Original Spirit, Restored
The Opportunity

So you find yourself armed with a car Bisimoto-tuned Porsche 911 and an interesting logistics problem opportunity. What do you do?

In the situation we recently found ourselves in, the opportunity was to drive the newly improved NFS 964 from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. But not by the most direct path.

Since the Interstate 15 was clearly designed by an accountant striving for efficiency over fun, we set upon Google Maps and begun to fill it with pins and alternative routes.

The route we decided was not to be missed and happened to be slap bang in the middle of Death Valley. It offered up the best driving roads we could find, plus a fairly epic shoot location. The site itself is what you are looking at now – an active airstrip at Stovepipe Wells, right next to a somewhat bizarrely placed campsite. The car itself, is the all-new-for-2016, face-lifted NFS Porsche 964 reimagined as Spirit of 147.


We’re getting ahead of ourselves here though. Let’s rewind to the point of inception. Remember this?

2016 Speedhunters Life by Paddy McGrath-124

Yeah, well that is the car which the NFS community collectively curated into existence for the launch of the last game (along with the gracious efforts of partners Bisimoto, Fifteen52, RWB et al). Whilst there was a lot to be celebrated about the manner in which the 2015 edition of this car came together, we found ourselves with one more SEMA Show before handing it back to Mr. Fish.

Clearly, there was a lot of scope here, so we began to put our heads together.

The Drawing Board

If this was going to be a Speedhunters edition of the vehicle then it needed a story, a central theme that trigger-pointed an agenda and could be the litmus test for all the ridiculous ideas we had for the car. Equally, seeing how this was going to appear on the booth of our friends at Air Lift Performance, there needed to be a performance angle to the car too.

Enter, the first proper competition Porsche 911.

Back in 1965, Porsche entered the Monte Carlo rally, an event that turned out to be pure hell; 237 cars entered the race but only 22 survived. Porsche’s cheeky 911 not only finished, it won its class, making it quite a momentous day. The 911 came second in class after Porsche 904 GTS. The whole event was won by a humble Mini of Timo Mäkinen. 237 cars entered, only 35 finished it (Thank you Vittorio Jano for the correction). Performance, story, passion and awesome vibes – we had our inspiration.


What was utterly fantastic about this discovery – beyond giving us an exciting direction for the car – was that it describes the embodiment of challenge and fierce street-fighting roughness. The sort of stuff that initially attracted us to the original, less show-car work of the mighty Nakai-san, whose automotive stylings are already very much installed on this machine.

This Is Rough World.


With a direction in place, we contacted the always-on-point Mr. Andy Blackmore to assist with combining our musings into a legitimate plan for the final car. This concept art became the goal.

Our sights set, we got to work. Lots of blackness, 20 or so less spoilers, an exposed intercooler and a new set of shoes. But who was going to build this thing?

The Dark Lord

As it happens, just outside of Malibu in Southern California lies the shop of the one true Sith Lord himself, the darkest of them all.


This is Gino, the founder, CEO and chief badman at Vaderwerks, a place where he has been quietly building a reputation as one of the most committed artists in the global wrap game. To Gino, applying vinyl to a car is a lot more than some sticky plastic and a hairdryer. The things this man knows about adhesive alone will shame even the most committed enthusiast.

The moment we stepped off the plane it was straight to Vader to say hello, throw some high-fives and get stuck in.

With a few weeks head-start before our arrival in California, Gino had already done the bulk of the work, taking the car apart and lovingly casting huge swathes of 3M satin and gloss black vinyl over the hulking bodywork that make up a RWB-fitted Porsche 911.


I won’t lie, our commitment to details like the exposed intercooler, rally lighting and race number decals were questioned again and again. We doubted ourselves, got back into line, doubted ourselves again. On loop.

I’m proud that we stuck to the original vision and didn’t let middle-of-the-road fears of ‘doing the wrong thing’ stop us from completing this build.


The interior of the 964 was in pretty bad shape, but thanks to the help of talented people at Cobra Seats, Schroth Racing and Renown, a staggering transformation took place.

