The Road To SEMA Begins At Sleepers Speed Shop
The Concept

“This might sound cheesy, but the goal was to do the opposite of what everybody else does.”

With Porsche’s massive resurgence in popularity over the past decade, it seems like everyone wants to build one. But of the hundreds we’ve come across, the vast majority follow one of two formulas: They’re either chopped up for an RWB-style build, or restored with a back-dated Singer look. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with either philosophy, but it does get a bit old. “Literally every car” is built like this, says Ryan Hoegner, owner of the 1982 911SC currently under the knife in Costa Mesa, California.

While we’ve done our best here at Speedhunters to find the cars that do break out of this mold, on the whole I have to agree with Ryan’s statement. So when our friends at CSF tipped us off to what was going down at Sleepers Speed Shop, I headed south to see how they were getting on. Being a SEMA Show build, I had no idea what to expect when I showed up exactly one week before the Las Vegas Convention Center opens its doors to the automotive world.


Taking in the 911 as a whole I was blown away; it’s essentially a brand new car with every last bit of hardware either replaced or meticulously restored. The gorgeous Olive Green paint – a factory Porsche color – was laid on by William Galan (Willy Werx) after the shell was blasted down to bare metal.


William then went about reusing everything he possibly could, with the team making choice upgrades along the way. The front and rear bumpers, along with the deck lid, have been changed out to fiberglass pieces to save a couple hundred pounds. The goal for the project is to be sub-2,100lb all said and done.


Other pieces have been painstakingly restored, with oil lines and other odds and ends getting a fresh zinc treatment. I’ve seen nut-and-bolt restorations before, of course, but what Willy Werx and Sleepers are doing here with Ryan’s ’82 strikes a perfect balance of all things.

This is just my opinion, but I wager you’ll find it hard to disagree as I dig a bit deeper and show you what’s taken place and what’s still due to take place during the mad dash to SEMA.

One Week Left

As with any restoration or build, it all started with an idea. Ryan wanted to make use of a classic chassis and keep it classic, while subtly making everything better in the process. The results is a success on all counts: it is indeed the opposite of both the flashy wide-body Porsches we see screaming for attention, as well as a typical Porsche Classic-style rebuild.

It’s an understated, OEM+ aesthetic with loads of awesome parts hiding underneath. A perfect blend of Porsche hot-rodding and restoration without losing sight of the goal or going overboard.


On Tuesday afternoon, Danny, Thomas, and Gary were busy mating a set of low-profile sliders to a pair of black-on-black Sparcos. For bucket seats, these things are outrageously comfortable.


Len, the owner of Sleepers, showed me into the engine room to check out the rebuilt 3.0L that’ll be going into the Porsche.


Sleepers Speed Shop has gone with Carillo rods, CP pistons, and Web cams to bolster the internals of the nearly four-decades-old block. While I was here, Francis would be putting the finishing touches on the motor and I’d be checking in periodically.


Back out in the shop, Len showed me around CSF’s oil cooler that Ryan opted for to help keep the motor happy for decades to come. Finished in a semi-gloss matte black, the powder-coating helps protect against corrosion and debris.


The original plan was to run two coolers in series, but given that this is to be more of a weekend warrior and a canyon carver than an all-out track day weapon, CSF’s single unit tucked into the front bumper is more than sufficient.


Mocked up, the black finish perfectly complements the front end of the green SC, and it’s nice to see function meeting form here.


After this, the team had the seats fitted and things were moving along. Although the Sparcos and their mounts were ready for permanent installation, the guys needed to wait for the roll bar they previously fabricated to come back from powder-coating to keep things moving.

As with any build there are always blockers, but the effects of these bottlenecks become exponentially more stressful when everything is coming down to the last week before SEMA.


At least there isn’t extensive interior work left to be done, as Ryan’s opted to leave it barebones inside. The Sparco seats, steering wheel, and custom roll bar were all he wanted in the cockpit.


