Three years is a long time to be building a car, but anyone who has tackled a ground-up restoration knows that time in such circles ceases to have the same meaning. This job was as much about cleaning and reconditioning as it was upgrading performance. According to Fabspeed general manager Jeremy D'Avella, every section of the car has been in pieces at one time or another.
For starters, while the mechanicals were out for work, the entire chassis was painstakingly pressure washed and detailed down to the undercarriage and wheel wells. Any section that needed it was repainted in original Guards Red. The suspension was removed and its components similarly detailed, and then added back in with upgraded hollow torsion bars, Bilstein HD Sport dampers, and a Rennline front strut brace.
Likewise, the factory brake assemblies were broken down to their basest elements, down to the caliper internals themselves, any worn or tired-looking hardware replaced, then reassembled and bolted back up to the axles. HRE 590R three-piece forged alloy wheels are bolted over these, one of the only non-factory performance upgrades added to the exterior.
The interior remains largely factory-spec since it was in pretty good shape, aside from a short-throw assembly for the four-speed shifter and a 934 boost gauge installed where the factory clock used to be. There's also an Alpine head unit embedded in the center dash (supported by an Alpine amp in the boot and component speakers throughout the cabin). A new set of 930S floormats from Performance Products adorns the footwells.
The question remains: Is this the ultimate 911? Compared to the modern 997, examples of which roll through the Fabspeed shop on an almost weekly basis, D'Avella simply says, "It's just different. A 997 Turbo could take this car off the line, but once the boost comes, it's like 'hold on.'"
Not to mention a lighter, purer chassis and a lot more road feel: "You have no electronics taking everything away from you, no PASM or PSM."
At the time of this writing it is the dead of winter in eastern Pennsylvania. During the cold months, the Slant lives in a quiet corner of the Fabspeed garage, slumbering beneath its tailor-fitted cover. But as reliably as the inevitable turn of seasons, when the weather gets warmer, the car will come back out. You can put money on it. Also on the fact that this Slant won't be housed under another roof any time soon.
"We're gonna keep it, " D'Avella says. "We're going to die with that car."
Origin of the flachbau
Women can recycle fashion cues; however, in automotive circles it requires a delicate balance. The decade that was responsible for the purity of the Volkswagen GTI also delivered the cheese-grating Ferrari Testarossa. But perhaps no single vehicle from the '80s can sum up those times moreso than a 911 Slantnose. No one knows how many "custom" conversions have been done, using everything from a 1965 912 to an off-the-showroom-floor Turbo.
During the height of the conversion craze, there were dozens of small companies offering up front fenders of varying quality in steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. The headlights came from several sources-928, 924, Mazda RX-7-and some with no headlights at all but rectangular lenses in the front spoiler. The bling didn't end at the front. Massive rear flares and wider wheels, rear quarter panel ducting that was in most cases purely cosmetic, often silly-looking rear spoilers that were "wind-tunnel tested" via handheld hairdryer. Thousands were sold, many project cars were started and never finished, and many times the stock front fenders were eventually bolted back in place (mercifully). Conventional wisdom states that every end has a beginning.