This is the cockpit that this beast of a car had always deserved. A huge thank you to our partners in helping bring it up to spec.


Just before we showed, Gino had taken delivery of a rather stunning set of Rotiform MLWs. Finished in raw alloy with a layer of clear, they more than complete the look of the car.

Without a minute lost they were fitted with a set of the latest evolution of Toyo’s hugely popular road-legal track tyre, the Proxes R888R.


With this done, most of the remaining work involved applying the decals and getting the ride height dialled in. When your car is being hosted by the good people at Air Lift Performance one must consider not just how the car looks whilst at ‘drive height’ but also completely aired-out and sitting on the floor. Good job we had Ryan – our exceptionally talented, retired race engineer – on loan from Scene Media.

This is engineering my friends. Engineering.

Road Trip

With the car finished there was only one thing left to do. We needed to get it and ourselves into Nevada and have as much fun possible while doing so.


With route set, batteries sort of charged after a few fleeting hours sleep at a motel in Calabasas, we emerged, primed for japes and ready to extract our car from the SUV-shaped protective barrier we installed the night before.

This was 1:00am folks; we expected to arrive in Vegas just before midday.


We are go! Into the night went the three-car convoy with Death Valley as our first waypoint.


It quickly became clear that in spite of this vehicle being stupidly wide, having zero visibility and as much horsepower as Bisimoto could wring out of the quite dated engine, it was really fun to drive. Objective level 10 cleared with flying colours.


Just before reaching Death Valley, a somewhat troubling series of signs began to emerge roadside telling of an impending interruption to the ‘pavement’ we had been enjoying so much. It turns out they did not lie; where there was once tarmac, we found found rocks, gravel and sand. So much sand.

The keen listeners will recall the inspiration for this build and be happy to note that it put on a very good show as a car of mettle and steely rally heritage as we powered through the loose dirt underfoot without breaking stride. I’ll say it again: “This is Rough World” – a direct quote from our esteemed Editor in Chief, Dino Dalle Carbonare, at the time.

The Shoot

At some time around 6:00am we arrived at Stonepipe Wells, located our spot and pushed the not-so-shiny-anymore Spirit of 147 into place on the airstrip. The previous day’s visit to Meguiar’s had netted us a good collection of microfibre cloths and a dizzying number of plastic-bottled car-cleaning technological witchcraft which we put to work restoring the 964’s finish to photoshoot-ready spec.


Car in place, we stepped back and left the spookily talented Mark Riccioni to his work. Mark recently took over as Speedhunters’ Community Manager and quite quickly revealed himself to be a force behind a lens.

The Final Leg

Photoshoot in the bag, it was time again to hit the road and do a driver swap.

What a difference a sunrise makes. With the magnitude of the Death Valley National Park painted majestically across our retinas, thoughts of being jet-lagged, SEMA-build-worn or any other description of tired was banished to the backs of our minds.

We were here to drive the shit out of this car, and that, readers, is what we proceeded to do.


Words cannot describe the vibes in the car as we pushed it through these last few 100 kilometres to SEMA. Blend in equal measures the relief that we’d made it through the night, a giddily rising joy as the Toyo rubber became more and more responsive, and a slight preemptive nostalgia in the knowledge that we were going to have to hand this car back to its owner after the show.


We arrived at the Las Vegas Convention Center to find the Air Lift Performance team of Carl, Cody and Andy hard at work preparing the booth. Without even so much as a pause, the stand’s external 3H control system was fitted to the car and the bros got it detailed.


It’ll be very sad to say a final goodbye to this car when we head back to Sweden later in the week. Over the course of our having it in our possession it has thrilled, delighted and appalled the audience both inside and in front of it.

All we can say though is that the Spirit of 147 will never die. We bid it a long and prosperous life wherever it ends up next.

Bon voyage old friend.

Rob Bullough

Photos by Arslan Golic, Mark Riccioni & Dino Dalle Carbonare

Cutting Room Floor


Comments are closed.


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A Porsche to surpass the Blackbird...


