Many car cognoscenti put the Porsche 911 on a pedestal, viewing it as the ideal automobile in terms of design and driving experience. Peter Nam sees the car—and specifically its 993 variant—as a canvas for creativity. “I find the 993 inspiring, because it’s the last generation of the air-cooled Porsche and is perceived by many as the last true version of the iconic 911,” says the founder of the automotive engineering and design group Gunther Werks. “The word ‘last’ evokes a lot of emotion for any true Porsche lover, and a lot of us share the need to preserve it and improve it—to remaster it.”
Nam’s Southern California–based team takes any street-legal 993 donor vehicle (from 1994 through 1998) and transforms it into the Gunther Werks 400R—a roughly 2,600-pound car that even Ferdinand Porsche would pine for. The wide-bodied coupe is crafted from carbon fiber and carries a 4-liter naturally aspirated engine—with 431 hp and 330 ft lbs of torque—from Rothsport Racing paired with a Getrag G50 six-speed manual transmission.
“One of the reasons I wanted to take on this project was to inspire the younger generation to learn how to drive a manual transmission,” Nam says. “I want this car to be something my young son can enjoy 10 years down the road.”
Further enhancements include a KW hydraulic lift system and a suspension benefitting from KW Clubsport coil-overs and improved front and rear sway bars. The entire presentation rides on 18-inch forged-aluminum wheels (dressed in Pirelli P Zero Rosso tires), which are brought to submission by Brembo R35 GTR brakes. Highly customizable, the cockpit can feature carbon-fiber bucket seats, optional half-cage driver protection, and a five-dial dash.
Does the 400R raise the bar on an already perfect Porsche? Perhaps. But only a few will find out, as Gunther Werks is producing just 25 examples. (from $525,000, excluding donor car)