Vintage Day at Team O’Neil Rally School

It’s 5*F.

At 5AM.

On a Friday.

And I am wide awake.

That’s because a few hour jaunt over the Green Mountains, Team O’Neil Rally School and a field full of vintage rally cars awaits. It could be -15*F at 3AM on a Saturday for all I care.

I was invited by Marc Feinstein, owner of German Performance Service and pilot of the 964 rally car you will see in the pictures. Despite a late arrival, it seems my morning is not the worst of the bunch; I’m greeted by a team working fervently to get the Rothman’s 959 replica started. A combination of an old dry cell battery and the cold weather are proving formidable opponents. I snap a couple pics, offer the battery out of my Audi, and finally decide that I’m really just annoying them, so I head up to the main building just in time to miss introductions. Apparently 5AM was too late of a start time.

Team ONeil Vintage Rally 964 959
The view upon our arrival

Team O’Neil, located in Dalton, NH, has been providing top-notch instruction for drivers of all talent levels, from WRC factory pilots to those just looking to slide around for a weekend since 1997. The school is a matrix of gravel roads that sprawls across 585 acres of Granite State terrain featuring off-road terrain parks, snowmobile trails and tactical security training courses in addition to their signature rally roads. This diverse background allows Team O’Neil to stay a leader in the world of rally schools, and provide a huge range of offerings to their clients. Today they have put together a venerable history book of cars for us to sample with the goal of illustrating the evolution of the rally car through the ages.

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The lineup

I arrived under the impression that I was going to get to see some cool cars, take some cool pictures, meet some awesome people, and freeze my ass off. So you can imagine my thoughts as Wyatt Knox, Special Projects director for Team O’Neil, began running through the itinerary. Rides then drives in each of the vehicles was the plan, with the idea that we would progress chronologically through the field ending to really gain a feel for how much has changed and for how much has stayed the same. Wait- we’re driving? I would say sign me up but, almost unbelievably, I already am. Luckily I have enough auto-x, rally-x and track experience that I’m more excited than scared. For now at least…

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Marc Feinstein, owner of German Performance Service in Brighton, MA and this 964 was gracious enough to invite us out for the day

The lineup touches on a number of important historical innovations, beginning with the blue 2-stroke Saab. It was built as a tribute to Erik ‘On the Roof’ Carlsson’s days winning rallies for the marque. The red Saab is a later 4 stroke, and although it isn’t as ‘vintage’ it is just as cool as anything here, featuring a V4 4 stroke engine on Megasquirt standalone fuel injection with individual throttle bodies, a hydraulic e-brake, and an electronic, variable-ratio steering rack. These two represent a massive leap forward in technology as Saab was one of the first manufacturers to bring front-wheel-drive to the masses, and they found huge success in off-road disciplines with this formula.

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Vintage coolness- period correct hood-exit, roof mounted exhaust and leather hood strap
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Far from stock: just about everything on this little Saab has been re engineered and re imagined

Next up in the evolutionary line was Charles’ Volvo 142. Charles also owns a Volvo dealership in Canada, which makes a lot of sense for a few reasons. This car has the most history of the group, as it was driven by Marku Alen in the 1973 1000 Lakes rally, and has been more or less active in international competition through today. In the drivers’ meeting Charles makes it very clear that his car is not here to be driven. It is here to be beaten. It’s dual Weber carburetors, resultant 3,000rpm idle and lack of anything resembling modern electronics confirm the nature of this beast. With a limited slip and studs, it is also the fastest car of the day. These Canadian boys came prepared.

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Owner Charles is in attack mode at all times when behind the wheel of his rally car legend
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Tucking the nose in just enough to get past those cones sideways!

Next up was something intimately familiar to me, what might be considered the godson of modern rally, the Audi 4000. Mechanically these cars are almost identical to the URquattro that spawned the fire breathing S1 and Sport Quattro, but without a turbo and with an extra set of doors. Same block casting, same transmission, differentials and suspension. Old Audi’s are my forte, I’ve owned 5 from the 80’s all with the legendary quattro AWD, and the red 4000 feels like an old friend as I climb in. You might expect each vehicle at Team O’Neil is stripped out and race car prepped, but this is far from the truth. In fact, this car retains much of it’s wonderful 80’s interior, right down to the dash, seats, and locking center/rear differentials.