So by build you mean change wheels, seats, steering wheel, with a vinyl wrap, and by engineering you mean someone adjusting the accuair setup?  
Sick car.  Needs a better writeup than this though, IMHO.


I like this, but definitely not more than the old setup.. Sad, kinda.


You're claiming to draw inspiration from an old rally car, but it's a lowered and bagged show car. It's a car meant for the "rough world", but couldn't handle a speed bump, much less a rally stage. You're calling a suspension change engineering, but all I see is someone bolting on a new set of coilovers and an air pump/tank.
It's okay to have a car that's mean for hardparking. Just don't pretend you're doing otherwise.


i remember when i saw this at the fatlace paddock in san mateo, 2 weeks after that i first saw it at cars and coffee at treasure island good to see the car being used in a different way.


racerlordheiman Surpass how?


jesus christ people, proof read..."was not to be missed happened slap bang"


Please start listening to your fans. Look at the comments. No one here is impressed by this "Build" what happened to Speedhunters? Your true fans don't care about stanced cars with absurd fenders that don't even serve a real purpose. I guarantee this car is slower than it would be as a narrow body. Show us cars that are built to actually go fast. 

The only true "builds" you guys feature anymore are drift cars. Those are fun and all, but all Speedhunters is anymore is Stance and Drift. You guys hear this constantly from your fans. Please start listening. 

At the very least, as others have mentioned - if you're going to feature a car like this, don't call it a "build".


A car feature that speaks to nothing about the build in detail. Just an arms length blathering about nothing important. Is this the new direction of SH with Dino at the helm? Empty fluff?


Reading these comments has brought a few things to light about my opinion of SH lately. I've been jaded by the awesome content of the past. Although I liked the WTAC articles, I feel like they've shifted away from the real grassroots builds and have focused more on the unattainable, high budget kinds of builds. Honestly, I have no problem with the high budget hard parking cars. Preferably though, I'd like to see something I could relate to every now and then, something without a shout out to a buddy's shop or a plug in of some sort. Something built by someone who was part of the process and actually got their hands dirty. Most importantly it should also have some functionality. Maybe SH is forgetting where they came from.


Rotormotor big budget form has replaced grassroots function.


This +10000


RWB cars outside of Japan live a very sad life. I'd say many Japanese owners are doing it right.


Option13 Sarcasm is difficult to pick up in writing, but there was emphasis put on engineering for a reason, I would imagine. Try not to take things too seriously.


RS5_onthe_Run Fixed.


exoticblake Sorry, but you're wrong. In the last ten days alone, we have published these:

VR38 powered Mustang - http://www.speedhunters.com/2016/11/ford-mustang-meets-nissan-r35-gtr/

'33 Austin Bantam Hot Rod - http://www.speedhunters.com/2016/10/austin-reimagined-quarter-mile/

DTM Experience - http://www.speedhunters.com/2016/10/dtm-birthday-party/

E30 M3 Rally Car - http://www.speedhunters.com/2016/10/improving-legend-modern-e30-m3-rally-car/

GT-R 700 - http://www.speedhunters.com/2016/10/exvitermini-gtr-700/

GRC - http://www.speedhunters.com/2016/10/grc-2016-fires-crashes-jumps-drama/

Looking at your comment history, you might be new around here but you might as well know now that Speedhunters will never focus on one type of anything, we're always trying to show as many aspects of car culture as we can.  This means that we're going to post stuff that you're not going to like as much as stuff that you will like. It's how it works.


Twas always so.


the car looks great, wow long feature on the trip. I can't help but be sad that I didn't see more of its last iteration though. The car was beautiful last year. I wish I had even more shots of that. Can yall link the stories of all the past images from that build? I'm a bit nostalgic. This new design looks great though, that 3/4 shot where you don't see the rear you just see the fender flare makes it look crazy! Looks for sure in both iterations!!!


I think that the purpose of the article is to impart the *feeling* of driving this car, rather than quoting stats. I really appreciate that.
That, and hiding advertising as content.


