I’ve always loved the look of the Porsche 911. But, like a lot of folks, I think that after the 993 it lost a little bit of its sportiness, and moved more in the direction of a GT car in both size and appearance. However, that’s really a minor quibble, as the new cars are still beautiful to look at, and unmistakably 911. As great as the 911 look is, there are still plenty of ways to change and tweak the car
to personal preferences. Some owners make big changes, while others are more restrained in their modifications – as the old saying goes ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
Personally, I’ve always been the kind of owner who keeps his cars mostly stock. I’ve never replaced factory wheels, and about the only mods I’ve ever done was lowering the ride height and replacing shocks. Both are considered practically de rigueur by most owners these days anyway. However, when I purchased my 993 Turbo a couple of years ago, I loved the minor cosmetic changes the former owner had made: the car was lowered and had Bilsteins installed all around, the stock 993 wheels were replaced by 996 Turbo wheels, the front end got the ‘Euro’ treatment, which included removal of the unsightly ‘bumperettes’ and finally, the fairly sedate Turbo exhaust was replaced by a Fabspeed system that emits a decidedly more aggressive growl than the factory setup. All in all, I love how it looks and sounds even as it retains a fairly stock overall appearance.
A more radical look is embodied by the car my friend Roger Encarnacion owns. His 964 was modified by a Japanese company called Rauh-welt Begriff (RWB). RWB are located in Chiba, Japan, and
specialise in outrageous body kits for the 911. I’ve seen Roger’s Guards red
964 many times at local ‘cars and coffee’ events, and it always draws a crowd. However, it wasn’t until I had a chance to follow him on the open road that I had a true appreciation for just how aggressive the RWB 964 appears in motion. Instead of just saying “look at me”, the RWB car positively screams “I’ve arrived”, and the body kit gives it the look of an authentic RSR race car. Roger pointed out that unlike some of the after-market products common in the 1980s and 1990s, which required the owner to do some work himself, RWB will come to you, and carefully install and fit the entire system like a bespoke suit.
Obviously the 911 is a great car that has seen evolution rather than revolution over the past 50 years. That evolution has included lots of mechanical and cosmetic tweaks, and rather than going through periodic major body style changes like the Chevy Corvette, the
911 has moved in a more measured and calculated manner. This in turn has led to a huge variety of cars that all share the same basic body style, but with different interpretations of what that owner’s personalised cars look and sound like. To me, that’s a good thing!