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This is a particularly early version; note the dual headlights and badgeless grille
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Need rotation? Left foot brake it!

Unfortunately I did not get a chance to get behind the wheel of the Team O’Neil E30 3 series BMW, but it was a pretty similar story to the Volvo- lots of sliding with a razor’s edge of balance between speed and spinning tires. You could tell that Team O’Neil instructor Travis Hanson has done this more than many times, as evidenced by the pin point car control and huge slip angles he was able to produce lap after lap.

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It’s all about weight transfer
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Look at that slip angle! These guys know what they’re doing

Finally it’s time to get into the car that brought me here in the first place; the C2 964 owned by Marc and prepared by his shop German Performance Service in Brighton, MA. The car has already been labeled simply ‘a tough drive’ by several drivers than myself, so I’m a bit hesitant. At least I’m more comfortable than I have been all day; I’m 6’5 and Marc comes in around 6’4 making it a perfect seating setup for me. I’m sweating a bit but I’m ready.

Compared to the Volvo this thing feels completely composed. The rear-engine configuration helps grip significantly by putting plenty of weight over the rear tires, and the suspension works brilliantly. My first half lap is an exercise in building confidence, Marc can’t fit in the passenger seat as it’s solid mounted to the floor and set up for his 5’3 co-driver so I’m on my own. I’m feeling the car and it’s working great as long as I stay smooth; no sudden throttle inputs, no crazy steering angles, just tap the brakes to get the front tires to bite coming into a corner and feed it throttle to keep it rotating. But I’m no professional and halfway through the track I’m sideways… backwards… and back sideways. Two-feet-in keep me from too much embarrassment, and I go back to basics for the remaining part of the lap.

By the end of my third trip around the course I’m getting in the groove. It is just so predictable- that’s not to say it’s easy because it isn’t- but as long as I stay smooth I’m scooting around the track at a good pace. Well, good enough for me anyway. This car certainly evokes the most visceral pleasure- there’s nothing like the note of an aircooled flat-six, and the lightweight flywheel makes the gearbox sound like a metal box of rocks. To any Porsche and/or rally enthusiast, I am sitting in a little piece of heaven.

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Ready to roll. Note the skid plate under the engine- the entire underbody of this thing is armored to the hilt
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Plenty of grip to throw snow thanks to the engine weight being right over the rear wheels
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Despite how good it looks sideways, cornering like this is much faster and more effective

Finally I’ve made it towards the end of the line, and I’m ready to sample the Rothman’s 959 replica. I am NOT driving this one. Damon, owner of Series 900 in Sunapee, NH built this car- every body panel is hand-laid Kevlar and the entire thing is a one-off. What I love about this car is the attention to detail; it is not just a 964 C4 with a body kit. It has a completely custom fuel delivery system which mimics the factory cars, and there is an aluminum space frame to support all the body work, as well as a million little touches like the rear transmission cooler, over sized oil cooler and a ton of other racecar goods. Unfortunately the car is currently set up for tarmac, so the spring rates are a bit high for this kind of driving, but Damon does a great job getting it to rotate throughout the course in spite of this. Thanks to the AWD this thing has plenty of grip, and once it’s pointing the right direction it simply sticks and rips, even in these conditions.

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Brothers from the same mother with different fathers
Team ONeil Vintage Rally (1 of 133)
If this isn’t one of the most awesome things you’ve seen today… I want to spend a day in your shoes
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Special Projects Director and National Rally Champion Wyatt Knox getting the 959 ready for takeoff

Finally Team O’Neil brought out one of their top dogs for the event; a WRC spec Subaru Impreza piloted by none other than Tim O’Neil himself. Tim immediately begins hucking the car around the course, and for a mothballed rally car that hasn’t been out much in the past few years, the car takes it extremely well. With Tim at the wheel the Impreza is as entertaining to watch as the Volvo, and probably a bit faster. It seems it is in need of a bit of setup work, but overall it certainly seems to have aged well.