With the car back on the lift I took a minute to check out the Eibach adjustable coilovers that have gone in front and rear, completely replacing the factory torsion bar setup. Eibach’s adjustable sway bars have been installed as well to allow fine-tuning of the suspension setup down the road.

You’ll also notice that the factory brake setup has been retained, with everything rebuilt instead of replaced. It’s cool to see this level of attention going into select factory parts that don’t necessarily need to be upgraded, rather than throwing an entire parts catalog at the car.


Checking back in with Francis, the engine was coming along nicely with the Borla Induction individual throttle bodies installed along with the MSDS headers. I was really excited to see the ITB setup on the motor, as the vast majority of Porsches – even built ones – are really lacking in this department. Shooting the engine bay of a Porsche is usually a totally underwhelming affair.


I had to step out for another shoot, but when I got back the motor had been finished off and the rebuilt gearbox — complete with a Quaife differential — was bolted up.


Ryan from RyWire had also shown up and was laying out his custom engine harness for the 3.0L, so I took a minute to chat with him about the brain of the engine.


He told me that every sensor has been replaced and showed off the AEM Infinity ECU along with a solid-state box which replaces every single relay that you would normally find in the car in 1982. It’s a highly tunable, simple and straightforward setup that comes only as the result of a built-from-scratch, mil-spec body harness that Ryan put together.


With everything lined out, the motor was ready for installation and Sleepers Speed Shop called it a day.


It was pretty incredible to see how far Sleepers came with the car during my brief visit, but these days are going by quickly. Really quickly.

Just six long days filled with caffeine and quick meals in the shop remain until the finished car will be parked up at the SEMA Show where hundreds of thousands of attendees will be admiring and scrutinizing everyone’s hard work.


Really, though, this car was built to be driven. With this killer combo of modern underpinnings, I’ll have to catch up with Ryan down the road and see how this classic 911 performs on the mountain passes in and out of LA.

As it’s been built like no other Porsche, I’m sure it’ll feel even more special than it looks.

Trevor Yale Ryan
Instagram: tyrphoto



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Love watching these builds for my favorite time of year in this town, can't wait!


Sweet! I'll have a few more coming beforehand we'll have loads pouring in once we're all at the show, too.


surely they need to get rid of those foreskin/conjunctivitis headlights though..?


Seriously, that's the only part of the car I'd change!


So... Singer then? Lol nothing new here except the rare attention and care of pro’s doing up yet another 911. Nice work tho! Would’ve let the metal speak for itself rather than slap some coats of “green” and think it’ll stand out at a thing like SEMA. Highlighter yellow/green is the old-new trendy color now, still wondering when we’ll go back to purpling everything. Wish people would be more like carpenters and let the beauty of clear coats and clear laminates show the real beauty of something made.


For transparency - I’m not a vintage 911 owner so I realize Trevor notices the “details” (in a “I’m deep with the culture” level rather than a purely design perspective) that I’m ‘ignorant’ to - like asking a Bhuddist if one denomination of Muslim is different to another or similar. Still, “more sensible singer” is the vibe the car will put out at SEMA rather than “OH SH1T that fresh!”. With all that work done with such care -I’ve planned out my Alfa rebuild so I can grasp this level of doing things right- it’s a just “of a certain quality” that it gets yet another paint job (no matter how “perfect”). I’d even say ditch the chassis and replicate it in a clear material to showcase the work and such. So I don’t doubt there is a different “quality” of presence than a Singer or RWB, but i do doubt that there should be a dichotomy between “how to do a 911”. RUF had one way. Canepa another. Those “wicked kits” another. And let’s not forget Magnus (nice guy too, met him at Amelia a few times) whom I equate Akira Nakai to... singer is just another level. And that coming from a non-porsche guy, so sometimes it’s good to take a step back when “it’s too much with you” so you can really grasp what you are capable of making. This garage seems like they could smash a vint911 into the history books if they didnt limit themselves, and thats more “speedhunting” than fitting a different glove.


Thanks for the thought-out response, I definitely see where you're coming from. Still, this is a car that was built to be driven rather than attract the most attention possible at SEMA. Those who are interested in the details of this/similar chassis will take note at the show but what really matters is that the owner gets to enjoy it on the road afterwards.


