Recognising Greatness With The CSF 911

22 mins read

I have a concern about this car.
Actually, not just this car, but a number of cars that have been, or are being built at the moment. This concern is simple, but one that I feel is extraordinarily valid: It’s that not enough people will fully appreciate this car.
Let me try to clarify that. We’ve been covering cars and car culture since 2008 on Speedhunters, and as a crew, we’ve been exposed to the automotive world for decades. Not to come across as arrogant, but we know a thing or two about what good looks like. In recent years however, what good looks like and what attracts views and engagement have become two very different things.
It’s easy, but probably still correct, to blame shortened attention spans courtesy of how we are presented with information on social media. If something isn’t loud and superficial, it tends to be overlooked. Who has the time anymore to deep-dive into why something is good? Well, we do.
Personally, I’ve found this divide difficult to reconcile. On one hand, these one-dimensional projects built solely to garner attention online do generate the traffic, likes and clicks that have become currency for online media. However, by featuring them we’re contributing to the problem and essentially bowing to what the social media companies want us to share versus what we should share.
The problem is obvious, but the solution isn’t, because it’s just not possible to condense a car like the CSF 911 down into a few images and a brief caption on social media. This approach does the car absolutely no justice whatsoever, and the social media algorithms will just bury it anyway, because what makes this car great isn’t immediately obvious.
In fact, I reckon many people will overlook this feature thinking ‘Oh, it’s just another 911′. This isn’t just another 911, though. It might be one of the best ever built and certainly one of the very best to feature on these pages.
However, because its greatness lies in the detail, some people don’t want to take the time to learn why. They’ve been conditioned to think that if something doesn’t immediately grab their attention, then it’s not worthy of their time. It’s a good thing social media wasn’t around when James Joyce wrote Ulysses. 
Rather than continue this diatribe against current social norms, I would like to spend the rest of this feature poring over the car in as much detail as I possibly can to justify my earlier claims that this is a great Porsche 911.
In essence then, the feature really starts here, at Yanks Air Museum in California.
Some of you might already be familiar with the project, as it has been documented in great detail on CSF’s YouTube channel. While the car was built for the SEMA Show, what’s unusual is that CSF have decided that rather than going clout-hunting with black and white teaser shots for six months in the build-up to the event, they’d lay all of their cards on the table from the get-go.
There was never going to be a shock reveal or an attempt to reinvent the wheel here; they just wanted to build the very best 911 they could. With the help of some very important partners, I think they’ve achieved that comfortably.
Even more unusual, it was decided early on that they wouldn’t get caught up in the SEMA crunch, and that the car would be totally and completely finished in time for the show.
As Simo Veharanta of SV Autos, one of CSF’s primary partners in this build, neatly summarized in a recent video: “We don’t want to make a show car; we want to make a car.”
In January of this year, fabrication and bodywork commenced on a 1982 Porsche 911 SC at SV Autos. The aim was to build a car that perfectly combined ’70s heritage with modern technology.
Ordinarily, the scale of this project would require at least two years to build, but with CSF’s Ravi Dolwani project managing every detail (and often quite a few simultaneously), the goal was to have it completed in under nine months.
The process started with having the body dipped to bare metal before fabrication began. As an original California car, the shell was as good as could be expected of something nigh-on 40 years old, which resulted in minimal repair work being needed before the real work begun.
The sunroof was deleted and steel turbo fender flares were fabricated by hand. A custom half-cage with a detachable harness bar was also among the early parts of the build.
One of the more impressive parts of the bodywork – which has stayed true to an original ethos of not using plastic or fibreglass parts on the exterior – is the all-aluminum ducktail and boot lid.
Another detail is the hood with an accurately placed Porsche 959 fuel filler door, complete with custom mechanism. There’s also the hand-made steel bumpers with 959-style vents and custom carbon fibre vanes along with the custom carbon rear diffuser, front spoiler and deck lid grille.
The paint colour was decided upon after a trip to Werks Reunion in Monterey, with a special mix of silver used to bring together the old and new nature of the car. It also worked nicely alongside the Cerakote trim pieces and burgundy interior flourishes.
The interior continues the theme of old and new, and is a well executed exercise in understated opulence. The Sparco SPX seats have been modified and reupholstered using designer Goyard handbags for the inserts and details.
If, like me, you think that wearing non-brand black t-shirts all the time is the height of fashion, then it’s probably worth taking a look at how much a Goyard bag goes for.
The Goyard touches can be found throughout, but always feel subtle while adding a splash of colour to the interior.
It’s not just the use of this material that impresses, but how it’s used. Take the Momo steering wheel adapter as an example, which has been hand-trimmed with neat double-stitching and the Goyard logo orientated correctly. The attention to detail throughout is sublime.
The inside is awash with Alcantara, touches of titanium, and bits of billet hardware and controls. The early 911-style green instruments were custom built. The radio lurking behind the trim is a Porsche Classic navigation unit, which retains the style of an older radio but with the features of a contemporary one. The Alcantara door cards feature custom indents where small Goyard pouches can be attached.