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The man himself, Tim O’Neil, sliding….
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Still sliding…
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And coming out of the corner like a lion!

The day is winding down, I’m frozen, tired, and still have several hours of driving ahead of me, but I hang around until the last of the group packs it in. It isn’t everyday you get to be a part of such an incredible group of people and cars in such a liberating and welcoming environment, and frostbite-be-damned I’m milking every last minute of it. Finally everyone is gone, I finish helping Marc load up the 964, and by that I mean mostly watch, and follow him back out the maze of dirt roads that surround the facility. Today was a good day.

 

 

HUGE thank you to Team O’Neil Rally school and all of the staff for putting this event together. These guys are not only on top of the rally school game, but they are some of the nicest and genuinely enthusiastic people you will meet. Also BIG thank you to Marc Feinstein of German Performance Service for inviting us, without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience such an epic outing!

 

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Track Time: The TyrolSport Golf R

Attention to detail: almost anyone will tell you of its importance, but very few will actually go the extra mile that it constitutes. But what happens when you do? Your brand new car goes straight from the lot onto the corner weight scales. You spend hours pouring over part numbers, measuring, weighing and analyzing parts. And you spend just as much time pushing your car to the limits at the track, developing a driver/vehicle bond to wring out every last ounce of speed and identify the largest flaws. And after all that, if you’re lucky, you end up like the guys at TyrolSport- with a brain full of data and one fast car.

Located right in the heart of New York City, TyrolSport is one of the area’s premier European repair, fabrication and race prep shops. During a visit you might be greeted by anything from a GT2 to a twin turbo VW R32, and that attitude and willingness to take on new projects is a large part of what has brought them to the forefront of the VW aftermarket. The MK6 Golf R you see below has served as a daily driver for owner Mike, a product development platform for TyrolSport’s own line of innovative products, and as the shop track car. Their commitment to top notch parts and service means that every employee has on-track experience, so the R also allows the team to gain first hand experience.

Primary Photo

 

Being that this was a new platform to the team, they took a methodical approach to the car’s modifications and setup. Lots of measuring, weighing and test fitting yielded the first major modification- fitting aluminum uprights from a VW Passat onto the front of their R. These dropped critical unsprung weight meaning no penalty would be paid for the larger wheel/tire package they fitted at the same time. Next up was one of their own TyrolSport DeadSet subframe collar kits for the MK5/6 VW chassis. These models have an inherent issue with the subframe shifting under load, but by precisely locating the front suspension with precision machined collars and custom hardware, this kit eliminates the problem entirely, and are available for both front and rear subframes.

As experienced track guys, they knew the first two major things that needed to be addressed for longevity: brakes and engine cooling. A set of Brembo Gran Turismo brakes were ordered up and fitted to the car, but not without a little custom work first. Due to caliper offsets the lightweight aluminum Passat front spindles needed a minor amount of machining, which was completed in house. This front setup vastly increases piston surface area, pad swept area, and rotor surface area, all of which translates to enhanced cooling which minimizes fade lap after lap. Not only that but they knocked a whopping 15.75lbs PER CORNER! Now that is an impressive weight savings.

To ensure a cool, efficient, happy engine they began development of the TyrolSport Radiator, a piece made entirely from aluminum with OEM style outlets and fittings for a simple, bolt on solution. This was not an easy piece, however, and many hours were spent maximizing core surface area and width while keeping the size within factory constraints- no easy task, but the resulting part is a work of art, and even more effective than it looks. Testing has proven a 25% increase in fluid volume with an equally impressive 20-25% decrease in outlet temperatures. The fact that it is 100% manufactured in the USA means it is ready to last for years of track abuse to come.

Passat vs TT spindles

Brembo Final

To address another weak point in the MK5/6 Volkswagen chassis, they developed their Master Bracket which is designed to brace the master cylinder to avoid flexing under hard braking. VW is not unique in this issue, in fact older Toyota drift cars are famous for cracking the entire firewall around the master cylinder. Although VW’s design is not this fragile, pedal feel under threshold braking was significantly improved, and pedal travel made much more consistent with the addition of this piece. One of our Rennline Steering Wheel Quick Disconnects also made it into the mix, allowing easy entrance/exit especially in the case of something going wrong.