Sure, it's much more Singer than RWB but it's different than 99% of what you see in the wild, which was the point of the build. It's a drivers car, not a show car, so creating a SEMA hype beast wasn't really the goal here. And having been to the show a few times I'm glad for that.

When it comes to Singer they all (barring the DLS) have a very vintage look to them. They're beautiful and modernized, but the choice of parts which are replaced and redesigned definitely diverge after a point when compared to this car.


Totally agree. Lovely build, beautiful car, but... nothing new.

If the concept of "different from other Porsche builds" wasn't the theme of this article, I would've enjoyed the car a lot more, even though it's so similar to other Porsches.
I don't ALWAYS want to see something different. I enjoy cars, they are my passion, show me a cool build, and I'll be thrilled. No need to hype it through words.


I do see where you're coming from but if you actually go to a Porsche Classic event, cars and coffee, or see what shows up to Rennsport Reunion, for example, you'll find almost exclusively period correct, factory-style restorations as well as the odd RWB (or bagged) car.

The idea wasn't come up with a completely new philosophy, but instead to build something very different than the vast, vast majority of what you see day to day. Ryan's definitely succeeded in this with his own touches along the way.


Search Nigel Petrie on this site. He clear powdercoated the tube frame of his Engineered To Slide ute. All the beauty of the metal and the welds on show.


Totally agree


Have to agree. I do love this build but the story about how this is a new take on building a Porsche is a stretch. This is a Singer Porsche with a smaller checkbook.


I didn't say it was an new take but just that the owner wanted to do something different than what he sees every day. These guys are are heavily involved in the industry and a car like this is not what Porsche owners usually do.

Sure, people have done similar before and websites like this highlight these builds as much as possible. But the reality is these builds are a massive minority when it comes to Porsche.


I'm with you on that another great article.......but as far as modifying a 911 it is hard to beat Porsche at their own game......unless of course you are RUF........


Are you gonna follow the build as it completes then give us a finished feature?


As soon as I can, yes! Can't wait to hear this 3.0L opened up on the back roads. Especially with that bare interior.


Restomodded Carreras have been built in this vein, on this side of the pond, for quite a while; it's only profoundly different from what the flashy shops have been doing for SEMA lately. To be completely anti-trend, this builder would have to combine ideas that truly don't traditionally mesh-- like a ducktail and 17" Ruf Speedlines. That said, this car is beautiful, and the excitement of the owner is palpable in your writing, Trevor.

It does fly in the face of trends in being built with one man's quirky preferences, rather than to cause a sensation, follow a movement, etc. Its beauty is everywhere you look, down to the fasteners. It's car-pron with depth. I also like that it's built to drive, not to park! Sometimes we forget that cars create motion, and it's the sensations they give us that keeps us grinning and modding.


For sure! Cars are meant to be driven, after all, and I think far too many lose sight of this simple fact.

Regarding the wheels, these aren't what will be on the finished car but you'll have to wait for that ;)


Dam it! if my friend wasn't coming into town I would drive out to Vegas for that weekend. I grew up in japan so after moving to America I go all over the place for car shows. It seems I go to Vegas at least once a year or more .


Bring your friend, the more the merrier


Unfortunately he is coming to my town for work so that is out of the question. Next time I will be there for sure.


Trevor how many years have you been in the Porsche "scene"?

"As it’s been built like no other Porsche, I’m sure it’ll feel even more special than it looks."
Strong statement, and I LOVE the build and photos, but the copy here is, well, meh.

Folks like Rod Emery, Rob Ida (and others) build cars like these for customers frequently, though they may not end up at SEMA. And FWIW, in 2016 Rob Ida's 930 Turbo was displayed at SEMA, even featured on this very site, but for some reason you guys never allow me to post links! (even to your own articles). It was built without backdating, super modernising, or using off-the-shelf upgraded parts.

Matthew Everingham

This is mint. [Geddit?]