21, he accomplished this by purchasing a 930 Turbo
Two years later he crashed it.
It took Yuki another three years before he found a suitable 930 Turbo replacement, and a further seven years on and off to bring it up to the spec you see here.
“I’ve spent more time fixing it than I have driving it,” Yuki said with a big laugh. Having seen his 930 in various forms over the past three years, I can attest to this statement.Racing Inspiration
With the goal of creating something worthy of the supercar image, Yuki turned to Porsche’s illustrious race cars for inspiration. After all, if you’re going for something that creates shock and awe to all those who see it, race cars check those boxes off quite nicely.
“I talked the idea over with my friend Tetsu, of Tetsu International. He runs a small shop out in Chiba and has worked on other Porsches in the past, so I knew he could help me out with my vision of creating a kit to transform the 930 Turbo,” explained Yuki. “The main inspiration came from the [Kremer] 935 K3 racing car.”
“It may look like an exact replica, but in fact there are a lot of subtle differences that I wanted, such as the ducting and rear wing. It took a lot of work, but I think Tetsu did a fantastic job in creating a one-off kit for me,” Yuki added.
For wheels, Yuki went with a staggered BBS and Work combination. The 17-inch BBS RS mesh wheels pay homage to the 935, where as the Work Meisters add some JDM flair.
At 18×14.5-inches wide with a -93 offset, the Meisters have to be the largest set of wheels I’ve ever seen fitted on a road-legal car, For reference, my phone’s screen size is 5.8-inches and there is still space and another lip remaining.
“Bigger tires would fit around the Work Meisters, but anything larger than 345 would require custom ordering which, besides the extra costs, would be a pain to deal with,” says Yuki. “Thus, I decided anything larger wouldn’t be necessary for now.”
Brake calipers from a Porsche 964 RS have found their way to all four corners of Yuki’s car, and as you would expect provide plenty of stopping power for the lightweight 930.
Judging by the number of times people of all ages stopped to look at the 911 as I shot pictures, I’d say Yuki has totally accomplished his goal of creating the visual aspect that a supercar must have.
It’s here he could have said ‘mission accomplished’ and called it a day. This being Japan though, meant that there was no way Yuki was going to leave the job half finished. To create his perfect supercar, more work was required inside the 930 and under the rear hatch – Yuki’s inspiration was a race car after all.Leaving No Stone Unturned
It should come as no surprise then, that everything deemed not necessary was removed from the 930’s cabin.
A custom carbon dash panel house new gauges for monitoring air/fuel ratio, boost, and also a Stack multi-function display. The roof has been redone in carbon, and both Yuki and his passenger sit in Bride full bucket seats.
And yes, that is the original 4-speed shifter you see.
Walking around the back, the single IHI RX6 turbocharger and Sard wastegate hanging exposed in the rear bumper not only looks tough as all hell, but lets you know there is a bit more poke underneath the fiberglass hatch than stock.
Four spring-loaded clips hold the hatch to the body, but with those undone using a trusty flathead screwdriver, the 3.3L flat-six engine is fully revealed.
Running around 1.1 to 1.2bar of boost, the large HKS intercooler helps keep the engine cool. Yuki has had the unfortunate luck of destroying the motor before, so has since upgraded the internals and made other modifications, including 993 head studs to increase durability. The end goal is to put down around 600 horsepower to the rear tires, but as it stands now, Yuki estimates the engine is putting out 400 horsepower.
Interestingly, there isn’t an aftermarket ECU in play, but rather a Nissan Z32 unit.
“Besides creating my version of what a Porsche supercar should be, I also wanted to challenge myself and try to do as many things on my 930 as possible,” says Yuki. “There are tons of parts available for cheap still, and I really like the Nistune ECU tuning. It’s very user friendly and something I felt comfortable with, thus I decided to go that route.”
Under the elongated frunk, a 56L (little under 15-gallon) ATL racing fuel cell and supporting mods ensure more than enough fuel is delivered to the engine.
Seeing that Yuki was still working on the tune of his current rebuild, I wasn’t really expecting him to cut loose. He did however offer to let me get a taste of the experience, if I could squeeze myself into the passenger seat. Challenge accepted.
I could try to explain it in words, but I think the short video clip above does it much better.
“Once I have the tune dialed in and have made a few other changes, such as changing the 4-speed transmission, I really want to try Fuji Speedway. If you have time, you should come and join me,” Yuki said as a parting comment.
Is it ready yet?!
This is exactly the kind of car I want to build one day, thank you for sharing the inspiration fuel.
I’ve asked myself the same question and after 17 years in the industry the answer is simple:
The only point of a super car is to flaunt expendable income.