Track cars like their tires and associated wheel/tire changes, so to make these inevitable changes faster we provided one of our Rennline Competition Lug Stud Conversion Kits. These ISO tested and track-proven studs are available with R13, R14, or Conical steel lug nuts for durability and strength. VWR was tapped for their Tracksport Suspension setup and their stiffer engine mounts to make sure the R had appropriate dampening and spring rates. So far this setup has proven capable without being too edgy or unpredictable- a good combination for a powerful AWD car in which smooth driving often equates to faster lap times. To that end a Peloquin LSD was also installed to help maximize grip and increase corner exit speeds.

Tyrolsport Golf R ready for battle

The Tyrolsport golf r going on the trailer

We are all power junkies at heart, whether or not you admit it. We like going fast, that’s why we’re modifying cars in the first place, and as much as you tell yourself stock power is fine, eventually you are going to want more. When that time came, TyrolSport was still able to stick to their guns and delivered a well rounded, strong performing setup thanks to a Milltek down pipe and non-resonated cat back exhaust. After trying a couple different tunes they settled on a United Motorsports file which delivers a healthy bump in power while retaining drivability and longevity. The exhaust is also useful on track where the stock unit is almost too quiet to hear.

Finally, to make sure they were ready should the worst happen, we supplied one of our Rennline tow hooks. Machined entirely from steel and designed for use unlike many of the aluminum units on the market, it is the perfect fit for any street or track car. We also set TyrolSport up with one of our GoPro camera mounts which is a fully metal mount meaning that it is legal for sanctioning bodies that now prohibit most suction-cup style mounts.

TyroLaunch

TyrolSport R at Palmer Insta

By ‘listening’ to the car’s needs instead of throwing the book at it, TyrolSport has managed to build an extremely balanced and reliable track car that serves as a great test bed for new parts and track mule for owner Mike and his employees. A comprehensive package with good power, great traction and abundant grip have made this R a threat to its competition all over the Northeast. As winter loosens its grip and the landscape starts turning green, keep an eye out at the local track and in your rear view mirror for the TyrolSport Golf R.

A Modern Mini Cooper Born to Rally

As many of us can attest, life sometimes gets in the way of your favorite motorsport, whether it is auto-x, rally-x, track days, or even concours events. Patrick Munhall, a fellow New Englander, had such a break from rally-x; one that lasted almost 10 years. His triumphant return to gravel came behind the wheel of his R53 Mini Cooper, which isn’t the typical AWD monster that likely comes to mind when discussing rally racing. Built upon a solid chassis with good basic dynamics, Patrick’s success since rejoining the sport has proved the Mini is capable of succeeding in a diverse range of motorsport environments. However, that success has not come free, and this Mini has been torture tested throughout New England as the chassis, suspension, engine and under body protection have been fine tuned for competition in the New England Region SCCA Rally-X series.

Patrick's R53 Rally Mini Cooper
Patrick and his BDC Enterprises Inc. sponsored Mini in mid season form chasing the more powerful AWD cars- and catching more than a few!

 

Almost any experienced driver will tell you that seat time is the most important factor in dropping lap times, and although rally-x is no different, the abuse that a car takes during an event often requires additional vehicle preparation. And that is where Rennline enters this story. Patrick first tried fabricating his own skid plate, and although sturdy enough for most disciplines, during his second event at New England Dragway he managed to catch the front edge in a covered hole and literally folded it in half!

 

First attempt at a homemade skid plate that failed and was replaced with a Rennline skid plate
The Mini’s first skid plate that met its demise at the hands of a rather large hole at NE Dragway

 

A photo of the total failure of Patrick's homemade skid plate
Unfortunately it wasn’t quite up to task when Patrick found a hidden rut on course

 

A Rennline skid plate purchased for Patrick's rally Mini Cooper
Time for a little upgrade! Rennline skid plate ready to go in and provide some protection!

