KEEPING IT PERSONAL
A 911 SC with 993 Varioram power.
Powered by a 993’s Varioram-equipped 3.6-litre flat-six and borrowing parts from 911s of all ages, this SC restomod proves what a brilliant platform for personalisation Porsche produced with what’s become one of the best-value and readily available air-cooled classics out there…
Though it sounds like a contradiction in terms, the one thing linking every generation of 911 is individuality. Adaptability to each Porsche customer’s lifestyle is woven in from the factory, but gets ratcheted up to a new level when enthusiasts decide to further personalise their fourwheeled friend. Often, as the owner of this black SC can attest, the right blend of modern usability and classic styling begins with a dig through Porsche’s engineering toybox. “My car makes use of a wide variety of parts lifted from the Porsche back catalogue,” says Adam Croft, before explaining the thought process behind his semi-backdated 911. “I wasn’t worried about purist perfection or originality. The specification of my SC is, I realise, historically incorrect, but these Porsches are the perfect starting point for anyone wanting to own a classic 911 suited their individual tastes, driving style and the environment the car is likely to be used in. After all, as it stands, a tatty old SC is never going to be a bluechip classic, there are loads of them around and they can be obtained at reasonable cost. With this in mind, I
used an SC as the platform for a build I could drive hard without feeling guilty about potential depreciation.”
Thinking time is something Adam isn’t short of. He’s based in North Lincolnshire, but his 911 was funded by regular periods of weeks spent abroad working on large-scale engineering projects. In fact, we caught up with him between his recent work trips to Egypt and New York. His finished Porsche is also the result of a childhood interest in all things automotive — influenced as much by the “uncatalyzed four-star exhaust fumes, imperial spanners and oil puddles” which accompanied his father’s love of classic Minis as he was by the Guards Red 911 Turbo (930) depicted in the poster on his bedroom wall, his eventual foray into Porsche ownership was always going to be a hands-on affair.
“I promised myself I’d buy a 911 before my thirtieth birthday,” he continues. “I remained true to that dream by buying my first SC three years ahead of schedule. It was a 1982 Targa and confirmed everything I believed and love about these cars. Since then, I’ve owned a 993
Carrera, a 996 Carrera 4S, a 968 Clubsport and a firstgeneration Cayenne Turbo, which I ran alongside my
SC.” Getting to this point took patience, though — Adam was lucky to get on board with 911 ownership ahead of Porsche prices rocketing skyward, paying a low fourfigure sum for a 1982 SC tin-top suffering the ills of corrosion. British weather had been unkind to the car, but the foundations were good — it was drivable and came with a valid MOT, meaning only basic maintenance was required to keep the Porsche ticking over until Adam’s plan of action was ready to materialise.
Initially, the restomod work was straightforward: focused on enhancing the 911 driving experience, Adam stripped the coupe back to a rolling shell and began gathering parts for the development of a lightweight, fast-road car with a hint of 1970s racer mixed in. The original bumpers made way for EB Motorsport 911 SC RS composite parts (designed in-house using an original SC RS item to create the required tooling), while the interior was taken back to basics by being kitted-out with Cobra bucket seats and lightweight RS carpets. Beneath an electrically operated 964 decklid spoiler, Cotswold-based marque specialist, Rennsport, rebuilt the entire drivetrain, with the addition of PMO throttle bodies to help the newly short-stroked flat-six — now packing 3.2-litres of displacement — breathe a little easier. Adam’s best-laid plans weren’t without unforeseen challenges, though. “Despite multiple sessions on a rolling road, I couldn’t get fuelling right on the throttle bodies, and the paint, which was very presentable after a respray, suddenly developed bad vapour pop. I soon discovered the body shop I’d appointed had been three months behind schedule.
The company’s sprayers rushed the paintwork on my car because they were sick of me hounding them. After a little heartache, and after I accepted the supplier in question was refusing to right their wrongs, I decided to have the car resprayed all over again. I also took the opportunity to revisit the car’s overall specification, with immediate focus on the engine.”
