Car­graphic has loaded a bunch of its ex­haust and tun­ing good­ies onto this 3.2 Car­rera – and turned it into a 2.7 RS looka­like. We crank up the vol­ume

Classic Porsche - - Contents - Words: Johnny Ti­pler Pho­tos: Antony Fraser

Car­graphic’s RS replica serves as the demon­stra­tor for their ex­hausts

When your busi­ness is pro­duc­ing per­for­mance ex­hausts and other tun­ing kits for Porsches you need a show-off car to show­case it, and thatʼs just what Car­graphic have done with a 1987 3.2 Car­rera. And be­cause prin­ci­pal Thomas Sch­nar­rʼs favourite 911 is the 2.7 RS, thatʼs how the car is pre­sented. We called in at his Lan­dau base for the full au­ral ef­fect.

Lan­dau is a medium-sized Ger­man town in the heart of the hilly Pfalz re­gion to the north east of the Black For­est, sur­rounded by pro­lific vine­yards pro­duc­ing won­der­ful Dorn­felder and Ries­ling among other de­li­cious wines. That, of course, has noth­ing to do with our visit; al­though it does pro­vide a fab­u­lous back­drop for our pho­to­shoot.

Be­fore we get to the car, a bit of back­ground is in or­der. Car­graphic has been pro­duc­ing Porsche re­place­ment ex­haust sys­tems for 21 years, since Thomas went into part­ner­ship with Si­mon Young, whoʼs based in Cul­lomp­ton, Devon, in a busi­ness owned 50-50, re­fin­ing and up­grad­ing ex­haust sys­tems for mod­ern as well as clas­sic Porsches – from 911s and 991s to Ma­cans and Cay­mans. Thereʼs a cer­tain stand­ing be­neath a 911 thatʼs up on a ramp in south­west Ger­many, know­ing that its ex­haust sys­tem was hand­crafted in equally pic­turesque south west Eng­land. Coin­ci­den­tally, both re­gions have vine­yards…

Thomas Schnarr has been in­volved with Porsches most of his life, and the 2.7RS was al­ways the goal: ʻI like the Fpro­gramme mod­els, and back in 1982 I had seven orig­i­nal ones which I bought here in Ger­many – cheap at 25,000 DM at the time (around £11,000), and sold them to France for be­tween 30 and 35,000 DM. I even had a tan­ger­ine 911 back then, but it was hor­rid to drive; the gearshift was wob­bly and the me­chan­i­cal fuel-in­jec­tion was al­ways giv­ing trou­ble.ʼ

There are no such is­sues with the new car. ʻI wanted a rust­free black Amer­i­can late G50 car to start with, and this is what I got three years ago: no ac­ci­dents, no rust, and since then weʼve com­pletely done it up.ʼ From front to back, the re­vised body­work con­sists of car­bon front wings and long front lid, steel doors, pert car­bon duck­tail and car­bon rear bumper panel, the whole pack­age weigh­ing in at 1025kg. Trad Car­rera graph­ics em­bla­zon the lower flanks.

The 3.2 Car­rera-based flat-six is Car­graph­icʼs ʻRSC 3.2 power kitʼ unit, rated at 283bhp with top speed cal­cu­lated at 267Km/h, and con­tains Car­graph­icʼs own mod­i­fied 964 cams and head porting. Itʼs run­ning a big mass air­flow sen­sor and BMC air fil­ter, which forms a very neat ar­range­ment, hav­ing been in­stalled by Car­graph­icʼs in-house tech­ni­cians. Thereʼs no get­ting away from its huge com­pres­sor, ac­tu­at­ing full air con­di­tion­ing, an anachro­nism on a 2.7RS but no less wel­come in the mod­ern world.

The sus­pen­sion fea­tures Bil­stein Club­sport dampers with Welt­meis­ter bushes, and re­tains the 3.2ʼs tor­sion-bar set up.


Thomas points out that itʼs run­ning Miche­lin TB15 clas­sic rac­ing tyres on 15in Fuchs wheels, and com­ments that, ʻthese are su­per for the road, and they even work when itʼs wet. We fit­ted 9in wheels on the back and 7in wheels on the front, and we slightly broad­ened the whee­larches so they cov­ered the wheels.ʼ Brakes are four-pot calipers front and rear with drilled discs.