 

Rennline Skid plate installed in Pat's R53 rally Mini
Our skid plates feature OEM quality fit and finish, and are manufactured right here in Vermont from heavy duty aluminum

As their first season progressed Patrick and the Mini came into their own, going from 3rd in a small field of entries in their first event to a 2nd place finish by their 3rd event. Had it not been for a cone that jumped out into the middle of the course causing a penalty, they would have found themselves in first after the final run of the day. Results like that make you want more of everything, and so the modifications began piling on. To maximize grip Quaife provided one of their legendary torque biasing limited slip differentials (LSD) which can transfer power from wheel-to-wheel based on the amount of slip it senses by using a series of helical gears to transfer load to the wheel with the most grip.

 

A quaife differential ready for installation in the Mini's transmission
The Quaife arrives!

 

The new differential being pressed together
Time to keep those wheels spinning in unison!

To keep the engine firmly connected to the drivetrain a Valeo flywheel and clutch package was added along with refreshed axles to deal with the strain of competition. To get a rally-appropriate ride height Patrick fabricated 1/2″ spacers for the strut mounts which raise the ride height of the Mini that same 1/2″. Powerflex control arm bushings stiffen the suspension and help to retain as much of the factory suspension geometry as possible, and a BSH lower engine mount reduces the amount the engine and transmission can move as they hammer through gravel, mud, snow and muck in pursuit of victory. Most importantly these modifications were carefully chosen to compliment the already agile and able Mini chassis without adding any exotic or expensive parts to the mix.

Custom strut mounts for lifting the mini
Custom strut mounts to help gain the Mini some ground clearance

 

Rear suspension with custom strut mounts installed
Suspension back in, ready to rock and roll- literally

 

With the handling well sorted and the mini protected, it was time to turn attention add some power by turning up the boost in this little Mini. A Way Motor Works supercharger pulley was installed which is 15% smaller in diameter resulting in a supercharger that spins faster and creates more boost pressure across the rev range. An Ireland Engineering exhaust minimizes exhaust back pressure allowing the engine to breathe easier at these power levels. Way Motor Works claims up to 20hp from this modification alone, but when you’re on rally style surfaces power is nothing if you can’t put it down. To that end Patrick runs Black Rocket Rally Tires on gravel surfaces and switches to Bridgestone Blizzaks for the ice and snow events that cover half of the year’s schedule here in New England.

 

The R53 Rally Mini on its gravel setup
Gravel setup

 

The R53 Rally Mini on its snow and ice setup
Winter mode aka 6 months out of the year

 

Finally it was time to turn attention to the interior because to be fast you need to be in the correct environment both mentally and physically. Again a few choice modifications were planned to enhance the Mini without ruining its inherent strengths. A set of our Rennline track mats were installed to enhance footwork and keep the footwells clear of debris that could lodge itself in, behind, and around the pedals. An OMP wheel helps navigate turns faster and helps reorient the wheel when things get get a little too crazy. A Megan Racing short shifter reduces the length of gear changes and adds accuracy to the feel of the transmission. This winter saw the installation of Sparco race seats for both the driver and anyone brave enough to strap themselves in next door, which will come in handy during events like the Vermont Winter Rally which is organized by local rally legend John Buffum.

 

Rennline Track Mats and Sparco Seats in this Mini
Sparco race buckets and Rennline Track Mats make for a race friendly interior

 

A picture of Patrick's proper racecar interior
All business, no frills; just the things a pilot needs for some full-speed fun

 

For his time, effort, and dedication Patrick has been rewarded with a Mini that can go toe to toe against more powerful and grippier cars on almost any terrain. We are just happy we were able to help him in his goal of improving the reliability and drivability of this cool little car. With our ever expanding line of Mini Cooper parts and Patrick’s desire to continue improving the car and his skills, we are sure there will be another update coming in the near future. If you are attending a New England rally cross event in the coming months, keep an eye out for Patrick and his Mini atop the podium!

 

Patrick's BDC Enterprises sponsored Mini ready for the 2016 season
Patrick has his Mini fine tuned and ready to vie for the title in the 2016 season

 

Race car life!

