ACT clutch

We’re trained to measure the value of things with dollars… but don’t do that. Train yourself to break free from that thought-process a little bit… ESPECIALLY when it comes to passion-driven objects like this widebody Porsche 911 Cabriolet. Instead of measuring a car’s value with a dollar amount, try valuing cars with how they stir your soul. Measure their value as an experience. What is that experience worth to you? What does that experience give you? Measure the value of a car in its ability to capture a moment… and make that moment the center of its own universe. Don’t concern yourself too much with impressing the people around you. Try to inspire them instead. Share the experience with them. Let ’em feel the spark. That’s worth more. 

Stop worrying about how your car measures up to the car next to it. Because that path leads to discontentment. And honestly, it’s irrelevant. Intrinsic soulful value: teach yourself to make THAT your standard measurement, and you’re gonna love car culture that much more.

For Rex Klein, the Porsche 911 was a teenage dream car…

It’s a sports car that defined the 80s. For those of us who got to experience the 80s in any cognitive fashion, we all had epic posters of cars like this on our wall. A Porsche 911 & a pair of Wayfarers… that was the nucleus of cool. Back then, it seemed like kids & adults as a whole, just understood the language of sports cars a little better than we do today. It was coded into our DNA. Anyway – decades pass, and Rex Klein got the chance to buy this Guards Red, factory widebody 911 Cabriolet. Rex has owned & restored a lot of cool cars… but not this one. There was a catch though….

The 911 was a P.O.S.

This car went through some abuse that took-out the engine & salvaged the title. At which point, the car sat & deteriorated for more than a decade. It was, however, a factory widebody Cabriolet, and that ‘factory widebody’ was the clincher for Rex. He felt like he shouldn’t pass-up the opportunity… no matter what condition.

euro cars

A Porsche purist

Rex isn’t necessarily a ‘purist’ & I’ll explain that in a minute. BUT – he did feel a certain heritage & sense of responsibility with this project. A vintage 911 Cab is a timeless representation of an open-air sports car. Where all the elements, both earthly & mechanical & physical… come together as one iconic experience.

Plus – with the way the laws & legislation are going (especially in California), Rex figured he better not wait too long. Because who knows if/when you’ll even be able to buy (or build) a car like this in the not-so-distant future? Normally Rex tinkers on his own projects. But for this Porsche 911 Cabriolet, Rex decided to have the car professionally restored, with the intentions of it being a forever car for the family. Ok now for the purist’s ‘blasphemy’ part…

This widebody 911 Cabriolet is LS-swapped

Powering the 911, is an LS3 E-Rod crate engine, which is the carb-legal version to make it California compliant. Clearly, the GM engine is the most polarizing aspect of the restoration. But – you gotta look at it like this: Rex didn’t ruin an iconic sports car here. Rather, he saved one. This car was a salvage-title, written-off 911 that was destined to be a parts car at best. So Rex played the hand he was dealt. Don’t think of this Porsche so much as a restoration… but more of a restomod that pays homage to the original essence & experience of the car. Sometimes we stumble on cars that need saving, and we save them. It’s not HOW we save ’em that matters… it’s THAT we saved ‘em.

Respecting the pedigree…

Rex had the 911 Cabriolet restored (restomodded) in Las Vegas. The build was executed through a collaboration of different specialty shops that are all within a few square miles of each other. With the LS-swap, the car makes an appropriate 430whp, which is still double the original power. Under 3,500rpm, Rex says the 911 feels mild-mannered, civilized & classy-quiet. Above 3,500rpm though, temperaments change & things get rowdy fast. Especially without all the electronic nanny-devices found on modern sports cars.

In true retro-Porsche mentality…

Anything superfluous was removed, and the car was simplified & purified to keep the driving experience as real as possible. Is it 100% pure to the original air-cooled 911 experience? No. But is it absolutely authentic in its own right? 100%.

Many hands; one vision. From Rex, to every craftsman (and woman) who touched this car… there was an instinctual understanding of the assignment. A village came together to raise this barn. And that’s a testament to Porsche, and the impact that Porsche had on us with unforgettable sports cars & transformative driving experiences. 

Photos by Jimmy Crook

Renegade Hybrids

Conversion to C.A.R.B legal GM E-Rod LS3 engine with the Porsche G50 transmission (fully rebuilt trans)

Custom Fuchs style wheels to accommodate larger 235/45/17 & 285/40/17 tires

lug nuts


Ian’s Auto Interiors

OEM+ interior with black leather & alcantara 

Troy McGregor came in for the audio: 2 door speakers with a custom OEM+ sub enclosure

The headunit is a retro-styled piece with modern guts

Porsche 993 convertible top

Nefarious Kustoms

Basically did the nuance-type things. All the little things (and many not-so-little) to make the 911 a safe & dependable driver. The goal was attention to detail while honoring the original spirit of the car. And to do it without compromising the durability & dependability required of a real/reliable driver.

Cheyenne Ruether

Paint & bodywork

Cheyenne is a star in her own right – an artisan. So to just call it ‘bodywork’ doesn’t feel like enough.

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