Itʼs a great look­ing car, but its pièce-de-re­sis­tance is surely the sparkling ex­haust sys­tem, the Car­graphic GT ex­haust with EURO2 cat­alytic con­vert­ers and in­te­grated flaps. There are three dif­fer­ent grades of in­ter­nal baf­fling for a Car­graphic 911 si­lencer, pro­duc­ing three dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions of sound, ef­fec­tively, so you could have what would be con­sid­ered an OE sound, which is iden­ti­fied as an ET, and then the TÜV box which is a lit­tle louder than stan­dard and called an ETR, and then the nonTÜV ex­port ver­sion which is an ETS.

The or­ange carʼs com­pre­hen­sive pipework in­cludes the ET flap sys­tem, but fit­ted with spe­cial nor­mally closed flaps, with the ad­van­tage that the car al­ways starts in ʻqui­etʼ mode; itʼs con­trolled by a vac­uum that will open the flaps so the car can be driven qui­etly at low revs, and, as Thomas Schnarr ex­plains, ʻWhen you feel like it, you can open the flaps with a vac­uum, which routes the gases di­rectly from the cat­alytic con­vert­ers to the tail pipe.ʼ Two fur­ther con­fig­u­ra­tions can be spec­i­fied for clas­sic 911s. ʻWe have built this sys­tem with two ver­sions for the ear­lier cars, with a mod­i­fied heat ex­changer when peo­ple want this sys­tem thatʼs fit­ted on the or­ange car, or with our full GT sys­tem, which has the heat ex­chang­ers over the cat­alytic con­verter, so it works just as well.

ʻBut you have more vari­a­tions with the in­let pipe di­am­e­ter so you can go big­ger than the heat ex­chang­ers, so itʼs more pow­er­ful. In fact we ac­tu­ally sell more GT sys­tems than heat ex­chang­ers. Peo­ple like the look of the man­i­folds, and they do look a bit fancier. The other prac­ti­cal rea­son for hav­ing the heat ex­chang­ers over the cat­a­lysts rather than the head­ers is mainly that you can have big­ger pipes for the head­ers be­cause youʼre not con­strained by the di­men­sions of the heat ex­changer.ʼ

Theyʼve done a con­vinc­ing job on the in­te­rior, too. I ease into the clas­sic houndʼs-tooth seats and get snug with the pe­riod four-spoke wheel. Itʼs largely a black cabin with red pin­strip­ing around the door cards, and a Car­graphic logo in the rev counter.

in­ex­orably and in­sou­ciantly from 1500rpm in fifth. The big­ger brakes are con­fi­dence-in­spir­ing, and I in­dulge in trail-brak­ing into some cor­ners, car­ry­ing speed through them, power on and with more throt­tle at the apex, steer­ing through the bends and play­ing with over­steer in­duced by on-off throt­tle to make the front end tuck in. Itʼs a great car, re­ward­ing to drive, es­pe­cially with the win­dow down – all the bet­ter to drown in the ad­dic­tive roar of the ex­haust.

Iʼm sure that ex­haust notes sell cars: they cer­tainly score as far as sen­sory ap­pre­ci­a­tion goes. Car­graphic even make a sys­tem for V6 diesel Ma­cans which in­cor­po­rates a pair of speak­ers just be­fore the tail pipes which is pro­grammed to emit a petrol V8 rum­ble – and you can mod­u­late it to high or low pitch V8 via a smart­phone app(!). But thatʼs the ex­cep­tion. As Thomas says, ʻWe try to make our sys­tems fit with OE parts, whereas other makes of­ten donʼt, and in some cases you canʼt just re­place the tail pipes or rear box be­cause their sys­tems wonʼt match with the ex­ist­ing parts. De­sign-wise, with the Car­graphic prod­ucts, we al­ways try to max­imise flow, max­imise power while still keep­ing it within a re­spectable – and le­gal – sound level.