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“Minor weight reduction” aka making the car faster, handle better, and easier to drive all at once

 

The Ultimate Slant Nose? It’s for sale

The “slantnose” 911, modeled after the iconic 935 race cars of the 1970’s and 80’s, are one of the more controversial models to come out of Stuttgart. Available through Porsche’s Special Order Program or through a number of aftermarket shops and dealerships, slantnose conversions received unique front and modified rear fenders along with a few other bits and pieces to distinguish themselves from the standard 930. Although they commanded premium prices when new, today they have carved out a niche fan club, with many 911s being converted back to the standard body style as the market continues to favor originality and classic 911 body lines.

The slantnose 911's very distinctive headlights
The slantnose: sloped front fenders featuring pop-up headlights and copious amounts of vents and ducts

But this article isn’t about the history of the slantnose, or how it is doing in today’s market. This is about one particularly bad slantnose. One that just so happens to make 450whp on 93oct pump gas. One that just so happens to be daily driven. It also happens to be able to run down a chipped 991 911 Turbo. Do we have your attention now?

 

Let those tires leave no doubt- this thing is serious.
Let those tires leave no doubt- this thing is serious.

 

Vision Motorsports located in sunny Laguna Hills, California gets credit for the heart of this monster. 12k miles ago the entire motor was yanked and stripped down in preparation of making the staggering numbers we already mentioned. Wanting nothing but the best, Mahle 3.4l pistons and jugs were spec’d and sourced, yielding final compression numbers of 7.5:1 which is low by today’s standards but with dated cylinder head designs it provides a large safety margin in terms of detonation resistance. ARP main and head studs keep these fancy parts from ripping themselves apart under sustained high cylinder pressures.

 

Kokeln intercooler features a super-high fin count resulting in an extremely efficient intercooler
Although smaller than many, this Kokeln intercooler features a super-high fin count resulting in an extremely efficient intercooler capable of keeping intake temps in check

 

A very beautiful slantnose 911
We cannot get over the brutal stance of this car- this is one beautiful slantnose!

 

To make the most of the new power band and allow the heads to flow at higher RPM 964 race cams punch open the valves. The head received a refresh just 3k miles ago while the bottom end was deemed perfectly stout at that time. To orchestrate all this power, Electromotive was tapped for their TECgt ECU which allows fully sequential ignition and fuel injection. Of course it also features a laundry list of additional features, like electronic boost control, launch control, CAN outputs to dataloggers and the like. It also supports multiple fuels meaning if you are lucky to live in an E85 supplied area more power is just a bit of corn juice and a retune away.

 

255 front tires matched to 335 rears
255 front tires matched to 335 rears. Yes, 335s. That’s almost 4 FEET of rubber if you were to line it all up

 

Of course, you can’t make enough power to run down Porsche’s brand new supercar without having a way to control it. To that end 3pc Kinesis wheels were rebuilt and painted bronze, as the current owner puts it “to go for the old 935 Johnny player special look.” They are shod in Toyo R888 225’s in front and 335’s rear. Yes, 335s. In other words, if you were to line up the wheels from this car you would be looking at almost 4 FEET of R compound rubber. 4 feet! That certainly has something to do with that 991-decimating speed this 930 is capable of. The owner does state that one wheel, despite a relatively recent rebuild, will need attention as it does slowly leak down.

 

One bad slantnose
One bad slantnose

 

The current owner opens the for sale ad by stating this Turbo is “Not for the weak hearted,” and though we would tend to agree, the interior has received a bit of treatment to update the original look and feel, if not make it entirely civil. A set of our own Rennline aluminum pedals and floorboards replace the factory parts, further cutting curb weight and bringing some style to the footwell. A 4pt. cage and Recaro Pole Positions seats make the interior feel as fast as it is while giving the driver and any other occupants an added degree of safety. Besides those and the addition of some gauges to keep tabs on the powerplant, the interior remains mostly stock ensuring the car retains some level of street demeanor.

