Not all Porsche 911s are created equal. Well, except for those that are. The ones that are most interesting to you and I, are those that take on a life of their own. The ones that get a little extra special sauce slathered on them, have their power turned up to 11, or their bodywork stretched and inflated. They are, of course, the modified ones.
I was spoilt for choice at Exciting Porsche 2023, so it was a hard job selecting just four modified 911s to spotlight. Hopefully I chose well. Let’s get started with a rare beast..
DIY-modifed cars are probably my favourite, always scoring high on the true-grit-o-meter. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of companies out there doing amazing work, and when it comes to Porsche, it’s hard to look past names like Manthey, RUF, 9ff, Gembella, Singer and Strosek.
Strosek Auto Design has produced some really unique cars, the most ‘out there’ design-wise probably being the Mega Speedster. But there have been more subtle designs too, like the 944 Turbo Nova and 928 Ultra Wing. Strosek’s most recent 30th anniversary model will also have you digging out those white jeans and hyper-colour t-shirts for ultimate ’90s chic.
On display at Yokohama Red Brick for Exciting Porsche was a Strosek-built 1990 964 Carrera 2, complete with teeny-tiny headlights, pumped-up bodywork and a beautifully designed rear wing.
The owner told me there are only a handful of these cars Japan, though he’s uncertain on his particular one’s history. It was obviously someone with impeccable taste who originally ordered it from Strosek in Germany.
Next up is a pair of modified 964s (see, I’m learning my model numbers!), starting with this Turbo.
Earlier this year the non-running car was transported to Porsche-specialist Challenge Racing in Saitama to have all its mechanical issues rectified. One full 3.3L motor overhaul later, plus a new Trust T78-33D turbocharger on its crazy octopus headers, an upgrade to coil-on-plug ignition, plus an electronic throttle and Link engine management, and the 911 was back up and running better than ever with around 500hp and greatly-improved drive-ability.
Despite still looking fresh, the build was originally conceived by Aichi-based custom wheel repairer/refinisher Tokai Billet a full 10 years ago. The wide-body conversion was entrusted to Daibutsu Body Works, who had previously fattened up Challenge Racing’s Martini-liveried 964 race car with custom overfenders. The same widening was done here, necessitating some ultra-wide wheels – 18×9-inch front and 18×13-inch rear HRE S101s.
Evolution Car Produce in Okayama handled the paint, which was originally destined to be Rubystone Red but ultimately ended up being a custom color named ‘Tsukki Pink’. Throw in air suspension and you have a comprehensive custom 964 Turbo build.
The other 964 that caught my eye was this Carrera, which was recently acquired by the current owner, having been sold by an older gentleman who presumably was no longer driving it as much as he might have wanted to.
It’s fitted with factory Turbo-look wide arches, an Auto Garage TBK front bumper, side skirts from DBWorks, and a one-off rear bumper topped with a 3.8 RS spoiler. We all know red is the fastest colour, and combined with a perfect stance and 18-inch Work S1 3P wheels, this 964 looks like it’s doing 200mph standing still.
In the back, you’ll find the original 2.7L flat-six, albeit now being fed copious amounts of air through twin Weber 46IDA triple-choke carbs. There’s no need to get your knees dirty checking out the exhaust either, as the custom stainless steel system is clearly visible beneath the rear skirt. Saucy.
I wasn’t able to get a look inside, but know that it features a custom 6-point roll cage, Recaro SPG seats and RS lightweight panels to complete the race/tuner car vibes.
Last, but by no means least, is this modern day hot rod. As I scanned the rows of Porsches on display looking for a suitable spotlight candidate – something extra special – my eyes were (for obvious reasons) drawn to this reinterpretation of a 1950s custom. At first, I thought I might have picked the most obvious choice, but as I walked around it chatting to the owner, it just got better and better.
It was built by a garage down in Aichi called Risky Business (I know, great name) at the request of the current owner. The burning elephant in the room are the flames down its sides. They may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you don’t take them so seriously then you’re halfway there. I think I might have had a ‘59 Chevy Matchbox car with flames down the sides when I was a lad, so maybe that’s why I like them. I particularly like that they are not symmetrical here.
Looking around the back, the car is not only hotrod in looks but also by nature – it’s rocking random Keihin carbs from Japan on its German flat-six. The owner has no idea what they’re from, which just adds to the zero f**ks attitude of this badass build.
So which do you prefer? Factory-modified or tuner shop-modified? I’m just glad we live in a world where both coexist happily.
This spotlight was only supposed to be four modified cars, but I just had to include this authentic Speedster that was on display. I’ve seen a couple of very convincing replicas knocking about, but to have this original car parked out in a sea of passersby was both brave and very kind of the owner.