You’ll notice a lot of German, and specifically Porsche content on the blog lately. As time has gone on, I’ve found myself more and more drawn to these timeless sports cars, and the culture surrounding them. It’s something I wish the “JDM” crowd would more readily adopt. Or rather, perhaps it’s that there’s always been this element to the “JDM” scene too, it’s just not either widely embraced or reported. Instead we end up often seeing the same old same old. Build it with an online signature filled list of sometimes random parts, dyno it, get it in a magazine or plaster pics all over, sell it. No desire to take the time and build it slowly. No real plan in place. Or worse, the ill-advised practice of building it with parts based purely on budget, without any consideration (or understanding) of the actual differences between Brand A and X.
No matter what scene you’re in, there are always dividing lines. Built vs original, real vs replica, genuine vs tribute, show vs race. The Japanese car scene will always be my first love. There are many iconic Japanese sports/performance oriented cars, and they deserve all the love that those who are consumed by their bloodline can bestow upon them. What I find the most intriguing thing about some of the European firms, is there are still firms trying to meld old and new. Classic styling with modern manufacturing techniques. Going forward, I think there is a lot to be learned from this direction of the hobby.
I also readily appreciate how fanatical many in the European scene are about the motorsport history of their favored brands. We all have heard of Alfa-holics, Porsche-philes, Tifosi. Guys that are seemingly walking encyclopedias for all things related to the car or brand that keeps their heart pumping. Let’s not forget, the Japanese similarly have a deep rooted car culture. One that has risen to the top of the motorsport realm in Rally, Sports Car, and Endurance racing. It’s something to be appreciated and preserved. But often is ignored. So to those out there who keep that candle lit; hats off to you.
Anyway, just some random musings on a Saturday morning. I recently saw an article on a DP Motorsport project 911 that really struck a chord with me. DP has an extensive history building, racing, and modifying Porsches, most notably, 911’s. This new project combines parts that span 4 decades. From the ’73 911T shell, to the modern carbon bodywork (carbon, not carbon stickers). It was built to deliver fun and reliable performance. Not built to set a dyno record, not built to win shows (though it easily could). The attention to detail is what I find most impressive. The car is cohesive. Everything in it’s right place. The design and parts classifications on the outside match those on the inside. Sure, it’s a bit raw (and expensive!) for a daily car, but it would easily serve it’s master for fun weekend jaunts and track days. While it certainly plucks at the heartstrings just looking at it – the execution is clean. It’s low, it’s wide, it’s loud – but it’s still subtle, at least till you drive it. It makes a substantial amount of power, particularly for a non turbo motor. But it’s the way that power is installed in an ultra lightweight chassis (ala the famed RSR) that makes the whole more than the sum of its parts. Which I personally think is a box that many “JDM” project cars fail to tick.
Now, I fully understand taste is subjective. Always will be…and I wouldn’t want it any other way. But when you’re building your car, no matter what it is, don’t be afraid to draw inspiration from different scenes. Be willing to look at a different canvas and see how and where you can apply some of the themes to your project. The car is an extension of it’s owner afterall. As such, it pays to be forward thinking. It pays to imagine yourself 10, 20, 30 years down the road and see if you can picture yourself still driving the car, as it sits. Do you view the car as a stepping stone? Do you view the project as a way to embrace a current ‘fashionable’ trend, or do you view the car as a almost an heirloom? Take your time with it, do it for you, and not for the feature, and most importantly, build it to drive it.
Anyway, I’ve drawn some inspiration from this video – I hope you enjoy it too. A detailed article on the car can be found in the current issue of Excellence for those interested.