 

Renown steering wheel provides an interesting contrast to a mostly stock interior
Renown steering wheel provides an interesting contrast to a mostly stock interior, minus a few choice modifications

 

racecar feel and safety to ensure occupant's safety
A little racecar feel and safety to ensure occupant’s safety should the worst happen

 

So this just might be the ultimate slantnose. The car is currently daily-driven, and thanks to the meticulous build quality of the engine, drivetrain and body, we can’t think of anything we would rather do with it. Well, besides driving it to the track and back! Incredibly, despite the day-to-day grind and the car being built on a 1986 930 chassis, it retains a clean Carfax bill of health with a zero record of accidents. So is “ultimate” too strong a term for this car? It may lack the creature comforts of today’s Turbo, but being able to destroy just about anything on the highway, during your morning commute, in quintessential 80’s style, with modern reliability, justifies this title in our eyes.

 

slantnose 911

 

The engine of the beast
The engine of the beast

 

Digital engine monitoring with Rennline pedals in background
Digital engine monitoring with Rennline pedals in background

Tailored: A 993 with a Heart of Tartan

Customization has been a part of Porsche ownership since the beginning. Of all marques, the heads in Stuttgart have traditionally offered one of the highest levels of customization for factory cars. Beyond these options, Porsche owners are known to love modifying their cars, and Michael Lenzi has the sickness as bad as any of us. He has spent the past three years customizing, refining and covering over 25k miles in the 993 you see here.

Michael's dark colored 993 911

Michael didn’t hold back on the first round of modifications, stripping the entire interior to bare metal including the always-daunting task of removing the factory sound deadening and glue. Then the transit of parts began, with the majority of interior panels heading out to Bob at Classic 9 in Michigan. Many would call this the ‘build phase’ and relegate the car to project status, but Michael kept driving the car, stripped interior and all.

Custom Tartan seats and Rennline steering wheel quick disconnect

Inspired by Porsche and VW interiors of the 70’s Michael chose a blue theme for the interior, so Classic 9 sourced US Navy Blue Tartan material all the way from Scotland. A roll bar was powder coated to match and installed to protect the occupants during Michael’s future track excursions. The door cards and seats were recovered with the Tartan and while he was at it Michael converted to RS style door cards featuring the legendary pull straps in place of handles and installed a Lightweight RS carpet kit.

Custom blue interior with tartan seats and door cards

Carrying the outlaw look to the dash, Michael had the factory dash board reskinned in Alcantara and added one of our Rennline Lower Dash Deletes to eliminate the bulky knee pads, shedding weight and cleaning up the look of the cabin in one swoop. Our Radio Delete Panel was modified by Michael’s friend Scott Hight to relocate the switches under the dash, further cleaning up the look of the dash. A Rennline shift knob tops the factory lever and he installed one of our billet E-Brake Handles to match.

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Steering wheel with custom stitching and Rennline quick release

Next up was a billet aluminum Rennline Steering Wheel Quick Disconnects to aid ease of entry and exit of the vehicle. With the rest of the project nearing completion, Michael turned focus to his footwork. A set of our Full Race Track Mats and our Solid Floorboards were powder coated to match the blue theme and installed to give the footwells an all-business look, and a set of our Rennline Rubber Grip Pedals in black were paired with Heel/Toe Throttle Extensions for more precise downshifts.

Blue roll bar to match blue interior, and tartan back seats

As they say, projects are never done, but as of now Michael is at least doing more driving than modifying. He reports that the car feels downright luxurious compared to its stripped-out-self, and as such the miles have been racking up. He has built this car for him, and as he proudly states “The car is a driver and it has the scars to prove it.” That is what we love to see- an owner with passion and a love for the drive.

Beautiful behind of Michael's 993

Track Weapon for Sale: Cayman R on PelicanParts.com

The Cayman R was a revelation when it entered the market. Building on Porsche’s brilliant mid-engine layout, the R featured lightweight options, more power and unique styling bits. They were immediately touted as one of Porsche’s most track-friendly offerings, and have been a favorite among enthusiasts ever since. Their prowess on track also means they have been a favorite among those looking to modify and improve the performance of their cars.