ʻBe­cause of the con­straints with TÜV in Ger­many we canʼt have a sys­tem thatʼs ab­so­lutely un­fet­tered, so there has to be a com­pro­mise be­tween the level of sound and the per­for­mance that can be gained. But our sys­tems do tend to be more drive­able and more user friendly as a re­sult. You donʼt have that hor­ri­ble dron­ing in the back of your head over long dis­tances.ʼ

How they gauge whether a par­tic­u­lar con­fig­u­ra­tion of si­lencer and header and tailpipes, plus cat­alytic con­verter and

heat ex­chang­ers is go­ing to en­hance the carʼs per­for­mance is, ac­cord­ing to Thomas, ʻvery much an ex­pe­ri­ence-based thing. We have a deci­bel me­ter and we mea­sure the car as stan­dard and then we can do our own work and then mea­sure the car.ʼ

Thatʼs done static and drive-by, rather than rolling road. In­creas­ing bhp is also down to past ex­pe­ri­ence: ʻItʼs what weʼve learned over the years; we can work out pri­mary di­am­e­ters, pri­mary lengths, and cats we know al­ways give an im­prove­ment with the mod­ern 200-cell, tri-coated T38 plat­inum, rhodium, pal­la­dium Car­graphic ex­clu­sive cats, and thereʼs an im­me­di­ate gain to be had in fit­ting those when the fac­tory parts are usu­ally 600-cell, so im­me­di­ately youʼve in­creased the flow by a fac­tor of three. If youʼre go­ing for max­i­mum power you should con­sider those, as a lot of the fac­tory head­ers are par­tic­u­larly re­stric­tive. And there are good gains to be made in re­plac­ing the stock head­ers with our free-flow­ing ver­sions.ʼ

Car­graphic ex­hausts are fab­ri­cated from 304L light­weight stain­less-steel, which is an austen­ite or gamma-iron, so itʼs non­mag­netic, whereas cheaper grades of stain­less-steel like 409, which is a steel with a high chromium con­tent and not much nickel, but which is mag­netic, and over a pe­riod of time it will rust. As Thomas says, ʻIt will prob­a­bly last ten years, and thatʼs the gam­ble; most stain­less man­u­fac­tur­ers of­fer a life­time guar­an­tee to the orig­i­nal pur­chaser, but the like­li­hood that some­body keeps their car more than ten years is not that great. It depends if itʼs some­bodyʼs ev­ery­day run­ner or whether itʼs just a high days and hol­i­days car, in which case it will last equally as long as 304.ʼ

Thought si­lencers were just steel cylin­ders with baf­fles inside? Thomas will put you right! ʻAll our si­lencers are as­sem­bled in the same way, wrap­ping two or three lay­ers of stain­less steel wire-wool around the baf­fle, we put a layer of nee­dle mat which is a blan­ket glass­fi­bre around the inside of the case to the in­su­la­tor case, and then we fill the void with ma­te­rial which is called glass rob­ing which is like glass­fi­bre in a con­tin­u­ous fil­a­ment, so it does­nʼt break down.

ʻThis will then get pushed into the si­lencer un­der pres­sure by this ma­chine, and these ma­chines will squash the case to the right shape for the baf­fle and then the in­ter­nals will re­tain the shape.ʼ Vari­a­tions on the theme in­clude the vac­uum flap si­lencer, which en­ables the driver to mod­u­late the vol­ume of sound the car is mak­ing at the press of a switch.

ʻWhen the vac­uum flaps are open the gases can go straight to the tail pipe, and when the vac­uum flaps are closed the gases are forced down into the long run on the si­lencer so they then go into the cen­tre, re­turn and then drop back in onto the tail pipe

out­let. Strength­ened brack­ets, as well as the olive-and-slide sys­tem en­sure an ex­act ad­just­ment, which guar­an­tees a stress­free in­stal­la­tion.