As you’d expect, Adam took no chances with his SC’S second-time revival. The car was shipped to a body shop with a solid reputation and was taken back to bare metal, a process uncovering the remaining scabs of climate damage ready for replacement with new steel. In turn, this gave an opportunity to re-think the way the 911 looked, and to cherry-pick another round of classic Porsche influence for the project. To this end, the front wings are from a 1971 car, with front and rear bumpers from a 1973 Carrera RS matched to a custom ducktail and chrome grille, both of which were integrated into the 964 electrically assisted decklid. It’s a mix, for sure. “I didn’t set out to recreate any particular car or present my 911 as something it isn’t. There are many restomods with big bubble arches. I don’t know if they’re supposed to emulate a Singer or an S/T, but they nearly always look awkward. I think Porsche really nailed the SC’S standard wheel arch proportions, which is why I’ve kept them.”
ADAM DITCHED THROTTLE BODY TUNING FOR THE SIMPLICITY OF A 993’S 3.6-LITRE VARIORAM ENGINE
It’s a sign of a long-term interest that the mix of parts isn’t obvious at first glance. The cabin is plusher than it had been, now ready for touring thanks to the appointment of deep-bolstered 964 ‘tombstones’ trimmed in tan-coloured leather, biscuit centre panels and matched to the door cards, elements of the dashboard and even the 917-style wooden gear knob. This is a car configured for all-season use and, with the invitation of dark country roads to make the most of the power and poise on offer, the projector headlights are as much of a performance necessity as anything beneath the skin. And there’s plenty going on where you can’t see it, too. Starting from scratch, Adam ditched the frustrations of throttle body tuning for the simplicity of a 3.6-litre Varioram engine from a donor 993, boosted by a remap at Chipwizards. Cabin heating comes from SSI heat exchangers which, in turn, meant having a custom exhaust built for the car. The quad chrome pipes are unmistakeably Eisenmann hardware, only compatible with the mix of parts behind following a session of extensive persuasion. Adam reckons it was worth the hassle. “It’s a nightmare trying to find an exhaust that fits the 993 manifolds and also goes in behind the car’s reprofiled rear end,” he explains. “I was worried the Eisenmann system would be too restrictive or sound rubbish, but the engine pushes out 303bhp and sounds lovely, with a nice bass burble.” A 915 transmission is in place, which amounts to lower ratios than the stockspec G50, meaning the pace up to three-figure speeds is incredible. Chassis mods were also dialled in to suit fastroad use. The torsion bars and anti-roll bars are as they left the factory, but are now paired with Bilstein dampers
and selective use of polyurethane bushes wherever Adam felt additional stiffness might help. Behind the staggered and part-polished Fuchs wheels — wrapped in modern Continental Contisport Contact performance tyres — the factory brake setup runs race fluid and Mintex M1166 pads, all helping to rein in this superb SC’S additional power.
Having waited seven years to get here, Adam didn’t go lightly with the 911’s shakedown test. Fresh out of the workshop in May, the Porsche’s mechanical parts were run-in with a road trip to the Nürburgring and a trouble-free weekend lapping the Nordschleife. Plans are forming for an even longer haul next year, one that’ll take the Porsche back to Stuttgart, into Northern Italy (via Switzerland’s awesome mountain passes) and on to the French Riviera, returning via Bordeaux. “My modified
SC is built as a street car, but it’s participated in a few track days,” he says, before expressing slight regret. “I chose not to cut vents into the new front bumper, but I’m wishing I had. The car ran fine around the Green Hell, as long as the ambient was twenty degrees centigrade or below, no matter how hard I pushed. Sadly, when outside temperature rose any higher, the car struggled to shake off the heat. I’ve since added extra coolers and fans, but the more elegant solution would have been to have cut vents in the front.”
For many, an SC remains the go-to 911 for customisation. High in number and not yet valuable enough for an owner to be concerned with preservation of factory specification, the three-litre model provides all the plus points an enthusiast is looking for when starting out on a journey of Porsche personalisation. With prices of all used cars rising rapidly this year, make sure you grab an SC of your own before it’s too late.