Like the rest of the car, there isn’t an area inside the car that hasn’t been touched or considered in some way. The entire build was a dynamic process, with incremental improvements being made everywhere they possibly could.
Of course, if you’re going to put this much effort into a car, one where the ultimate goal is for it to be driven regularly, you need to do something special with the six-cylinders hanging off the back of the car. The aim here was to build a street/race engine with approximately 400hp. One that delivers performance, but that’s equally happy navigating across Los Angeles as it is tackling Buttonwillow Raceway on a summer’s day.
Naturally, the car features a naturally aspirated air-cooled flat-six. Specifically, it’s a 993-sourced 3.6-litre engine which has since been expanded in capacity to 3.9-litres with Mahle Motorsports x LN Engineering big bore cylinders and pistons.
The engine builder, Prato Motorwerks, calculated a compression ratio of 11.91:1, so in order to make the engine more street-able, the custom one-off camshafts built by WebCam features enough overlap to effectively lower the functional compression ratio of the engine.
One observation that a lot of people on social media thought was hilarious to point out during the build process was why would a company famed for their water-cooling technologies build an air-cooled car? The answer is simple in that CSF is a cooling company, and with this build wanted to showcase their oil cooler options for air-cooled cars. Oil isn’t just for lubrication in any car, it does its fair share of cooling as well.
While the original plan was to run three CSF coolers on the car (one in each fender, and one in the front-centre position) they found that this combination was over-cooling the engine. In the end, they have run with one OEM+ fender cooler and a ’73 RS-style front-centre cooler.
In order to optimise the performance of the centre cooler, the front tub is modified with a cut-out to ensure proper airflow through the cooler. If the air doesn’t have a clear exit, the cooler won’t work as effectively as it should. Both coolers have also been equipped with Spal electric cooling fans designed to help pull air through.
On the exhaust side, there’s ceramic-coated HyTech tuned headers breathing into a 991 GT3 RS valved rear muffler with custom titanium 935-style exhaust tips created by SV Autos.
Another plan which changed during the build was the air inlet plenum. The first idea (which was built) was to modify a GT3 plenum, but when the time came, Kinsler presented an all-billet plenum designed to work with their fuel injected and drive-by-wire individual throttle bodies.
Engine management is controlled by a MoTeC M130, and the engine wiring harness and power control module were custom made by RyWire.
From a transmission perspective, a Porsche G50 was fully restored with a short bell-housing conversion by Patrick Motorsports. Gear selection is via a CAE Racing Ultra Shifter with a custom anodised shift knob to match the overall colour theme of the car.
There’s a Wavetrac differential with a Sachs Performance clutch kit, and an Aasco Motorsports lightweight single-mass flywheel. Driveshafts from a Turbo model have been used for reliability.
When it comes to the vehicle’s ability to stop and turn, these responsibilities are taken care of primarily by three companies: KW Suspensions, Tarett Engineering and StopTech.
A custom KW Clubsport coilover system has been matched with Tarett RSR sway bars (both front and rear), RSR front suspension, 935 rear spring plate kit and bump steer kit.
Braking is cared for with a StopTech Level Three brake system comprised of 6-piston front and 4-piston rear brake calipers which have all been custom-anodised to match the car.
The wheels are custom-designed 17-inch Rotiform CMPs which take inspiration from Fuchs, Campagnolo and VW Gas Burner wheels. The Cerakote centres have been paired with anodised barrels and measure 17×8.5-inch +28 in the front and 17×11-inch +10 in the rear. Both axles feature Falken RT660 tyres in 225/45R17 and 275/40R17 sizes.
The custom billet centre-lock system was designed and created by Mike Burroughs of StanceWorks. Hi, Mike.
Even at 1,800 words and counting, I really feel like I’m only barely scratching the surface with this. If anything, I’m a little bit bemused by the idea of trying to whittle this down into a digestible social media post. How could you ever do this justice with such short-form content?
I haven’t even touched all of the carefully chosen hardware or the billet hood and engine lid struts, and not to forget the thousands of factory-fresh Porsche parts required to ensure the car is essentially brand new.
That all of this was done on a relatively tight schedule, and was comfortably completed in time for the car’s 2021 SEMA Show debut is testament to the passion and experience of all involved. Cars like this don’t get built unless there’s a serious amount of love involved.
The only question left then is how to ensure that this car, and other cars which are decisively anti-social media, are appreciated properly. It’s the very least they deserve.
