With only seven weeks to build the car, it was painful to lose it for 2.5 weeks while Bell’s Autobody repainted it, even after GSR had stripped the interior and glass. However, the family business did an incredible job, seamlessly incorporating the new fiberglass pieces and matching the white paint to the Enkei wheels.
With Nick helping to tape the bodywork, the blue section was similar to the Rothmans cars, which originally sported red and gold stripes to separate the main colors. However, we switched from gold to grey, which is GSR’s shop color, and would avoid any copyright issues.
The fiberglass roof was blended so you would never know it wasn’t factory without looking at the bare underside.
The TRE light pod, found on eBay at a very reasonable price, was the last item to be painted. It arrived at GSR the day before completion. The pod is delivered blank, requiring holes to be cut for your desired lights – we used Hella lamps found cheap on eBay.
Lack of time meant the lights weren’t wired, but would only require some cable and relays to provide blinding illumination.
Like all the composite parts, the pod, bumpers and spoilers look like metal, such was the mirror-finish and quality of paint from Bell’s.
So would GSR do it again? Despite the impossible deadline and budget, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If they could do anything differently, it would be to give the car more power and spend longer than the brief test run to set-up the suspension and handling – the guys prep racecars and insist on doing everything properly.
If you wanted your own 911 rally car, they recommend you start with a cheaper donor car since you’ll be stripping the interior, repainting and doing engine mods.
Although our car was rally-inspired, they could give you anything from rally-look to WRC contender. The limitation is your budget, with conversions starting from about $35k plus the donor car, although you might be able to reduce that with some time spent on eBay…
It’s hard to watch!
Our pristine 1984 911 Carrera in the GSR workshop at the start of the project
The engine was removed, exhaust changed, maintenance conducted, a/c deleted and Royal Purple lubricants added before motor was refitted after paint
The engine was removed, exhaust changed, maintenance conducted, a/c deleted and Royal Purp
1984 Porsche 911 Carrera “Rally”
3.2L boxer six with stainless steel Fabspeed headers, custom stainless steel GSR exhaust, Royal Purple lubricants, a/c removed
stock five-speed manual, Sachs lightweight clutch
“eBay Special” cross-drilled and slotted replacement rotors
Bilstein Sport dampers, torsion bars raised 1.5", Rennline strut tower brace and stainless steel crossbrace
Wheels & Tires
15x7" Enkei RC-G4 wheels, 225/55 R15 Pirelli XR7 gravel rally tires
Getty Design fiberglass RS ducktail deck lid, bumpers and roof, TRE light pod, GSR custom front grille, Porsche deck grille, Bell’s Autobody paint
Recaro SPG seats and sliders, Sparco mounts, Schroth harnesses, Momo steering wheel, Roth Sport quick-release hub, Rennline pedal covers, floor boards, passenger foot brace and trunk trim, Appbiz door cards and carpet
GSR Autosport (gsrautosport.com), Bell’s Autobody (bells-auto.com), Bilstein (bilsteinus.com), Enkei (enkei.com), Getty Design (gettydesign.com), Pirelli (pirelli.com), Recaro (recaro.com/us), Rennline (rennline.com), Royal Purple (royalpurpleconsumer.com), ebay.com/motors
Formed by Michael Essa back in 2004 under the name Tech Trix, he specialized in Porsche tuning and racecar preparation. One of his customers was Nick Richards, who would go on to win the Boxster spec series thanks to Essa’s hard work. This was especially evident after Richards was T-boned during a Saturday race, where he needed points from Sunday to progress in the championship. Using a pickup to straighten the frame, the Tech Trix crew had the car on pole and first across the line the next day.
This was enough to convince Richards he might want to bring the business skills learned in the commercial software industry to the automotive field. The pair formed a partnership in 2010, moving to the current Lake Forest, CA location shortly afterwards.
Porsche tuning and race prep still forms a large portion of their work, but the BMW side is growing rapidly. This was helped first by Essa’s V10-powered 335i in the Formula D drift series, followed more recently by a Z4 drifter that will be replaced by an E46 M3 in 2013 in the search to find the best BMW drifting chassis.
With a range of BMW tuning parts available from GSR Autosport and a 335i project car underway, the ambitious company also plans to sell a range of V10 conversions for the E9X as exciting track cars, with everything from a stripped down version to full-race machines.