With so many wide body Porsche 911 projects taking over the internet these days, it’s refreshing to find a functionally detailed build that's true to the design of the original 911 Super Carrera body.
When you ask someone to picture the Porsche 911 in their head and describe it, there is typically only one body shape they will picture - the classic teardrop shape of the original air-cooled performance machine. This is part of the reason Ryan Hoegner didn’t end up with a wide body build, even though it's a popular thing to do to Porsches these days. “I just wanted to get back into an air-cooled 911,” he explained.
Prior to building this green SC, Ryan owned a 1982 Porsche Targa with 911 Turbo flares and a set of custom made wheels. He eventually sold the Targa to purchase a 1964 Impala, but missed his 930 Porsche so he decided to sell the Impala to buy another 911. He found this 1982 Porsche 911 Super Carrera (SC) on a Porsche forum, verified it had a freely rotating engine, then had it shipped from Louisiana without even seeing it with his own eyes until it arrived in California.
As soon as he saw it, Ryan knew it was going to be a great driver for himself but wanted to take it further. He sent it to Willy Werx, a builder who normally works on Honda platforms, but was willing to put his expertise into a Porsche. As you can see, it turned out to become a great collaboration.
Ryan decided against bolt-on flares or other aerodynamics in favor of a beautiful, but custom rebuild with simple TRE Motorsports front and rear bumpers. It does feature a repurposed Acura Integra front splitter, but it looks like it was made for the Porsche 911 thanks to the design of the TRE Motorsports front bumper. Just behind that front bumper is a CSF front mount oil cooler.
Every nut, bolt and body panel came off and was restored in Porsche factory olive green paint laid out by Willy Werx.
What’s hard to see is that many of those nuts and bolts along with tubing and detail features were plated or re-plated in nickel.
The minimalist GT Racing mirror hints at the drastic, racecar-like weight reduction that Ryan and Willy Werx strived for. In all, this 911 SC tips the scales at a svelte 2137-pounds.
Another thing to appreciate with Ryan’s build is the lack of a large wing, which he feels are visually displeasing. Instead, in keeping with the nominal design, but staying radically Porsche, is the use of this GT Racing decklid with a modest ducktail spoiler. It exemplifies the 911 body shape by not taking away from it. In certain views, you can’t even see it and that allows you to enjoy the purist looks of the SC.
It is undeniably a classic Porsche that stays true to the dedication to all-out performance over stand out visuals. The Fifteen52 Outlaw 003 wheels look at home despite being a 16x7 front and 16x8 rear staggered sizing. It’s just aggressive enough with its offsets to fit the Toyo Tires R888R tires in 225/45R16 front and 245/45R16 rear under the fenders without rub. The brake calipers were also re-plated in zinc after being rebuilt, and use a set of Pagid brake pads for quick stopping in a short distance.
Ryan's 911 has an aggressive stance thanks to a set of custom made Eibach coilovers with Tarett Engineering top mounts. This also allowed the removal of the torsion bars from the car. Finally, a set of Eibach adjustable sway bars were added in front and rear for additional roll control in conjunction with the coilovers.
Taking weight reduction to its extreme, Willy Werx fitted Ryan’s 911 SC with an all carbon fiber lower dashboard. The upper dash is wrapped in Alcantara, which you can just see past the Sparco Targa 350mm steering wheel. The wheel attaches to the OE Porsche steering column by a Sparco quick release hub.
The carbon fiber lower dashboard can be used with all the original Porsche controls, but Ryan has a custom switch panel installed. The Rywire power distribution module (PDM) sends electrical energy through a custom-made Rywire vehicle wiring harness to the lights and accessories.
Custom-made seat mounts by Sleepers Speed Shop allow the Sparco QRT seats to fit like they are factory. The Sparco four-point harness also feels safer yet looks like they were meant to be there.
Behind the driver seat, we can see the AEM Infinity ECU, which is mounted where the rear seat would normally be.
Based in Orange County, Sleepers Speed Shop has been rapidly building a name for itself in the Porsche community because of its innovative fabrication and welding ability. Gary Castillo, one of the talented fabricators that creates works of art for the shop, is a name that first became known in the automotive aftermarket community from his work as an editor for Import Tuner, DSPORT, and Turbo Magazine. He started his career specializing in drag racing and Hondas, but over the years he's done several high end race car builds of different makes.