ʻWhere pos­si­ble, all parts are mounted with Aero­quip fit­tings to pro­vide per­fect seal­ing com­bined with flex­i­bil­ity.ʼ Some sys­tems em­ploy spring at­tach­ments: ʻwhere thereʼs a risk of frac­ture, the springs al­low the sys­tem to ex­pand and ab­sorb vi­bra­tions, and when the springs are at­tached it gives the sys­tem a tremen­dous amount of flex­i­bil­ity and the abil­ity for the sys­tem to ex­pand when it gets very hot with­out the risk of frac­ture. Theyʼre im­por­tant on our race and track­day sys­tems.ʼ

All parts are test-fit­ted, dyno-tested and TÜV ap­proved in Ger­many once de­vel­oped. The way it works is, Car­graphic re­ceives an or­der in Lan­dau, the parts are made in Devon then shipped back to Lan­dau and dis­patched to the cus­tomer from there, ʻto any­where in the world,ʼ says Thomas.

The timescale for man­u­fac­tur­ing a com­plete ex­haust sys­tem is dif­fi­cult to quan­tify be­cause ev­ery­thing is pro­duced to or­der in small batches. ʻFor in­stance, we are cur­rently de­vel­op­ing the cat sec­tions for the 991 gen 2 Car­rera 3.0 turbo, and it will prob­a­bly take us about a week to pro­duce a work­ing set and a pat­tern set. The process is to jig the orig­i­nal parts and then to build our part in that jig, so our part will then fit with an OE rear si­lencer, but if we were pro­duc­ing man­i­folds, cat sec­tions, cen­tre sec­tion, rear boxes and tail pipes, that could be three to four weeksʼ work, par­tic­u­larly if weʼre build­ing it on the car, be­cause by the time weʼve built our pat­terns and then jigged our pat­terns and then pro­duced one out of the jigs to make sure it fits the car, that could be as much as a mon­thʼs work. It may need re­fin­ing, but hope­fully itʼs per­fect first time.ʼ

Which sys­tem does Thomas re­gard as the most im­pres­sive ex­haust sys­tem that Car­graphic pro­duces? ʻProb­a­bly our 911 flat-six sys­tem for the ear­lier cars, the 3.2 Car­rera maybe, and I also like our 996 GT3 race sys­tem, or our 991 Turbo sys­tem that fea­tures on the Car­graphic video with flames com­ing out of the tail pipes.ʼ

Car­graph­icʼs next project car is a 964: ʻitʼs a fac­tory Tur­bolook Amer­ica Road­ster, one of 326 built, with all our good­ies on it, in­clud­ing air-lift and the new flap sys­tem for the 964.ʼ This, as much as the or­ange 3.2 back­date, re­flects where Thomas sees the trend go­ing in 911 own­er­ship: ʻI see the di­rec­tion as clas­sic, es­pe­cially as new cars be­come more and more tightly reg­u­lated. We have so many clas­sic parts in store on the first and sec­ond floors of the main build­ing so this is in ad­di­tion to our range of ex­hausts and tun­ing equip­ment.ʼ

And that is a healthy line-up of good­ies, many of them fit­ted to our our test car and, pro­vid­ing youʼre of the per­sua­sion that be­lieves Porsches are for play­ing with, all the bet­ter for it. CP Con­tact: Car­graphic Thomas Schnarr Gmbh Wies­lauter­straße 20 D-76829 Lan­dau Ger­many Tel.: (+49) 63 41 968 911-0 [email protected]­­­

Bel­low from the ex­haust is a sound to put a smile on any clas­sic Porsche owner’s face. Tüv-friendly sys­tem can run in both ‘quiet’ and ‘open’ modes…

What started life as a 3.2 Car­rera now looks like a pretty con­vinc­ing homage to the Car­rera RS. How­ever, the car’s pri­mary role is as a demon­stra­tor for Car­graphic’s ex­haust sys­tems

Above: Ti­pler aims and pulls the trig­ger, soak­ing up the sound as the ex­haust goes into free-flow mode… Above cen­tre and right: boss­man Thomas Schnarr en­thuses about the new stain­less sys­tems, and ad­mits the orig­i­nal RS is his favourite Porsche

Above: Car­graphic ex­haust sys­tems are man­u­fac­tured in the UK, but sold world­wide from the Ger­man HQ

Be­low, left to right: Miche­lin TB15 tyres, backed up by Bil­stein sus­pen­sion, give the Car­rera su­perb road­hold­ing. 3.2-litre en­gine runs mod­i­fied 964 cams and breathes easy with the Car­graphic ex­haust

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