Gram Lights

As I was searching for wheels for the Porsche 944 project, I landed on Victor Equipment’s site.

As some of you may know, Victor Equipment is TSW’s Porsche line of wheels. But the vast majority of wheels in Victor Equipment’s catalogue are for newer Porsche fitments… like water-cooled 911s, Panameras, Cayennes, etc. In other words – larger diameter & higher offset wheels than the classic Porsches of yesteryear. 

But then I stumbled on these Alpens!

The Alpens (and it’s sister wheel the Berg) are a smaller diameter wheel designed for Porsche Cayenne fitment, made to service the emerging new market of off-road/overland Cayennes. Check out these photos of Bryson Richards & Mike Ngo’s Cayennes for reference. 

I’m not sure how I hadn’t heard about these new Alpen wheels…

But my heart rate soared when I saw the design… which is obviously inspired by the old Porsche Cookie-Cutter wheels of the 70’s/80s air-cooled 911 era. Then, my heart went to the stratosphere when I saw that Victor had the balls to make them in orange!! lol 

I’ve got more in common with Captain Ron than Count Dracula… meaning I’m no mathematician. But by my finger calculations, the Alpens just might fit the 944 maybe. Sure they would. And I could just ‘see it’… the orange Alpens on the beat-down & faded Ruby Red paint. It was going to give the 944 ‘a look’ for sure. I ordered a set. 

The WHEEL specs are…                      The TIRE specs are…

Make:   Victor Equipment – Alpen                                           Make:   Yokohama

Model:  Alpen                                                                              Model:  ADVAN Neova AD08R

Color:   Orange                                                                             Size:     245/40/17

Size:     17×8 + 10 front & rear

The 944 was hammered-low on KW V3 coilovers prior to the new wheels & tires showing up.

And here’s how they fit straight out of the gate with no ride height adjustments. 

Looks promising if I do say so myself! Buuuut I can’t turn the steering wheel without getting into the fenders…

So the 944 had to come up a bit. Every time I raised the KW coilovers, a little ricer piece of me died lol. But I had to make some compromises. I spent all day raising the car, lowering it back down, raising it again… rolling fenders, pulling fenders, trimming the inner lip of the fenders. Anything I could do to try & squeeze a little more clearance from the stock body. Here’s how it came out (below). I drove it like this for a week or so to let it settle & to see if it was going to be livable. 

It wasn’t… 

I like low cars. BUT I also like functionality & performance. The 944 was no longer low enough for my liking. AND – I still couldn’t push the car in corners without scrubbing fenders. Kind of the worst of both worlds. So… I reminded myself that it was a total POS 944 I’m saving, and not a pristine 944 I’m ruining. Then I cut the fenders & quarters out. 

Here’s where the 944 sits right now (pic below)

Still a work in progress. I cut maybe 3/4” out from the fenders & quarter panels as an initial starting point. The plan is to drive it like this, see how it settles & behaves in the real world, and then if appropriate, cut more & go lower. The problem is: I can’t get away from these early-model 944 wiring problems that keep getting me distracted lol. 

Porsche 944 wheels

Import Alliance car show