Paddy McGrathInstagram: pmcgphotosTwitter:
Photos by Darrien CravenInstagram: _crvn_
Ravi Dolwani’s 1982 Porsche 911 SC Coupe
Body & Exterior: Body dipped to bare metal, steel turbo fender flares (hand fabricated), aluminum duck tail (hand fabricated), steel bumpers (hand fabricated) with 959-style vents & custom carbon fiber vanes, aluminum hood with 959 gas door, sunroof delete, reinforced rear suspension mounts, reinforced rear shock absorber mounts, reinforced turbo torsion tube, early nose panel for long hood latch panel, front tub cut-out for proper airflow through front-mounted engine oil cooler, custom-made carbon fiber rear diffuser, front spoiler & deck lid grille, all body exterior trim ceramic-coated by Embee Performance, Antigravity H5/group 47 lithium car battery (40ah 1500cca, 16lbs, with wifi tracker & built-in charger), body wire harness by Kroon Wiring Harnesses, Rennline billet hood & engine lid struts, Achtungkraft billet rear-view mirror, Car-Bone custom built dual LED headlights with paint-matched housings, Retro-Air electric air conditioning with Retro-Air under dash nozzles and Wosp 175amp billet alternator, Achtungkraft anodized aluminium engine lid hinges, hidden rear body harness, period-correct OEM green-tinted glass.
Interior: Sparco SPX seats modified & upholstered by Rogelio’s Auto Upholstery using authentic Goyard handbags for inserts & details, StreetFighter LA fiberglass interior panels wrapped in Alcantara with deviating stitching, Goyard rear seat pads, Alcantara headliner, Alcantara Carrera dash with deviating stitching, leather & Alcantara door panels with Goyard trim & door pulls, early 911-style green instruments custom built by North Hollywood Speedometer, German square weave wool carpets with leather binding, Alcantara-trimmed under-dash area, Dynamat double sound deadening for doors, floors & ceiling, titanium & custom colored floor boards & pedals by Chasing Js, titanium & custom colored hardware by Chasing Js, ceramic-coated Momo steering wheel wrapped in leather with Goyard racing stripe by Car-Bone, Goyard-trimmed Momo steering wheel adapter, Achtungkraft radio & dash trim ceramic coated & Goyard trimmed, Porsche Classic navigation radio, Rennline billet HVAC controls, Rennline billet headlight & glove box knobs, Rennline billet engine lid, hood & door lock knobs, sunvisors trimmed in Alcantara & Goyard by Rogelio’s Auto Upholstery, Repa color-matched seat belts, Repa 4-point race harnesses (optional), GMG Racing anodized billet harness retainers, custom fabricated bolt-in roll bar with removable harness bar ceramic coated & trimmed with Goyard, Goyard-trimmed parking brake handle, Goyard-trimmed Car-Bone trunk lining kit
Engine: Porsche 993 3.6-liter base engine, ceramic-coated case, Mahle Motorsports x LN Engineering 3.9-liter big bore cylinders & pistons, cross drilled, balanced & micro polished crankshaft, Pauter lightweight connecting rods, Pauter lightweight mechanical rocker arms, race timing chains, custom-spec camshafts by WebCam, ported cylinder heads with larger RS valves, race springs, titanium retainers, ARP cylinder head studs & Tarett Engineering billet valve covers, Tarett Engineering semi-solid engine mounts, Porsche 991 GT3 RS titanium exhaust muffler (valved), titanium 935-style exhaust tips fabricated by SV Auto, HyTech ceramic-coated tuned headers, Clewett Engineering serpentine belt drive, fiberglass 911 engine shroud kit, ceramic-coated fan housing & fan blade, Porsche 997 GT3 oil pump, Pro Gold hose ends, Pro Gold high-temperature polymer braided engine oil & fuel lines by BMRS, dual engine oil cooler system by CSF, OEM+ right fender oil cooler (CSF #8168), ‘73 RS-style front center oil cooler (CSF #8201), Spal electric cooling fans for both engine oil coolers, G50 transmission, ceramic-coated & fully restored short bell-housing conversion by Patrick Motorsports, CAE Ultra Shifter for Porsche 993 with custom-anodized shift knob, Billet transmission differential side cover, Wavetrac limited slip differential, Sachs Performance clutch kit, Aasco Motorsports lightweight single-mass flywheel, race steel synchro rings, billet transmission bracket, 911 Turbo drive axles, Bosch coil-on-plug ignition system, MoTeC M130 engine management, Rywire Motorsports Electronics mil-spec engine harness, Rywire power control module, Kinsler fuel injection, Porsche GT individual throttle body manifold package with drive by wire & motorsport actuators, Kinsler billet air intake plenum with anodized Wiggins ferrules, custom-anodized black Wiggins clamps by BMRS, AEM fuel pump, Injector Dynamics 1050X fuel injectors
Brakes & Suspension: KW Suspensions Clubsport coilovers, Tarett Engineering/E.R.P. RSR sway bars front & rear, Tarett Engineering/E.R.P. RSR front suspension kit, Tarett Engineering/E.R.P. 935 rear spring plate kit, Tarett Engineering/E.R.P. bump steer kit, Elephant Racing 935x triangulated strut brace system, 911 Turbo tie rod kit,  StopTech Level 3 Street brake system with 6-piston front, 4-piston rear anodized calipers, StopTech vented brake rotors, StopTech brake hoses
Wheels & Tyres: Rotiform CMP 17×8.5-inch +28 (front), 17×11-inch +10 rear with StanceWorks billet center-lock wheel hubs with safety pins, Falken Azenis RT660 tires 225/45R17 front & 275/40R17 rear
The Porsche 911 on Speedhunters

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