Best known for his work with top level builds for Global Time Attack and Formula Drift drivers under the Design Craft banner, Gary is an extremely skilled fabricator that can work on anything. Since he has been good friends with the founder of Sleepers Speed Shop for years, it made sense to join forces with the tightly-knit Sleepers crew in an official capacity, even though the friends have all been working together over the years anyway. It comes as no surprise that the shop has been getting flooded with nonstop requests from Porsche customers, because even before the addition of Gary to the team, Sleepers Speed Shop already had a ridiculous amount of custom design and welding talent under its extremely busy roof.
One example of that talent is seen in this amazing looking roll-bar. It’s a bolt-in design like the modern Porsche factory roll bars, but Gary used his race car design expertise to make this functional for safety and chassis rigidity. The harness bar is made to ensure the shoulder harnesses are at the proper 45-degree angle to prevent back compression in a crash. It was removed after final welding and painted in bronze, matching the Outlaw 003 wheels.
Additional chassis stiffness is performed by this Sleepers Speed Shop Dreamsicle front chassis brace, which looks like it was inspired by a much sought after product for Japanese cars - the Miracle Cross Brace. In this photo, you can see even more zinc re-plating like the gas filler tube and the brake master cylinder brace.
Even more “added” lightness comes from this Odyssey battery and Rennline battery holder made to work with the Odyssey. It also features a battery cut-off switch to prevent accidental battery drainage and theft when it needs to sit anywhere unguarded.
The engine in Ryan’s 1982 SC hadn’t been turned over on its own in over 16 years. Turns out it had a cracked valve that prevented it from running correctly and why it ended up parked for nearly two decades. This is why Ryan enlisted the help of Len Higa, the owner of Sleepers Speed Shop, to get the engine running.
Just like Ryan and Gary, Len first gained notoriety in the Honda scene. He first hit the pages of the popular magazines as a drag racer from Hawaii, but over the years expanded his repertoire to building D1GP drifting competition cars for Apex'i, and then award winning cafe racer motorcycles before his shop began filling up with Porsches.
As he developed his reputation as an artistic fabricator with a penchant for wrenching, lots of Porsche owners in Southern California began seeking out Len and Sleepers Speed Shop to complete their detail oriented builds.
Much like the chassis, the engine was stripped down to its last nut and bolt before being blueprinted. While it remains a 3.0-liter displacement, Sleepers Speed Shop installed a set of balanced CP forged pistons and connecting rods. Inside the G2 Performance heads are a set of Eibach valve springs that are opened by a pair of Web camshafts.
The part that stands out most in the engine bay are the amazing looking Borla Induction individual throttle bodies (ITBs), which look right a home on this performance-oriented build. The AEM Infinity ECU mounted behind the driver seat controls the fuel and spark to the engine. Ryan, however, is in full control of the 915 transaxle. The engine sends its power to the Centerforce clutch via a Partick Racing flywheel, and a Wavetrac differential splits power between the rear wheels for maximum forward traction.
The MSDS headers feed into an exhaust that is a custom-made system by Sleepers Speed Shop with a GT3 center exit muffler.
You’ve probably noticed a lot of Eibach parts used in this build. That’s because Ryan is Eibach's Business Development Manager. He’s also the co-founder and organizer of the world-famous Eibach Meet. This is why he has such strong ties to the Honda community and the automotive media. Even so, he’s a Porschephile as well, and has owned more than just this SC and the Targa before it. He's also built a few water-cooled 911s.
“My vision was to build a car that the 75-year-old, 40-year member of the Porsche Club of America would enjoy and appreciate,” said Ryan. “Most do, and they end up telling me that they appreciate the attention to detail and that I didn't stray too far from what the 911 is all about.”
What was just going to be a “nice driver,” as Ryan put it, it ended up becoming a SEMA Show display car in 2018. Now, he’s finally getting the chance to enjoy it for what he intended it for. There are no plans to change anything, according to Ryan, but there are many builders who say that and end up doing it anyway.
Regardless, this 911 SC is a great example of why one might want to reconsider doing any wide body mods to an air-cooled or even water-cooled Porsche. The 911 is a beautiful car from the factory, and sometimes body modifications end up being a subtraction from that attractiveness.
Story by Justin Banner
Photos by Antonio Alvendia
If you enjoyed this 911, you can find additional Porsche-related content at porsche.fcpeuro.com, as well as more build features like this one, here. If there's anything specific you would like to see, or if you have any questions/comments, leave them in the comments section below.
FCP Euro's Feature Editor Antonio Alvendia is an aficionado of cameras, rare wheels, 90s hip hop, and obscure aftermarket car accessories. He bought his first E39 Touring after seeing M5 Estates on photo trips to several racetracks and automotive museums in Europe. He is currently devising a plan to return to the Nurburgring to shoot the N24 race and drive the Nordschleife again. ••• Instagram : @MOTORMAVENS