Wicked Cayman R in green

This particular Cayman R has received a host of upgrades aimed at improving on-track performance, and is currently for sale on the Pelican Parts forum here: http://forums.pelicanparts.com/porsche-cars-sale/890942-fs-2012-cayman-r-peridot-green-excellent.html#post8875588

racecar spec interior with Rennline pedals and extinguisher mount

Since the car was built for track time, the owner decided on a set of our Rennline Rubber Grip Pedals with heel/toe throttle extensions, since this car was built before Porsche was determined to PDK-ify its entire lineup. Good footwork is critical, so our aluminum track mats were also fitted to keep the driver and passenger footwells clear for quick downshifts and so that the passenger can easily hang on for dear life!

Carbon fiber seats, Rennline track mats and RS style door pulls

The rest of the interior reads like a ‘who’s who’ of complimentary modifications; factory option carbon fiber seats, a Cantrell Motorsports roll cage, and Schroth 6pt harnesses keep the driver in place and safe. Girodisc rotors are fitted in the front while rears remain stock- Pagid R29 pads and Goodridge Stainless Lines increase braking longevity. Our friends at Tarett Engineering provided a set of their wheel studs so that the owner cannot literally drive the wheels off- a very real concern in this Cayman!

Side shot of Cayman R in green

Finally, the car received a little dose of extra power. An OEM GT3 throttle body was installed on top of an IPD plenum to let the car take nice, deep breaths and Fabspeed provided their headers and sport cats to match flow on the exhaust side. A retune would likely unleash a few more ponies, but as it sits we are sure this Cayman scoots!

The front end of the Cayman R in green

Between the thorough and well thought out list of modifications and a nice stack of paperwork pictured right in the for sale ad, we would say this could be a great buy. The Cayman R will go down as a purist’s favorite thanks to the 6spd manual, lack of weight-inducing extras and its in-your-face-styling, so if you want to experience one of the best driving experiences Porsche has offered don’t wait too long!

A Beautiful Example of a 911 Track Car

This 1974 RS “Re-creation” only lasted for sale two days on the Pelican Parts Forums. But that isn’t really a surprise when you look at the spec list. The short list on the built 3.2l includes Weber 46IDAs, ported heads, new rings and Cosworth pistons on rods forged rods. Big headers and a flowmaster exhaust were added to compliment the K&N intake filters and twin plug conversion. Although not known as the most exciting engine ever bolted into a 911 the 3.2 was claimed by Porsche to be 80% new from the 3.0l, but the best improvement was moving over to a Motronic Fuel Injection from the former CIS setup. This increased output, tunability and reliability significantly over the outgoing powerplant.

Classic 911 for sale on Pelican Parts

To be able to handle as well as it goes, the car received 23/31mm torsion bars and re valved Bilsteins to match. There has been a trend to convert earlier cars to coilover setups, but when properly sized, torsion bar setups are more than capable of keeping up with more modern spring setups. Tarett Engineering Competition Suspension Components​ provided their renowned sway bars to compliment our own Rennline monoballs in both the front and rear. Of course, after these and the rest of the laundry list of suspension upgrades, the car was dialed in with a track oriented alignment.

Rear end of this classic 911

Our Rennline floor boards were added to the interior to replace the factory plywood units along with a host of lightweight RS parts for the perfect track car cockpit. Although the “driver mod” (aka seat time) is often touted as the biggest factor in lap times, it is important to make sure the driver is able to perform their duties without obstruction. That means floorboards are a critical modification to keep the pedal area clear and the Cobra seats, fire supression system and Momo Mod.07 wheel allow precision control in this Carrera. The builder also chose a Painless Wiring system integrated with the factory Motronic ECU to ensure reliability at the track.Stripped racecar interior with Rennline floorboards

Finally a set of 17″ CCW wheels were stuffed under the fenders sized 8.5″ wide in the front and 10″ fat in the rear. With a high-strung 3.2 all this meat was necessary to ensure maximum traction when exiting turns under power. Any 911 driver (and many, many pundits) will tell you never to lift off the throttle mid turn, so power-on at corner exit is essential to fast lap times and those meaty rear tires allow exactly that. All in all this was an awesome deal, and we hope whoever snagged it is continuing to track the car because, after all, that is what it was built to do!

Front of the racecar with Rennline strut brace and smuggler's box cover