Vibrant. Refined. Fast.

Round 3 splashes into new territory with the 964 platform of the 911 - bringing with it the Paris-Dakar 959 derived all wheel drive foundations to set an incredible new Luftauto standard.

With Jeff Zwart’s Andial winning Pikes Peak 964 C4 and the back-2-back winning Norra 1000 team of Rothsport Racing providing the 3.8 powertrain and gearbox mods, the inspiration and guidance around this build was abundant.

Guided by grassroots Porsche Motorsport successes, the vision of Patrick Long was to build on the learning of 001 and 002 to create a new benchmark for a usable Porsche rally car. 

959 headlights

Each area of the car was agonized over, reworked and optimized. The body was lightened and massaged with wider fenders to accommodate off-road tires. Patrick Long’s sketched bumpers went across town to the team at Scarboro Performance to turn concept to reality. 

Complementing the special bumpers and skids, a composite sunroof and hood were designed for both function and rally appearance. The final form was draped in a striking coat of Porsche signal green.

959 driver cockpit

For the mechanicals and powertrain the experts were called in. The Rothsport crew in Oregon got started on the engine and gearbox, they sent their rally winning front suspension designs down to Southern Californian legends Dieter Inzenfhofer of Andial and Steve Ryan of Ryan Auto Design. Steve led the vendor coordination for a dual-role suspension setup that produces a compliant ride but has the travel and progressive stiffness to handle bumps and jumps. To meet the need, KW valved the dampers and Steve paired it with ERP Suspension Engineering to create a masterful long travel coilover setup. 

959 in the garage
959 in the garage

Jeff Zwart made routine visits to the shop to lend his experience and guidance on all the key Driver touchpoints. Zwart helped refine the custom cockpit differential adjusters and made sure the Tilton racing pedal box was just right in its heel-toe pedal alignment.

959 wheels

Bespoke prototyped wheels were also designed and produced in Southern California by the team at Kinesis Motorsport. The final result is strong, light, and functional - tipping the hat to the 90’s rally era.

959 under the hood

The interior was totally reworked with numerous new Luftauto features. Distinctive Recaro Sportster CS seats adorned with tartan hold the driver and passenger firmly in place. A noise canceling intercom system and Porsche Classic bluetooth navigation keep the route guidance and entertainment on course. A one-off full carbon lightpod illuminates the road ahead. All pulled together with Luft styled finishing touches.

The next evolution of Luftauto, 003 raises the bar for a purpose built machine that’s as comfortable flexing at cars and coffee as it is at full throttle, hanging out the tail on a fire road. Another amazing combination of industry bests who’ve pooled together their air-cooled passions to create a masterpiece that sticks with you long after your first interaction with it. 

959 on the road

Images courtesy and © Thaddeus James