Perfected by Thomas Frees Buthler, part two
In part one we wrote about the motives Thomas had for creating his stunning 1979 Porsche 911 3.0 SC. How he found it online and what he wanted out of it initially. Read part one here.
But how exactly how did he do it, and what parts did he use for his build? Let’s find out.
As parts are vital for the overall feel of the car, the parts you put on a car affects the handling, and ultimately define the look of the car. As we know, the stance, for example, is crucial on the tuning scene of today. If your car doesn’t have the perfect stance, you’re out. Forget it! It doesn’t matter how fast your car goes, if it doesn’t sit right, you did it wrong. The way a car drives and holds itself on the road is the real key when fine-tuning an instrument like the 911. The ultimate stance will follow naturally, if you choose the right parts.
As Gran Turismo Car Club quickly learns, Thomas is not a man who overlooks details. He knew exactly what he wanted and he now owns the car he envisioned.
A modified car, yes. But not over-the-top modified. More like a 911 with a custom factory look, rather than the Outlaw it began it’s life as (Thomas’ early modifications). A car that could have rolled right of the assembly line.
The Porsche scene is, of course, one of the most lucrative ones, and everybody thinks they have the best or baddest parts to offer. Some owners prefer the rather outrageous look like Rauh-Welt conversions, and some prefer the slick and refined looks of the Singer 911’s. Again those are all-out rebuilds that demands a thick wallet or a serious skill set. Mind you, there is literally a million different aftermarket parts out there, and it’s easy to take wrong steps. You can ruin a car by putting too large or too heavy wheels on it, or destroy the drivability by making it too stiff. That’s easy. Finding the perfect compromise while making the car look bang-on-trend, well, that can be slightly more difficult. I think we can agree to the fact that Thomas pulled if off quite nicely.
We asked Thomas how he approached his build.
«To me, the overall look of the car was important, and I wanted a Porsche that’s really nice to look at. I was also adamant, that I didn’t want a garage-queen. It was supposed to handle well, sound good and just be an improvement of its self. I wanted a car that was modified, but not so much it would look non-standard».
Sure, we all seen the car, and we love it, but what’s underneath that gorgeous body?
«My 911 have matching numbers. The engine, gearbox and chassis match, and I didn’t want to alter any of that too much. It’s a standard 3.0 with corrosion free heat exchangers (SSI) and a louder stainless steel rear muffler (Dansk). Now it sounds more like I think it should and I can fully enjoy the immediate throttle response. It sounds good, even at low revs».
So, in order to harness that crazy sounding flat-six, what modifications did you choose on the suspension and wheels, we asked?
«I didn’t go bonkers, but I chose parts that many before me had successfully installed. The suspension is the most vital part of the car, and I wanted something that was bullet-proof. Something that worked right out of the box, so to speak.»
«Again originality is important to me, and the classic Fuchs are the same that came with the car when it left the factory. The shock absorbers were replaced with well proven Bilstein B6’s, and except for Turbo tie rods, Turbo brake line hoses and more aggressive brake pads, the rest of the suspension is standard.»
He started out on the Continental Sport Contact rubber, but eventually replaced those for the Toyo Proxes R1R, which according to Thomas transformed the car.
«The Toyo R1R tires provides far better handling, and they were a real improvement over the Conti’s. It now brakes and handles just the way I want it to.»
We jump to the work that’s been done to the interior. It is quite extensive. Virtually everything was replaced to accomplish the look Thomas wanted. New seats, new original carpets and new door cards. The quality is second-to-none and it feels and looks new. The combination of black leather and original Porsche fabric make for a factory-looking interior. It’s just dead-on-right and Thomas tells us that all the feedback he gets ensures him he made the right choices.
Can you tell us what’s been done to the body? It looks original, but…
«Yes, it looks original, but the devil’s in the details, as they say. Since the 911 are so perfect designed, I wanted to stay true to that. The only modifications done to the body is the rear apron below the impact bumper. As a standard car it had exhaust tips to the left side, but I liked the center tips that look like they are an integrated part of the rear apron. Very much the way FineEleven makes them (FineEleven).»
We must agree it looks perfect. Easily something that Porsche could have designed.
«Beyond that, the car is fitted with yellow head light glasses since the car was sold in Paris in 1979. Back then, it was mandatory with yellow glass and I thought it would finish the car off nicely. Well that, and the fresh paint in the color Porsche Guards Red which also was the original color of the car.»
We intend to wrap up the interview for now, but when we talk to car enthusiasts who are bitten by the modifying bug, we always wonder what their next step is? Is the car finished or will there be new versions? Will it be on the market someday?
Thomas shrugs his shoulders and reply,
«You never know. Right now, I’m more than satisfied with what I got. It’s a standard 911 Super Carrera, but I successfully made it my own in terms of the way it looks and handles. I really love my car. It’s kind of my boyhood dream come true. Now that it’s done I wish it would stay that way the rest of my life. It holds great value to me, and the value on the market literally goes up everyday. Still, the way things are right now, it will be one of the last things I would part with. People tell me that eventually I will grow tired and find a new project, but every G-model owner that sells his car, sooner or later will regrets it.»
We could talk to Thomas about his immaculate 911 (and Porsche’s in general) for hours and hours, but our time is up. Knowing our last question is one that every true car enthusiast will have a hard time to answer in short terms, we dare to ask:
Thomas, let’s say you sold your car tomorrow… what Porsche would you buy, and why?
«Definitely a Cayman GTS. It’s a car that I’m totally in love with at the moment, and it’s actually really nicely priced. For a third of the price you’ll get 90% of a 911. You can almost call it a bargain, if you will, and it actually fits my income. I’ve driven it all-out and the handling and balance is second to none. I was lucky enough to be invited to Stuttgart with Porsche Denmark, and I drove several of the new 911’s models and the Cayman in the mountains where Walther Rörhl used to test Porsche’s. The Cayman surprised me the most of all the cars and left an impression that lasted. Amazing car. We’ll see..» he says with a smile on his face.
Thank you for reading part two. Please press that little blue button and give Gran Turismo Car Club a like. We really appreciate that. There are more articles in the pipeline and we certainly hope you will read those too. Stay tuned.
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Photos by Roman Raetzke. Thank you Roman!