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Making Porsche 964 perfection with an OEM+ twist

Published Fri, Nov 13, 2020 4:35 PM

The Porsche 911 is an icon. Since 1963, it’s forged its own niche as not just a race car, but as one of the world’s best grand tourers. Bernhard’s 964 is an exercise in simplistic beauty, and we sent Mike Crawat to catch up with it. 


Bernhard Winter is, like most of us reading this, a lifelong petrolhead. With a mechanic father, he spent his childhood in the workshop, reading car magazines and becoming obsessed with how cars were rebuilt and modified. As soon as he turned 18, he started modifying and rebuilding his first car, which was apparently the same as any self-respecting German car enthusiast-a Mk4 Golf. 

Now 27, Bernhard is a fully qualified mechanic and has upgraded somewhat from his original Golf, first to a Mk5 GTI, through an M135i, and back to a Golf, in the form of a 6R. After this, he took possession of an Audi TT-RS, before deciding to go old school and pick up a VW Type 1 (Beetle to you and I), chopping that in for an E30 M3, which he still has tucked away, and this; his Porsche 964. 


Born in 1990, Bernhard’s 964 left the factory with the 3.6 flat-6 powerplant, which puts out a not inconsiderable 247bhp & 228 lb/ft. Being such a strong engine, with more than enough power to propel the slippery coupe along, has meant that the only engine changes the mechanics have had to make are a K&N filter and a centre silencer (we’re surprised there’s space for more than one, being rear engine) delete. 

Considering Bernhard hails from The Fatherland, you’d expect his search to find the perfect 911 would have been simple. They’re ten a penny over there, right? Well not so much, actually. In fact, his search for his dream car took him halfway across the world, virtually at least, to the United States, where it appeared at auction.

When it arrived, it was in decent condition, but it wasn’t perfect, and that’s what Bernhard was striving for. Drawing inspiration from the internet, especially from the 964 of Jason Mendieta, he knew exactly what he wanted, and first up was a full respray. But rather than painting it some ridiculous colour, he was adamant he was sticking with the factory Slate Grey, and the finish is absolutely flawless.  

The 964 is, in its purest form, undeniably Porsche. No big wings, no huge arches or stickers adorning it-just simplistic performance. The only changes Bernhard made to the body were the addition of those RS front air intakes, replacing the factory fog lights, and smoothing a few trim holes around the car.

But to fulfil the vision, he needed to get the freshly painted body closer to terrafirma, and there was only one way he was going to achieve that-via the magic of air ride. Airlift came to the rescue with their ultra high tech 3P controller and setup, with adjustable camber plates up front and camber arms at the back, to make sure he could get it sat exactly how he wanted to. 
There was only ever one option when it came to wheels, which was the much loved BBS RS, with 16” faces stepped up to 18” using slant lips, polished so hard you could see your face in them. 


964s aren’t unrealistically expensive. Not yet anyway. A decent Carrera 2 will cost you around £40k now, with a more sought-after 3.6 Turbo jumping up to around £250k for a low mileage, RHD example. 

If that’s just pocket change though, you can go for one of the really rare options. Porsche produced just 86 Turbo-S “Leichtbau” models, all weighing 180kg less than the standard car, with an additional 61bhp. A decent Turbo S will go for north of £600k now, with the “Leichtbau” commanding more than £1.3m! 


Bernhard’s car was shot by Mike Crawat-one of Europe’s foremost photographers of incredible cars. You can check out his work over at www.mikecrawat.com


Manufacturer: Porsche 
Model: 964 Carrera 2 3.6 
Powertrain: 3.6 flat-6, air-cooled, 5-speed manual transmission, centre silencer delete, K&N Performance filter 
Suspension: Airlift 3P Management System, front camber plates, rear camber arms  
Brakes: Standard 
Wheels: BBS RS 16”, slant-lipped step up to 18” 
Outside: RS front air dam  
Inside: Original Porsche interior