Posted by: Angus Webber
1983 Porsche 944 Race Car
A dentist friend of mine and his sons bought this car and decided to turn it into a race car, or rather, a very loud toy to charge around the sleepy suburb he resides in.
The main objective was to make the car as light as possible and to extract maximum power from the standard engine. In addition, the suspension and brakes needed to be upgraded and semi slick tyres fitted to make sure the car remains planted to the road.
All the excess weight was removed from the car by doing the following:
- The steel bonnet was replaced with a fiberglass one
- The steel bumpers were replaced by thinner, fiberglass bumpers
- The steel roof dome was replaced by a fiberglass dome
- The pop up headlights and their mechanisms were removed
- The sunroof was welded shut and the remote boot lid motors were removed together with all relevant harnesses and wiring
- The doors were stripped down completely to just a shell
- Lexan side windows were fitted, replacing the heavy glass windows
- All the sound deadening, rubber and insulation throughout the entire car was removed
- All the wiring harnesses were stripped down to the essentials only
- The air conditioning unit was completely removed
- The power steering pump was removed
- A smaller battery was fitted and relocated to the middle of the car
All these changes reduced the weight of the car to 1020 kilograms, more than 270 kilograms lighter than the original car!
The suspension was upgraded by fitting fully adjustable coilover system. An integrated full roll cage was fitted to the car as well as a front strut brace to stiffen up the body and remove any body twist. The standard tyres were replaced by 215/55 Dunlop semi slicks, fitted on the original cookie cutter rims.
The engine was completely rebuilt. The standard manifold was replaced with a custom manifold imported from Lindsey racing in Oklahoma City and the correct diameter free flow exhaust system was designed locally and fitted to the car. An enlarged throttle body was fitted as well as an external oil cooler. The standard ECU was used. Cooling is handled by a large core aluminum radiator along with two cooling fans.
The car is fitted with a quick release steering wheel that comes in very handy when climbing in and out of the FIA approved cobra bucket seats. Five point racing harnesses were installed on both driver and passenger sides. A fire extinguisher and full electric cut out switches complete the package.
The original objective was simple: reduce weight, increase power and optimise handling. Mission accomplished. The end product is exactly what they wanted it to be: a raw, loud, uncompromising, fun car! The car is very much part of the family and is affectionately known as “Dribbly” because of a small oil leak that refuses to go away.