That’s honestly it. It has very little to do with wanting to push yourself as a driver, get fast lap times, or go compete.
They are status symbols. Nothing more.
It is not true, I for example is the idea of fulfilling my dreams, the technical challenge, will I be able? the illusion of seeing the finished parts, of course there is an ego part, of teaching what I have built to my family and friends and why not to the rest of the enthusiasts of the world through sites like speedhunters
Many years ago, I briefly dated a young woman from the local college scene. After a few weeks of dating, she pointed at my Porsche and said "I used to think the guys that bought those kind of cars were compensating for something. But now I know that's not the case. So why *do* you have it?" By then I had been racing in the SCCA, PCA, and SVRA for eight years, and was instructing at the regional tracks. So I gave her a taste of "why" on the way to dinner. She switched from questioning why I had the car to questioning why I had so many guitars.
Like I said before, BRIEFLY dated.
I strongly disagree. I think there is subset of people. (ie collectors obsessed with the newest shiny, expensive car) that really want to flex their purchasing power, but I believe most supercar owners enjoy speed and driving. Or at least the social aspect of ownership. Is there some preening at the Ferrari Owners meetings? No doubt, but I'd say most people view a supercar as a symbol of success and hard-work, a gateway to enjoying life. Especially in Japan where owners seem to track and mod their six figure cars often.
-Side note, I'm the second Alex as well, whoops!
Right. Social aspect.
The thing that’s funny to me about them is: why do we like super cars? Speed is number one...right? We gawk because of the speed.
Well if you have 6 figures why not buy a formula car. Much faster. Less maintenance. Cheaper for sure to own and operate.
Because no one sees you at the track. You can’t drive around at car meets.
These things are status symbols first and foremost. Not speed machines. The guy in this article said he might go to Fuji.
Might. It’s all about being seen. Not about the track. Kind of funny to me and why I don’t have much interest in road cars anymore. Just my 0.02
Once the perfect Porsche is completed.....must bring it to the track and race it!
Imagine standing on the side of a road and seeing this. I´m just speechless, how such a car can be something like "roadlegal", at least where I live, haha. .) Amazing build, Yuki, I´m really impressed!
Looks like a streetable racecar, not really a super car. Imo it doesn't have the fit, finish and refinement that I would attribute to a "super car". Very cool car though
Great story and has inspired me to make some things happen for my own 911 story. I’ll take a lot from this.
I love the 930
What a beuatiful car,i'm still reading the story,i Just stopped when you mentioned about nfs 3 hot possuit,man just imagine a article about the cars of this game,or movies like Shuto Kousoko ,would be so much cool to read something about these nfs old games,like 1 to 4 or even a series about racing games
Great article Mr Celestine, thank you again. You're writing and articles are really getting interesting and provocative. Photography is brilliant. Great car Yuki-kun! Its come out so well! I really do hope that you and Ron connect and make it to Fuji Speedway together. Is it ready yet?? Please work hard on it now. and the things I still learn from reading Speedhunters... who'd have thought you can get a programmable ECU so cheaply from Nistune! Less than $1000, love it!
Woah, it really gives me the OG RWB vibes back in the day. Cool article for sure.
I couldn't agree more! A supercar is, although it may be cliché'd, in the eyes of the beholder. For me, it's a 1992 964 Targa. For others, it can range from a Huracán EVO to a Lexus GX, and everything in-between. For me, it's not the speed. The design is what makes me pine for a 964. What's super to me may not be super to you, but that doesn't strip the title from my "supercar". A supercar is an opinion, not a fact.
Enjoyed the article and the photos Ron, thank you.
It's funny, I'm old enough to remember being enamored the first time I saw 2 Countachs fly down a street in the South Bronx in the 80s (red and white) while out with my grandmother and seeing a Testarossa another time not long after and those being the standard bearer for what I thought "super" really was.
Then I stumbled across Group B lol.....
If I was a man of means...my version of a supercar today would be having a rally cross spec Citroen DS3 and all of its 600+ 4wd madness to have out in the world. I still find myself gawking at the beauty of a new 911 or Ferrari/Audi/Lamborghini/Aston etc...but for pure insanity, my aforementioned choice is the way I'd go.
Love this 911...he did a phenomenal job, makes me wish I could replay some aspects of my life and go after something like that at his age. I remember at 21 I wanted a '96 SS Impala with a Vette swap lol....he went out and bought air cooled madness. Salute to him.
Yuki's marvel represents the "supercar" more so than any car produced after the first decade of the 21st century - Pagani Zonda; Ferrari F430 et al.
HYPErcars are what they are nowadays. It's in the name...
Absolute art of cars!