Feature Cars

Project 50 Shades of Grey – Full Build!


For this build we wanted to do something a little bit different. Something that would challenge us technically and drive new product development. What we ended up with was what we feel is the perfect car. A backdated, turbocharged, widebody 911. We were lucky enough to find a donor car that had recently gone through a powertrain rebuild. This consisted of a built 3.4 L Turbo engine, rebuilt 930 4spd transmission, and all 930 running gear including brakes and suspension. The car had been in an accident in the late 1980’s and received a slantnose conversion at a Porsche dealership in SoCal using all factory parts. On this build, we weren’t looking for the slantnose look, but the rest of the car was perfect for what we had in mind.

Upon the car arriving at the shop, we went through the typical process of stripping it down to bare metal, re-plating all the hardware, and breaking out the hammer and dolly to begin the metal work. We began at the rear quarters by rounding out the fender profile, and widening the turbo flares by about 20mm. Next we moved up to the front where we installed an Early Dansk front latch panel. Once this was in place, we cut most of it away to install our front oil cooler box along with our signature brake cooling ducts. Next up we installed some early steel fenders along with some steel flares which again got dollied out for a rounder profile.

For the front bumper we picked up an early steel bumper, added a hole for our oil cooler, and shaved the rest of the bumper of any holes. We also widened the bumper to match our fender profile. Finally, we built a steel valance to complete the OEM look.

Next we moved back to the hood and gas tank with the installation of an RSR style fuel filler. Here we started some new product development which included a machined gas cap, filler neck which we welded to the gas tank, and carbon Kevlar fuel catch bowl. While we were in the trunk, we also developed an RSR style weld in strut brace.

At this point, we put the car on the rotisserie and began cleaning up the underside. Once all of the metalwork was completed, we sprayed the underside of the car with Wurth SKS Stoneguard. Then the color started to take color or lack thereof in a light grey. While on the rotisserie, we sprayed several test color codes of grey, but didn’t come across any that really struck a chord. At this point we nicknamed the car #project50shadesofgrey, and mixed up the final color having complete disregard for any factory color code.

Finally, we sent the chassis off to our friends at Washburns Autobody and they got to work on the final fitup, bodywork, and paintwork. The result was phenomenal resembling a mix between a battleship, and a tin of putty.

While the car was away for paint, we got to work on the suspension and brakes. We intended for this car to be 90% street use, 10% track use so we setup the suspension accordingly. Starting with the front suspension, we installed a set of Rennline HD Strut Mounts, Bilstein HD insert, Rennline HD Control Arm Bushings, Rennline De-cambered Ball Joints, Rennline Bump Steer Kits, Tarett Engineering through body Sway bar and Droplinks, and of course the RSR strut brace that we developed on this car. We also raised the spindles 19mm and gusseted them to the strut housing.

For the rear suspension, we bead blasted and clear coated the rear trailing arms, before pressing in a set of Rennline HD rear trailing arm bushings and new wheel bearings. Working our way out we also installed a set of Bilstein Rear Shocks, Rennline HD Adjustable Spring Plates with HD bushings, 29mm Sanders Torsion bars, and Tarett Engineering rear sway bars.

Moving onto the brakes, we cleaned up our 930 setup and reinstalled these under a set of 16x8 Fuchs, and 16x9.5 Fuchs that were made by machining down a set of 16x6’s and swaging them into new lips.

When the chassis came back from paint, we installed our suspension and brakes using our shiny new hardware, and then we got moving on the electrical side. Step one was to install some Rennline Bi-Xenon Headlights with clear lenses. After years of driving these cars in the dark, it was time for something new… real light output that looks factory.

The wiring harness that was in the car seemed to have had been the project of several garage electricians and at this point, it was time for a clean start. We built a new wiring harness from scratch using a Watsons fuse box and universal loom. 4 months later, we had a very tidy wiring harness with only the bits and pieces that we needed. Our harness started at an Odyssey PC925 Battery mounted in a Rennline battery relocation kit located in the smugglers box. This gave us a weight savings as well as better weight distribution.

On top of the smugglers box was a Rennline Smugglers Box Cover with kill switch mounted to it. Behind the Smugglers Box we installed our Rennline Blower Motor Cover to do away with the factory cardboard unit that had just about disintegrated to nothing.

Moving inside the car, we installed our Rennline fully adjustable pedal set, Rennline Floorboards, Rennline Door cards and Sill Plates, Rennline Lock Knob Set, Rennline Billet Shift Knobs, Rennline E-brake handle, and Rennline Shift Linkage Cover. Next up we tackled the dash. After building several cars before and never being quite happy with the dashboard, we decided to develop something new. The result was a beautiful full Dash Fascia that incorporated an early style extrusion with Basketweave insert. This also allowed us to use an early HVAC control set, and Bluetooth Radio. We were thrilled to have finally developed a solution to the pealing, misaligned foam dash with misaligned glovebox that also has it foam peeling off. To top it off, we developed a full line of Rennline Dash knobs and a Rennline key switch bezel. What a difference!

The interior was upholstered in grey carpet and we picked up some Vintage Racing seats to complete the look. For safety sake, we installed a Rennline Fire Extinguisher mount with Rennline Fire Extinguisher Quick Disconnect, and an H3R Halguard extinguisher.

Finally, it was time to bring in the powerplant. As we mentioned, we were lucky enough to find this car with a freshly rebuild 3,4L Turbo 930 engine and Short bellhousing, rebuilt 930 transmission. The motor was fully setup with LN Cylinders, JE Pistons, Cp Rods, Web Cams, ARP hardware, B&B exhaust, K27 turbo and all sorts of other goodies. We cleaned everything up a bit, mounted our Rennline alternator strap, Rennline RSR Engine Carrier, and Rennline HD engine and transmission mounts.

At last the car was ready for action. One of the first events we took it to was a tour of the new Club Motorsports track in New Hampshire. This new track had been carved into the side of a mountain and provided the ultimate location to shake this car down. The power to weight ratio on the car makes for a thrilling ride, but quite difficult to control with a huge power difference through a small section of the powerband. As the day went on, we made some tweaks to the various adjustable areas including pedals sway bars, boost control, timing and we became more confident with the car. By the end of the day everyone had a huge grin, and we were thrilled with the outcome of the car.

Project Fifty Shades of Grey was completed in 2017. Explore aftermarket parts from Rennline below!


For info or to purchase parts you can contact our tech support at 802.893.7311 or email orders@rennline.com

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