Rotormotor I hear what you're saying and I agree to a certain extent, but it often feels like our hands are tied either way. When we feature the grassroots and home built cars, people complain that they're 'boring' and when we go the other way, people complain that they're unobtainable. 

I would also say that Speedhunters is a reflection of modern car culture, and if there's a perceived overload of one type of style, it's likely because that's what's popular at that particular moment in time and it becomes difficult to then source good cars outside of that style, shall we say.


looks insane..just needs moar ducktail )


Paddy McGrath I see what you're saying and I agree, it's quite difficult catering to such a large audience of different tastes. The more you grow, the harder it gets I'm sure. This was just my honest opinion and I'm glad people heard me out. I still enjoy coming to the SH blog every now and then to discover what you guys have been up to recently. Hopefully, in the future you guys are able to find that balance of grassroots vs. commercial builds so that there aren't so many people crying about it. I myself consider my specific taste to be in the minority, function over form, raw and uncut, looking good while doing it. It's what drew me and many others to SH in the first place. This blog covers all the things we like and more. I just feel like the vibe has been changing, that's all. I just don't want you to turn into those stuck up dudes too good to feature one of the small guys. Please don't get swallowed up by the mainstream and good luck!


Paddy McGrath Rotormotor I like the old autocross nationals coverage you guys did a few times. Maybe give that another go?


2xthefun Paddy McGrath Rotormotor I love shooting motorsport, it's the whole reason that I got into this game, but unfortunately nobody reads it. It doesn't mean that we're never going to cover motorsport again, it's just low on the list.


exoticblake You have no right to say what a 'true fan' of speedhunters wants. I class myself as a true fan, seeing I've been following SH for years, and I enjoy EVERY article they put up. Think you can do better? Start your own website.


Paddy McGrath 2xthefun Rotormotor It's sad to think that people don't want to read those kinds of articles. I've missed a lot of the grassroots builds that used to see a lot more presence here, but I also understand the difficulties of having to follow the crowd in order to maintain a readership. 

I appreciate hearing from you guys actually in the thick of it here in the comments (I think more people do, too -- just not as vocally). Maybe all of this discontent will make people go and actually BUILD those grassroots cars and take them to motorsports events so you guys can bring that stuff back up on the list.


I love me some phat asses


Paddy McGrath 2xthefun Rotormotor I.READ.EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. PLEASE.HAVE.MORE.
Just wanna make sure you notice that.


skr11 Maybe tilt the intercooler up a few degrees and blend it in ... mmm nice


Rotormotor Their older stuff is awesome.  They did a reader's rides for one type of car... so there was about 20 pics of the same car looking 20 different ways, really awesome.  Been looking for a facebook group or instagram that focuses on diy stuff, no dice so far. Buildthreads.com is pretty good though.


my father  recently got a stunning green Ford Focus ST 

just by some part-time working online with a laptop  .................

see more details             https://qr.net/3GtZDe


This is the most disappointing write up for a 'build' that I've ever read on speedhunters.


Sorry, but got your inspiration wrong. Porsche 911 didn't win their class in 1965 Monte Carlo. 911 came second in class after Porsche 904 GTS. The whole event was won by a humble Mini of Timo Mäkinen. Also 35 cars finished not 22


D1RGE Paddy McGrath 2xthefun Rotormotor I'm aware :-)


Gino looks like one of the Duck Dynasty guys, that threw me for a loop.


Paddy, I've visited speedhunters every weekday for close to three years, and haven't felt the need to comment. I just made an account so I could let you know not all readers are like exoticblake and we see your good content. Thanks for the articles!


As a side question, how do I tag people in comments?


Love love love! Great shots too Mark as per. Love the shot next to the two SUV's, like a hidden car on a game.


Amaazing shots!


189021 Usually by typing '@' it should bring up a list of users to choose from. Thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated.


It's Sema week people. Expect big budget stuff this week. Well as the next few coming.


Rotormotor Did you miss the WTAC spotlight on the clubsprint cars? I mean, that class is as attainable/relateable as WTAC gets! Anyway, on the grassroots note it's about time I updated my project stuff, as a little bit has happened over winter and now that it's spring it's time to get grease back under the fingernails.


Feel it would have looked better with the extra lights and grey graphics in the concept render


Mook Genius  Driving a car is as equally important as building the car. This story is about that and the car was driven to SEMA. How many builders do you think can say they drove their car to SEMA?


SnoozinRichy Rotormotor Yeah I saw that, and it was extremely entertaining. What makes WTAC so alluring is the fact that they take regular production cars you and I would usually drive on the street and max them out, something we all wish we could do to our own vehicles. In that sense, for me WTAC is very relatable. Again, I'm not opposed to other aspects of the culture. Currently I'm loving the SEMA coverage, never fails to amaze.


'm amazed that people can earn $7184 

in 2 weeks on the internet

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I'm shocked that someone able to profit $8730 

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I cant believe that some one able to earn $8736 

in 2 weeks on the computer .............

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My Uncle Henry recently got an almost new gold Audi RS 5 Convertible 

just by ..........................

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Your talking to people who botched up "It's (A) rough world"....


All you did was talk about stupid vinyl and some wheels.
What about this "build"?
What about the body kit?
What about the sweet (Intercoller?) ?
What about the cool hood mount fog lights?
What about the "all new" interior?
I relies this article is good when looking at what it is, a story...but it's a mislead... you start talking about some epic stuff then just drop it...And all we are left with is photo after photo in-the-dark, and you talking about being tired, a guy who "knows his sticky vinyl" and passive comments about things that, at the end of the day, just fill the pages...and leave a lot to be said about a car of which we may never see again.
Great photo shoot, Bad cover.




popularity sells tickets, or in this case clicks, either way it pays the bills... If nobody's making money... The Storys Stop....just like anything else in Main-Stream media, the Die-Hard fans speak the loudest but 20 pist people mean nothing when a "story" snagged 20k hits the first day.
I'm a builder, so yeah, I want the oil-in-the-fingernails part, but if the masses are happy...I just go back to MY shop.


Yeah...did you see my post up top?....I agree with you.


About 75%
only the elites rolling on tons of money, actually tow their vehicles to the show... That's about 100 Vehicles out of 4000...


I'm taken by surprise that some one can earn $11226 ....................

details             https://qr.net/3GtZDe


Nice capture of the car under the General Store sign.  Looks like the 5DIV does well in low light and the 24-70 MkII is very sharp.


my father in-law recently got a stunning green Ford Focus ST 

just by some part-time working online with a laptop....................

more details             http://tinyurl.com/youtube-have-jobs


I-See-Hondas All fair points. Echoing more-or-less the same feedback from a lot of you reading this. In fairness, this was more of a face-lift than a full-blown *build* and the write up was in that spirit. 

We captured as much as we could from the process of bringing the new look into being and I wrote to the points which were of interest. Rather than labour these points and go deeper than what was actually *done*, I wanted to simply present the spirit and fun of the 60 or so hours between landing in LA and arriving (via Death Valley) in Las Vegas. 

It was a *sprint* and this write-up pretty much reflects that.


Vittorio Jano Thanks for the correction Vittorio! Still a mightily impressive victory for Porsche. Article updated.


commands attention and every additional minute you
spend in its pre https://maxbuy.com.vn/gia-dung/ket-sat/ sence is rewarded by the car revealing more small and subtle
details that need to be appreciated. Our shoot was on a relatively tight schedule
and I still


ended up shooting off over 100 extra
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The 240Z is already an amazing platform but with
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level, one that most of


us don’t encounter in person very often.
Did I mention I really http://caynuocnonglanhnhapkhau.com/danh-muc/cnnl-myota/  like this
car? You will too by the end of this piece.


purposeful. Time
attack is all or nothing racing. It’s abo http://thietbitrogiang.org/danh-muc/may-tro-giang-best-audio/  ut chasing that one perfect lap, and
in attempting to do so the format often pushes cars and drivers


There is nothing about this that I didn't love. Great write up, awesome pics and damn that car is sexy.